Beatles for Sale
Following A Hard Day’s Night, which consisted entirely of originals, Beatles For Sale feels like a step backwards. A pressured recording schedule, where an album was required before Christmas, forced the band to resort to six covers to fill out the album, and as their originals become more nuanced, the covers seem more incongruous. Particularly problematic is their version of ‘Mr. Moonlight’, which is a candidate for the worst song they ever recorded.
A lot of the best material is clustered at the start of Beatles For Sale – there are a bunch of semi-acoustic and introspective songs like ‘Baby’s In Black’ and ‘I’m A Loser’, partially inspired by meeting Bob Dylan on their . McCartney’s pretty ‘I’ll Follow The Sun’ is also noteworthy, while the most memorable song is ‘Eight Days A Week’. And while a lot of the covers are dispensable, I’ve always enjoyed their take on ‘Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!’, with McCartney’s energetic lead vocal.
With its reliance on covers, Beatles For Sale is the first Beatles’ album that doesn’t feel like a step forward from its predecessor, and it feels a little tired in places. But there are some changes in their song-writing with some more thoughtful lyrics, which do point the way forward.