Monday, January 20, 2014

Fifty Years Ago Today

The Beatles released their first album in America.

The British version of this album actually had been released in America the previous year by a small label called Vee-Jay Records. With little distribution or radio play, the release attracted little critical attention and few sales.

By the time Capitol Records, the American affiliate of the Beatles's British recording company EMI finally decided to distribute their recordings in America, Beatlemania was stirring in the states. The Capitol version of the album differed slightly from the British version. One difference was that Capitol's American version included songs released as singles. In Britain, EMI released some songs exclusively as singles. The album quickly reached the top of the charts.

Capital quickly followed with additional releases. By April 1964, the top three albums and the top five singles on the Billboard charts were all by the Beatles.

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