I. Meet the Beatles!
Did The Beatles save rock and roll?
If John, Paul, George and Ringo didn’t save the still-young form, they certainly gifted it with a reinvigorating, exhilarating jolt of musical euphoria the likes of which hadn’t been seen before – and hasn’t been duplicated since. The scene was early 1964. Buddy Holly was long gone, and the big hits had dried up – at the moment, at least – for Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. Elvis had served his time in the Army, threatening to turn the rebellious rogue into a symbol of The Establishment. Of course, all was far from lost. The rise of the Brill Building led to some of the most well-crafted, immaculately-produced records of all time, though many of those were as indebted to classic Tin Pan Alley songwriting as to the youthful spirit of rock and roll.
Enter The Beatles. By the end of the tumultuous year, the group had charted 28 records in the U.S. Hot 100 (11 in the Top 10) and released five – count ‘em, five – albums on Capitol plus one soundtrack on United Artists. Capitol had a lot of catching up to do to sate seemingly insatiable demand for the music of the Liverpudlian quartet. Those heady early days in which The Beatles began the charge that would transform “rock and roll” into “rock” are chronicled on the splendid new 13-CD box set The U.S. Albums. It presents the unique albums released stateside between 1964 and 1966, plus one from 1970, including five which have never before appeared on CD (well, legally, anyway) anywhere in the world. [Every album in the box is also available for individual sale save The Beatles’ Story which is exclusive to the box.]
From the time The Beatles broke into the British Top 20 in late 1962 with “Love Me Do,” there was no turning back. By the end of 1963, the hard-working band had scored five singles in the U.K. Top 20, three of which went to No. 1. Debut long-player Please Please Me was No. 1 on the U.K. Albums Chart for 30 weeks, only finally displaced with the arrival of sophomore LP With the Beatles. The stage was set for world domination, and the key to that international success was America. But could The Beatles repeat that level of success on American shores?
Dave Dexter Jr., head of Capitol’s international A&R, had been rejecting Beatles singles since late 1962 and “Love Me Do.” Dexter’s recalcitrance led to EMI entering into early licensing agreements with labels like Swan and Vee-Jay (Remember The Beatles vs. The Four Seasons? Or Introducing...The Beatles? Altogether unsurprisingly, they’re not included in this box set!). But the executive could only ignore the future Fabs for so long. “She Loves You,” rejected by Dexter for U.S. release, had become the first British record to sell one million copies prior to its release; With the Beatles sold 500,000 copies within a week of its release date. Capitol had no choice but to pay attention to these numbers, especially given the small size of the U.K. compared to the U.S. market. When Capitol finally acquiesced and signed the lads, Dexter was the one in charge of packaging the band’s music for American audiences.
Meet the Beatles, his first newly-created U.S. album, was based on With the Beatles, the group’s second British LP. It arrived in stores on January 20, 1964, just weeks before the band debuted on the February 9 broadcast of The Ed Sullivan Show. 73 million viewers tuned in, a higher number than had watched any program in television history. The reviews weren’t all glowing; in fact, many were far from it. But Beatlemania couldn’t be stopped. The ensuing frenzy was, perhaps, a manifestation of the power of the nascent youth culture, but soon the Fab Four dominated culture, period.
The American media was poised to rebel against this revolution, looking upon The Beatles’ seemingly inevitable success with curiosity and distrust. But America, still smarting from the tragic assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963, was poised to accept these bright young men with all of their enormous promise, goofy humor, and messages of love and hope in their music. What wasn’t immediately evident except perhaps to the most perceptive listeners was the mélange of influences that informed The Beatles’ revolutionary sound – showtunes, music hall ballads, rockabilly, country-and-western, Brill Building pop, and rhythm and blues, to name a few. It didn’t hurt that the lads’ looks were as revolutionary as their music. They were, of course, “the whole package.” The Beatles were frequently queried about how long such success could possibly last. Even the most confident of them likely couldn’t have imagined the fact that, 50 years later, their music would remain just as beloved – perhaps even more – as during those heady days of 1964.
Meet the Beatles! didn’t disappoint...far from it. Dexter’s LP remained at No. 1 on the Billboard chart for eleven weeks, ceding only to The Beatles’ Second Album. When the United Artists soundtrack album to A Hard Day’s Night arrived, it spent 14 weeks at No. 1, the longest run of any album in 1964. Capitol’s Something New could have been considered a disappointment as it peaked at No. 2, but it was held from the top position by...A Hard Day’s Night! Beatles ’65 spent nine weeks at No. 1 and was crowned the best-selling LP of 1965. The Beatles were no flash in the pan.
After the jump: what exactly will you find in The U.S. Albums?
The discs contained in The U.S. Albums are the records that ushered in the British Invasion, yet their importance wasn’t always recognized. When The Beatles’ recordings came to CD for the first time in 1987, the U.S. releases were almost completely ignored, as Apple Corps favored an approach to standardize the catalogue with the U.K. albums – which, it’s paramount to note, were the only versions completely created and sanctioned by the band and their producer, George Martin. One U.S. release did “make the cut” – Capitol’s Magical Mystery Tour, which explains its absence from The U.S. Albums. Martin also remixed two albums, Help! and Rubber Soul, to provide more natural stereo soundscapes.
Capitol’s American creations were, after all, cobbled together from various U.K. releases, and even when albums bore the same titles as their British counterparts, the material was still often quite different. For one thing, the U.S. albums were limited to twelve tracks, whereas their British counterparts boasted fourteen. Capitol also desired to place on albums the non-LP singles recorded by The Beatles overseas. The British A Hard Day’s Night and Help! LPs were all-Beatles, all-the-time. Their American counterparts subbed out numerous cuts for instrumental, orchestral tracks. It wasn’t until 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band that The Beatles finally were able to demand that their original albums – created and sequenced by the band and their producer in the U.K. – be released worldwide, untouched.
The differences between the U.S. and U.K. releases extended beyond repertoire. Dexter had frequently altered Martin’s original mixes, adding reverb to several tracks and simulating stereo via Capitol’s “Duophonic” process on other tracks. Apple delivered on the promise of CD releases for the familiar U.S. titles in 2004 with The Capitol Albums Vol. 1, containing Meet the Beatles!, The Beatles’ Second Album, Something New and Beatles ’65 on CD for the first time. A second volume followed in 2006 with The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, and the U.S. versions of Help! and Rubber Soul. Both of these box sets retained all of Capitol’s mixes, including the “fake stereo” duophonic tracks.
Clearly, Apple felt the 50th anniversary of the Fabs’ American arrival warranted an upgrade for these beloved albums. In addition to re-presenting those already reissued via The Capitol Albums Vols. 1 and 2, the new set premieres the five albums never before on CD – the United Artists soundtrack of A Hard Day’s Night (1964), the audio documentary The Beatles’ Story (1964), Yesterday and Today (1966), the U.S. Revolver (1966) and Hey Jude (1970). Every album in the box includes both mono and stereo mixes save the stereo-only Beatles Story and Hey Jude. Make no mistake: this set is every bit as lavish as its historically-significant (and still exciting and vibrant) music deserves.
However, the set is not without controversy. The decision was made by Apple not to replicate the original U.S. albums’ often-dodgy mixes, but rather to use their track listings as a jumping-on point to recreate the albums anew for 2014. The band’s preferred mixes - as remastered for the core catalogue in 2009 – provide the basis for The U.S. Albums. For the most part, that is. (More on that later.) All of the “duophonic”/fake stereo mixes are absent here, replaced with true stereo versions. The tracks subjected to additional reverb by Capitol have been largely stripped of it. The mono tracks which were “folded down” from stereo have been replaced with true mono versions. George Martin’s 1987 mixes of Help! and Rubber Soul have been utilized, as well, rather than the originals. Now, here’s the “most part” part. The 2009 remasters have undergone further audio tweaking and subtle volume adjustments. Producers have also chosen to preserve certain unique U.S. mixes and edits in both the mono and stereo portions of the albums while others have been overlooked. (For those who are interested, the Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations is one particularly valuable resource in determining what’s what, and a page of a lengthy thread here might also prove helpful.) The box’s notes indicate that “the original U.S. albums were used as models and set the overall direction for the process” of assembling this set.
Your level of devotion to authenticity will likely determine your mileage concerning this set which has been assembled and remastered, in part, by Greg Calbi of Sterling Sound. (Remastering for the set is credited to Paul Hicks, Sean Magee, Guy Massey, Sam Okell, Steve Rooke and Greg Calbi, under the supervision of Steve Berkowitz.) The U.S. Albums raises a question that periodically occurs when considering reissues and catalogue titles: Is it more important that a reissue reflect an original recording, however flawed, or strive for the best possible sound and quality? Frank Zappa famously re-recorded parts of his released albums when revisiting them for compact disc. Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones are among the artists who have prepared previously unreleased material for CD by re-recording vocal and instrumental parts decades later. The last round of American reissues of Frank Sinatra’s Reprise catalogue extensively remixed the original recordings. In the case of The Beatles, few would argue – though a cursory look around the Internet will easily turn up those few – that true stereo sounds better than “fake” duophonic, or that true mono beats “fold downs.” Likewise, most would agree with George Martin that The Beatles’ Abbey Road-made recordings didn’t need any additional reverb (reportedly added to achieve a more “American” studio sound). Should Capitol and Apple have replaced those mixes here, given that they were the mixes with which these tracks were introduced to the American public? Each person reading this might well have a different answer, but if you’re looking for the best sounding versions of these songs and not necessarily the versions you heard in the sixties, you will, indeed, find them here.
If that’s not enough, keep in mind that the two volumes of The Capitol Albums already have preserved the original U.S. versions of all but five of this box set’s albums on CD. Of those five making their CD debuts here:
- The mono Hard Day’s Night soundtrack is accurate to the original U.S. pressing; the album was never released in true stereo, so the true stereo version here is a welcome extra.
- The Beatles’ Story, an audio documentary written by John Babcock and produced by Gary Usher and Roger Christian of Beach Boys fame, has been derived from its original Capitol stereo masters.
- The U.S. Revolver and Hey Jude (the former in both mono and stereo, the latter stereo-only) are also said to be wholly accurate to the Capitol and Apple LPs, respectively.
- That leaves Yesterday and Today as the box set’s one title that still hasn’t appeared on CD in its original form (and likely never will). The U.S. Albums version preserves unique U.S. mixes of “I’m Only Sleeping,” “Doctor Robert” and “And Your Bird Can Sing” in mono, and “We Can Work It Out” and “Day Tripper” in stereo. The other eight stereo tracks have been replaced with U.K. versions (many with the 1987 remixes); the U.S. mono tracks were largely identical to the U.K. tracks to begin with, and so only “Drive My Car” and “If I Needed Someone” have been replaced with U.K. mono versions.
In short, other than Yesterday and Today, all of The Beatles’ original U.S. album configurations can now be acquired on CD.
The U.S. Albums has been designed by Meire Murakami and Mike Diehl as a companion piece to the 2009 release The Beatles in Mono. The striking slipcase box is the same size, and like that set, contains each album in deluxe Japanese-style oversized mini-LP jackets. Each jacket is individually sealed in plastic, and besides the painstakingly recreated artwork, contains replicas of the original inserts and the CD itself in an inner sleeve. Like the album art, the original labels from Capitol, Apple and United Artists have also all been recreated. (The individually-released CDs also have OBI strips; these are not included with the box set’s CDs.) Original gatefold covers have also been retained. Only the most jaded Beatlefan won’t experience at least a small thrill finally picking up A Hard Day’s Night on CD and discovering the period United Artists logo or the inner sleeve advertising albums from George Jones, Duke Ellington and Ferrante and Teicher plus the soundtracks to From Russia with Love and Never on Sunday! Even more exciting is the presentation of Yesterday and Today. At first glance you’ll notice the final “trunk” cover, but once you open the album, you’ll find that the trunk cover is a sticker, and the actual CD boasts the infamous “butcher” cover! The Capitol Albums boxes were sharply criticized for their oddly shoddy packaging; no such complaints could be leveled against this beautiful, sturdy package. A new “The Beatles 50” logo adorns the box alongside the Apple, Capitol and UMe labels, as well, signaling that future projects may be in the works for 2014.
A squarebound paperback 64-page booklet is included, which is lavishly illustrated with photographs, memorabilia and single sleeve images and original album advertisements. A page dedicated to each album preserves credits and chart positions, but individual notes aren’t made as to the origins of each track. The centerpiece of the booklet is Bill Flanagan’s thoughtful and comprehensive essay which places these albums in context and also delves into the variations between the U.S. and U.K. LPs. Some wags might note the irony of an essay beginning with “How would you feel if someone told you your memories were WRONG? The way you remember it didn’t happen – or if it did happen, it was a mistake. You’d be bothered, you’d be annoyed, you’d resent whoever was devaluing your experience.” Flanagan is, of course, referring to some American fans’ reactions when the Beatles catalogue was standardized in 1987 to the U.K. albums only. Some readers might feel “bothered, annoyed” and resentful at the liberties taken by The U.S. Albums to its source material. A second note in the booklet defends the decision as “an effort to preserve the original intentions of the band and the producers”: “While doing so [remastering from the Capitol master tapes] would have been the easiest way to go, it would not have created the best possible listening experience.” The U.S. Albums is, then, the best of both worlds – the track listings American fans remember from fifty years ago with the sound quality demanded by present-day listeners. On those counts, it succeeds mightily.
The U.S. Albums is an engrossing and sonically superior presentation worthy of the monumental, significant, and yes, fun music within its slipcase. It traces the evolution of The Beatles’ liberating sound from Motown and Chuck Berry covers and effervescent originals like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” through the creation of their own “new standards” such as “In My Life” and “Yesterday.” This is music that doesn’t grow old, music that knows no barriers. Some might prefer the “pure” remasters on The Capitol Albums Vols. 1 and 2. Those who do should hold onto those volumes and pick up the new Hard Day’s Night, Revolver and Hey Jude titles to all but complete your set. The U.S. Albums is a new, thrilling, alternative look at the essential records that ignited cultural change and brought generations apart, then together. You say you want a revolution? Look no further.
You can order The U.S. Albums at Amazon U.S. and Amazon U.K. !
Phil Cohen says
The use of the 1987 remixes of 27 of the 32 1965 songs is the deal-killer for me. And, of 22 unique stereo or mono mixes(different to the mixes released in the UK) that George Martin (intentionally) supplied to Capitol Records between 1964 & 1966, FOUR of them have been overlooked by the compilers of this boxed set. George Martin(and his son Giles) have now disowned the 1987 remixes, but Apple Corps insists that they must remain part of the "Canon".(The 1965 stereo mixes were added as bonus material on "The Beatles in Mono" CD boxed set)
The use of the 1987 remixes of the 1965 songs affects the authenticity of four of the albums in the "U.S. albums" box. Furthermore, while most 1960's vinyl editions of "Yesterday...and today" had "Dr.Robert", "I'm Only Sleeping" & "And Your Bird Can Sing" in fake stereo, 4-track cartridge, 8-track cartridge, cassette, reel to reel and a 1968 Capitol Record Club L.P. had the album entirely in true stereo, with stereo mixes of "I'm Only Sleeping" & "Dr.Robert" that were different from the UK stereo mixes. These alternate true stereo mixes were also used on late 1970's Capitol purple label L.P.'s. The compilers of the "U.S. Albums" box has overlooked the alternate true stereo mixes of "Dr.Robert" & "I'm Only Sleeping"...so they may never be offered on an official CD. The only tape-derived bootleg featuring these alternate true stereo mixes is the "Yesterday....and today"/"Revolver" Two-Fer in the series "The Capitol Versions" on the "Beat" label(other bootlegs with these mixes are dubs from vinyl).
Some people have spoken of the idea of buying the "U.S. albums" box just to get the attractive packaging, then creating their own, historically correct CD-R editions of "Help", "Rubber Soul", "Beatles VI" & "Yesterday....and Today". But $170 is too much for some cardboard mini-album covers and a booklet.
After the fiasco of the poorly pressed vinyl boxed set, poor first week sales of "The Beatles-On Air:Live at The BBC Vol.2" and now this revisionist "The U.S. Albums" boxed set(which is being denounced by one-third of fans posting online), Apple, Capitol & Universal's next Beatles product will have to be something more to the liking of original 1960's Beatles fans(and, at 57, I'm one of them)
I agree with some of the creative decisions made for "The U.S. Albums" box(replacing fake stereo with true stereo or pure mono, depending on what is available) and using the dedicated mono mixes(instead of the fold-down "Type "B" mixes) for the albums "Help" & "The Early Beatles". But there is too much that is wrong with "The U.S. Albums" for me to buy it. I'll stick with "The Capitol Albums" Vols. 1 & 2", plus bootlegs, and selected tracks from an unofficial download of "The U.S. Albums".
Larry S. says
Thanks, Joe and Phil; I'll wait to read more comments on this site, and on Amazon, before I decide yea or nay. I loved some of the American mixes, and I truly miss the "fake" beginning to "I'm Looking Through You." Any word on official releases of the "Let It Be" film on DVD, or the full version (non-abriged) of the "Get Back" book?
Hey Larry, the false start on "I'm Looking Through You" is included on the new box set! Ringo said a while back that "Let It Be" was remastered and ready for DVD release. I'm sure it will happen eventually. The
"Get Back" book would make a nice extra.
Mr MacGoo says
I always preferred the US artwork and track running order but that's about it .... a nice cash grab from The Beatle machine. If you have the original box then you really don't need this one.
Brian from Canada says
Failure. Plain and simple.
This box is really a reorganization of the 2009 mixes into the American track listing — something you can do with iTunes — and then putting them in replica cases of the originals.
There are distinct differences in the US mixes because Martin & company were often still working on the mono instead of the stereo, and Capitol could not wait. It's those mixes, along with the track listing, that make the album complete.
Sgt. Pepper's in the most glaring difference: George Harrison was so taken aback by what he heard in the US that The Beatles made their next album — the White Album — universal in mixes. That it's absent here reinforces this set is only about track order more than history.
Magical Mystery Tour only "made the cut" because the EP was too hard to replicate on its own, and would have forced Past Masters to become a triple vinyl: something that served no purpose to EMI.
And, by the way, Hey Jude is NOT presented in mono. There is no mono mix for that album. The last Beatles LP to have a mono mix is The Beatles in 1968. That's why Mono Masters (on the mono box) uses the film mixes for the Yellow Submarine tracks rather than the mono LP mixes: film was still mono.
Overall? This is a big waste of money except for those who are nostalgic for the LPs as they had them as children and want their own (grand)children to listen to them this way.
Sean Anglum says
The new U.S. Albums box is targeted for newbies to Pepperland and those that want to know what all the hub-bub was about. It preserves the graphics and playlists of the U.S. "Beatlemania" fervor, but gives listeners the "best" versions of the songs through many of the 2009 masters. So what! It's a beautiful production and I have one because, uh, because, uh, because it's the Beatles, for pete sake! It is a fab collection and they did a bang up job on the package. As a U.S.-raised Babyboomer that went through each original album and single release as if it was a royal event (they were!), I can go back to those vinyl albums in my collection to hear the Duophonic, folded over, Dexterized, hyper reverbed versions of the Fabs. Or I have Capitol Albums Vols. 1 & 2, if I need to hear those first eight albums on CD, blemishes and all. I bought the new box because it is fun, it is convenient and it is another peek back from whence I came. Don't like it? Don't buy it. But allow us tottering old farts (screw you!) to revel a bit longer before we leave all of our collections to the grandkids. Thanks Paul and Ringo and Yoko and Olivia, and thanks Jeff Jones, keep'em coming. Beatles Forever!
The mono mixes of the "Yellow Submarine" tracks in the mono box set are actually unreleased mono mixes originally meant to be issued on an EP in the UK which never saw release. They aren't fold downs of the stereo mixes. It's mentioned in the booklet.
I already own the 2009 remasters. These distort history, however "bad" history sounded. Pass.
I have always thought that if you want something to treasure and bring back memories, you should simply get the original vinyl albums, which still exist on nearly every street across the world. I have a much greater appreciation for things that are "of their time". By this, I mean objects that actually came from the time when they had their impact and meaning. This doesn't mean you need the very first pressing or printing, or one that is unusually rare. But something that has that special aura. It can even be scratched or torn. Replicas just don't have that.
Although this box and audiophile vinyl reissues may have some benefits, I simply do not think they have the special value that a somewhat worn out original has...a record that was so special to you or someone else when it came out. These issues are manufactured replicas, even if they have cleaner sound. They are not treasures. They should cost no more than the plastic they are made from (with a little extra for the labor that went into them).
I think that what is happening here, with not just this set but with the 2009 EMI re-masters as well, is that The Beatles are looking towards a more distant future – one that is beyond the lifespan of the current fans of & from the Beatles era – and deciding upon how the legacy of their music is to be best preserved (while they themselves are still alive to determine it.)
To me, they are opting for accurate sound quality over historical accuracy of sound. This may seem to be an odd way of putting it but it may be the best context to view it in, as this seems to be a compromise between legend and legacy.
The majority of the original early years Capitol recordings as experienced by the U.S. in the day were, for the most part, altered and flawed by added or artificial processing (duophonic and other effects) and, as has been noted elsewhere, by forces outside of the Beatles. While these became our warm and fuzzy memories (I Feel Fine!), when giving consideration of the actual recordings themselves, this experience was/remains a sonic anomaly, albeit one experienced by a very large market.
But, not wishing to disregard nor discount the huge emotional significance that these mixes continue to have upon so many of us and also with track sequencing aside, passing on a legacy that the 1960s Capitol sound recordings should stand as the ultimate state of the catalog for the sole reason that this is how we heard & remember them, not only continues a contradiction between the UK vs. the US versions, it ultimately mires those performances in an ongoing controversy of what is really a technical issue, doing no real justice to the recordings themselves. And yes, some legitimate alternate mixes fall out of this collection as a result.
The digital era has given artists a virtual and perpetual playground in which to expand upon and preserve their works for more years than had originally been dreamed about. Recording techniques have improved and have become more standardized and it’s no longer just about a consumer format for music playback but also the archival preservation of a body of work.
At this stage in time, this is where the Beatles are at and they are doing a balancing act here. We must remember that if they had been able to have their way, we would have been given the UK catalog proper to begin with. This box set may seem like retro-continuity to many - and it is – but it is still a compromise that is primarily the result of a sonic alteration original intent. And sandwiched somewhere in between will always be the curiosity and controversy of the Capitol years for future generations to explore and decide.
So for me, I prefer respect for optimum sound quality. But the beauty is that we do have both versions - with this new set and the Capitol boxes from 2004/06. So we can still have our memories of the Capitol recordings and in the end, the Beatles are ultimately entitled to let it be left to posterity how they feel they should ultimately be remembered.
This is a very bad joke…
The value for money they’re offering is almost insulting.
It’s a joke on the American fans who may be legitimately nostalgic for the records of their youth, but they’re getting just the sleeves; and it’s totally useless for European fans who probably won’t care much for the sleeves and already own 99% of the music in this 2009-remasters-in-disguise travesty.
There should be an authority preventing massive exploitations like these…
It’s bordering fraud since fans purchasing this based on Universal advertising might believe they’re buying the - I quote – “13 original U.S. albums”.
When you listen to the "USA albums", you are reminded how Capitol butchered the music and ripped off the USA fans back then. The soundtrack intro added to the song "Help" is just one of many examples.
At least most fans back in 1964-1966 ended up buying the mono LPs as they were $1 less (alot of money to a teenager then)
I love the James Bond intro on "Help"! It was used again in the 70's on the quad 8-track tape of "Live And Let Die" but not on the vinyl.
Ken Abreu says
Side note: regardless of which side of the fence I lie with any given archival release, I have to say I appreciate the balanced reviews the guys write here. They always seem to find the silver lining, and manage to reframe some of the complaints or disappointments we may have in a more positive way. I'm griping about this box, too, believe me. But with so many titles and media streams and information and... just an overabundance of everything, it's nice to refocus and really think about the things we enjoy, and even why we enjoy them, and the write-ups here help with that. So, thanks guys.
Well put. I agree!
I appreciate these reviews just like anyone else. I'm also a firm believer in calling things by their name;
Universal/Capitol/Apple want to establish a "Beatle canon" by which their music will be remembered? No need to look further, it's already there, it's the 2009 remasters.
Is it about the US artwork? They could release an LP sized book with every sleeve ever released (maybe it's already out there?).
But this hybrid of UK versions with US sleeves, falsely advertised as "the original US records" is just a commercial exploitation of the catalog, and this is the main thing fans and potential buyers should be made aware of...
There was a monster hardcover/slipcase edition with a 12X12 book that presented all of the Beatles LP covers and provided slips to store CDs. It was called Beatles Box of Vision (google that). I don't have that one, but I have the Dylan box of Vision. At one time, it was heavily discounted.
Tom Bodensick says
Just remember folks...before "Meet The Beatles" there was no real Beatlemania. Before Dec. 1963 and the release of "I Want To Hold Your Hand"...the Beatles barely existed. Although big news in England, no one is this country had heard the name. George Harrison had visited his sister Louise at her home in Benton, Illinois in the summer of '63 and was blown away by the lack of American interest in anything Brit. He couldn't believe that a BIG rock star like Cliff Richard (in England) wasn't even known over here. Without "Meet..." and "I Want To..." they probably don't make it here and they would have ended up like poor Cliff.