Beatles For Sale

This week marked what I suspect is the last hurrah for compact discs – the re-release of the entire Beatles catalog, with new mastering, new photos & booklets, mini-documentary videos.  I was working part-time at a record store back in 1985, when compact discs were first rolling out.  Our store had a smallish selection of CDs, mostly classical recordings – other genres had yet to really roll out on disc.  We mostly sold LPs and cassettes.  Now, about 25 years later, the CD  market is drying up fast.  Digital downloads are making up a large and increasing share of the music market.  While I understand it, I do miss record stores.

Since I’m the kind of guy who still has LPs and 45s along with lots of CDs, I picked up a few Beatles titles for old times sake.  The one that’s speaking most to me at the moment is ‘Beatles For Sale’ from late 1964.  The lads had been working hard, touring and recording all year (oh, and they made a movie too!  A Hard Days Night), and this one came out at the end of the year in the UK (it was chopped up for the US market into Beatles ’65 and Beatles VI).  It’s a combination of originals and covers, basically the last time they’d do covers on record. According to the recording notes, on the last day of recording on October 18th, they recorded 7 songs in one long session, 5 covers along with “I’ll Follow the Sun” and “I Feel Fine”.  Amazing!

But I think the sting of the album comes right at the beginning, where a newly Dylan-influenced Lennon indulges in a little self-pity in his powerful trio of opening songs: “No Reply”, “I’m a Loser” and “Baby’s in Black”.

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  • MRVEGAS  On September 13, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I miss those record stores as well. Finding obscure albums and bootlegs was like a treasure hunt – never knowing what you might uncover…

  • oakhill193  On September 14, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    My kids have been listening to the Beatles over and over recently. Maybe it’s from the recent hype of the video game (which seems to be sucking wind in store sales). David just watched HELP! and I’m sure as soon as the complete collection is available on iTunes, he’ll start downloading them. Yep, part of the great mystique of the music was thumbing through the albums in the store, smelling the vinyl and trying figure out which albums were good based on the artwork. Amazing how those LPs could so easily fit in a GR book bag.

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