It’s that time of month again! Time for another installation of ‘My Beatles Record Collection’! And this month, it’s [insert signature Ringo drum fill]…Beatles For Sale! Beatles For Sale was The Beatles’ fourth studio album, and was the last to comply by the covers/originals formula that also went for Please Please Me and With The Beatles (though both Help! and Let It Be included covers as well). It was also The Beatles’ first gatefold album (and must have been one of the earliest examples of such packaging), and is the first album on which one can really hear The Beatles start to mature. Bob Dylan’s influence on the group (especially John) is particularly evident, and the bulk of John’s first explorations of confessional lyricism (he was suffering from depression at the time) can be found on this album. The UK cover/back cover are actually two of my favourite pictures of the group (the latter can be found on my school book labels!), but sadly the cover butcherers also known as EMI Australia decided to ruin the cover here. Not many people rate this album particularly highly, but I beg to differ. Some of my favourite Beatles songs are on this album! But onto vinyl…
I have a couple of dream vinyl purchases. Y’know, a numbered White Album, that sort of thing. And one of the things on my dream list is a UK first-edition Beatles For Sale. But sadly, it is exactly what the list suggests — a dream (at the moment). My copy of Beatles For Sale is much like my A Hard Day’s Night — a ’70s “orange label” repressing. With the Australian cover (which means no gatefold). But oh well. I only got it for about 30 bucks (plus sale discount), and it was definitely 30 bucks well spent! The vinyl doesn’t play as well as some of my other records, but there are no skips and the crackle (most of which probably comes from our record player) is bearable. Here are some pictures:
Here is that dreadful Australian cover. Apparently the images are from one of the band’s Sydney concerts. On second thoughts, the cover isn’t that bad — it just looks quite ‘yick’ compared to the beautiful British one! It is pretty bad, though, as far as Beatles covers go. I can see why John complained to EMI. (Still better than any One Direction album cover! Hee hee!) My cover actually needs a glue job, ‘cos the original glue across the top edge has perished. A job for me at some point, I s’pose.
The back of the record. A similar kind of thing (the sleeve notes, the track listing, the title and the picture) appeared in black on the left side of the British gatefold sleeve. As you can see, there are no backflaps, and if you look carefully, you can see the record is in stereo (like all other Beatles re-releases of the time). The picture is actually quite outdated, if you think about it. It appears to be A Hard Day’s Night era, and The Beatles had ditched the suits and had grown their hair a bit since then. I quite like it, though.
Here’s the really interesting thing about the cover — not specific to the Australian version, but who cares. And what is that thing, you ask? Why, Derek Taylor’s sleeve notes! Especially this quote…
It isn’t all currency or current though. There’s a priceless history between these covers. None of us is getting any younger. When, in a generation or so, a radio-active, cigar-smoking child, picnicking on Saturn, asks you what the Beatle affair was all about – ‘Did you actually know them?’ – don’t try to explain all about the long hair and the screams! Just play the child a few tracks from this album and he’ll probably understand what it was all about. The kids of AD2000 will draw from the music much the same sense of well-being and warmth as we do today.
And Derek Taylor must be psychic! Well, he got the Saturn bit wrong (that’ll probably happen in AD3000!), but the bolded sentence is truer than ever. Yes, the kids of AD2000 do draw the same sense of well-being and warmth as they did in the ’60s. And not just 2000. The children of the 2010s do to. And I bet you that the cycle will continue on forever. ‘Cos that is the reality of priceless music.
Here’s a picture of the LP with the cover. As you can see, it’s an “orange label” version (most likely late ’70s), and like all Australian pressings (including firsts — I actually have a first-edition Australian), it comes in a plastic sleeve, as opposed to the paper ones found in UK pressings.
And here’s Side Two of the LP. Very good condition — not a scratch! It crackles a lot, though, ‘cos it’s so thin and our record player is about as old as The Beatles’ albums. I love our record player dearly, though. Probably my favourite piece of furniture (it’s a proper stereogram) in the house.
And there you go! ‘My Beatles Record Collection’ done for another month. Stay tuned in particular for the next four months, ‘cos many of my more interesting and rare and valuable pieces will feature.
Last night, I went to see a wonderful Spanish film called Living Is Easy (With Eyes Closed). The film (named after a line in ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ is about a Spanish teacher called Antonio who is an obsessive Beatles/John fan. When he hears that John is filming How I Won The War in Almeria, he makes a trip out there from his town. On the way, he picks up two teenage hitch-hikers, and the film is basically about their adventures and Antonio’s many plans for meeting John. As long as you don’t mind reading subtitles, I highly recommend it! Google it for more information.
AND IMPORTANT NEWS FOR AUSTRALIAN READERS: A HARD DAY’S NIGHT IS COMING TO AUSTRALIA! Yay! After I thought for so long that it wouldn’t. AHDN is screening in its beautiful remastered glory as a part of the British Film Festival. If you’re Adelaidean like me, it’ll be on at the Palace Nova Cinema on November 9th at 7:30pm. Check the Film Festival’s website if you live elsewhere. But anyway, we’ve already got tickets, and I’m really excited! If you’ve been reading since the beginning, you’ll know how much I wanted to see the film on the big screen, and now I have the chance! I’ll be sure to write all about it after I’ve seen it. I guess last night will go down in my mind as the night I saw a fabulous film, found out A Hard Day’s Night was coming to Australia and heard The Stones play live.
And this Wednesday is the Rodriguez concert! I, too, am really excited about that! My first big concert! Yay! I’ll write all about it next weekend. But for now, good day sunshine! 🙂