Follow by Email

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Capitol floods the market

For the second time in only a matter of months, Capitol Records learned that it had been outfoxed.  A legal settlement had finally been reached with Vee-Jay Records over control of the Beatles' earliest output, but there was simply no legal recourse to be had against United Artists.  UA had secured the exclusive rights to release the official soundtrack album of the group's first feature film back in 1963, months before Capitol even showed any signs of interest in the Fab Four.  But Capitol still maintained the rights to all of the Beatles' recordings, so it could also release the same material as long as it did not package that material as a soundtrack album. 

United Artists was allowed to issue its album first on June 26th, 1964 which, as I noted in my last entry, was a few weeks ahead of the film's premiere.  Capitol waited until the film's debut and then reissued most of the songs from the soundtrack, some of them more than once.  Though this was a clear case of overkill, sales were still impressive.  In fact, neither Capitol nor United Artists could complain in the long run.

Three singles appeared in rapid succession, the first on July 13th featuring A Hard Day's Night b/w I Should Have Known Better.  (The film's title song was the only single issued in the UK at this time, but it was backed with the non-soundtrack song Things We Said Today.  As with I Want to Hold Your Hand, Capitol somehow felt the need to change the B-side for the American audience.)  The label on each side of the single contained the words From the Motion Picture "A Hard Day's Night" A United Artists Release.

The next two singles both arrived a week later on July 20th - I'll Cry Instead b/w I'm Happy Just to Dance with You, and the two great ballads And I Love Her b/w If I Fell.  All four of these songs bore the credit From the United Artists Picture "A Hard Day's Night" (as pictured above) even though I am compelled, as always, to note that I'll Cry Instead is not used in the film.  The American version of the song both here and on the United Artists album is also about twenty seconds longer than the version released in England as the result of a different edit.

All three A-sides made the Billboard Top 40, with I'll Cry Instead hitting number twenty-five, And I Love Her coming in at number twelve and A Hard Day's Night becoming the group's fifth number one hit in the US market.

But Capitol wasn't content with merely issuing singles...

No comments:

Post a Comment