What You're Doing (Remastered 2009)
The recordings for Beatles For Sale were squeezed into seven sessions between August and October in the midst of the group’s unrelenting schedule. With scarcely a moment to spare, they reverted to their 1963 recording formula of combining eight originals with six covers for the album. The first side opens with three melodically strong, if rather melancholy, Lennon/McCartney songs. “No Reply” sets the tone with a musical tension between despondent verses and a confident middle eight. During a trip to New York in August 1964, The Beatles met Bob Dylan, and his influence percolates throughout the album, particularly in the sound and lyrics of “I’m a Loser.” Overall, the songs on Beatles For Sale did not stray from conventional variations on matters of the heart, but an indication of things to come surfaces with “Baby’s in Black,” which suggests something unusually ominous. As the group raced against the clock to complete the album, they recorded some trusted favorites by their 1950s heroes: Chuck Berry’s “Rock and Roll Music,” Carl Perkins’ “Honey Don’t” and “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby,” Buddy Holly’s “Words of Love,” and Little Richard’s “Kansas City”/”Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!”
None of the tracks were released as singles in the U.K.; “I Feel Fine”/”She’s a Woman” was released a week prior to Beatles For Sale and sold a million copies in 12 days. In the U.S., there was not an album called Beatles For Sale released but eight of its tracks were included on Beatles ’65. “Eight Days a Week” was first released in the U.S. as a single and hit No. 1 in March 1965. Despite the intense pressure of the whirlwind sessions, the group hit their deadline. Beatles For Sale was released on December 4 1964 -- just in time for Christmas.