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Beatlemania (pt. 41)

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In defiance of the trend toward the Anglicization of the Beatle catalog worldwide — when the Beatles catalog was released on CD in 1987, releases were standardized on a worldwide basis and eventually the U.S. albums, which had last appeared on vinyl and cassette, were deleted — Capitol is releasing all of their Beatles albums in box set form, beginning with the first four albums — Meet The Beatles, The Beatles Second Album, Something New and Beatles ’65, all released in 1964! — and holding a contest to celebrate (click on the banner above or here to enter, open until January 31, ’05).

“These are the records that introduced The Beatles to America 40 years ago. Remastered from the original American master tapes, these were the audio mixes and sequence of songs that found their way into our homes,” commented Capitol Records president Andrew Slater.

“In the Sixties, American record labels often chose to reformat British records to suit the needs of the U.S. market,” according to Slater. “In America, singles were generally included on current albums, where in the UK albums and singles were most often separate releases. Higher music publishing costs in the U.S. also made it impractical to include as many songs on American albums. In addition, in the case of The Beatles, some of the recordings on the American albums were given more echo than the British versions, to ‘Americanize’ their sound.”

Each of the discs includes two versions of each song – one in stereo (or duophonic in some cases) – one in mono. The duophonic sound was created by Capitol, using 2 channels of mono which were equalized, compressed and then reverb was added. The Capitol Albums Volume 1 have been mastered from the original masters, taken from the vaults at Capitol Records, to ensure that they sound as they did when first released.

Track Listings: (Stereo Recordings / Original Mono Recordings)

Meet the Beatles (Released Jan. 20, 1964)
1/13 I Want To Hold Your Hand
2/14 I Saw Her Standing There
3/15 This Boy
4/16 It Won’t Be Long
5/17 All I’ve Got To Do
6/18 All My Loving
7/19 Don’t Bother Me
8/20 Little Child
9/21 Till There Was You
10/22 Hold Me Tight
11/23 I Wanna Be Your Man
12/24 Not A Second Time

The Beatles Second Album (Released April 10, 1964)
1/12 Roll Over Beethoven
2/13 Thank You Girl
3/14 You Really Got A Hold On Me
4/15 Devil In Her Heart
5/16 Money
6/17 You Can’t Do That
7/18 Long Tall Sally
8/19 I Call Your Name
9/20 Please Mr. Postman
10/21 I’ll Get You
11/22 She Loves You

Something New (Released July 20, 1964)
1/12 I’ll Cry Instead
2/13 Things We Said Today
3/14 Any Time At All
4/15 When I Get Home
5/16 Slow Down
6/17 Matchbox
7/18 Tell Me Why
8/19 And I Love Her
9/20 I’m Happy Just To Dance With You
10/21 If I Fell
11/22 Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand
(I Want To Hold Your Hand)

Beatles ’65 (Released Dec. 15, 1964)
1/12 No Reply
2/13 I’m A Loser
3/14 Baby’s In Black
4/15 Rock And Roll Music
5/16 I’ll Follow The Sun
6/17 Mr. Moonlight
7/18 Honey Don’t
8/19 I’ll Be Back
9/20 She’s A Woman
10/21 I Feel Fine
11/22 Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby

Yes, there is some filler and the Beatles were still doing covers — some advised (“Money” “Long Tall Sally” “Matchbox), some not (“Mr. Moonlight” “Till There Was You”), but has there been a more exciting period in rock ‘n’ roll history?

Three lads from Liverpool — John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison — came together at a time of great cultural fluidity in 1960 (with bit players Stu Sutcliffe and Pete Best), absorbed and recapitulated American rock ‘n’ roll and British pop history unto that point, hardened into a razor sharp unit playing five amphetamine-fueled sets a night in the tough port town of Hamburg, Germany, returned to Liverpool, found their ideal manager in Brian Epstein and ideal producer in George Martin, added the final piece of the puzzle when Ringo Starr replaced Best on drums, and released their first single in the U.K., “Love Me Do/P.S. I Love You,” all by October of 1962.

Their second single, “Please Please Me,” followed by British chart-toppers “From Me to You,” “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Can’t Buy Me Love” (all Lennon/McCartney originals), and the group’s pleasing image, wit and charm, solidified the Fab Four’s delirious grip on their homeland in ’63.

But it was when the group arrived in the U.S. in February, 1964 that the full extent of Beatlemania became manifest. Their pandemonium-inducing five-song performance on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9 is one of the cornerstone mass media events of the 20th century. I was five at the time – my parents tell me I watched it with them, but I honestly don’t remember. I do remember, though, that the girls next door, four and six years older than I, flipped over that appearance and dragged me into their giddy madness soon thereafter. I loved “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” the Beatles’ first Number One in the U.S. (they had 19 more, still the record), more than any other song I have ever heard, or almost assuredly will ever hear, with a consuming intensity that I can only now touch as a memory.

The Beatles generated an intensity of joy that slapped tens of millions of people in the face with the awareness that happiness and exuberance were not only possible, but in their presence, inevitable. They generated an energy that was amplified a million times over and returned to them in a deafening tidal wave of grateful hysteria. An these were the four albums that started it all in America.

Also included in the contest grand prize are John Lennon’s Acoustic (reviewed here) and Rock ‘n’ Roll albums and George Harrison’s The Dark Horse Years 1979-92 DVD.

Being that we are nothing if not value added, for your listening and viewing pleasure, the video for Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” is here (WM) (Real).

George’s “Cheer Down” video is here (WM) (Real) (QuickTime), “Got My Mind Set On You” is here (WM) (Real) (QuickTime), and “This Is Love is here (WM) (Real) (QuickTime).

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014.Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted.Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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