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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

THE BEATLES' SECOND ALBUM

On April 10th, only one day after settling with Vee-Jay Records, Capitol Records issued a new album whose title made it clear that Capitol did not recognize Vee-Jay's Introducing...the Beatles as an official release.  Though most American fans did not realize it, this album was the first true compilation, bearing no resemblance whatsoever to any British release.  Nor, frankly, would we have cared, as this collection was a powerhouse from start to finish.

SIDE ONE

Roll Over Beethoven
Thank You Girl
You Really Got a Hold on Me
Devil in Her Heart
Money (That's What I Want)
You Can't Do That

SIDE TWO

Long Tall Sally
I Call Your Name
Please Mister Postman
I'll Get You
She Loves You

Capitol started out with the five cover versions it had left over from the UK album With the Beatles.  Months earlier, it had worried that Americans might not care for a British band playing this material, but they now recognized that the Beatles more than held their own attacking these tunes from Chuck Berry, Motown legend-in-the-making Smokey Robinson, little-known girl group the Donays, Barrett Strong and the Marvelettes.

In addition, there were four songs familiar to most fans from their release on singles, including She Loves You, already a number one hit, and its B-side I'll Get You.  The most recent B-side, You Can't Do That, is also present, even though the boys had just been shot performing it as part of the concert sequence in their upcoming feature film (the song would eventually be cut).  And two-time B-side Thank You Girl appears, though it is slightly altered from the mono version on both Vee-Jay singles.  Producer George Martin had provided Capitol with a stereo mix of the song featuring three extra harmonica sections, two during the bridge and one at the very end.  Capitol made its own mono mix from this, retaining the extra harmonica bits.

The real coup for Capitol was the world premiere of the songs Long Tall Sally and I Call Your Name, months before they would be issued in the UK.  First pressings of the album do not even have running times for these two songs, a detail that must have somehow been overlooked due to their hasty release.

This was the first time that Capitol would only offer eleven songs on a Beatles' album and, sadly, that would become the norm.  Their recent hit Can't Buy Me Love was not included, presumably because it had now been (belatedly) added to the soundtrack of their film.  And I will once again take the opportunity to bemoan the fact that From Me to You did not appear on any Capitol release.  It would certainly have fit in nicely on this compilation.

The cover of the album (pictured above) hypes the hit song She Loves You and Roll Over Beethoven, which had made the charts in the US recently as an import single from Capitol of Canada.

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