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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SOMETHING NEW & Matchbox b/w Slow Down

On July 20th, 1964, the same date that the singles I'll Cry Instead b/w I'm Happy Just to Dance with You and And I Love Her b/w If I Fell were issued, Capitol Records also released the album Something New.  It contained all four songs from those singles, thus marking the third release of said songs in less than a month when you factor in the United Artists album A Hard Day's Night.

Probably because of United Artists' exclusive rights to an official soundtrack album tied in to the film, Capitol avoided including the title song and even I Should Have Known Better, though Tell Me Why did appear (and why was that song was not on a single in place of the non-soundtrack song I'll Cry Instead?).  It should be noted that the song A Hard Day's Night never appeared on a Capitol album during the group's career.

SIDE ONE

I'll Cry Instead
Things We Said Today
Any Time at All
When I Get Home
Slow Down
Matchbox

SIDE TWO

Tell Me Why
And I Love Her
I'm Happy Just to Dance with You
If I Fell
Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand

Oddly, the song I'll Cry Instead is presented in its full-length American version in mono, but only in its truncated British form on the stereo album.

Three songs from the non-soundtrack side of the British A Hard Day's Night album are featured, along with two cover versions of American rockers from the UK EP Long Tall Sally.  The final number is the German version of I Want to Hold Your Hand.  The inclusion of this track is curious, even taking into account that Swan Records had released Sie Liebt Dich a few months earlier.  Add to that the fact that Capitol left the terrific song I'll Be Back (also from the UK version of A Hard Day's Night) in the vaults for several months instead of  releasing it here.

It was not an uncommon practice for American record companies to issue songs as singles after they had already appeared on albums, so it should have come as no surprise to see the arrival of Matchbox b/w Slow Down a month later on August 24th.  This seems to have been a clear attempt to capitalize on Ringo's popularity in the US.  He had been the most popular Beatle with American fans from the start, and his wonderfully understated performance in the film only added to his personal fan base.

Ringo's take on the Carl Perkins number only reached number seventeen on the Billboard chart, however, while John's scorching rendition of the Larry Williams rocker on the B-side hit number twenty-five.  There is no question that the market was over-saturated at this point in time with Beatles' material, much of it redundant.

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