BEATLES FOR SALE was recorded in time for the Christmas market amid a merry-go-round of a world tour, TV appearances and BBC radio shows. As a result, The Beatles barely had time to write anything new and relied heavily on rock and roll staples from their Cavern Club days. The result is regarded as their weakest album, though a few gems still make it a listenable album.
Like A Hard Day's Night, Lennon dominates the album, writing the first three songs. The strongest is the confessional I'm A Loser, featuring a strong dose of Bob Dylan. Baby's In Black is another highlight and even more cynical. Every Little Thing features a fine melody and I Don't Want To Spoil The Party is a detour into country.
Paul offers I'll Follow The Sun, a decent ballad, but an oldie from the Liverpool days and What You're Doing, which fails to live up to Phil Spector's Wall of Sound. Overall, McCartney keeps a low profile on this album.
Their only true collaboration, Eight Days A Week, is one of Beatlemania's less-deserving number ones.
The cover songs are hit and miss. Words of Love and Rock and Roll Music are the better ones, while Mr. Moonlight and Honey Don't are the worst. A better, heavier album would have replaced the latter (along with Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey) with their single at the time, I Feel Fine and She's A Woman, plus Leave My Kitten Alone (found on Anthology 1).
And like A Hard Day's Night, the original stereo mixes are missing, replaced by the servicable mono mix found on this CD. I still prefer the stereo mixes to the mono, and pray that Apple issues them one day.