A NARRATIVE AND PICTORIAL DISCOGRAPHY OF BEATLEMANIA IN 2 BOOKS
COMPILED BY BRUCE SPIZER
Foreword by Alan Livingston, President
of Capitol Records, 1962-1968
PICTURES OF ALL THEIR HIT RECORDS
INNER VIEWS ON THE MARKETING OF THE BEATLES TO THEIR FANS
MANY COLOR PHOTOS
THEIR WHOLE STORY ON CAPITOL RECORDS ... FROM BEGINNING TO FABULOUS FAME!
First published October 24, 2000
IT'S LIKE SPENDING A VERY SPECIAL EVENING WITH THE ENTIRE BEATLES CATALOG ON CAPITOL RECORDS!
THE BEATLES' STORY ON CAPITOL RECORDS
a narrative and pictorial discography of beatlemania
Thousands of words have been written about the records...
Hundreds on hundreds of color pictures have been printed...
...All in an effort to capture for fans and collectors the world over
the fascinating truth and substance about the Capitol singles and
albums by four wonderful guys
named John, George, Paul and Ringo.
Here, at least, IS the whole story and the real story about
the Beatles on Capitol Records, authoritatively researched,
written and compiled in two books by
Bruce Spizer, author of the critically acclaimed
The Beatles Records on Vee-Jay.
HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL FIND INSIDE:
THE BEATLES RECORDS IN CLOSE-UP, PACKED WITH DETAILS, ANECDOTES, FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW BEFORE ABOUT THEM - THE AUTHENTIC STORIES OF ALL REOCRDS - WHY CAPITOL RECONFIGURED THE ALBUMS - THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BUTCHER COVER - ALBUMS ISSUED BY CAPITOL OF CANADA AND DISCOS CAPITOL DE MEXICO - SGT. PEPPER - PICTURES AND STORIES OF THE BEATLES HIT RECORDS - BEST OF THE TRADE MAGAZINES ADS - CORPORATE DOCUMENTS - DAZZLING COLOR PHOTOS OF ALL RECORD JACKETS, PICTURE SLEEVES, LABEL VARIATIONS AND PROMOTIONAL ITEMS - THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE YET ON THE CAPITOL RECORDS OF JOHN, GEORGE, PAUL AND RINGO - FROM MEET THE BEATLES! TO MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR.
Compiled and written by Bruce Spizer. Special assistance from Perry Cox, Gary Hein, Gary Johnson, Jim Hansen, Mark Galloway, Mitch McGeary and countless others. Foreword by Alan Livingston, president (1962-1968) of Capitol Records, Hollywood, California. Pre-press by Diana Thornton.
MEET THE BEATLES!
CAPITOL (S)T 2047
1. I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND
(John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
2. I SAW HER STANDING THERE
(John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
3. THIS BOY (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
4. IT WON'T BE LONG (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
5. ALL I'VE GOT TO DO (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
6. ALL MY LOVING (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
1. DON'T BOTHER ME (George Harrison)
2. LITTLE CHILD (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
3. TILL THERE WAS YOU (Meredith Willson)
4. HOLD ME TIGHT (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
5. I WANNA BE YOUR MAN
(John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
6. NOT A SECOND TIME
(John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
After deciding to issue I Want To Hold Your Hand b/w I Saw Her Standing There as its first Beatles single, Capitol was faced with the task of preparing an album to introduce the Beatles to the United States. Parlophone had released the group's second long player, With The Beatles (Parlophone mono PMC 1206; stereo PCS 3045), on November 22, 1963, the day President Kennedy was assassinated. The disc had advance sales of over 300,000 units and quickly shot to the top of the British charts. Capitol determined that this record would be the one to join I Want To Hold Your Hand in the Beatles Campaign, but, as discussed below, some alterations would be made.
While Capitol wisely decided to use the same striking front cover photo as the British album, the company thought the title With The Beatles lacked impact. As it had no way of knowing Vee-Jay's plans to resurrect and issue its Introducing The Beatles album, Capitol probably considered naming its album Introducing The Beatles. Imagine the confusion that would have caused. But, as fate would have it, Capitol chose Meet The Beatles!
The album was mastered on December 19, 1963. The labels to the acetate made that day (shown center) misspell the group's name as "THE BEATTLES." This is the same spelling error that appears on the group's first U.S. release, Vee-Jay 498 (see Part One, page 5).
Original plans called for the album to be released in mid-February, 1964, but, as was the case with its single, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Capitol moved the release date forward due to growing demand for Beatles product. Vee-Jay's release of its Introducing The Beatles LP on January 10, 1964, also influenced Capitol to get its album on the market as soon as possible. According to a January 13, 1964, Capitol press release, Meet The Beatles! had advance orders of 240,000 units.
Meet The Beatles! was released on January 20, 1964. It debuted in Billboard's February 1, 1964, Top LP's chart at number 92, making it the first Beatles album to chart in the U.S. The same issue also showed I Want To Hold Your Hand at the top of the singles chart, a position the Capitol 45 held for seven straight weeks. Billboard's February 8th issue tracked Meet The Beatles! at number three. By the February 15th issue, Capitol's debut Beatles LP had replaced The Singing Nun (Philips 203) as the top album, fending off Vee-Jay's Introducing The Beatles and remaining number one for 11 weeks before being replaced by The Beatles' Second Album on May 2, Billboard charted Meet The Beatles! for 71 weeks, including 17 weeks in the top five, 21 in the top ten and 24 in the top twenty. Cash Box and Record World also charted the album at number one.
Testimony to the phenomenal sales of Capitol's two Beatles records, I Want To Hold Your Hand and Meet The Beatles!, appeared in the March 5, 1964, affidavit of Capitol vice president Voyle Gilmore in the New YOrk litigation between Capitol and Vee-Jay Records. Gilmore claimed that Capitol was selling approximately 500,000 Beatles records a week and had already sold over 6,000,000 copies of their two Beatles releases. The March 28, 1964, Billboard reported sales of Meet The Beatles! at 3,650,000 units and I Want To Hold Your Hand at 3,400,000 units.
The fact that the Capitol LP was outselling the single caught everyone off guard. Prior to the Beatles, rock albums were normally not big sellers. Selling a few hundred thousand LPs was considered a tremendous success. A few of Elvis Presley's albums had sold in excess of a million units, but these were either Christmas, greatest hits, sacred or movie soundtrack LPs. Neither of the King's first two rock 'n' roll albums hit sales of a million. And none of Capitol's first three Beach Boys' albums sold a million. The phenomenal sales of Meet The Beatles!, which went on to sell over five million copies, taught the record industry that huge profits could be generated by well-crafted rock albums.
Although With The Beatles was a proven best-seller in England, Capitol decided to alter the British disc. Changes were made for marketing and financial reasons.
In America, the conventional wisdom was that hit singles made hit albums. As With The Beatles did not contain either I Want To Hold Your Hand or I Saw Her Standing There, some songs from the British LP would have to be deleted to make room for these songs.
Economics also entered into the formula. While British pop albums typically had fourteen tracks, American LPs normally had twelve songs. The disparity evolved from the different method of calculating song publishing royalties between the two countries. In the United States, publishers are paid a mechanical license fee for each song that appears on the record. Under this system, each song represents an additional cost. In England, song publishers receive a share of the total royalties paid on each album sold. For example, if an LP contains fourteen songs, the publishing royalty due from the sale of the album. Because the number of songs included on the disc has no direct cost effect, British record companies can afford to provide a more generous number of songs per album. Thus, for financial reasons, Capitol decided to limit its first Beatles album to the American standard of a dozen selections.
Although Capitol is often criticized for the way it tore apart the Beatles British albums and issued its own reconfigured records, such criticism is unfounded when aimed at Meet The Beatles! Capitol's selection of songs formed the perfect disc for Americans to meet the Beatles.
Recognizing that hit singles sell albums, Capitol placed both sides of its single I Want TO Hold Your Hand b/w I Saw Her Standing There as the album's opening tracks. The next song is This Boy, the B side to the British single I Want To Hold Your Hand. Following the opening rockers with This Boy was brilliant programming as the ballad effectively slows down the pace of the album and showcases the beautiful vocal harmonies of John, Paul and George. The last three songs on the first side are the first three songs from side one of With The Beatles, namely It Won't Be Long, All I've Got To Do and All My Loving. All songs on side one are Lennon-McCartney originals.
Side two opens with the next three songs from With The Beatles, namely George Harrison's Don't Bother Me, Lennon-McCartney's Little Child and the Broadway show tune Till There Was You. The final three songs on the Capitol album are the remaining Lennon-McCartney originals from the British LP: Hold Me Tight, I Wanna Be Your Man and Not A Second Time.
With the exception of Till There Was You, all of the album's songs were written by members of the group. This enabled Capitol to exploit the band's songwriting abilities.
The five selections from With The Beatles not included on Capitol's first Beatles album were cover versions of songs originally recorded by American artists. Capitol probably reasoned that American record buyers would not be interested in hearing a British band perform American tunes. After all, who needs the Beatles version of Chuck Berry's Roll Over Beethoven when Chuck Berry's version is available? This view changed when the Canadian single of the Beatles Roll Over Beethoven was imported from Canada and began receiving heavy airplay on U.S. radio stations and selling enough copies to chart. Capitol responded by giving serious consideration to issuing the Beatles version of the Chuck Berry rocker as its follow-up to I Want To Hold Your Hand. Although George Martin convinced the label to release Can't Buy Me Love instead, Roll Over Beethoven was prominently listed as a featured selection on the cover of The Beatles' Second Album, which also contained the other four cover versions from With The Beatles.
The recording history of I Want To Hold Your Hand and I Saw Her Standing There is covered in the chapter on that single in Part One. The beautiful ballad This Boy, with its striking three-part harmony, was recorded at the same October 17, 1963, session as I Want To Hold Your Hand. The song was perfected in 15 takes, with two more takes for overdubs. The Free As A Bird maxi-single from 1995 contains Takes 12 and 13, which break down prior to completion due to the boys flubbing the lyrics. The laughter at the end of each take shows how much fun the group had in the studio in the early days.
The Beatles recorded This Boy twice for the BBC. The December 17, 1963, performed aired on the December 21 Saturday Club and the February 28, 1964, recording aired on the March 30 From Us To You. Neither performance is on Apple's Live At The BBC.
On December 2, 1963, the Beatles performed This Boy for The Morecambe And Wise Show. The audio portion of the broadcast is on Anthology 1. Volume 2 of the Anthology video contains a segment of the group lip syncing the song.
This Boy was performed by the Beatles during their first visit to America, including their February 11, 1964, Washington Coliseum concert. CBS TV recorded the show in black and white video for closed-circuit broadcasts to American theaters on March 14 and 15, 1964.
The First U.S. Visit video contains the group's performance of This Boy from the February 16 Ed Sullivan Show, broadcast from the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach. Paul, John and George are shown gathered around a single microphone to sing their three-part harmony. Ringo primarily restricted his drumming to his high hat for the ballad.
This Boy became a regular on the Beatles concert set list in late 1963 and reamined part of the show throughout the first half of 1964. By the time the group began their American tour, the song had been dropped from the lineup. Thus, the song was not performed at the Capitol-recorded Hollywood Bowl concert of August 23, 1964.
It Won't Be Long was the first Lennon-McCartney original recorded for With The Beatles. After ten takes during the morning session of July 30, 1963, the group returned to the song that evening. The released master is an edit of Takes 17 and 21. The rocker opens with an energetic chorus full of trademark "yeah"s before moving to a catchy guitar riff and passionate lead vocals by John on the verses and bridge. Paul and George supply backing vocals. George Martin thought the song was worthy of being the potboiler opener for the Beatles all-important second British album. Had the song been released as a single, it would have been a huge hit.
John takes the spotlight again on All I've Got To Do, which was recorded in 15 takes on September 11, 1963. The moderate-paced song opens with a strummed guitar setting the stage for John's lead vocal. Highlights include a catchy melody, great singing and Ringo's distinctive drumming with effective use of his high-hat.
All My Loving was recorded at the end of the same July 30 session as It Won't Be Long. The song opens with Paul's lead vocal and quickly adds its exciting, fast-paced instrumental backing, dominated by John's high-speed churning rhythm guitar. George plays a country & western-influenced guitar solo during the tune's instrumental break and sings along with Paul during the last verse. Another high-quality song that could have been a hit single.
The Beatles performed All My Loving three times for the BBC. The third performance, which was recorded at the Piccadilly Theatre in London on February 28, 1964, and aired on the March 30th From Us To You program, is included on Live At The BBC.
All My Loving holds the distinction of being the first song performed by the Beatles on their first Ed Sullivan Show appearance. This historic performance appears on Volume 3 of the Anthology video and on The First U.S. Visit. The audio portion of the broadcast is included on Anthology 1. The group's performance o fthe song on the second Sullivan Show appears on The First U.S. Visit video. Volume 3 of the Anthology video contains the first part of the June 17, 1964, Melbourne performance.
All My Loving was part of the Beatles stage show from late 1963 through all of 1964. Capitol's The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl includes the group's August 23, 1964, performance, which is also included in black and white film on Volume 4 of the Anthology video.
George's Don't Bother Me was his first solo composition recorded by the Beatles. The group first attempted the song on September 11, 1963, but was not satisfied with the result. Returning to the song the next day, the Beatles started from scratch, with the remake designated Take 10. A finished master was completed in ten takes, including overdubs. George's voice was double-tracked and other overdubs included John on tambourine, Paul on claves and Ringo on a loose-skinned Arabian bongo drum. The band's initial attempt at the remake, Take 10, is an excellent live-in-the-studio performance. Towards the end of the song George can be heard singing "Oh yeah, rock 'n' roll now."
John's Little Child was also started on September 11 and completed the following day. The infectious rocker has many of the ingredients of past hits, including "come on"s, "oh yeah"s and John's wailing harmonica. Paul contributed a piano part to overdub Take 15, which was edited with Take 18 to form the finished master.
The one non-original song included on the album was a deliberately safe selection sure to please even adult listeners. Till There Was You was a love song from the hit musical The Music Man and was the type of show tune Paul enjoyed singing. Its inclusion on the group's second British LP followed the precedent of A Taste Of Honey's appearance on the first British LP. The tunes's jazz guitar arrangement closely follows Peggy Lee's recording of Till There Was You, which appears on her album Latin ala Lee!
After three unsuccessful takes of Till There Was You on July 18, 1963, the Beatles returned to the song on July 30. For the remake, Ringo abandoned his drum kit for bongos. Paul's soaring vocal performance is noteworthy not only for its beauty, but also for his pronunciation of the word "saw" as "sar" in the line "But I never sar them winging, no I never sar them at all."