Get ready to revisit the original British Invasion: On January 21 in North America (and January 20 worldwide), The Beatles are coming to America with the release of The U.S. Albums, a 13-CD box commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Fabs’ arrival in New York City on February 7, 1964. Two nights later, 74 million viewers watched the band make history on The Ed Sullivan Show, and Beatlemania was officially in full swing. This new box set includes The Beatles’ U.S. albums from 1964’s Meet the Beatles! to 1970’s Hey Jude, and each title is presented in mono and stereo, with the exception of The Beatles’ Story and Hey Jude, which are in stereo only. Five of these albums will be making their worldwide CD debuts including the original United Artists soundtrack album to A Hard Day’s Night and the audio documentary The Beatles’ Story. All told, nine No. 1 albums are included.
The U.S. Albums contains the following thirteen albums, each packaged in a replica CD (and check out the dual Yesterday and Today covers in the photo, above!):
- Meet The Beatles! [Capitol Records: released January 10, 1964; 11 weeks at No. 1]
- The Beatles’ Second Album [Capitol Records: released April 10, 1964; five weeks at No. 1]
- A Hard Day’s Night (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) ** [United Artists: released June 26, 1964; 14 weeks at No. 1]
- Something New [Capitol Records: released July 20, 1964; nine weeks at No. 2]
- The Beatles’ Story [stereo only] ** [Capitol Records: released November 23, 1964; peaked at No. 7]
- Beatles ’65 [Capitol Records: released December 15, 1964; nine weeks at No. 1]
- The Early Beatles [Capitol Records: released March 22, 1965; peaked at No. 43]
- Beatles VI [Capitol Records: released June 14, 1965; six weeks at No. 1]
- Help! (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Capitol Records: released August 13, 1965; nine weeks at No. 1]
- Rubber Soul [released December 6, 1965; six weeks at No. 1]
- Yesterday and Today ** [Capitol Records: released June 20, 1966; five weeks at No. 1]
- Revolver ** [Capitol Records: released August 8, 1966; six weeks at No. 1]
- Hey Jude [stereo only] ** [Apple Records: released February 26, 1970; four weeks at No. 2]
After the jump: more details and pre-order links!
Containing five more albums than the combined 2004 and 2006 volumes of The Capitol Albums, The U.S. Albums looks to be a comprehensive chronicle of the period when The Beatles’ albums were newly assembled for American release (as was the case with so many other artists). A 64-page booklet accompanies the box set, and it features a new essay from Bill Flanagan plus numerous photographs and memorabilia images. In addition, every album with the exception of The Beatles’ Story will be available as a standalone CD for individual purchase “for a limited time.” That 1964 LP will remain exclusive to the box set.
UPDATE (12/12/2013, 5 p.m.): a purported statement from Capitol concerning the mixing and mastering of these new U.S. albums has been published on Examiner. The takeaway from this statement seems to be that, while all unique U.S. mixes and edits will be present herein, duplicate tracks will be mastered not from the original Capitol masters but the Parlophone/Apple masters created and approved in 2009. Please note that this was not included in the original press release; we are working to verify this new information.
The release of The U.S. Albums isn’t the only event scheduled to mark the anniversary of John, Paul, George and Ringo’s landing at John F. Kennedy Airport. CBS, the network of The Ed Sullivan Show, will air The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles, a two-hour special to air Sunday, February 9 at 8pm ET/PT, precisely 50 years to the day, date and time of The Beatles’ groundbreaking debut on Sullivan’s weekly variety program. The U.S. Albums is also arriving hot on the heels of the well-received release of On Air: Live at the BBC Volume Two and the remastered reissue of the original 1994 Live at the BBC.
You can order The Beatles’ The U.S. Albums at Amazon U.S. and Amazon U.K.!
Individual Album Remasters Also Available:
- Meet The Beatles! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- The Beatles’ Second Album (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- A Hard Day’s Night (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- Something New (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- Beatles ’65 (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- The Early Beatles (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- Beatles VI (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )
- Help! (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- Rubber Soul (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- Yesterday and Today (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- Revolver (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- Hey Jude (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Are they promising not to botch it this time? I notice there's no mention of whether they've remastered the albums from the last go 'round, or taken measures to ensure that the correct version was used this time. UMG did a decent job with the recent BBC releases; I hope they do as well with these.
Jeremy Shatan says
And did you hear about this release, coming strictly to iTunes next week? http://www.examiner.com/article/report-emi-to-release-digital-only-compilation-to-counter-beatles-bootlegs
There's also one for the Beach Boys. It's already up on Amazon.
This is going to be great but 14 cd's are pictured. If you watch the promo video for the box set it shows the
"Yesterday...And Today" trunk cover peeling back to expose the butcher photo. These have no doubt all been remastered since the two original box sets from a few years ago. The mini covers look much nicer than the ones in the original sets. Here's the link for the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eyQ0ME0FRU
Joe Marchese says
The press release indicates 13 CDs for 13 albums, as described above. No remastering information (engineer, studio, etc.) has been confirmed by the label, though as soon as it's released, we'll be sure to add.
The "Yesterday and Today" covers are indeed a crowning touch! 🙂
Joe, can you imagine the pre-orders if they do the set on vinyl at some point and they use the butcher cover?! They would sell out in ten minutes!
I did not see the butcher photo in the youtube video 🙁
If you watch closely the trunk cover rolls back to reveal the butcher photo! Watch it again it's really cool!
Now I get it, I was under the impression it were only dolls and no meat, my bad. Mea Culpa and thanks
Sean Anglum says
This is FAB news! And to have Beatles Story AND two versions of Y&T with the Butcher Cover is the greatest news. Wonder where Holywood Bowl falls into this? Maybe they're holding it back for the rumored LIVE BEATLES extravaganza box. In terms of this US Albums/British Invasion celebration I'm sure you've heard or read about the full blown NYCBEATLES50 initiative that will be coming down. Would love to see Paul and Ringo make an appearance. Ultimate dream would be to have P&R do a full Letterman Show with just the two of them with Dave. Tour the theater, chat about that night in '64, comment on photos from that visit and then get together with a mixture of Paul's and Ringo's current bands and have a blow out. OK, back to reality....can hardly wait for Jan. 21. This release looks so good!
I remember reading in an interview that members of The Honeys were used as "people on the street" interviews for the "Beatles' Story" sound clips.
And wasn't it Gary Usher who did the music on "The Beatles' Story"? It would make sense that he'd use The Honeys as fans.
A key question, unanswered here, is whether there is any reason to own these (other than the booklet and packaging) if you own the "Mono" and "Stereo" box sets released a few years ago. It appears there are no new masters or exclusive mixes.
To me it's worth buying because of the rest of the albums being included and because it looks SO damned cool! At least fans that bought the first two box sets that don't want to spring for the new box will have the option to buy the missing titles seperately. They no doubt remastered everything and as far as exclusive mixes they're already there. I love the U.S. mixes just because that's what I grew up hearing!
What "U.S. mixes"? My understanding was that the album track listings were re-configured only, and, aside from using a stereo or mono version, the mixes were identical to the UK releases. Also, what "missing titles" are you referring to. My question was perhaps not clear: if one owns the two recent Mono and Stereo box sets, does one have all of the songs, in both mono and stereo versions, that appear on the U.S. box set?
Hey Kerry, the U.S. versions of the Beatles albums featured exclusive mixes of the songs which sounded totally different than the British mixes. As for the "missing titles" I was talking about the albums in the new
set that weren't done before like "A Hard Day's Night", "The Beatles Story", "Yesterday And...Today",
"Revolver" and "Hey Jude".
Here's an article with the info that would have been useful to find here in the above piece. http://www.examiner.com/article/beatles-label-says-they-worked-to-preserve-mixes-used-new-u-s-albums-box
Note in the above link: "In an effort to preserve the original intentions of the band and the producers, the masters used are, in most cases, the same as the stereo and mono remasters released in 2009 as part of the Parlophone/Apple core catalog, all approved by George Martin and The Beatles. All of the duophonic mixes have been replaced with the approved stereo mixes when available and some mono mixes in the few instances where no true stereo mix exists."
Ricardo A says
It's bizarre. They are going to create brand new albuns mixing UK versions with a few US exclusive versions (what the criteria will be is anyone's guess), likely the most outlandish ones, like Thank You Girl and I'm Only Sleeping. I really see no point in not releasing a real Capitol experience without a real 60s experience, unless they want to do so in a box set in 5 years from now...
Joe Aiello says
If you want to hear the original Capitol Records mixes, pick up the Beatles Capitol Records box set Vol 1 and Vol 2. They include 8 CDs of the original album mixes from the Capitol master tapes. The just released Beatles American Albums use the EMI/Polydor UK mixes remastered in 2009 and just resequenced the songs and changed the packaging so they look like the Capitol albums. Nothing in this new set will sound anything like the American Beatles songs you grew up with.
Very clearly there is a reason. American kids got the songlist order for these albums burned into their brains.
Wouldn't it be nice to have an expanded Hollywood Bowl album and an expanded Rarities album with the mono radio version of Penny Lane (with the trumpet ending) and All My Loving with the "hi-hat" intro along with all the rest? Readers can probably add to the list of selections for inclusion in the Rarities re-issue.
I have no doubt that they'll do the Hollywood Bowl stuff although I think it will be expanded compared to the 1977 release Probably in a mulit-disc live set along with Shea and other shows. We already know a live
project is in the works. The Rarities tracks would be nice too which they could expand on as well but they
may leave off the mono mixes from the "White Album".
Oops! That should be "multi" disc live set!
Sean Anglum says
The problem with collectors is that there is always "one more thing" that an issuing company can do. I laughed about this with a Beatle colleague this morning. Here's another....have the Hey Jude cover identify the album as that, but have The Beatles Again on the CD disc. LOL
I could start a list....but I'm thankful that Jeff and the gang are doing SOMETHING. it looks damn cool...uh, FAB!
So true Sean. Us collector types can always find SOMETHING that they "shoulda done"! I was thinking about the "Hey Jude"/"Beatles Again" thing too! It really looks like they've covered all of the bases on this set.
I'd even like a box of US Reissues on 180G vinyl.
Whither "Live @ the Hollywood Bowl"?
Brian from Canada says
My guess is 2015, when we reach the 50th anniversary of the Shea Stadium show. Hollywood Bowl was mostly recorded in '65 as well due to a faulty mic for Paul.
(2014's releases are now rounded out with Love on vinyl in the summer and a videos collection for X-Mas… and that's around at least 3 releases by Paul [2 archives, 1 video game soundtrack] and probably more Beatles-related goodies!)
Here's a nice touch-- the photo on TheBeatles.com shows a replica of the vintage blue inner sleeve sticking out of Meet The Beatles!
Ricardo, the Examiner article is a bit confusing. They say "These new releases seek to replicate the unique listening experience heard by Americans at the time " but if they're changing the mixes doesn't that indeed ruin the "unique listening experience heard by Americans at the time"? They shouldn't mess with the original mixes. That defeats the whole purpose of putting them out! Fans want the original U.S. mixes, that's
why they bought the original sets.
Jason Michael says
Apple has over-thought this. All they had to do was remaster the original Capitol tapes- duophonic, reverb and all. That is what the collectors want.
Agreed Jason. That's what they did with the two volumes from a few years back. I don't want to end up rebuying the 2009 remasters in the U.S. album covers. I hope they leave the original U.S. mixes alone.
Thanks for the update on the mix situation Joe. Hopefully they won't botch it.
Stanley Steamer says
Especially of interest to me is the mono U.S. Rubber Soul, which is not only of course different song order, but also, different songs that make a more cohesive listening experience. AND is I remember listening as a 10 year old in '65/'66, a different mix WITH a bit of reverb. This is a superior version compared to the U.K.
Jason Michael says
The U.S. Rubber Soul is already available in the Capitol Albums Vol. 2 from 2006. Mono and stereo mixes, sounds great.
Sean Anglum says
Unless you unwittingly bought the Vol. 2 set with the fold down mono discs. I look forward to this new box for the real Rubber Soul mono, among many things.
If they're so concerned with the "original intentions of the band and the producers" then why are these even being re-released in the first place? These are INFERIOR versions to the UK releases. The band, the producers and engineers, and pretty much all the fans agree on this.
The US releases have no aesthetic or artistic value to them. They deserve to be out-of-print. The butcher baby cover was a commentary on how Capitol Records was "butchering" the UK releases. But if they are desperate to reissue these (which obviously they are), then I agree that it should be the original US mixes included on them, for the sake of authenticity.
There's no reason to own this set other than as a mere novelty. All the Beatles you need is the Stereo (and Mono) box sets of 2009.
They weren't always the best sounding mixes compared to the UK ones but they mean a lot to us who grew up listening to them. Unless you were lucky enough to live through that period of music history you wouldn't understand the appeal of them. Millions of fans care about these mixes, that's why the other box sets sold so well.
Jeff Gotell says
I do understand the sentimental appeal of the US releases even though they were before my time. To me there's a kitsch value to them but that's about it. They'll never be the "go to" product for my Beatles listening and I suspect that many others will agree . . . even those that plan to buy this set. "I've Just Seen a Face" on Rubber Soul? Too weird.
That being said, I have no problem with this set being released—if I don't like it, I don't have to buy it. My issue was with the quote, “ . . . In an effort to preserve the original intentions of the band and the producers . . ." Everybody and their dog knows that these versions of the albums are not the original intentions of the band and the producers so why are the re-issuers blowing smoke up our asses?
The trouble here is that in instances such as Rubber Soul, the US LP has an entirely different stereo mix from the UK counterpart. It's only fair that Capitol include these variances, even if at some point they DID release the actual UK stereo mixes.
I realize the theme of this release and I will buy it, but I would have loved the inclusion of Magical Mystery Tour, Sgt. Pepper, The Beatles (White Album), Abbey Road and Let It Be. Even Yellow Submarine. Especially in the LP replica covers. Technically they were all U.S. releases too.
They are including only the albums that were exclusive to the U.S. although I agree that Magical Mystery Tour should have been included as it was another U.S. creation but it was already issued in the 2009 sets. It didn't come out as a full album in the UK until 1976. As for the other titles you mentioned the U.S. versions matched the UK ones so there's no reason to include them in this set.
Thanks, but as I said, I understand the theme of the box, it just would have been nice to have those albums included in the mini LP replica packaging as well so we could have the entire catalog in uniform. I didn't buy the mono box, wasn't interested in that. I am interested in this set however.
I agree! It wouldn't have cost them that much more to include them.
Brian from Canada says
The Beatles onwards are the same mixes as the UK. Interestingly, though, Sgt. Pepper's hasn't been included, and that has a few differences between US and UK… just not in track choices (unless, of course, you count the absence of the 'inner groove').
Gerry Hassan says
With all due respect to suggest putting the non-US unique albums (already released in US and worldwide) in a US specific box set is just plain daft!
What you are encouraging record companies to try to sell us these albums for a third time. This is something they are already doing; but it would confuse the logic of this set and overlap it with the 2009 box sets in a meaningless way. Plus it would mean lots of us would have to consider owning the exact same album reissues TWICE with no differences of any kind. And as a final observation, it would put the price of the box set up markedly (and waste more of the earth's resources).
Bear Family has issued so many chronological (by year) thematic compilation series (R&B; Honky Tonk, Soul, etc.), I have an idea for another:
The "British Invasion" was such an intense period in popular music. You can argue about when it started and ended, but 1964 is a good enough period. What I would like to see Bear Family issue is a history of the British Invasion by the month - 12 months of 1964, with one CD of 30+ tracks issued in America during that month.
It would be great!
Rhino did a series of British Invasion cd's years ago but I can't recall if they were done by year. I think they were available in a box set and seperately.
Nuggets Fan says
From 1988 to 1991, Rhino issued Vols. 1 through 9 of "The British Invasion" separately and as a box. Each volume had 20 tracks from various years; some of the higher-numbered volumes had tracks from as late as 1972 but the volumes aren't strictly chronological. There were licensing issues; The Beatles are only represented by the Tony Sheridan era "Ain't She Sweet" and "My Bonnie," and the Stones and Who are absent. Most of the tracks were hit singles in the U.S., but there are obscure artists and flop singles too. There's a list and commentary at http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-british-invasion-history-of-british-rock-vols-1-9-mw0000676664.
In a sense, The Beatles are also represented by a veritable ton of (unreleased by The Beatles) Lennon/McCartney songs that they gave to others (Peter & Gordon, Billy J. Kramer, etc.) included in the collection.
Other significant omissions (due to licensing, I'm sure) include the DC5, Herman's Hermits and early Animals (not having "House of the Rising Sun" is a big loss). Pretty amazing collection though! I wouldn't mind tracking some of these discs down.
If you don't know Bear Family products, you wouldn't understand why I'd like to see a Bear Family set. First each single CD in their other "specialty theme compilations" comes with a book that can be as many as 100 pages (80 minimum). These are incredible and very readable books with good quality photos. Second, Bear Family label mastering is superior to the typical oldies single artist or compilation CDs. Third, they usually come up with some rare or uncommon recordings. If Bear Family did the British Invasion, it would blow you away!
Chief Brody says
Totally agree! I have Bear Family's Hamburg box featuring Tony Sheridan. I don't know if it's OOP or anything like that, but it's pretty cool. If they were more affordable, I'd probably own nearly every BF box! The few I do own are incredible pieces of work. It would be a much sunnier reissue landscape if Bear Family had final say-so on things, that's fer sure!
Here's the scoop on the upcoming Beatles "Yesterday and...Today" cd. According to Amazon the cd features the original album cover of The Beatles posing with raw meat and baby dolls. The package also comes with a collectible sticker of the subsequent trunk cover art. This is great news especially if they decide to do the set on vinyl at some point!
There's been a very high quality bootleg CD of exactly that, available on ebay for a number of years (I have a copy) - butcher cover, trunk cover sticker. I laughed out loud when it arrived in the mail!
Of course, aside from the original mixes/2009 remasters question, there's also the issue of the quality of the packaging. The earlier Capitol America reissues from the mid 2000s were in appalling bare-bones cardboard sleeves with badly reproduced artwork, whereas the locally produced Japanese issues of the same boxsets contained the usual high standard of Japanese mini-LP replica, and were clearly the superior set to buy (if that's your thing). Capitol/EMI/Apple seemed to get the message when they had the Japanese handle the production of the 2009 mono remaster CD sleeves, but the obsessives like myself can only hope the same is true of this new set.
Eric M. Vaughnes says
The recent information coming out does not sound promising, ESPECIALLY since there's no way I will not be buying this. I hope that they don't just plug in the 2009 (UK) remastered versions in place of truly remastering the (U.S.) Capitol masters. I want Dave Dexter and ONLY Dave Dexter! Moreover, please do any immediate moratorium on the 2004 and 2006 volumes. It's time to streamline the core catalog.
Unfortunately Dave Dexter died in his sleep in 1990.
Dexter was the Capitol executive who passed on the Beatles several times (which is why the initial US releases were on Vee Jay and Swan) and decided it would be a good idea to put 12, instead of 14, songs on the US albums. He wasn't a tech guy, let alone an artistic one. Adding reverb for the Capitol releases is the only possible thing that be considered positive input. To give him any credit for the Beatles success is wrong.
Dexter hated the Beatles music. He was in involved in the Jazz releases on the label. He was forced by the president of Capitol Records to finally sign the Beatles. He especially disliked Lennon.
Eric M. Vaughnes says
Thanks for the background info on Dave, Ernie/ronfwnc, but I met and had many conversations with Mr. Dexter during his tenure at Billboard, and I'm well aware of his part in the Beatles' story. For all intents and purposes, Capitol could have called this box "The Dexter Years," although it now seems we're going to get a hodge-podge mix of his work AND the 2009 remasters. We'll need a scorecard indicating which mix was used for each and every song.
Steve Bruun says
My turn to nitpick!
The stereo album cuts pillaged from the UK "Help!" and "Rubber Soul" should use the proper 1965 mixes, included on the 2009 mono box. Using the now-standard 1986 remixes would not be faithful to the mixes used on the US albums.
For versions that differ from the UK mixes, I dearly hope that they use the alternate source tapes instead of trying to reverse-engineer the recordings from the 2009 remasters. Anyone who has heard the dreadful hash they made of "I Am The Walrus" for the 7" single sold at Target will know what I'm talking about.
Regarding the "Magical Mystery Tour" album, I understand its omission, but one or two of the US stereo mixes on that album differed from the UK mixes. "Strawberry Fields Forever" comes to mind.
Purists might note that the earliest pressings of "Yesterday and Today" included fake stereo versions of the three tracks pulled from "Revolver." Forget the purists and use the unique stereo mixes that showed up on later variations (such as the cassette). The mono version of the album will (or should) still contain the unique mixes that were reprocessed for the first stereo pressings, and John's mumbling at the end of "Doctor Robert."
This new box set corrals many of the variant mixes not used on the UK albums and singles, but a few remain uncollected. Ideally, Apple should collect all of the remaining non-standard mixes and variations (US "Walrus" single, "All My Loving" with hi-hat intro, "She's A Woman" with count-in, etc.) onto one concise compilation; it would probably fit on one disc or no more than two. If there's room, they could even throw in the "Movie Medley" from 1982. But I don't have great hopes that it will actually happen.
Really, the only way to collect the USA editions is on early pressing vinyl LPs with good condition covers
It is not as if they are rare.
Finding them in good condition is rare and if they are the prices are sky high!
Steve Holt says
What they could do is put remix 11 of Tomorrow Never Knows from the mono UK Revolver album on this new issue. It was only on the very first pressings of the UK mono album before being replaced by remix 8 by George Martin.
Has remix 11 ever been officially released in the US?
Steve Bruun says
Tomorrow Never Knows RM11 has never been released in the US, which means, unfortunately, there is no place for it on a box set that exists specifically to collect US versions. For the time being, RM11 is one more for the orphan mix pile, along with the Penny Lane promo single and the "whispering" intro to I Feel Fine.
A lot of the non-standard mixes appeared on The Beatles Box, an 8-LP compilation released in 1980 that collects more than half of the band's catalog (but, oddly, nothing from the second disc of the White Album). It also includes the edits of I Am The Walrus and Penny Lane prepared for the US Rarities album.
Steve Holt says
Yes, I have that box set both on L.P. & cassette. A very good set to have.
Steve Holt says
Just received my copy today (Sun 19th) through Amazon. Everything OK with it. Great booklet with it.
Gerry Hassan says
Am not sure about buying these even the US releases while cheap and tacky in the 60s are kind of fun.
Will we ever see a proper US rarities set of releases: Shea, the White Album demos, the Get Back rooftop sessions, the christmas comp. album. Lots of us ay already have these but it would be nice for them to get official release,
Some day we can but dream but really since Anthology it ihas been dribs and drabs: 'Let It Be Naked' and thats about it as genuine archive releases and Beeb 2.