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Oh Look Out! Part 4, Beatles For Sale
by John T. Marck
 

 

It has been said that the photo on the cover of this album, showing The Beatles with blank stares on their faces, was not exactly intended, but merely was a result of circumstances. Unlike stars of today who are pampered and spoiled every step of the way, The Beatles did not have a moment to bask in their fame between the years of 1963 and 1965. During these two years they were touring non-stop, and writing and recording new songs. Only a few times did they get a week off from touring, but during this time they were expected to write and record, and tape radio shows for the BBC. In Part 4, we take a look at The Beatles fourth album, "Beatles For Sale," released on December 4, 1964.

 



Oh Look Out! Songs and Albums of The Beatles

Part 4

Beatles For Sale

"When I'm Walking Beside Her, People Tell Me I'm Lucky..."

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

No Reply

A song by Lennon, this one deals with betrayal and jealousy, whereas the girl leaves him for another guy. Lennon said he got the influence for this song from "Silhouettes," a hit for a group known as the Rays in 1957. Twenty years later, many people used parts of this song for their answering machine messages. It was recorded on September 30, 1964.

This happened once before, when I came to your door, no reply

They said it wasn't you, but I saw you peep through, your window

I saw the light, I saw the light

I know that you saw me, 'cause I looked up to see, your face

I tried to telephone, they said you were not home, that's a lie

'Cause I know where you've been, I saw you walk in, your door

I nearly died, I nearly died, cause you walked hand in hand, with another man in my place

If I were you, I'd realize that I, love you more, than any other guy

And I'll forgive, the lies that I, heard before, when you gave me no reply

I tried to telephone, they said you were not home, that's a lie

'Cause I know where you've been, I saw you walk in, your door

I nearly died, I nearly died, 'cause you walked hand in hand, with another man

In my place, no reply, no reply

I'm A Loser

Another by Lennon, this one is rather a self-pity song. Although on the surface the song tells of having lost a girl, but deeper inspection reveals that Lennon, who is wearing a mask to hide his frown, is actually saying he's not only a loser in love but also in life. Thanks to the influence of Bob Dylan, this was actually the first time Lennon wrote something whereby he could convey his innermost feelings. Six years later, Lennon said that this song describes his complete ambivalence, saying, "Part of me thinks I'm a loser, and a part of me thinks I'm God Almighty."

I'm a loser, I'm a loser, and I'm not what I appear to be

Of all the love I have won or have lost, there is one love I should never have crossed

She was a girl in a million, my friend, I should have known she would win in the end

I'm a loser, and I lost someone who's near to me

I'm a loser, and I'm not what I appear to be

Although I laugh and I act like a clown, beneath this mask I am wearing a frown

My tears are falling like rain from the sky, is it for her or myself that I cry

I'm a loser, and I lost someone who's near to me

I'm a loser, and I'm not what I appear to be

What have I done to deserve such a fate, I realize I have left it too late

And so it's true, pride comes before a fall, I'm telling you so that you won't lose all

I'm a loser, and I lost someone who's near to me

I'm a loser, and I'm not what I appear to be

Baby's In Black

This song is unique in that it is a true Lennon and McCartney collaboration, the first since "I Want To Hold Your Hand."Its story is quite basic, whereas the boy loves a girl, this girl loves another boy, and this other boy doesn't love the girl, so the girl dresses in black. By this time, Lennon and McCartney seldom sat in the same room to wrote a song, but this time on this one, they did. It also was the first song recorded for this album, on August 11, 1964. Quite a good song! Oh dear, what can I do, baby's in black and I'm feeling blue

Tell me, oh, what can I do?

She thinks of him, and so she dresses in black

And though he'll never come back, she's dressed in black

Oh, dear, what can I do, baby's in black and I'm feeling blue

Tell me oh, what can I do?

I think of her, but she thinks only of him, and though it's only a whim,

She thinks of him

Oh, how long will it take, till she sees the mistake she has made

Dear, what can I do, baby's in black and I'm feeling blue

Tell me oh, what can I do?

Oh, how long will it take, till she sees the mistake she has made

Dear, what can I do, baby's in black and I'm feeling blue

Tell me oh, what can I do?

She thinks of him, and so she dresses in black

And though he'll never come back, she's dressed in black

Oh, dear what can I do, baby's in black and I'm feeling blue

Tell me oh, what can I do?

Rock And Roll Music*

 Chuck Berry

Written and originally recorded by Chuck Berry, whose version was okay, but it would be Lennon who would sing this song the way it was meant to be heard.

I'll Follow The Sun

A song by Paul, he is saying that he knows that bad times will strike his relationship, so he makes plans to follow the sun. Viewed as a selfish attitude by Paul, which reflects his attitude of his romantic life at this time, because there is no provision or consideration of how the girl will cope and find her "sunshine." This was written early on by Paul, and originally used in the pre-Beatle days when they were the Quarrymen. It was recorded for this album on October 18, 1964.

One day you'll look to see I've gone, for tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun

Some day you'll know I was the one, but tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun

And now the time has come and so my love I must go, and though I lose a friend

In the end you will know, oh

One day you'll find that I have gone, but tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun

But tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun

And now the time has come, and so my love, I must go

And though I lose a friend, in the end you will know, oh

One day you'll find that I have gone, but tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun

Mr. Moonlight*

 Roy Lee Johnson

Originally recorded by Dr. Feelgood and The Interns, The Beatles used this song many times in their Cavern days. It was recorded on October 18, 1964.

Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey*

 Jerry Lieber, Mike Stoller, and Richard Penniman

Another from their Cavern days, this song was originally recorded by Little Richard. The Beatles recorded this track for this album on October 18, 1964.

Eight Days A Week

Although considered another true Lennon-McCartney collaboration, John said that it was written by Paul, and Paul says he wrote it with John's influence. In any event, it was written as a potential title track for their next movie, which turned out to be Help! But, the title of Help! actually never changed and was always Help. This was written as a sort of just in case title song. What happened was that The Beatles chose the name of "Help" for their second movie, but were told there were copyright problems in that another had registered this name. Because of this, The Beatles first thought that they could call their next movie "Beatles II," then decided on "Eight Arms To Hold You." Then, they decided that "Eight Arms To Hold You," made no sense as this was impossible, so they then came up with the idea of an exclamation mark at the end of "Help" making it now "Help!" therefore removing any copyright problems. McCartney got the idea for this song from the phrase "eight day's a week," from Ringo, who said it describing their terrible work schedule. It is unique in that it was the first Beatles' song to contain a faded intro, and was recorded on October 6 and 18, 1964. Ooo I need your love, babe, guess you know it's true

Hope you need my love babe, just like I need you

Hold me, love me, hold me, love me

I ain't got nothing but love, babe, eight days a week

Love you every day girl, always on my mind

One thing I can say girl, love you all the time

Hold me, love me, hold me, love me

I ain't got nothing but love girl, eight days a week

Eight days a week, I love you

Eight days a week, is not enough to show I care

Ooo I need your love, babe, guess you know it's true

Hope you need my love babe, just like I need you

Hold me, love me, hold me, love me

I ain't got nothing but love, babe, eight days a week

Eight Days a week, I love you,

Eight Days a week, is not enough to show I care

Love you every day girl, always on my mind

One think I can say girl, love you all the time

Hold me, love me, hold me, love me

I ain't got nothing but love, babe, eight days a week, eight days a week,

Eight days a week

Words Of Love*

 Buddy Holly

Originally written and recorded by one of The Beatles' idols, Buddy Holly. In recording this, The Beatles stayed purely to Holly's original arrangement, and this would be the only Holly song they would ever record. Recorded on October 18, 1964.

Honey Don't*

 Carl Perkins

Originally written and recorded by Carl Perkins, this song was used and sung by John Lennon originally during stage performances. It was later turned over to Ringo, as a token vocal for this album. It was recorded on October 26, 1964.

Every Little Thing

Easily one of the most impressive songs on this album, it was written by Paul for his girlfriend Jane Asher, in the same vein as his song "Things We Said Today." Its theme tells of a lucky guy whose girlfriend loves him so much she will do anything for him. As it turned out, the attitude conveyed in this song was one of the major reasons that he and Jane broke up. The attitude herein, and that of Paul at the time, was that Jane's life fulfilment was in serving him. However, one of Jane's complaints to Paul was that she wanted her own career, and it was not enough for her to be the girlfriend of one of the world's most desirable pop idols. Jane did not want to be known as being merely his girlfriend, but as the accomplished actress she was. Ironically, to me, the only reason we in America ever knew her name was because of her relationship with Paul. Although Jane was a very well-known actress in England and perhaps Europe at this time, she, to my knowledge, never made it as an actress in America. Sort of a strange irony, in that she didn't want to be known as just his girlfriend, yet now, as far as I know, when I think of Jane Asher, I think of two things; she was Paul's girlfriend in the mid-sixties, and/or she is the sister of Peter Asher, or Peter and Gordon fame. Oh well... It was recorded on September 30, 1964.

When I'm walking beside her, people tell me I'm lucky

Yes, I know I'm a lucky guy, I remember the first time

I was lonely without her, can't stop thinking about her now

Every little thing she does, she does for me, yeah

And you know the things she does, she does for me, woo

When I'm with her I'm happy, just to know that she loves me Yes, I know that she loves me now, there is one thing I'm sure of

I will love her forever, for I know love will never die

Every little thing she does, she does for me, yeah

And you know the things she does, she does for me, woo

Every little thing she does, she does for me, yeah

And you know the things she does, she does for me, woo

Every little thing, every little thing

I Don't Want To Spoil The Party

On the surface, this is another of Lennon's relationship related self-pity songs about a guy who was stood up by his date. It's not so much the loss of the girl, which after a few drinks he can cope with, but his inability to act as though he's happy. Actually, it has another similar meaning. At this time, with their busy schedules, The Beatles were always hounded by the press, city officials or record executives, and the like. Lennon hated meeting with these types of people, but, for the sake of the other Beatles' he acted as though he enjoyed these times during these interviews so as not to spoil it for the other three. He knew that if he let his true feelings show, he would ruin it for the others. John wrote this song during The Beatles' brief visit to America in February 1964, where they played in Washington, D.C. and New York to help promote "I Want To Hold Your Hand." John said that this song was a very personal one, inspired because of his fear of having to be happy at all times in front of these people, when he wasn't. The Beatles recorded this on September 29, 1964.

I don't want to spoil the party so I'll go, I would hate my disappointment to show

There's nothing for me here, so I will disappear

If she turns up while I'm gone, please let me know

I've had a drink or two and I don't care, there's no fun in what I do if she's not there

I wonder what went wrong, I've waited far too long

I think I'll take a walk and look for her

Though tonight she's made me sad, I still love her

If I find her I'll be glad, I still love her

I don't want to spoil the party so I'll go, I would hate my disappointment to show

There's nothing for me here, so I will disappear

If she turns up while I'm gone, please let me know

Though tonight she's made me sad, I still love her

If I find her I'll be glad, I still love her

I've had a drink or two and I don't care, there's no fun in what I do if she's not there

I wonder what went wrong, I've waited far too long

I think I'll take a walk and look for her

What You're Doing

This was written by Paul specifically for "Beatles For Sale." It was a basic theme, that of a guy who is getting the runaround by a girl. Beyond its simple story line though, it is rather an imaginative and inventive song that contains great rhyming, built around a basic guitar riff. Originally, The Beatles devoted two sessions to recording it, then before scrapping it, decided to re-cut it on the last day of recording, on October 26, 1964.

Look, what you're doing, I'm, feeling blue and lonely

Would it be too much to ask of you what you're doing to me?

You, got me running, and, there's no fun in it

Why should it be so much, to ask of you, what you're doing to me? I've been waiting, here for you, wondering what, you're gonna do

Should you need a love that's true, it's me

Please, stop your lying, you, got me crying, girl

Why should it be so much, to ask of you, what you're doing to me?

I've been waiting, here for you, wondering what you're gonna do

Should you need a love that's true, it's me

Please, stop your lying, you, got me crying girl

Why should it be so much to ask of you, what you're doing to me?

What you're doing to me? What you're doing to me?

Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby*

Carl Perkins

Another by Perkins, this was recorded by The Beatles on October 18, 1964, and sung by George as a tribute to one of his all-time musical heroes.

 

All lyrics contained herein (*except) are © Copyright 1964 Northern Songs. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. The lyrics contained herein are for the sole use of educational reference for the readers of this article. All other uses are in violation of international copyright laws. This use for educational reference, falls under the "fair use" sections of U.S. copyright law. The same such reference applies to images/photos of album covers used herein.

Copyright© John T. Marck. All Rights Reserved. This article and their accompanying pictures, photographs, and line art, may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author, or the registered copyright holders. Except as otherwise stated above, all information contained in this article, EXCEPT song titles, lyrics, and photographs, © John T. Marck.

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