The Beatles' Second Album

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The Beatles' Second Album
Studio album by
Released10 April 1964
Recorded5 March 1963 – 1 March 1964
StudioEMI Studios, London
ProducerGeorge Martin
The Beatles North American chronology
Twist and Shout
The Beatles' Second Album
The Beatles' Long Tall Sally
The Beatles United States chronology
Meet the Beatles!
The Beatles' Second Album
A Hard Day's Night
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Record Guide5/5 stars[3]

The Beatles' Second Album is the Beatles' second Capitol Records album, and their third album released in the United States including Introducing... The Beatles released three months earlier on Vee-Jay Records. The Beatles' Second Album replaced Meet the Beatles! at number one on the album charts in the US.

In 2004 The Beatles' Second Album was issued for the first time on compact disc (catalogue number CDP 7243 8 66877 2 2), (CDP 7243 8 66878 2 1) as part of The Capitol Albums, Volume 1 boxed set and was issued in a miniature cardboard replica of the original album sleeve containing the US mono and stereo mixes. In 2014, the album was released on CD again, individually and included in the Beatles boxed set The U.S. Albums, which contained the album's running order but with UK mixes as remastered in 2009.

The album was also issued on the EMI subsidiary label Odeon in 1964 for the Japanese market. That version had the same title and similar cover art but contained different songs than the US release.


With the massive popularity of Meet the Beatles! and a desire for additional Beatles product as well as an available backlog of some 25 songs yet to be released by Capitol Records, it was decided to compile a follow-up album as soon as possible. The Beatles' Second Album was the first album of the group's work to be assembled by Capitol Records exclusively for the US market—Meet the Beatles! was a reconfigured, abridged version of With the Beatles. Second Album was a potpourri collection that did not represent the Beatles' output at the time; the end result was an assembly of material from nearly a half-dozen sessions and sources. Capitol compiled the album using additional songs from four different UK releases. Included were the five remaining tracks from With the Beatles. Also included were "Thank You Girl" (the B-side to the single "From Me to You"), the single "She Loves You"/"I'll Get You", "You Can't Do That" (the B-side to the single "Can't Buy Me Love") from the upcoming A Hard Day's Night UK soundtrack, and two new songs, "Long Tall Sally" and "I Call Your Name", both released two months later in the UK on the Long Tall Sally EP.

Capitol Records engineers, headed by record executive Dave Dexter, Jr., added considerable echo and reverb to the stereo versions on order to give the album the atmosphere of a live performance. This effect is more noticeable on the tracks culled from With the Beatles, as those were recorded in two-track stereo. Allmusic said that "The Beatles' Second Album stands as probably the best pure rock & roll album ever issued of the group's music" because the album "avoid[s] any trace of the pop ballads favored by Paul McCartney that usually slowed down the group's other early albums, and the result was the longest uninterrupted body of then-hard rock & roll and R&B in their entire output."[2]

The inclusion of "Thank You Girl" in stereo marked the only stereo version of the song released on any album in the US or UK for over 40 years, until another stereo version was released on the 2009 remastered edition of the Past Masters compilation album. The same stereo mix of "Thank You Girl" on The Beatles' Second Album was also included on The Beatles Beat, released in Germany and Holland, as well as the original 2004 CD issue of The Beatles Second Album as included in The Capitol Albums, Volume 1 boxed set. Since much echo was added, this version remains a rarity. The Capitol album mix is also unique in that its version contains three additional harmonica riffs—two during the bridge and one at the end. For its US album debut, Capitol took this stereo version and transferred it into a two-to-one stereo-to-mono mixdown for the mono album release, thus creating an alternative mono mix of the song. The stereo version of "Money" also underwent the same two-to-one stereo-to-mono mixdown, thus creating another alternative mono mix.

For the mono version of "I Call Your Name", the cowbell comes in at the very beginning of the song; the stereo version features the cowbell after the beginning of the vocal. Harrison's opening 12-string guitar phrase is also different between the mono and stereo versions. On "Long Tall Sally", reverb was added to the stereo version. The "dry" mono mix of "Long Tall Sally" is noticeably different from the mono mix with slight echo that was issued in the UK, and is unique to the Second Album. The mono version of "You Can't Do That" is also different from the version on UK A Hard Day's Night LP for unknown reasons. Missing from The Beatles' Second Album, also for reasons unknown, was "From Me to You", the single for which "Thank You Girl" was the B-side. The song was only released as a single from Vee Jay Records (re-issued by Capitol in 1965 as a "Star Line" single); it would not appear on an album in the US until the 1973 compilation 1962–1966 (also known as "The Red Album").

In Canada, this record could not be called the Beatles' second album, since Beatlemania! With the Beatles and Twist and Shout had preceded it. A slightly different track listing was released to the Canadian market with similar cover art under the title The Beatles' Long Tall Sally.[4] This longer (12-song) Canadian album did not include "Money", "Thank You Girl" or "She Loves You" but instead had "I Want to Hold Your Hand", "I Saw Her Standing There", "This Boy" and "Misery". In 1968, The Beatles' Second Album, The Early Beatles and Meet the Beatles! were released in Canada, though the earlier Canadian LPs remained in print (eventually with stereo mixes) until the CD era precipitated their deletion in the late 1980s.


Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, except where noted. See also: Lennon–McCartney.

Side one
No.TitleLead vocalsLength
1."Roll Over Beethoven" (Chuck Berry)Harrison2:44
2."Thank You Girl"Lennon and McCartney2:01
3."You Really Got a Hold on Me" (Smokey Robinson)Lennon and Harrison with McCartney2:58
4."Devil in Her Heart" (Richard Drapkin)Harrison with Lennon and McCartney2:28
5."Money (That's What I Want)" (Janie Bradford, Berry Gordy, Jr.)Lennon with Harrison and McCartney2:47
6."You Can't Do That"Lennon with Harrison and McCartney2:39
Side two
No.TitleLead vocalsLength
1."Long Tall Sally" (Robert Blackwell, Enotris Johnson, Little Richard)McCartney2:00
2."I Call Your Name"Lennon2:09
3."Please Mister Postman" (Robert Bateman, Georgia Dobbins, William Garrett, Fred Gorman, Brian Holland)Lennon with McCartney and Harrison2:35
4."I'll Get You"Lennon with McCartney2:05
5."She Loves You"Lennon and McCartney with Harrison2:20

Note: The Capitol 8-track (8XT-2080) added one additional track for programming purposes: "And I Love Her", as the final track that ends Program 4; the running order is as follows:

  • Program 1: "Roll Over Beethoven", "Thank You Girl", "Devil In Her Heart"
  • Program 2: "Money (That's What I Want)," "You Can't Do That," "Long Tall Sally"
  • Program 3: "You've Really Got A Hold On Me," "I Call Your Name," "I'll Get You"
  • Program 4: "Please Mr. Postman," "She Loves You," "And I Love Her"

Charts and certifications[edit]

In the U.S., the album sold 1,668,435 copies by December 31, 1964 and 2,051,486 copies by the end of the decade.[5]


  1. ^ a b "The Beatles' Second Album - The Beatles - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  2. ^ a b Eder 2009.
  3. ^ Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (Editors). The Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1st edition, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979, p. 26.
  4. ^ "Beatles discography: Canada". 25 April 2008.
  5. ^ "How Many Records did the Beatles actually sell?". Deconstructing Pop Culture by David Kronemyer. 29 April 2009. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  6. ^ "The Beatles - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  7. ^ Whitburn 2010, p. 63
  8. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts" (Enter "Beatles" in the search bar). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Beatles – Second Album". Music Canada. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  10. ^ "American album certifications – The Beatles – The Beatles_ Second Album". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 15 September 2013. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 


  • Whitburn, Joel (2010), Joel Whitburn Presents Top Pop Albums, Seventh Edition, Record Research Inc., ISBN 0-89820-183-7