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Meet the Beatles!

Meet the Beatles! is the second Beatles album released in the United States. It was the first US Beatles album to be issued by Capitol Records, on 20 January 1964 in both mono and stereo formats. It topped the popular album chart on 15 February 1964 and remained at number one for eleven weeks before being replaced by The Beatles' Second Album. The cover featured Robert Freeman's iconic portrait of the Beatles used in the United Kingdom for With the Beatles, with a blue tint added to the original stark black-and-white photograph.

Meet the Beatles!
Meet the Beatles.jpg
Studio album by
Released20 January 1964
Recorded11 February – 23 October 1963
StudioEMI Studios, London
GenreRock and roll[1]
Length26:43
LanguageEnglish
LabelCapitol
ProducerGeorge Martin
The Beatles North American chronology
Introducing... The Beatles
(1964)
Meet the Beatles!
(1964)
Twist and Shout
(1964)
The Beatles United States chronology
Introducing... The Beatles
(1964)
Meet the Beatles!
(1964)
The Beatles' Second Album
(1964)
Singles from Meet the Beatles!
  1. "I Want to Hold Your Hand"
    Released: 26 December 1963

BackgroundEdit

After constantly rejecting requests by both Brian Epstein and George Martin to release Beatles records in the United States, in November 1963 EMI label head Sir Joseph Lockwood sent a deputy to Los Angeles ordering EMI's subsidiary, Capitol Records to commence promoting and releasing Beatles records in the United States. Despite the "first album" claim on its cover, ten days prior to its release, Vee-Jay Records of Chicago beat Capitol to the punch with the release of the Beatles' American debut album Introducing... The Beatles, which had been delayed for release for various reasons since the previous summer. Perhaps as a result of the Vee-Jay release, Liberty Music Shops advertised in the New York Times of 12 January 1964 that Meet the Beatles! was available for purchase, an ad not authorised by Capitol.[2]

In 2003, Meet the Beatles! was ranked number 59 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time,[3] and 53 in a 2012 revised list.[4] In 2004, the album was released for the first time on compact disc in both stereo and mono as part of The Capitol Albums, Volume 1 box set, containing the original US stereo and mono mixes. In 2014, Meet the Beatles! was issued on CD again, individually and included in the Beatles boxed set The U.S. Albums, wherein although following the running order for Meet the Beatles!, contained the UK mono and stereo mixes.

MusicEdit

By November 1963, the Beatles had already recorded over 35 songs for EMI's UK Parlophone label, while Capitol Records in the US planned to release an album and a single, and more at a later date. The US rights to the Beatles first 14 tracks were held by Vee Jay Records along with a few others. "She Loves You" had been issued in America on the Swan label and also sold poorly. In Britain, Parlophone was already releasing their second Beatles album With the Beatles and had issued several singles which were not included on any UK albums with the exception of the first two ("Please Please Me"/"Ask Me Why" and "Love Me Do"/"PS I Love You"). While the Beatles' first two British albums each contained 14 tracks, in the American market albums were typically limited to 12 tracks and it was expected for albums to include the current hit single.

The first three tracks on the album include the December 1963 Capitol single "I Want to Hold Your Hand" along with the record's B-sides both in the United States, "I Saw Her Standing There," and in the UK with "This Boy" from the original November 1963 release. Neither "I Want to Hold Your Hand" nor "This Boy" had appeared on album at the time in the UK, while "I Saw Her Standing There" had been the lead-off track to the band's debut album. The other nine tracks on Meet the Beatles! are duplicated from its nearest UK counterpart album With the Beatles. Those were Beatles original songs and not cover versions of songs done by other artists with exception of "Till There Was You". The remaining five tracks from With the Beatles were songs originally recorded by other artists. Capitol determined that for their first album they would only include original and fresh material. There was fear that the remakes would turn Americans off of the Beatles. The other five songs would appear on Capitol's next American LP, The Beatles' Second Album, released in April 1964.[5] The songs "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "This Boy" are in a duophonic [fake] stereo, as Capitol had not been provided proper stereo mixes.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic      [6]
The Rolling Stone Record Guide     [7]

The album was included in Robert Christgau's "Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings, published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981).[8]

Commercial performanceEdit

In the U.S., the album debuted at No. 1 on the album chart. It sold 4,045,174 copies by December 31, 1964, and 4,699,348 copies by the end of the decade.[9] It was certified Gold by the RIAA on 3 February 1964, and 5× Platinum on 26 December 1991.[10]

Track listingEdit

All tracks written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, except where noted.

Side one
No.TitleLead vocalsLength
1."I Want to Hold Your Hand"Lennon and McCartney2:24
2."I Saw Her Standing There"McCartney2:50
3."This Boy"Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison2:11
4."It Won't Be Long"Lennon with McCartney2:11
5."All I've Got to Do"Lennon2:05
6."All My Loving"McCartney2:04
Total length:13:45
Side two
No.TitleLead vocalsLength
1."Don't Bother Me" (George Harrison)Harrison2:28
2."Little Child"Lennon1:46
3."Till There Was You" (Meredith Willson)McCartney2:12
4."Hold Me Tight"McCartney2:30
5."I Wanna Be Your Man"Starr1:59
6."Not a Second Time"Lennon2:03
Total length:12:58

PersonnelEdit

The Beatles

Production

Charts and certificationsEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "Meet the Beatles! - The Beatles - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  2. ^ Spizer 2000, p. 4.
  3. ^ Rolling Stone 2003.
  4. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time". Rolling Stone. 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  5. ^ Spizer 2000, p. 5.
  6. ^ Meet the Beatles! at AllMusic
  7. ^ Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (Editors). The Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1st edition, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979, p. 26.
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "A Basic Record Library: The Fifties and Sixties". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 0899190251. Retrieved 16 March 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ a b "American album certifications – The Beatles – Meet The Beatles!". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 15 September 2013. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  11. ^ Whitburn 2010, p. 63.
  12. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Beatles – Meet The Beatles". Music Canada. Retrieved 15 September 2013.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit