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Monday, December 7, 2015

The Beatles' Million Sellers

Talk about stiff competition!  On December 6th, 1965, only three days after the release of both the double A-sided single Day Tripper/We Can Work it Out and the album Rubber Soul, a new greatest hits EP arrived in stores in the UK, just in time for Christmas.  Beatles fans must have been delirious at the array of high quality merchandise beckoning to them.


She Loves You
I Want to Hold Your Hand


Can't Buy Me Love
I Feel Fine

Robert Whitaker's photo on the front cover was already a year old, taken at the session which had produced the cover shots for the American album Beatles '65.  The back cover once again merely listed the titles of the disc's tracks along with a list of eight of the previous nine EPs, omitting Long Tall Sally.

The group's second EP, The Beatles' Hits, had featured their first three A-sides and one B-side.  Here, the sequence picks up with the fourth A-side, the song that truly launched Beatlemania, She Loves You.  Not only was this monster hit the first to sell over a million copies in the UK, but it would remain the band's biggest seller of their career.  The fifth A-side, I Want to Hold Your Hand, had the distinction of being the song that paved the way for the British Invasion in the US.

While the compositions on side one were co-written by Lennon and McCartney, side two's Can't Buy Me Love, the sixth A-side, is the work of McCartney, with some assistance in its arrangement by producer George Martin.  The seventh A-side, A Hard Day's Night, does not appear on this collection, as it did not achieve the million seller mark, possibly due to many fans choosing to hold off to buy the album of the same name instead.  Thus, the final song on this record is the group's eighth A-side, Lennon's composition I Feel Fine from late 1964.

Despite the other releases mentioned at the top of this entry, The Beatles' Million Sellers went to number one on the Record Retailer EP chart.  In fact, those other items also went to the number one spots on the singles and album charts respectively.  It was a Happy Christmas, indeed, for the Beatles and their fans.

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