Beatles For Sale
Originally released in the UK, December 4, 1964
I Feel Fine/She's A Woman (UK release: 11/27/64)
JOHN 1972: "I remember (Beatles music publisher) Dick James coming up to me after we did this one and saying, 'You're getting better now-- that was a complete story.' Apparently, before that, he thought my songs wandered off."
JOHN 1980: "That's my song. That's the one where Dick James the publisher said, 'That's the first complete song you've written that resloves itself,' you know, with a complete story. 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."
PAUL circa-1994: "We wrote 'No Reply' together but from a strong original idea of his. I think he pretty much had that one, but as usual, if he didn't have a third verse and the middle-eight, then he'd play it to me pretty much formed. Then we'd shove a bit in the middle or I'd throw in an idea."
I'M A LOSER(Lennon/McCartney)
JOHN 1980: "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)
PAUL circa-1994: "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."
BABY'S IN BLACK(Lennon/McCartney)
JOHN 1980: "Written together in the same room."
PAUL circa-1994: "We wanted to write something a little bit darker, bluesy... It was very much co-written and we both sang it. Sometimes the harmony that I was writing in sympathy to John's melody would take over and become a stronger melody... When people wrote out the music score they would ask, 'Which one is the melody?' because it was co-written that you could actually take either. We rather liked this one."
I'LL FOLLOW THE SUN(Lennon/McCartney)
JOHN 1972: "A nice one."
JOHN 1980: "That's Paul again. Can't you tell? I mean-- 'Tomorrow may rain so/ I'll follow the sun.' That's another early McCartney, you know... written almost before the Beatles, I think. He had alot of stuff."
PAUL 1988: "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."
KANSAS CITY/HEY, HEY, HEY, HEY!(Lieber/Stoller/Penniman)
PAUL 1984: "It requires a great deal of nerve to just jump up and scream like an idiot, you know? Anyway, I would often fall a little bit short, not have that little kick, that soul, and it would be John who would go, 'Come on! You can sing it better than that, man! Come on, come on! Really throw it!' Alright, John, OK... He was certainly the one I looked up to, most definitely."
PAUL 1985: "John used to egg me on. He used to say, 'Come on, Paul, knock the shit out of 'Kansas City,' just when the engineers thought they had a vocal they could handle."
EIGHT DAYS A WEEK(Lennon/McCartney)
JOHN 1972: "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.'"
JOHN 1980: "Eight Days A Week' was never a good song. We struggled to record it and struggled to make it into a song. It was his (Paul's) initial effort, but I think we both worked on it. I'm not sure. But it was lousy anyway."
PAUL 1984: "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)
EVERY LITTLE THING(Lennon/McCartney)
JOHN 1980: "'Every Little Thing' is his song. Maybe I threw in something."
PAUL circa-1994: "'Every Little Thing,' like most of the stuff I did, was my attempt at the next single... but it became an album filler rather than the great almighty single. It didn't have quite what was required."
I DON'T WANT TO SPOIL THE PARTY(Lennon/McCartney)
JOHN 1974: "That was a very personal one of mine."
JOHN 1980: "That's me!"
WHAT YOU'RE DOING(Lennon/McCartney)
JOHN 1980: "His song... I might have done something."
PAUL circa-1994: "'What You're Doing' was a bit of filler. I think it was a little more mine than John's... You sometimes start a song and hope the best will arrive by the time you get to the chorus, but sometimes that's all you get, and I suspect this was one of them. Maybe it's a better recording than it is a song, some of them are. Sometimes a good recording would enhance a song."
I FEEL FINE(Lennon/McCartney)
JOHN 1964: "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."
JOHN 1972: "This was the first time feedback was used on a record. It's right at the beginning."
JOHN 1974: "I wrote this at a recording session. It was tied together around the guitar riff that opens it."
JOHN 1980: "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."
PAUL circa-1994: "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."
SHE'S A WOMAN(Lennon/McCartney)
JOHN 1980: "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."
PAUL circa-1994: "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."
ON THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE US AND UK RELEASES
GEORGE 1977: "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."
ON RECORDING AT EMI'S ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS
PAUL 1988: "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."
ON SONGWRITING (DURING THE 'BEATLES FOR SALE' PERIOD)
PAUL circa-1994: "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!'"
- Beatles At The Movies- Roy Carr, 1996
- Beatles Book Monthly
- Beatles Recording Sessions- Mark Lewisohn, 1988
- Beatlesongs- William J. Dowlding, 1989
- Billboard Magazine/Harrison, 1999
- David Frost Interview/McCartney
- Final Testament: 'Unedited' Lennon/Playboy Interviews
- Let It Be- movie/sessions dialog
- Many Years From Now- Barry Miles, 1997
- Playboy Magazine/McCartney
- Press conferences and archived audio interviews
- Rolling Stone Magazine/Lennon
- The Beatles- Hunter Davies
- The Beatles In Their Own Words- Barry Miles 1978