Album facts: Beatles for Sale
On December 4th 1964, The Beatles released Beatles for Sale; this was only 22 weeks after the release of A Hard Day's Night, making Beatles for Sale the band's fourth album in less than two years. A Hard Day's Night was full of original songs but due to the meteoric rise of Beatlemania, The Beatles didn't have the time to fill an entire album with their own songs this time around.
With Beatles for Sale they followed the same formula as their first two albums Please Please Me and With the Beatles, using a mixture of original compositions and older rock and roll standards. They called on classics from Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins to fill out the length of the album.
"Our records were progressing. We'd started out like anyone spending their first time in a studio - nervous and naïve and looking for success. By this time we'd had loads of hits and a few tours and were becoming more relaxed with ourselves, and more comfortable in the studio. And the music was getting better.
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. But with songs like Baby's In Black, we had to learn and rehearse them. We were beginning to do a little overdubbing, too, probably a four-track. And George Martin would suggest some changes; not too many, but he was always an integral part of it." - George Harrison
Recording began at Abbey Road on August 11th and finished on October 26th. The Beatles recorded the album over seven scattered days, while trying to cram in performances in the UK, US and Canada; as well as radio and TV appearances.
- John Lennon – lead, harmony and backing vocals, rhythm and acoustic guitars, piano, harmonica, tambourine, handclaps; 12-string lead guitar on "Every Little Thing"
- Paul McCartney – lead, harmony and backing vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, Hammond organ, handclaps
- George Harrison – harmony and backing vocals, lead vocals on "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby", lead, acoustic and 12 string guitars, African drum, handclaps
- Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine, maracas, timpani, cowbell, packing case, bongos, lead vocals on "Honey Don't"
- George Martin – piano and producer
Beatles for Sale topped the UK Albums Chart on December 13th 1964, remaining at number one for seven straight weeks; eventually being knocked off by The Rolling Stones No. 2. It did however regain the top spot on February 21st 1965, for one more week.