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 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.
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. The remaining five tracks from With the Beatles would appear on Capitol's next LP release in the States, The Beatles' Second Album. 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 mono remix done specifically for the American market.