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Beatles Hyde Park


The downbeat mood of Beatles for Sale was reflected in the album cover. It shows the unsmiling, weary-looking Beatles] in an autumn scene in London’s Hyde Par. The cover photograph was taken by Robert Freeman, who recalled that the concept was briefly discussed with Brian Epstein and the Beatles beforehand. He had to produce a colour image of the group shot at “an outside location towards sunset” Music journalist Lois Wilson describes the result as “the very antithesis of the early-’60s pop star.The cover carried no band logo or artist credit, and the album title was rendered in minuscule type compared with standard LP artwork of the time.

Beatles for Sale was the Beatles’ fourth album release in the space of 21 months. Neil Aspinall, the band’s road manager, later reflected: “No band today would come off a long US tour at the end of September, go into the studio and start a new album, still writing songs, and then go on a UK tour, finish the album in five weeks, still touring, and have the album out in time for Christmas. But that’s what the Beatles did at the end of 1964. A lot of it was down to naiveté, thinking that this was the way things were done. If the record company needs another album, you go and make one.” Noting the subdued and melancholy tone of much of the album, producer George Martin recalled: “They were rather war weary during Beatles for Sale. One must remember that they’d been battered like mad throughout 1964, and much of 1963. Success is a wonderful thing but it is very, very tiring”.