Beatles For Sale sessions

Michael Gerber
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Beatles 1964 collage filtered

Four little-known musicians from Liverpool, 1964

MIKE GERBER • We’ve linked to the devilishly delightful site Willard’s Wormholes before, and in the process of fixing that link this morning, I found a wonderful something I just had to pass along.

My love for 1964’s Oh-Shit-Christmas-Is-Coming LP Beatles For Sale is almost as idiosyncratic as my affection for psychedelia.* Truth be told, I think my love began when I heard Malcolm McDowell’s almost ominous descriptions of the period in “The Compleat Beatles”. (“Haggard”…”windswept”…am I making this up? I distinctly remember it.) It’s the backside of Beatlemania that I’m always more interested in.

Anyway, this post allows you to listen to the Fabs constructing “I’m a Loser” from that lovely, though admittedly minor, album. Enjoy.


*I think this is getting out of hand. I spent most of an hour this morning listening happily to The Stones’ instrumental tracks for Satanic Majesties.

That is something I’d never thought I’d type.

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  1. Avatar linda a wrote:

    Beatles for Sale was always one of my favorite albums. Even now I find myself picking it to listen to over even Abbey Road and Revolver. I cherish these I’m a Loser out takes. They are all also among my favorites to listen to.

  2. Avatar Velvet Hand wrote:

    You Are Not Alone. The SMR instrumentals are addictive for 2 unbeatable reasons:
    1) They expand on & elucidate what will (surely?) one day be viewed as the Stones’ most awesome period. Oh yes. I’m sorry but “We Love You” is a MUCH better record than “All You Need Is Love”. Sorry again. It’s because of J&P of course (obviously).
    2) I can play the Stones at home because there’s no Jagger (whose voice is not well-tolerated by mah husband) in there.

    Um, I don’t have any strong opinions on Beatles For Sale unfortunately, other than “I really like the fact that it’s comparatively mellow, especially side 2 (which nobody ever seems to mention as all everyone EVER goes on about in connection with BFS is how terrible “Mr Moonlight” is, which is of course a lie).

  3. Nancy Carr Nancy Carr wrote:

    I too love “Beatles For Sale.” I adore “I’ll Follow the Sun,” which has lovely Lennon/McCartney harmonies, and the cover of “Words of Love,” which has similarly great Lennon/Harrison harmonies. In general the vocals on this album seem especially cooperative to me. And “Kansas City / Hey Hey Hey” is a lot of fun—everyone sounds like they’re having a great time doing it.

    I even have a sneaking fondness for “Mr. Moonlight.” How can you hate a song that starts with that Lennon exclamation and includes a skating-rink organ break? (Clearly, the Mellotrons have already come for me.)

    • Nancy, there is nothing remotely sneaking about my fondness for “Mr Moonlight.” It is (predictably) loud and proud.

      If a person cannot hear the awesomeness of a Hammond organ in full groan, there is nothing to be done for them. (My mother is one of this sad group, btw.) But I think the real reason I love “Mr Moonlight” is how, well, awkward it is. It is the clumsiest Beatles song I can think of, and this makes it to me as adorable and winning as a 13-year-old whose eyes haven’t caught up with his/her nose.

  4. Avatar Beasty Glanglemutton wrote:

    Once you get past the shameless copying of ‘Pepper’, ‘Majesties’ is not a half-bad album. Citadel and 2000 Man could fit on any Stones album of that era, and She’s A Rainbow is good psychedelia. Overall, not a bad effort considering they were in and out of court and jail throughout its making.

    • Avatar Velvet Hand wrote:

      Quite! And “The Lantern” – why isn’t this on every Stones compilation instead of, pfff, “Out of Time” or something?

      May I direct the assembled connoisseurs towards a nifty summary of that period? More shameless “Pepper” copying ahoy! Includes “Anyone For Tennis”!

      Since this was more of a BFS post, however, I would also like to add that there are not only no bad songs on that record (only the Ringo and George covers are a bit “huh?”), there is also stuff that puts most of the preceding and subsequent alsbums to shame. I don’t even know what to say about “No Reply”. And the cover! Why didn’t they do those gatefold things more often? Imagine a gatefold “Rubber Soul” with even more pics of John peering out from a hedge and even more moody smoking!

      • Avatar Velvet Hand wrote:

        Um, I guess that should have read “puts most of the songs on the immediately preceding and subsequent albums to shame”. I do not believe that BFS is a better record than Revolver.

  5. Chris Dingman Chris Dingman wrote:

    Does anyone know if the whole CD of the outtakes for Beatles for Sale (which include the I’m a Loser versions) can be obtained/bought anywhere?

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