The Beatles’ American Releases, Part II

21 August 2008

And here’s part two of “The Beatles’ American Releases”…

04) A HARD DAY’S NIGHT [26 June 1964]
This one had a unique release. For one, it didn’t appear on Capitol, instead appearing on United Artists Records. All seven of the songs featured in the film are present as is “I’ll Cry Instead”, which Lennon had unsuccessfully argued for placement in the film. The remaining tracks are performed by the George Martin Orchestra, three of them (“A Hard Day’s Night”, “I Should Have Known Better” and “And I Love Her”) also present as performed by the group on the LP. The fourth track, an instrumental version of “That Boy”, retitled “Ringo’s Theme (That Boy)”, is pleasant enough (its presence in the film is a highlight).

05) SOMETHING NEW [20 July 1964]
Capitol, who held the single rights to all of the material from A Hard Day’s Night, set about releasing six of the seven songs on 45s between March and July (for some reason, “Tell Me Why” didn’t make it). The album released four weeks after the American A Hard Day’s Night was a cash-in release if ever there was one. Four songs previously released on the American A Hard Day’s Night and four from the second side of the British version.

The remainder was devoted to the second side of the British Long Tall Sally extended play (recorded and released in June) and the German version of “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand”, which closes the album rather pointlessly.

06) BEATLES ’65 [15 December 1964]
Beatles For Sale was kind of a weak release. Exhausted at having had to write the entire A Hard Day’s Night soundtrack plus a non-album single by themselves, Lennon and McCartney had to rely on six covers to fill out their fourth album. At the same time as the British got it, the Americans got their seventh and final Beatles album of 1964. Eight of the fourteen tracks from Beatles For Sale, both sides of their most recent hit single (“I Feel Fine” / “She’s A Woman”) and the closing track to the British A Hard Day’s Night made up this ragbag release.

Side one is rather faithful to Beatles For Sale, presenting the first six tracks in the same order that they appear on that LP. Side two, however, isn’t.

It sold a million in its first week.

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