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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Rant about the Beatle Butchers...

...but not the traditional one.

I will allow the conceit that the American repackagers of Beatle tunes on albums were permitted to do what they did. But did they have to leave so many songs off?

First off, I'm specifically talking the Capitol albums, because they were the primary purveyor of their music in the U.S.

So, I'll OK the choices on Meet The Beatles! ('64), (although why the only non-Lennon/McCartney or Harrison song was Till There Was You, when there were five great R&B songs on the source album With The Beatles ('63) always troubled me.)

The Beatles Second Album ('64) with the remaining With The Beatles cuts, features she Loves You. For contractual reasons, there may not yet have been additional product, but since they put out "Long Tall Sally" and "I Call Your Name" from the LTS EP, why not "Slow Down" or "Matchbox", putting 12 cuts on the album? Oh, yeah, right, money.

Speaking of contractual agreements, look at the deal that allowed for A Hard Day's Night ('64) and Something New ('64) to come out pretty much at the same time with several common songs. Capitol COULD have chosen to put fewer of the HDN songs. In any case, since they picked Kom, Gib Der Meine Hand, why not its German-language mate, Sie Liebt Dich?

The Beatles' Story ('64) is an odd conversation-laden piece, off the topic.

Would it have killed them to put a 12th song, probably from Beatles For Sale ('64) to put on Beatles '65 ('64)?

The Early Beatles ('65): Obviously, by this point, the Vee-Jay licensing expired and Capitol reasonably put out their own version of Introducing. But with 11 songs, it leaves off "Misery" and "There's a Place".
Never owned either Misery or There's a Place until I FINALLY bought Introducing the Beatles shortly before the group broke up. They always sounded out of tune when I'd hear them on the Beatles cartoon.

Beatles VI ('65) was a mix of the Beatles For Sale and the second side of the British Help! album. Two songs, Yesterday and Act Naturally, were held back, but could have shown up here, especially the latter, since most albums have a Ringo song. (Holding it back meant that "Yesterday"... and Today had TWO Ringo songs.

I'll concede the nature of Help! ('65) as a soundtrack album.

Rubber Soul ('65) actually had 12 songs, and showed that Capitol may be thinking about trying to keep semblance of the album the Beatles intended.

Which brings me to "Yesterday"... And Today ('66), a peculiar package derived from the British Help! (2 songs), Rubber Soul (4 songs), and the required single (Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out). But why did they have to pillage the not-yet released Revolver for three Lennon songs, when they had three other perfectly good choices: I'm Down (b-side of the Help single), Paperback Writer and Rain? Revolver ('66), as released in the US, had only two Lennon songs, and always seemed unbalanced.

Finally, Capitol leaves an album alone with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band ('67). Except for the two seconds on the inner groove.

Magical Mystery Tour ('67) actually became the standard for the Beatles in Britain. The six songs on the double EP, plus the singles. A peculiar good choice by Capitol.

The Beatles [White Album] ('68) is unchanged, as is Yellow Submarine ('69) and Abbey Road ('69).

Hey Jude ('70) is a peculiar album that FINALLY put out two of the three songs from a Hard Day's Night (but not the title track). The other songs mentioned but not on albums would have been welcomed here. Of course, Get Back was held for Let It Be ('70).

Assuming the albums from Meet to Revolver came out as they did, my preference would have been, in that period between Revolver and Sgt. Pepper, for Capitol to have put out an album like A Collection Of Beatles' Oldies ('66), where they collected the singles and disparate other cuts.

It could have contained
1. Love Me Do (single version)
2. There's a Place
3. Misery
4. From Me To You
5. Sie Liebt Dich
6. Can't Buy Me Love
7. Hard Day's Night
8. I Should Have Known Better
9. I'm Down
10. Paperback Writer
11. Rain
Or, instead of the last two songs, they could have added a song or two to the oldies with the variations, such as the extra verse on "I'll Cry Insead" that appears on the UA Hard Day's Night soundtrack.
Song 4 showed up on the Red album (1973), as did 7, though the latter had been on the UA album.
Song 9 appeared first on the Rock 'N' Roll album (1976)
Songs 1, 2, 3, and 5 above ended up in the curious Rarities album in 1980.

Of course, the album described above would have wrecked what would become the Hey Jude album, which should have had The Inner Light, and perhaps one of those songs kicking around but not released, such as "What's the New Mary Jane". Also a possibility, "Penny Lane" with the trumpet ending, available in Canada at the time. (They had Yellow Submarine and All You Need Is Love on two albums, after all.)

Anyway, that's my rant.
My apologies: the links were SUPPOSED to go to the specific albums, but they seem not to.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A couple of quick Beatle comments: I bought Mark the single to She Love You (black Swann record label)for his birthday! We saw the Ed Sullivan show as it aired. Mark took a picture of the TV! I bought each album as they were released. Don't have room for "successful" theories here...RK