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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dominating the charts

On March 16th, 1964, the single Can't Buy Me Love b/w You Can't Do That, the first real new material from the Beatles since I Want to Hold Your Hand, was issued in America by Capitol Records, four days ahead of its release in the UK.  In the span of only a few months, the fans in the much-larger US market were already getting preferential treatment.

At that time Capitol's I Want to Hold Your Hand was about to be replaced in the number one spot on the charts by Swan's She Loves You which, in turn, would be replaced by this newest single.  A few weeks later, on April 4th, these records, combined with Vee-Jay's Please Please Me and Twist and Shout on the Tollie label, aligned perfectly to take the top five spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as pictured above.

As incredible as this feat is, it gets even better.  Not only did the Beatles occupy the top five spots, they had seven more songs in the Hot 100 that same week, as follows:

31. I Saw Her Standing There
41. From Me to You
46. Do You Want to Know a Secret
58. All My Loving
65. You Can't Do That
68. Roll Over Beethoven
79. Thank You Girl

Note that four B-sides make the list, as well as one A-side released after Can't Buy Me Love (I will cover it in my next entry) and two imports.  All My Loving b/w This Boy and Roll Over Beethoven b/w Please Mister Postman were singles released by Capitol of Canada which actually received enough airplay, listener requests and sales to make the chart in the US.   (In the oddity department, number forty-two was a song entitled We Love You Beatles by the Carefrees and number eighty-five was A Letter to the Beatles by the Four Preps.)

And, of course, the top two albums that week were Meet the Beatles! and Introducing...the Beatles.

A week later, the Beatles actually added two songs (There's a Place and Love Me Do - the latter being another Capitol of Canada import at this point), giving them a total of fourteen of the Hot 100, in addition to the top two albums.  The major difference this week was that they merely held three of the top five spots.

Naturally, this would not have been possible without the large backlog of material from 1963 and the multiple releases on various labels all coinciding at just the right time, but there is no question that it remains a remarkable achievement.

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