The Beatles:Beatles For Sale (1964)

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At the time of the making of "Beatles For Sale," the group was momentarily burned out. The cover photograph taken by Robert Freeman tells it all. As you can see, the four Beatles display a tired, sort of glazed expression on their faces, and with good cause. The oh so familiar sparkle in their eyes was temporarily missing. To put it simply, the Beatles were worn out.

Today, music and movie stars are pampered, but such was not the case in the early sixties, at least not like it is today. Through 1963, The Beatles toured non-stop, having only a week off now and then. However, while off from touring, The Beatles were expected to write and record new songs, as well as tape shows for the BBC, and meet with the press. "Beatles For Sale," was released in the United Kingdom on December 4, 1964, and it's counterpart, "Beatles '65" was released on December 15, 1964 in the United States.

The Beatles were so tired from their hectic schedule, that they were only able to come up with eight of the fourteen songs on this album. The remaining six others were cover songs from their early rock n' roll role models. The year began in 1964 much the way it was for them in 1963. The Beatles started with two Christmas shows at the Astoria, Finsbury Park, then spent three weeks touring in France, then two weeks in the United States, leaving then a week to start the work on "A Hard Day's Night," followed by two months of filming. After a brief vacation in May, 1964, The Beatles had a second tour of America, followed by a tour of Australia and New Zealand, then Europe, then a five-week tour in the United Kingdom, which took them to late November. Most of the songs for this album were written during this time, and recorded whenever they could in-between the five-week concert series from September to November. Because their schedule was so hectic, the recordings were squeezed in during off days from concerts, throughout a total period of two and one-half months. The manner in which this album was thrown together lends a feeling back to their origin, which hints at the strains they were under. At the same time, the eight new Lennon and McCartney songs also show a new sense of maturity, along with new influences. It was I think the beginning of a newer period for them which took them far beyond any of their contemporaries.

The main inspiration for "Beatles For Sale," was that of country mucic. The rock-a-billy influence, which roots are founded in country that they had grown up listening to, was truly in their works here. Another influence was that of Bob Dylan, who they had listened too since 1963. In their early works, Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, tried to emulate to some degree Dylan's writings. They had been drawn to Dylan because the words in his songs were just as important as the music. It was not until Dylan introduced them to marijuana that their artistic freedom surfaced.

When "Beatles For Sale," was released it reached number one in Britain, as did the counterpart Beatles '65, selling one million copies the first week. These two albums, although intended to be counterparts, contained many different tracks from each other. Although they did contain some of the same tracks, the British version had fourteen to the United States' eleven. The tracks were the same except the British version had "Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey; Eight Days A Week; Words Of Love; Every Little Thing; I Don't Want To Spoil The Party; and What You're Doing that were not on the American version. "Beatles '65" contained three tracks that were not on the British version. They are: I'll Be Back; She's A Woman; and I Feel Fine.

And Now...

Beatles For Sale

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