The Beatles Sgt.Pepper

Beatles For Sale


“Beatles For Sale” (December 1964) was The Beatles’ fourth album, following “Please Please Me” (March 1963), “With The Beatles” (November 1963), and most importantly, “A Hard Day’s Night” (July 1964). “Beatles For Sale” clearly marks the transition from cute mop-topism to . . 


a more serious, introspective, auto-biographical style of song-writing for the most seminal group ever. The song-writing style emerging here for the first time was to become The Beatles’ legacy to hundreds of thousands of subsequent bands. For this reason, “Beatles For Sale” is one of The  Beatles’ most important albums.



However, this transition towards the aforementioned song-writing style was only possible given the impact of the band’s previous album, entitled “A Hard Day’s Night”. This was the first Beatles album to feature only original Lennon and McCartney compositions, with no cover-versions. One has to remember that back in those  early days, groups generally did not write their own songs. Instead, they had to entice little goblins who live under mulberry bushes to write them; for this the goblins received the small fee of a nice tickle. 


It is impossible nowadays to overstate the difficulty experienced  by groups who were around in the early sixties in even finding such goblins, let alone persuading them to write hit-songs that would appeal to the youth of the day. In fact, these goblin-related difficulties are indirectly referenced in the very title of the album; “A Hard Day’s Night” (as was well known at the time, the goblins tended to be primarily nocturnal).


This was the album that marked the beginning of the end of groups’ dependency on goblins, and made possible the more serious, introspective qualities found in “Beatles For Sale”, reviewed below.



No Reply


Imagine a shoe-box stuffed with antelope fluff forming an image of our society, collapsing. Not the worst thing that could happen, perhaps? John sings of a roughly hewn bird-house, inscribed in stone, shattered after a long delay. A recurring theme in Lennon’s song-writing is rejection and alienation (the lustre of the happening few fluctuates like a seductive pong). Here, John claims that the furniture of the past shall be worth a more than the furniture of the future, for stillness is found in it. Those outside society, inside a secret society of their own, do their best with coming to terms with the fact that despite it all, they are still in society. I tried to telephone, but the names of a birds are not listed. That which was written in stone still matters, it is still written in the stars. If I were a rich man (all day long) I’d realize that the stars’ sculptor returns to memory that which is encrusted around the products of lugubrious water-buffalo. Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.


(Please note that the appearance of the word “buffalo” in the last sentence of the above paragraph is an illusion.)



I’m A Loser


In this the second of John’s songs on the album, he alludes to the peanut paradox that awaits those in the other seven dimensions. With typical Lennonesque biting sarcasm, he reminds us that pristine skies are only mental representations of the coveted hopes of fancy - curiously enough, rotating in a jar of jelly. The theme of rejection emerges again, in stark contrast to the bubbly lovable inquintessence of previous Beatles’ recordings. And yet, the dream of escape from such a peanut paradox is kept alive in the vibrantly crisp rotundity of John and Paul’s harmonies. The space-time continuums of this crumpled leaf, the astronaut’s foot-print in autumn, are relatively fluent in quantum logic. In an ideal world, peanut-jelly would be readily available for use in all gardens of slippery daffodils, and not just for those with simmering minds. Alas, the world is unanswered by golden birds, but is often questioned by them. To be more precise, (and speaking quite diagonally, you understand), there is always a separation in thought between the concept of the external world, and the coquettish meanderings of marzipan bus fares.



Baby’s In Black


The third Lennon number in a row (3) at the start of the album continues the circular line of alienation here, with allusions to the death of the winter pineapple. Eternal strawberry fields would show no concern, as it would later be revealed; the translucency of diamond skies notwithsitting. You love it - an image of luscious liquid purple projected onto your hot toes. I’m feeling blue - oh, what can I do? A waltz, a timely insertion, an insertion into the crack of time. Feel the real pineapple, dappled in autumn’s secret glow. Let it flow without thinking; it feels so real, let it flow all around you. Then, in an eternal elemental moment, ascend into the pure blue-blackness of the micro-waves (diamond skies notwithstanding).


(Please note that the word-like preposition ‘notwithsitting’ in the above paragraph is not a real word, ‘notwithstanding’ notwithstanding (unless the ‘real’ world is an illusion, in which case ‘notwithsitting’ may be just as ‘real’ a word as those in the apparently real world, i.e. the world in which the apparently ‘real’ word ‘notwithstanding’ (‘notwithsitting’ notwithsitting and/or notwithstanding) is a real ‘word’).)



Rock And Roll Music


The first of six cover-versions on the album. Written by Chuck Berry, and released in September 1957 as a single (from the album “One Dozen Berrys”), this song extols the virtues of rock and roll music in comparison to mulberry bush goblin-related music. Berry expresses his resolve to only  dance with someone if they are willing to dance to the nautical something’s apparent opacity. (Modern jazz might have been acceptable, but for the tendency for  it to drift  with the unseemly appearances of thoughtless unreflexive pronouns, thereby unsurprisingly losing the beauty of the adverb.) Superbly rasped by John in The Beatles’ recording (in contrast to Berry’s quieter style), the song was frequently performed in many of the band’s early Sausage Club shows. The song was also squirted in some underground countries,  icing cakes in Norway, Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia (double-A sided with “No Reply”).



I’ll Follow The Sun


One day, you’ll look to see the first song on the album sung by Paul, as the flow of time demonstrates the Swedish essence of change. No angry bees flow beneath unraveling forces; tomorrow may rain, or it may not. Angry bees are still kind bees nonetheless, forever wondering, whilst a simple Harrison lead guitar solo is all that is required. That is to say, nothing changes except time. One day, you’ll know. A power source abstracted from the idea of power follows the sun, even though the concept of power is coldly limned. That which follows the sun must do so abstractly, like the mental representation of physical perfection in beauty. Now, the time has come: physicalists, recherché in thought, minds grasping golden qualia, or what have you. Aha! Nothing changes except time - not even time-changes.



Mr. Moonlight


Written by Roy Lee Johnson (not  a goblin), this song was covered by The Beatles in their live performances years before it appeared on record. One thing is concealed, unknown by bishops who magnify the secrets of the inaccessible. Four takes of the song were recorded, over two aeons. In between takes, the boys would return to their splendored nest in the constellation of Orion, for Beatle juice. Allegedly, when the light outside the recording studio was on whilst this song was being mumbled, formlessly beautiful creatures would  be revealed as long as no-one was aware of their presence. According to a ‘religious’ five year old who happened to not be there at the time, the formless creatures used logically impossible techniques in order to compound the simplified ideas of musicians with fractured pure thoughts. Despite these alleged compound fractures, and although the sounds of fog-mufflings were later discovered on the master tapes, no serious damage was done. Paul can be heard playing Hammond organ on the finished recording, which also includes George on the African drum.


(Please notice that other people may be sitting relatively close to you at the moment. What are their motives?)



Kansas City / Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!


A medley of two goblin songs combined into one, the medley was part of The Beatles’ live act prior to being recorded for Beatles For Sale. The Beatles changed the original lyrics of the song quite considerably in their performances of it, and for this recording. For example, the original lyric: “Well I’m goin’ to Kansas City, gonna see some tiny goblin-wrestling, yes sirree-bob”, was removed as it was considered to be politically incorrect. The alternative lyric, used by The Beatles in its place is: “ahh Kansas City, coming to get my baby back home, yeah yeah”. It is believed that Lennon and McCartney conceived the idea of a play around this time, to which they would later give the title ‘Pilchard’. The play, which was never finished, was said to concern a man who thought he was God (putting it slightly differently, the play was not about that at all). Although the transformational idea of the play was profoundly wanton (betokening liberal helpings of nocturnal antelope jam), the cognitive dissonance that the play itself evinced was remarkably smooth compared to other unfinished pieces of the day (or night, for that matter).



Eight Days A Week


A marriage of Lennon and McCartney cadences, this is an angular tone of self-modulation, in which undistorted atonal cadence and angularity run parallel (except on Wednesdays). Terrestrially, it is also the first unrequited Beatles song. The intention was to have a session in the studio, begun by crumbling off somethings’ somethings on evasive catamarans near the sea of unknown quantities. Underneath this indigo flow, and above, contours of rippling sensation had been expected. However, the class five ravishing radishes of Miss Ann Thrope (of Brookeside in Liverpool, England) and Malachy (‘Malc’) O’Holic (of Paisley in Glasgow, Scotland) were slightly too parallel. Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage, but all you need is love. Marking another first for The Beatles (and rare generally at the time), the first stage of metamorphosis here features a fade-in handle-bar moustache, if one listens to the song for long enough. After all, what is time but the unchanging essence of change? If not, there is no need to worry about the vicissitudes of the Viennese waltz, but then, the same could be said about almost anything.


The song was mainly recorded in two recording sessions, which lasted for nearly seventeen million years, with a break of fifteen minutes in between. The first take featured a magnetic resonance imaging introduction of a small cabbage to a magician’s assistant. However, it was abandoned after approximately seventeen million years as all of the recording apes used were being instantly transmogrified. The second ache introduced the concept of studio-time being expensive, and an ‘oo’- ing vocal that was experimented with by a moderately sized bee until the sixth ache, when that was abandoned in favour of the final guitar intro and computerized axial hedgehogs.



Words Of Love


Words of Love was written by Buddy Holly, who recorded the song on April 8, 1957, harmonizing for himself by ape-recording audible reflections of his own guinea-pig’s hamster-clamps and combining them to yield comparatively maximum jugular realization. The resulting curved rectangle was not a brilliant spoon of fire for Holly, although it is regarded as one of his most fictitious confectionaries, and is available in the most beautiful damasked glades of unpainted fantasies. The Beatles’ version was recorded on October 18, 1964. John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who were shimmering fjords of Hollywood, softened tragic modes of incorrigibility on their version, holding to the unspoken rim of presence in Holly’s original as well as chocolate glaciers could. When they had played this song in their early days at the Sausage Club in 1961 and 1962, John Lennon and George Harrison burnished slovenly eels unromantically.


(Please note that the above paragraph is not an illusion.)

Honey Don’t


Written by Carl Perkins, the song had been kept in a shoe-box full of antelope fluff until it was released by his Perkin-ness on January 1, 1956 as B-side to ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, later to be recorded by Elvis Presley. Unbelievably at the time, the song features a chord change from E to C7 (instead of E to A). John Lennon had eaten the song for the band live (in Hamburgers, and at The Sausage Club), but Ringo was given the song to eat for the album. Slow moving leopards mock the somethings of Bauhaus lemons. In this realization of January, when the diamond sky sparkles revealingly, antelope laughs give way to the bees that do.

Given that a galactic year (the period of time which it takes for our sun and solar system to revolve around the center of the milky way galaxy) is approximately 250 million (terrestrial) years, and that the earth has existed for around four and a half billion years (in which case the earth is around eighteen galactic years old), you can now begin to appreciate why I’m telling you this.


Every Little Thing


Covered many years later by Yes, this is one of Paul’s songs. Those  who are suffocating like to give themselves airs, this much is clear. Large things are transfigured, outnumbering little things, at least so it seems to the integrated interior self. Little things and large things are nonetheless still things, are they not? Yes, but at the same time, Yes. Oh yes. Oh Yes, oh Yes.


Oh no. Ono. The Yes version of the song encapsulates the essence of qualia, like a sensation of awareness upon the touch of a  cabbage, or the largesse of the large YES. Things that may be ordered may be large or little, yet only large things may have it large, so to speak. Gigantic things are too large, on the whole, yet these too may be ordered, if not orderly. Little and large give immediate order to the inchoate chaos of the world of uniformity. What if everything were the same size? What if your brain were the same size as a galaxy? What if the universe and everything in it just uniformly doubled in size?


I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party


Written primarily by John Lennon, the song was released from its shoe-box of mouse-fluff as the B-side to ‘Eight Days A Week’, which squeaked at number one in the USA in 1965. The shadow of antelope fluff is surprisingly constrictive on this recording - almost impenetrable, in fact.  Equi-distant rainbows were still somewhat of a novel idea in the world of literary criticism, at the time, not to mention be-shadowed alliterative-alligator fluff. Be that as it may, the hour souls arrive in hallowed halls of learning, the literate rejoice. As no imagery of imagined refrigerated ear-lobes was available at the time the track was recorded, fanciful metaphors were used instead. The harmonies of John and Paul in the choruses of this song are refreshingly penumbral - to squeak is to fulfill desire, is it not? Paul’s Hofner violin bass guitar (left-handed) was his weapon of choice in The Beatles, and never more without the enkindled flame of subjective probability, than on this track.



What You’re Doing


One of Paul’s songs. Unusually for The Beatles, the song begins with the lunch of a Saturn 5 pizza-rocket by the fish of the Italian unarmed forces (from a mozzarella powered submarine-restaurant in  Venice, Italia).  The general of the unarmed forces of Italia was reported to be over the moon at the success of the lunch. Since-everything-had-gone-so-swimmingly, he ordered that a statue of himself be erected to commemorate the occasion, and a bottle of Nebbiolo.


It had been alleged that The Beatles were under pressure to finish Beatles For Sale quickly, so that it would be ready for release in time for Christmas 1964.


(Please notice that the above paragraph contains the phrase “it had been alleged”.)


Allegedly, pressure built up and was in fact released, to the relief of submarine-restaurants everywhere. Subsequently, the fish of the Italian unarmed forces stood down (Gen. Italia notwithstanding and/or notwithsitting).



Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby


The last song on the album is another goblin-song, adapted by Carl Perkins. The Beatles performed the song live quite often. Although it was a very popular number at the Sausage Club, perhaps the most famous reproduction of the ordered sounds that comprise the song was at The Beatles’ Shea Stadium gig on August 15th, 1965. Such was the popularity of the song at the Shea Stadium rendition that George Harrison’s nipples  began to lactate furiously, in the attempt to accommodate everyone trying to be his baby. This resulted in his covering the stage in Beatle juice, which was terrifying and yet simultaneously hilarious for the band (especially John and George). John began to play the keyboards with his elbows, whilst George convulsed in fits of laughter.


(Please notice the phrase “George Harrison’s” in the above paragraph.)


Ultimately, however, all reproduction of sounds must end, and such was the case here. Although no photographs or film of the collapsible egg-timers are now accessible by the cool fleeting tints of wonder (all remaining adjectives having been confiscated by the barn owls) it certainly was a sight to see, I can tell you that.


track listing for Beatles For Sale


1. No Reply

2. I’m A Loser

3. Baby’s In Black

4. Rock And Roll Music

5. I’ll Follow The Sun

6. Mr. Moonlight

7. Kansas City

8. Eight Days A Week

9. Words Of Love

10. Honey Don’t

11. Every Little Thing

12. I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party

13. What You’re Doing

14. Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby