Hey Jude (album)

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Hey Jude
Compilation album by The Beatles
Released 26 February 1970
Recorded 1964–1969, EMI and Trident Studios, London and Pathé
Marconi Studio, Paris
Genre Rock
Length 32:24
Label Apple
Producer George Martin
The Beatles North American chronology
Abbey Road
Hey Jude
Let It Be
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (A)[2]
The Rolling Stone Record Guide 5/5 stars[3]

Hey Jude (original title: The Beatles Again) is a 1970 collection of non-album singles and B-sides by the Beatles. It included "I Should Have Known Better" and "Can't Buy Me Love", two singles released by Capitol Records whose only previous American album appearance had been on the A Hard Day's Night soundtrack album which had been released by United Artists Records. The LP had been out of print since the late 1980s (It was still available on cassette during the 1990s), but was officially re-released for the first time on CD individually and in a boxed set entitled The U.S. Albums in 2014.


Contrary to popular belief, the Hey Jude album was not compiled by Capitol; the project was conceived by Allen Klein and Apple Records. Klein had negotiated a more lucrative contract for the Beatles in 1969 which called for one compilation album per year in North America. He directed Allan Steckler of Abkco to work on one. Steckler chose songs that had not appeared on a Capitol album in the United States and which spanned the group's career. He also focused more on recent singles than on earlier material. The absence of the songs from a US Capitol album was partially a consequence of the Beatles' unwillingness to include single releases on their contemporaneous albums, partially a consequence of their arrangement with United Artists in 1963 and partially due to Capitol's habit of recompiling the Beatles' British releases for the US market. Steckler did not include "A Hard Day's Night", which had been released as a single by Capitol and was available on the United Artists soundtrack album; "I'm Down", which was the B-side of "Help!"; "The Inner Light", the B-side of "Lady Madonna"; "From Me to You", "Misery", and "There's a Place", which were first issued in the US by Vee Jay Records but had not yet been issued on a Capitol album; "Sie Liebt Dich", a German-language version of "She Loves You" or the single version of "Get Back".

Steckler and Apple had become disappointed with the Capitol Records release schedules and determined to promote the new album themselves. Steckler also took the tapes to Sam Feldman at Bell Sound Studios for mastering, rather than delivering them to Capitol. He would do this for several releases thereafter.

Originally, the album was to be called The Beatles Again. Shortly before the record was released, however, the title was changed to Hey Jude in order to promote the inclusion of the top-selling song that led off side two. The name-change occurred after the record labels were printed, and an untold number of copies of the LP were sold with labels with the title The Beatles Again. This was also true for cassette copies of the album, which retained the original title. Neither the front nor the back of the album jacket displayed the record's title (or the name of the band), but most copies were sold in a jacket whose spine read Hey Jude. In an attempt to clear up any confusion caused by the preprinted labels, initial copies of the album displayed a sticker on the cover bearing the title Hey Jude. The edition of the album with The Beatles Again label bore catalogue number SO-385 on the label but not on the jacket. This is because of a similarly timed decision to reduce the price from $6.98 (SO- prefix) to $5.98 (SW- prefix). The record jacket was prepared late enough so that it lists the catalogue number as SW-385. The SW-385 catalogue number appears on the label of later pressings that bear the title Hey Jude on the label.

Klein authorised the release of the album as a sales buffer during post-production of the delayed Let It Be album. In 2007 Neil Aspinall claimed that the back cover was supposed to be the front cover and vice versa but that Klein had reversed them in error.[4] This is not entirely true. At least three prototype cover designs are known to exist, with the earliest of those showing the photos "reversed." Apparently, the art department made the determination that the photo that now appears on the front cover was better suited for that purpose. Bruce Spizer's book, The Beatles on Apple Records,[5] contains many previously unknown details about the release. The front and back cover pictures were taken at the last-ever Beatles photo session, on 22 August 1969, at John Lennon's new home, Tittenhurst Park.


The compilation was released in many countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Spain, Germany, France, Greece, Japan, Mexico and most of South America. It was also available to other countries as an "export" from Britain (Parlophone/Apple CPCS-106) but was not at first issued in Britain, although it was a popular import to the UK. The first issue in New Zealand was on the gloss black Apple label with the catalogue number CPCS-106. The matrix numbers were identical to those on the UK "export" issue. Because of its popularity worldwide, EMI issued Hey Jude in Britain on the Parlophone label on 11 May 1979 (catalogue number PCS 7184). Until the release of 1967–1970 in 1973, Hey Jude was the only way to own the extremely popular "Hey Jude" single on LP or in a stereo mix. The songs "Rain", "Lady Madonna" and "Revolution" were also first mixed for stereo specifically for this album. Prior to the release of the "Get Back" single in the spring of 1969, all Beatles singles were issued in mono in the US. Several other countries wound up with the original The Beatles Again title, with Spain's perhaps being the most interesting—because "Ballad of John and Yoko" was clipped from the album, having been deemed offensive (either because of its reference to Christ, or to the fact of Lennon's reference to "Gibraltar near Spain" at a time when Spain's Franco administration was contending with the UK over the ownership of Gibraltar).

On the reel-to-reel and cassette tape releases, sides one and two are reversed. Although it is clear on the vinyl version that "Hey Jude" opens side two, when compiling this issue for audio tape, some compilers (at Capitol and Ampex) thought to make the change, which resulted in "Hey Jude" leading off the album. This was done because side two was the longer side, and it was the practice in some tape formats to lead the album with the longer side to avoid a large gap in the "middle" of the tape. The four-track tape, prepared by Ampex along with the reel-to-reel tape, has the songs in the original, chronological order. (The eight-track tape was treated to the usual re-ordering that eight-tracks received.)

The CD era saw the standardising of the Beatles' discographies worldwide, and for many years the Hey Jude album was not available in that format. In January 2014 Hey Jude was issued on CD both individually and in an American Beatles album compilation boxed set.[6]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Lennon–McCartney, except track 8 by George Harrison.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Can't Buy Me Love"   2:19
2. "I Should Have Known Better"   2:39
3. "Paperback Writer"   2:14
4. "Rain"   2:58
5. "Lady Madonna"   2:14
6. "Revolution"   3:21
Side two
No. Title Length
7. "Hey Jude"   7:06
8. "Old Brown Shoe"   3:16
9. "Don't Let Me Down"   3:30
10. "The Ballad of John and Yoko"   2:55


Guest musicians[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

In the U.S., the album sold 2,321,769 copies by December 31, 1970 and 3,264,398 copies by the end of the decade.[7]

Year Chart Position
1970 Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart[citation needed] 1
1970 Billboard 200[8] 2


  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r1526
  2. ^ "CG: The Beatles". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  3. ^ Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (Editors). The Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1st edition, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979, p. 27.
  4. ^ "Beatles Ready for Legal Downloading Soon" Friedman, Roger. Fox News, accessed on 13 February 2007
  5. ^ Bruce Spizer, The Beatles on Apple Records (2003), ISBN 0-9662649-4-0.
  6. ^ Ladies and Gentlemen, The Beatles TheBeatles.com
  7. ^ "How Many Records did the Beatles actually sell?". Deconstructing Pop Culture by David Kronemyer. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  8. ^ Wallgren, Mark (1982). The Beatles on Record. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 177. ISBN 0-671-45682-2. 
Preceded by
Bridge over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
18–31 May 1970
Succeeded by
Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel