Editor's note: Since Oct. 6, 2012 (the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles' debut single "Love Me Do," we've been on a half-century celebration cycle in which we are scheduled to relive every Beatles innovation, every release of the Beatles' landmark career in real time, right until the inevitable 50th anniversary of their breakup in 2020. But what other long-forgotten anniversaries are being overshadowed by the Fab Four (again)? To answer that question, we present another installment in this series: "The 50th Anniversary of Something Else."
December 4, 1964, marked the release of the Beatles' fourth UK album in 20 months, Beatles for Sale. If no one picked up on the cynicism of that title upon release or the group's growing dissatisfaction with fame, there were those unsmiling Fab Four faces on the front sleeve, rushed out to Hyde Park before photographer Robert Freeman lost the sunlight.
At least for John Lennon, the sunlight had gone out of his world view. He penned three of the most despondent songs of the Beatles' career ("No Reply," "I'm a Loser," "Baby's in Black"), and amazingly, dapper George Martin sequenced them as the album openers. It's hard to reconcile this moody group with the chipper lads of A Hard Day's Night less than six months ago. It's as if Paul's grandfather had remained with them for an entire tour and soured their entire worldview.