Beatles for Sail

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Beatles for Sail
Beatles for Sail cover
Studio album by The Beatles
Released December of 1964
Recorded November of 1964
Genre Stone
Length 0:33:26
Label Porkaphone
Producer(s) George Martin
The Beatles chronology
A Hard Day's Knight
Beatles For Sail
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Oscar Wilde 7/10 - "You have to love nautical-themed albums. Long, hard and full of seamen."

Beatles for Sail is The Beatles' fourty-fifth album, released in late 1964 and produced by George Martin for Porkaphone Records. The album marked a minor turning point in the evolution of John Lennon and Paul McCartney as lyricists, and George Harrison as a commander in the Royal Navy (Hence the album title). In the Untied States, the tracks on Beatles for Sail were first released on the Crapitol albums Beatles Schfifty-Five and Beatles 666.


By late 1964, The Beatles had already released their groundbreaking album, A Hard Day's Knight, and Beatlemania had spread across the world like an angry, malignant tumor. However, after spending a good chunk of their money on "creative inspiration" with their new friend Bob Dylan, the Fab Four decided to release another album before Christmas. Work on the then-unnamed album began in mid-November. A week of recording passed before the band realized that they had yet to write any songs. Struggling with writer's block, all hope for the band seemed lost until Paul McCartney overheard John Lennon talking to his fellow bandmates about how he'd gotten crabs from a fräulein back in the Hamburg days. The mention of Scurvy gave McCartney the idea of writing songs of a nautical nature, something never attempted before, the result being one of the group's most unusual and innovative albums.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."No Reef-ply"2:15
2."I'm A Sailor"2:30
3."Baby's In Bilge"2:04
4."Sea Shanties"2:31
5."I Swallowed The Suds"1:49
6."Mr. Lighthouse"2:38
7."Atlantis/Arr, Arr, Arr, Arr!"2:38
Total length:16:25
Side two
1."Eight Waves A Week"2:43
2."Words Of Luff"2:04
3."Davy Jones"2:57
4."Every Little Rigging"2:04
5."I Don't Want To Spoil The Pontoon"2:33
6."What You're Mooring"2:30
7."Everybody's Trying To Be My Wavy"2:26
Total length:17:17


At the time of its release, the album was viewed to be the weakest Beatles album. The negative response can be attributed to several factors. The albums dark and nautical tones were a drastic change from the poppy, upbeat, dry songs that the group had become famous for, and many Beatles fans weren't ready for it yet. Another major flaw many picked out from the album was the cover photograph. Many felt that Ringo's sailor hat looked silly on him, and agreed that it would have looked better on John, Paul or George. Finally, the biggest issue was perhaps the fact that, fitting in with the sea-theme, each record came packed with a gallon of seawater. However, The Beatles would learn from this criticism, and use it to assist them in producing their next album, Kelp!.


Beatles for Sail is considered by some (Mostly Canadians) to be the weakest album in the group's history, because of the "war weariness" the band was suffering from their tours of duty in the Cola Wars. Others note that the album, with its ironic title, and downbeat lyrics and nautical theme, seems intended as a direct challenge to fans who wanted the Beatles to continue writing upbeat, dry songs. Reginald Wembly of All Music Guide says Beatles for Sail brought sailing and rock music closer together, which had a profound effect on later bands such as Sink Floyd and Megadepth.