Thursday, December 4, 2014

beatles for sale

The Beatles followed the sun and got dark and bluesy for the introspective importunity of their fabulous fourth.  In the height of Beatlemania, the group went into the studio again only a week after they wrapped up the soundtrack album to their first feature film, 'A Hard Day's Night'.  The sessions took place at EMI Studios in London in between touring dates.  Much of the material was written in the studio.  'Beatles for Sale' features John Lennon on lead, harmony and backing vocals, rhythm and acoustic guitars, piano, harmonica, tambourine, handclaps; and 12-string lead guitar on "Every Little Thing";   Paul McCartney on lead, harmony and backing vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, Hammond organ, and handclaps;   George Harrison on harmony and backing vocals, lead vocals on "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby", lead, acoustic and 12 string guitars, African drum, and handclaps;   and Ringo Starr on drums, tambourine, maracas, timpani, cowbell, packing case, bongos, and lead vocals on "Honey Don't";   with George Martin on piano and production.    Martin recalled:   "They were rather war-weary during Beatles for Sale. One must remember that they'd been battered like mad throughout '64, and much of '63. Success is a wonderful thing, but it is very, very tiring."

McCartney looks back:   "We would normally be rung a couple of weeks before the recording session and they'd say, 'We're recording in a month's time and you've got a week off before the recordings to write some stuff.' You'd say, 'Oh, great, fabulous.' So I'd go out to John's every day for the week, and the rest of the time was just time off. We always wrote a song a day, whatever happened we always wrote a song a day... Mostly it was me getting out of London, to John's rather nice, comfortable Weybridge house near the golf course. I'd often wake him up, so I'd be coming in a little fresher than he was, but after a coffee or a cup of tea he woke up and we nearly always went up to his little music room he'd built at the top of the house... So John and I would sit down, and by then it might be one or two o'clock, and by four or five o'clock we'd be done. Three hours is about right-- you start to fray at the edges after that. But that's good too because you think, 'We've got to get this done!'...Whenever the 'red light' was on... that was it, we had to go, that was our signal. Now it's very relaxed. I've got my own studio now and we hardly ever put the light on. These days you go to a recording studio and you tend to see other groups, other musicians, because that's what the industry is now... that's where the money is. But then you'd see Sir Tyrone Guthrie, Barenboim. There'd be alot of 'acting.' You'd see classical sessions going on in 'number one.' We were always asked to turn down because a classical piano was being recorded in 'number one' and they could hear us...We used to listen to alot of country and western songs and they were all about sadness and 'I lost my truck' so it was quite acceptable to sing 'I'm a loser.' You really didn't think about it at the time, it's only later you'd think, God! That was pretty brave of John. 'I'm a Loser' was very much John's song and there may have been a dabble or two from me."

Lennon would reveal:    "That's me in my Dylan period. Part of me suspects I'm a loser, and part of me thinks I'm God almighty." (laughs) ... I remember (Beatles music publisher) Dick James coming up to me after we did this ['No Reply'] and saying, 'You're getting better now-- that was a complete story.' Apparently, before that, he thought my songs wandered off... It was sort of my version of 'Silhouettes.' (sings) 'Silhouettes, silhouettes, silhouettes...' I had that image of walking down the street and seeing her silhouetted in the window and not answering the phone, although I never called a girl on the phone in my life. Because phones weren't part of the English child's life."

Harrison considered:    "Our records were progressing. We'd started out like anyone spending their first time in a studio—nervous and naive and looking for success. By this time we'd had loads of hits and were becoming more relaxed with ourselves, and more comfortable in the studio ... we were beginning to do a little overdubbing, too, probably to a four-track ...  We put all the songs together into an album form-- I'm talking about English albums now, because in the states we found later that for every two albums we had, they (Capitol) would make three... because we put fourteen tracks on an album and we'd also have singles that weren't included on albums in those days. They'd put the singles on, take off a bunch of tracks, change all the running order, and then they'd make new packages... just awful packages."

'Beatles For Sale' went to number one in Australia, Germany, and the UK.  The US releases that contained the songs from 'Beatles For Sale' ('Beatles '65' and 'Beatles VI') both went to number one in the US.

"Eight Days a Week" was a top ten hit around the world, going to number one in Canada and the US. 
Lennon:   "Both of us wrote it. I think we wrote this when we were trying to write the title song for 'Help!' because there was at one time the thought of calling the film, 'Eight Arms To Hold You.'"
McCartney: "Yeah, he (Ringo) said it as though he were an overworked chauffeur: (in heavy accent) 'Eight days a week.' (Laughter) When we heard it, we said, 'Really? Bing! Got it!'" (Laughs)

"I'll Follow the Sun"  
McCartney:   "I wrote that in my front parlour in Forthlin Road. I was about 16. There was a few from then-- 'Thinking Of Linking,' ever heard of that one? So 'I'll Follow The Sun' was one of those very early ones. I seem to remember writing it just after I'd had the flu... I remember standing in the parlour looking out through lace curtains of the window and writing that one. We had this hard R&B image in Liverpool, so I think songs like 'I'll Follow The Sun,' ballads like that, got pushed back to later."

"Rock and Roll Music"

"Honey Don't"
Starr:    "We all knew Honey Don't; it was one of those songs that every band in Liverpool played. I used to love country music and country rock. I'd had my own show with Rory Storm, when I would do five or six numbers. So singing and performing wasn't new to me; it was a case of finding vehicles for me with The Beatles. That's why we did it on Beatles For Sale. It was comfortable. And I was finally getting one track on a record: my little featured spot."

"Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby"
Harrison:   "For this album we rehearsed only the new ones. Songs like Honey Don't and Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby, we'd played live so often that we only had to get a sound on them and do them."

"She's A Woman" was the b side to "I Feel Fine" and was put on the US release  'Beatles '65'.  
Lennon:   "That's Paul with some contribution from me on lines, probably. We put in the words 'turns me on.' We were so excited to say 'turn me on' --you know, about marijuana and all that... using it as an expression."
McCartney: "This was my attempt at a bluesy thing... instead of doing a Little Richard song, whom I admire greatly, I would use the (vocal) style I would have used for that but put it in one of my own songs."

"I Feel Fine" was a worldwide number one smash.  In the UK, it was only available as a single; but in the US it was released on the album 'Beatles '65'.  
Lennon:    "This was the first time feedback was used on a record. It's right at the beginning...I wrote this at a recording session. It was tied together around the guitar riff that opens it...George and I play the same bit on the guitar together-- that's the bit that'll set your feet a-tapping, as the reviews say. The middle-eight is the most tuneful part, to me, because it's a typical Beatles bit...That's me completely. Including the guitar lick with the first feedback anywhere. I defy anybody to find a record... unless it is some old blues record from 1922... that uses feedback that way. So I claim it for the Beatles. Before Hendrix, before the Who, before anybody. The first feedback on record."

McCartney:  "John had a semi-acoustic Gibson guitar. It had a pick-up on it so it could be amplified... We were just about to walk away to listen to a take when John leaned his guitar against the amp. I can still see him doing it... and it went, 'Nnnnnnwahhhhh!" And we went, 'What's that? Voodoo!' 'No, it's feedback.' Wow, it's a great sound!' George Martin was there so we said, 'Can we have that on the record?' 'Well, I suppose we could, we could edit it on the front.' It was a found object-- an accident caused by leaning the guitar against the amp. The song itself was more John's than mine. We sat down and co-wrote it with John's original idea. John sang it, I'm on harmonies."

The Beatles - I Feel Fine by malhanga

'Beatles For Sale' 
full album:

All songs written and composed by Lennon–McCartney, except where noted. 

Side one
1. "No Reply"   Lennon with McCartney 2:15
2. "I'm a Loser"   Lennon with McCartney 2:31
3. "Baby's in Black"   McCartney and Lennon 2:02
4. "Rock and Roll Music" (Chuck Berry) Lennon 2:32
5. "I'll Follow the Sun"   McCartney 1:46
6. "Mr. Moonlight" (Roy Lee Johnson) Lennon 2:33
7. "Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!" (Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller/Richard Penniman) McCartney 2:33
Side two
1. "Eight Days a Week"   Lennon 2:44
2. "Words of Love" (Buddy Holly) Lennon and McCartney 2:12
3. "Honey Don't" (Carl Perkins) Starr 2:55
4. "Every Little Thing"   Lennon and McCartney 2:01
5. "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party"   Lennon with McCartney 2:33
6. "What You're Doing"   McCartney 2:30
7. "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby" (Perkins) Harrison 2:23

'Beatles '65'
full album:

All tracks written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, except where noted.

Side one
1. "No Reply"   John with Paul 2:15
2. "I'm a Loser"   John with Paul 2:31
3. "Baby's in Black"   John and Paul 2:02
4. "Rock and Roll Music" (Chuck Berry) John 2:32
5. "I'll Follow the Sun"   Paul 1:46
6. "Mr. Moonlight" (Roy Lee Johnson) John 2:35
Side two
1. "Honey Don't" (Carl Perkins) Ringo 2:56
2. "I'll Be Back"   John and Paul 2:22
3. "She's a Woman"  Paul 2:57
4. "I Feel Fine" John with Paul 2:20
5. "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby" (Carl Perkins) George 2:24

'Beatles VI'

All songs written and composed by Lennon–McCartney, except where noted. 

Side one
1. "Medley: "Kansas City"/"Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey" (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller/Richard Penniman) McCartney 2:30
2. "Eight Days a Week"   Lennon with McCartney 2:43
3. "You Like Me Too Much" (George Harrison) Harrison 2:34
4. "Bad Boy" (Larry Williams) Lennon 2:17
5. "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party"   Lennon with McCartney 2:33
6. "Words of Love" (Buddy Holly) Lennon and McCartney 2:10
Side two
1. "What You're Doing"   McCartney 2:30
2. "Yes It Is"   Lennon with Harrison and McCartney 2:40
3. "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" (Williams) Lennon 2:51
4. "Tell Me What You See"   McCartney with Lennon 2:35
5. "Every Little Thing"   Lennon with McCartney 2:01

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