The Early Beatles

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The Early Beatles
Compilation album by The Beatles
Released 22 March 1965
Recorded 4 and 11 September,
26 and 30 November 1962;
11, 20 and 25 February 1963,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock and roll
Length 26:26
Label Capitol
Producer George Martin
Compiler Dave Dexter, Jr.
The Beatles North American chronology
Beatles '65
The Early Beatles
Beatles VI
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
The Rolling Stone Record Guide 5/5 stars[2]

The Early Beatles is the Beatles' sixth release on Capitol Records, and their eighth album for the American market. The album resembles more of an early compilation because all of the tracks had previously been featured on the early 1964 Vee-Jay release Introducing... The Beatles. The front cover photo for this album features the same back cover photo for the British LP Beatles for Sale.

Vee-Jay had gained American rights to the tracks before the group became popular in America (because Capitol, the US division of EMI which owns the Beatles' record label Parlophone, had refused to release the group's records), and their releases had initially failed to chart. But after the group became popular, Vee-Jay, still having the rights to the early material, were able to re-release them in America and this time the records sold in the millions. Capitol tried to stop Vee Jay from releasing the tracks, but were not successful. In October 1964, Vee-Jay's license to distribute the Beatles recordings they possessed expired, so Capitol finally got the American distribution rights for the album.

Though Vee-Jay had compiled four Beatles albums in the space of just fifteen months from these sessions (all of which charted), when released on Capitol, the album sold well, but its highest chart position was only number 43, making it the only original Capitol or United Artists released Beatles album not to reach numbers 1 or 2 in America (with the exception of the Capitol documentary album, The Beatles' Story, which peaked at number 7). Capitol did little to promote the album since the label merely viewed it as a replacement for the Vee-Jay LP, rather than a "new" Beatles album. The Early Beatles sold one million copies by late 1973 and was certified gold on 8 January 1974 and platinum on 10 January 1997 by the RIAA. It was released in both mono and stereo versions. As no stereo masters of "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You" exist, Capitol used EMI's duophonic mixes of both songs.

The Early Beatles is available on compact disc as part of The Capitol Albums, Volume 2 box set (catalogue number CDP 0946 3 57498 2 3), in both mono and stereo, although the mono album mix appears to be strictly a stereo-to-mono fold-down; the song "Please Please Me" features the lyric slip-up and layering in the last verse, as issued on the stereo release and on the original stereo UK album Please Please Me. A second CD version of The Early Beatles with the songs in both stereo and true mono was issued in 2014 individually and part of the Beatles The U.S. Albums boxed set.

Track listing[edit]

The album consists of eleven of the fourteen tracks from the Beatles' first British LP Please Please Me. Tracks not included are: "I Saw Her Standing There" (issued on Meet the Beatles!), "Misery" and "There's a Place". The latter two tracks, first issued by Capitol in 1965 on "Starline" singles, finally got a Capitol LP release in 1980 in the American version of the Rarities album. Two other tracks originally released by Vee-Jay in America but also not included in this album were "From Me to You" (which was not released on an LP in America until 1973 on the compilation 1962–1966) and "Thank You Girl" (which Capitol had already released on the LP The Beatles' Second Album). The title of "Anna (Go to Him)" was also accidentally shortened to just "Anna."

All songs written by Lennon-McCartney except where noted.

Side one
  1. "Love Me Do" – 2:23
  2. "Twist and Shout" (Phil Medley and Bert Russell) – 2:33
  3. "Anna" (Arthur Alexander) – 3:00
  4. "Chains" (Gerry Goffin and Carole King) – 2:27
  5. "Boys" (Luther Dixon and Wes Farrell) – 2:25
  6. "Ask Me Why" – 2:28
Side two
  1. "Please Please Me" – 2:00
  2. "P.S. I Love You" – 2:05
  3. "Baby It's You" (Burt Bacharach, Mack David, and Luther Dixon, credited as Barney Williams) – 2:38
  4. "A Taste of Honey" (Ric Marlow and Bobby Scott) – 2:04
  5. "Do You Want to Know a Secret" – 1:59


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[3] Platinum 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[4] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^
  2. ^ Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (Editors). The Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1st edition, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979, p. 26.
  3. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Beatles – The Early Beatles". Music Canada. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "American album certifications – Beatles, The – The Early Beatles". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 15 September 2013.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH


  • Stannard, Neville (1981). The Long and Winding Road: A History Of The Beatles On Record. London: Virgin Books Ltd. ISBN 0-907080-96-0.