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Capitol Albums Vol 2
The Beatles
Capitol Albums - Volume 2

Capitol Records
CDP 8946 3 57487 2 4

Prepared from the original 1965 Capitol masters, these CDs include the stereo and mono mixes at the time. All tracks therefore appear twice.

1964 was an incredible year for The Beatles in America. In February, the group played the country’s most prestigious concert venue, Carnegie Hall, and appeared three times on The Ed Sullivan Show, twice drawing then record-breaking audiences of over 70 million people.

That summer, they toured North America for a month, performing in 24 cities. But in an era where there was no MTV or DVDs, Americans were primarily exposed to the Beatles through saturation radio airplay and vinyl records.

Beginning with the release of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” on December 26, 1963, Capitol issued seven singles, four albums and one extended play (EP) disc by The Beatles in one year. During that same time period, the group’s British label, Parlophone, released three singles, two albums and four EPs. While these drastically different catalogs may seem strange today, it was not unusual at the time. Record companies throughout the world issued songs by foreign artists as they saw fit, often reconfiguring and re-titling albums and determining which songs to release as singles. Capitol was merely following standard industry standards.

Capitol’s alterations to the British albums were driven by song publishing and marketing reasons. Due to differences in the way publishing royalties were calculated in America and England, the company limited its LPs to the American maximum of 11 or 12 songs whereas EMI was averaging 14 songs per album. While Beatles manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin believed that singles should not be placed on albums because it forced consumers to buy the same song twice, Capitol believed that hit singles made hit albums. The strategy worked. The placement of the hit single “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and Meet The Beatles! contributed significantly to the Capitol album selling an incredible 3.6 million copies in two months.

During 1964, Capitol sold over 15 million Beatles records. Many people believed it was a fluke, that Beatlemania was a fad that had lasted longer than expected, but would soon run its course. The challenge for Capitol in 1965 was to keep Beatlemania alive with strategically issued singles and albums. The groundwork was laid during the latter part of 1964 when Capitol programmed its Beatles ’65 album. Capitol pulled eight songs from the British LP Beatles For Sale, leaving the other six for later release. Although Eight Days A Week was one of the highlights of the British LP, Capitol chose not to place the song on Beatles ’65, instead holding the song for later release as a single, issued on February 15, 1965, ‘Eight Days A Week’ shot to the top of the charts and would later serve as the hit single to help sell Capitol’s next Beatles album of new material. But prior to compiling that record, Capitol had some housekeeping to do.

The songs from the group’s first British album, Please Please Me, were not originally issued on Capitol. Those songs appeared on Vee-Jay, a Chicago-based independent label specializing in gospel and R&B recordings. Vee-Jay obtained the American rights to The Beatles on January 10, 1963, after Capitol passed on the group’s ‘Please Please Me’ single. Vee-Jay released that song on February 7, 1963, and a few months later issued ‘From Me To You.’ Neither single sold well, and the company cancelled plans to issue its 12-song version of the group’s first album, re-titled Introducing The Beatles. After Capitol signed the group in late November, 1963, and word spread of the company’s plans for a massive publicity campaign, Vee-Jay resurrected its Beatles masters.

Vee-Jay issued Introducing The Beatles on January 10, 1964, ten days ahead of Meet The  Beatles! Capitol was not amused, believing its agreement with EMI gave it the exclusive American rights to the group. On January 13, 1964, Capitol filed an injunction seeking to prohibit Vee-Jay from manufacturing or distributing Beatles records. Vee-Jay responded with its own law suit, claiming its January 10, 1963, licensing agreement for Beatles masters was still in effect.

After a series of court battles, the two companies entered into a settlement under which Vee-Jay retained its rights to 16 Beatles songs through October 15, 1964. At that time, the masters transferred to Capitol, thus ending Vee-Jay’s rights to distribute Beatles records.

By March, 1965, relatively few copies of Introducing The Beatles remained in stores as most of the pre-October 15, 1964, inventory had been sold. Capitol decided it was time to fill this void in the Beatles catalog and issue its own collection of songs from the group’s Please Please Me LP. Of the 14 songs on the British album, Capitol dropped ‘I Saw Her Standing There,’ which was on Meet The Beatles!, and two Lennon-McCartney originals, ‘Misery’ and ‘There’s A Place.’ The label also reworked the running order, leading off with the hit singles ‘Love Me Do’ and ‘Twist And Shout.’ Because the disc contained recordings that were at least two years old, the album was titled The Early Beatles.

As many fans already had the same songs on Introducing The Beatles, the album offered little, if anything, new other than a picture of the group previously unavailable in America. It was not initially a big seller, peaking at number 43 on the Billboard Top LP’s chart.

On April 19, 1965, Capitol released The Beatles first newly recorded single of the year, ‘Ticket To Ride.’ As expected, the disc quickly topped the charts. But with The Early Beatles failing to generate a buzz, and the soundtrack album for the group’s second film, Help!, not scheduled until mid-August, the summer looked bleak unless Capitol could hastily assemble and issue a new Beatles album. The six songs leftover from Beatles For Sale, including four “previously unreleased in America” tracks and both side of Capitol’s ‘Eight Days A Week single,’ were available.

As planned, ‘Eight Days A Week’ would be the hit single to help drive sales of the new album. Because the group’s current single, ‘Ticket To Ride,’ would be featured in the upcoming film and appear on the soundtrack LP, Capitol decided against placing the song on its new album. However, the single’s flip side, ‘Yes It Is,’ could be included as it was not selected for the movie. This left Capitol four songs short of its 11-song minimum needed for an album.

Discussion with EMI and George Martin revealed that there were two completed songs from the current session that would not be used in the film, namely ‘You Like Me Too Much’ and ‘Tell Me What You See.’ To help Capitol complete its album, The Beatles made a special trip to Abbey Road on May 10, 1965 to record the remaining two songs needed for the album. As time was of the essence, the group played it safe by recording two Larry Williams rockers, ‘Bad Boy’ and ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy,’ that had been part of the band’s stage show during their formative years. Tapes of the songs were sent the following day to Capitol by air freight. The album was titled Beatles VI and released on June 14, 1965. It was certified gold ten days later and had spent its first of six straight weeks at number one by July 10.

While United Artists Records had the American soundtrack album rights for The Beatles first film, A Hard Days Night, Capitol had the rights to assemble a soundtrack album for Help!, the group’s second movie. In England, Parlophone repeated its practice of issuing an album with songs from the film on side one and additional new recordings by the group on side two. (Three of those songs had previously appeared on Beatles VI.)

Capitol issued an album with the seven Beatles songs from the film augmented with ‘Exclusive Instrumental Music From the Picture’s Soundtrack.” Ken Thorne’s score for the film consisted of a mix of Thorne originals, classical music and orchestrated Beatles tunes, often with an Indian flavor. It was during the filming of Help! that George Harrison had his first encounter with Indian music and the sitar. Harrison would soon play sitar on ‘Norwegian Wood,’ one of many highlights of the group’s next album, Rubber Soul.

Capitol’s Help! LP was issued with a deluxe gatefold cover on August 13, 1965. Capitol’s first pressing of one million units was the largest initial album order in the history of the business at that time. The disc topped the charts for nine weeks and sold over three million copies.

Americans who thought Beatlemania would subside in 1965 were in for a rude shock that August and September. Fans flocked to see the group’s second film at theaters nationwide. On August 15, The Beatles opened their North American tour in a bold way by selling out New York’s Shea Stadium. The day before, the group taped six songs before a live audience for broadcast on the September 12 season opener for The Ed Sullivan Show. Two of those songs, ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Act Naturally,’ were part of Capitol’s four-song inventory of unissued tracks from the British Help! album. Capitol shrewdly scheduled the release of a single featuring those songs for the day after the Sullivan broadcast.

When Capitol received copies of the master tapes for The Beatles latest British album, Rubber Soul, the company recognized that The Beatles had prepared a special album, one that should not be dissected beyond recognition. Capitol kept the album’s British title and utilized its striking front cover and back cover’s photo montage. The company also realized that the high quality of the songs made it unnecessary to place a hit on the album. Thus, neither the recent hit ‘Yesterday’ nor the songs from The Beatles new 45 containing ‘We Can Work It Out’ and ‘Day Tripper’ were planned for the LP. Still, Capitol’s strategy of holding back songs for later release as singles meant that some changes would be made.

In programming its version of Rubber Soul, Capitol had the luxury of being able to use two tracks, ‘I’ve Just Seen A Face’ and ‘It’s Only Love’, from the British Help! LP that had yet to be issued in America. This gave Capitol 16 potential tracks for its 12-song album. The company decided to hold back ‘Nowhere Man’, ‘What Goes On’, ‘Drive My Car’ and ‘If I Needed Someone’ from the British Rubber Soul. ‘I’ve Just Seen A Face,’ which had gone largely unnoticed on side two of the British Help! LP, was elevated to prominence by being selected to open the Capitol version of Rubber Soul. The other Help! holdover, ‘It’s Only Love,’ was placed at the start of side two. Capitol wisely left the running order of the remaining songs intact.

By adding two acoustic tracks from the British Help! LP, Capitol crafted a brilliant album with a cohesive folk-rock sound. This is not to say that the Capitol Rubber Soul is better than the original album produced by The Beatles and George Martin. It is a different listening experience. They both have their own special subtleties and both are to be savored.

Listeners will notice that the ten songs taken from the British Rubber Soul album have severe stereo separation with voices in one channel and instruments in the other. This was not unique to the original Capitol stereo album, as these mixes appeared on the British stereo LP as well. When Rubber Soul was prepared for CD release in 1987, the songs were remixed in a more conventional manner. The false start heard at the beginning of the stereo version of ‘I’m Looking Through You’ is unique to the Capitol LP.

Rubber Soul was released in America on December 6, 1965, in time for holiday sales. The album toped the charts for six weeks and sold over four million units.

During 1965, Capitol Records released four albums, five singles and an EP compared to the two albums, three singles and three EPs issued in England. By creatively utilizing the incredible music supplied by The Beatles, Capitol not only sustained Beatlemania in America, but helped push it to new heights.

Bruce Spizer

All images © Apple Corps Ltd., except photos pages 40 and 41 from the Apple Corps Ltd. Archive Page 47 excerpt from a Rolling Stones interview with John Lennon in 1970 by Jann S. Wenner

Text by Bruce Spizer
Design and art direction David Costa and Emil Dacanay for Wherefore Art? London

Capitol Records is a Capitol Music Label (P) 1963, 1964, 1965 EMI Records Ltd., under exclusive license to Capitol Records, Inc. This compilation (P) 2006 Capitol Records, Inc © 1965, 2006 Apple Corps Ltd., under exclusive license to Capitol Records, Inc. Manufactured by Capitol Records, Inc., 1700 N. Vine Street, Hollywood, CA 90028 All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized Reproduction is a Violation of Applicable Laws. Printed in U.S.A.


The Beatles were always looking for new sounds, always looking to a new horizon and it was a continual but happy strain to try and provide new things for them. They were always waiting to try new instruments even when they didn’t know much about them.

– George Martin

In February we started filming our second film, Help! It was shot in the Bahamas, Austria and England. It was real fun doing the movie on location. We started off in the Bahamas and, as with most filming, we spent a lot of time hanging about; but there we could hang about on the beach.

– George

All the best stuff is on the cutting-room floor, with us breaking up and falling about all over the place.

– John

Once you go on stage and you know you’ve filled a place that size, it’s magic; just walls of people. I don’t think we were heard much by the audience. If we were a bit out of tune or didn’t play the right note, nobody noticed. It was just the spirit of the moment. We just did our thing, cheap and cheerful, ran to a waiting limo and sped off.

– Paul

Now we were playing stadiums!
There were all those people and just a tiny PA system – they couldn’t get a bigger one. I never felt people came to hear the show – I felt they came to see us. From the count-in on the first number, the volume of screams drowned everything else out.

– Ringo

In October 1965, we started to record [Rubber Soul]. Things were changing. The direction was moving away from the poppy stuff…now we’d come to the point where we thought, ‘We’ve done that. Now we can branch out into songs that are more surreal, a little more entertaining.’

– Paul

We were getting better technically and musically. We finally took over the studio. In the early days, we had to take what we were given, we had to make it in two hours and one or three takes was enough – we were learning the techniques. Then we got contemporary. I think Rubber Soul was about when it started happening.

– John

Rubber Soul was my favourite album, even at the time. I think that it was the best one we ever made. We did spend a bit more time on it and tried new things. We were suddenly hearing sounds that we weren’t able to hear before. We were being influenced by other people’s music and everything was blossoming; including us, because we were still growing.

– George

Because they were writing different material, we were playing differently. We were expanding in all areas of our lives, opening up a lot of different attitudes. I feel that we made it on love songs. Now we get to Rubber Soul and begin stretching the writing and the playing a lot more. This was the departure record.

– Ringo

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