Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Beatles For Sale


Released a mere 21 weeks after “A Hard Day’s Night” in which time they played live in the UK, Sweden, USA and Canada it is perhaps not suprising that they reverted to the ’63 format of eight originals and 6 cover versions.

The first significant thing about this album is it’s sleeve as it was the first Beatle’s album to be housed in a “Deluxe Gatefold Sleeve” which showed the band pictured with a photo montage of movie stars a concept which was taken to a new level later with Sgt Pepper.

Beatles for sale gatefold

Even some of the original album sleeve notes, written by Derek Taylor, were prophetic:-

“The kids of AD 2000 will draw from the music much of the same sense of well being and warmth as we do today. For the music of The Beatles is I suspect timeless and ageless. It has broken all frontiers and barriers. It has cut through differences of race, age and class. It is adored by the world”

Nothing like being modest eh!

I doubt the kids of today will catch on to The Beatles as their songs aren’t available to buy as downloads, the chosen route to music by the current young music buyer, they will take neither the time nor the expense in buying the remasters……however The Beatles Rock Band video game may yet change all that, if Guitar Hero can put Foghat back in the charts then stand by for a possible Beatles revival!

The album was released on 4th Decemer 1964 and as per usual the band issued a non album track as a single in this case “I Feel Fine” which I bring to you courtesy of my old “A Collection of Beatles Oldies” album.

The introduction to this song features the first recorded use of feedback which would be used to much more meaningfull effect by Pete Townshend in The Who a year or so later.

This is perhaps a typical example in the differences between the two bands The Beatles were a bit softer over the years whilst The Who were able to channel some of their live sound into their recordings “My Generation” the single released in 1965 has a rawnwss and energy the Beatles could not match though they obviously had many other strings to their bow.

It does however pose the question how would The Beatles have developed if they were able to maintain a touring existance removed from the screaming audience?

On of my favourite original songs from the album is this piece of Dylan influenced Lennon magic “I’m A Loser”

Now this is one of numerous songs which benefit from the harmonica playing of John Lennon. Whilst you could never merit calling him a maestro of the instrument he always played it with great gusto.

The reason for his love of the harmonica is forever linked to his love of Scotland and in particular Durness where he spent many a summer holiday at his Aunt Mater’s seven acre croft as a youth with his older cousin Stan Parkes.

As a youngster Lennon had a cheap mouth organ the sort of toy a wicked auntie would give you to annoy the living daylights out of your parents.

Despite the instruments limitations he was determined to learn how to play it properly and would play it on the bus up to Edinburgh, at the end of one journey the bus driver commented that he thought he was quite good and did he want “a real professional one with side buttons and everything” as a passenger had left one on the bus and it had overstayed it’s time in lost luggage.

Lennon’s answer was obviously yes and he agreed to meet the driver the next day at the bus garage. Stan Parkes accumpanied him to the bus station and true to his word the driver handed over the instrument.

The same instrument heralded The Beatles onto the music scene via it’s use on their debut single “Love Me Do” and was used extensively thereafter and was still in his possession when he moved into the Dakota Building in New York.

The above is only a small snippet from the brilliant Ken McNab book “The Beatles In Scotland” a must read for every music fan. (Thanks Jane xx).

The Beatles In Scotland

Finally there is a hidden McCartney gem on the album in the form of “I Follow The Sun” which is a particular favourite of George Martin

For more information on this album click HERE

To buy The Beatles music click HERE



September 11, 2009 - Posted by | Old Music, Video |

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