Although the Beatles' first EP released by Capitol did not succeed as much as the label would have hoped, it did well on the singles chart, which enabled Capitol to create a new series called the "4-By" series, which acted like a "super single". The idea was to market a set of four songs to "complement the artist's singles and albums and not compete with the performer's current hit single". Accordingly, the series name is a reference to the limited success of that first EP by the Beatles that Capitol had released: Four by the Beatles.
Although initially intended to appear as a single by releasing the "4-By" in a soft sleeve and thus "distinguish the '4-By' product from EP's", 4 by the Beatles was packaged in a cardboard sleeve, similar to regular EP releases.Billboard did not chart the record as a single either, but as an EP; on the Hot 100, it peaked at number 68, which was also the highest position it achieved on the Cash Box chart. Capitol deleted 4 by the Beatles from its catalogue on 31 December 1965.