Meet the Beatles!

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Meet the Beatles!
Studio album by The Beatles
Released 20 January 1964
Recorded 11 February – 23 October 1963, EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock and roll[1]
Length 27:00
Language English
Label Capitol
Producer George Martin
The Beatles American chronology
Introducing... The Beatles
(1964)
Meet the Beatles!
(1964)
The Beatles' Second Album
(1964)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [2]
The Rolling Stone Record Guide 5/5 stars[3]

Meet the Beatles! is the second Beatles' album released in the United States. It was the first US Beatles album to be issued by Capitol Records on 20 January 1964 in both mono and stereo formats. It topped the popular album chart on 15 February 1964 and remained at number one for an impressive eleven weeks before being replaced by The Beatles' Second Album, the first time that an artist replaced itself at the peak album position. The cover featured Robert Freeman's portrait used in the United Kingdom for With the Beatles, with a blue tint added to the original stark black-and-white photograph.

Background[edit]

After constantly rejecting requests by both Brian Epstein and George Martin to release Beatles records in the United States, in November 1963 EMI label head Sir Joseph Lockwood sent a deputy to Los Angeles ordering Capitol Records to commence releasing and promoting Beatles product in the United States. Despite the "first album" claim on its cover, ten days prior to its release Vee-Jay Records of Chicago beat Capitol to the punch with the release of the Beatles' American debut album Introducing... The Beatles, which had been delayed for release for various reasons since the previous summer. Perhaps as a result of the Vee-Jay release, Liberty Music Shops advertised in the New York Times of 12 January 1964 that Meet the Beatles! was available for purchase, an ad not authorised by Capitol.[4]

In 2003, Meet the Beatles! was ranked number 59 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[5] In 2004, the album was released on compact disc in both stereo and mono as part of The Capitol Albums, Volume 1 box set. In 2014, Meet the Beatles was released on CD again, individually and included in the Beatles boxed set, The U.S. Albums.

Music[edit]

By November 1963, The Beatles recorded just over 35 songs for EMI while Capitol Records planned to release an album and a single to start with plans to release more at a later date. The first 14 recordings were in custody of Vee Jay Records along with a couple others. "She Loves You" had been issued by Swan Records and also went nowhere. In the United Kingdom, Parlophone Records was already releasing the second Beatles album With the Beatles and had released several singles which were not included on any albums with the exception of the first two ("Please Please Me"/"Ask Me Why" and "Love Me Do"/"PS I Love You"). Capitol determined that due to the American culture that singles should be released from albums rather than separately. In the US, singles were used to help sell albums.

The first three tracks on the album include the December 1963 Capitol single "I Want to Hold Your Hand" along with the record's b-sides both in the United States, "I Saw Her Standing There," and in the United Kingdom with "This Boy" from the original November 1963 release. Neither "I Want to Hold Your Hand" nor "This Boy" had appeared on album at the time in the UK, while "I Saw Her Standing There" had been the lead-off track to the band's debut album. The other nine tracks of Meet the Beatles! are duplicated from its nearest UK counterpart album With the Beatles. Those were Beatles original songs and not remakes of songs done by other artists with exception of Till There Was You. The remaining five tracks from With the Beatles were songs originally recorded by other artists. Capitol determined that for their first album they would only include original and fresh material. There was fear that the remakes would turn Americans off to the Beatles. Those other five songs would appear on Capitol's next LP release in the US, The Beatles' Second Album.[6] The songs "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "This Boy" are in a duophonic [fake] stereo, due to the lack of a proper stereo mix that was supposed to be given to Capitol. "I Saw Her Standing There" has a special stereo remix done specifically for the American market and differs slightly from the one on Vee Jay Records or on the British Please Please Me album. The nine songs appearing on both With the Beatles and Meet the Beatles! were strictly mono on the British With the Beatles album. But on Meet the Beatles! special stereo remixes were used for those songs, as well as Meet the Beatles! being issued in both stereo and mono.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. "I Want to Hold Your Hand"   John and Paul 2:24
2. "I Saw Her Standing There"   Paul 2:50
3. "This Boy"   John, Paul, and George 2:11
4. "It Won't Be Long"   John with (Paul sings every 2nd "Yeah" + backing vocals) 2:11
5. "All I've Got to Do"   John 2:04
6. "All My Loving"   Paul 2:04
Side two
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. "Don't Bother Me" (George Harrison) George 2:28
2. "Little Child"   John 1:46
3. "Till There Was You" (Meredith Willson) Paul 2:12
4. "Hold Me Tight"   Paul 2:30
5. "I Wanna Be Your Man"   Ringo 1:59
6. "Not a Second Time"   John 2:03

Personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart succession[edit]

Preceded by
The Singing Nun by Soeur Sourire, The Singing Nun
Billboard Top Popular Albums number-one album
15 February – 1 May 1964
Succeeded by
The Beatles' Second Album by the Beatles

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/meet-the-beatles%21-mw0000312204
  2. ^ Meet the Beatles! at AllMusic
  3. ^ Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (Editors). The Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1st edition, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979, p. 26.
  4. ^ Spizer 2000, p. 4.
  5. ^ Rolling Stone 2003.
  6. ^ Spizer 2000, p. 5.
  7. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Beatles – Meet The Beatles". Music Canada. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "American album certifications – Beatles, The – Meet The Beatles!". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 15 September 2013.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

References[edit]

External links[edit]