Introducing... The Beatles


Introducing... The Beatles

Infobox Album
Name = Introducing... The Beatles
Type = studio
Artist = The Beatles
label = 1065flb5
Released = 10 January 1964 nowrap|(version one)
10 February 1964 nowrap|(version two)
Recorded = Abbey Road Studios nowrap|1962–1963
Genre = Rock and roll
Length = 27:38 (version one)
27:39 (version two mono)
27:33 (version two stereo)
Label = Vee-Jay
VJLP 1062 (mono)
VJLPS 1062 (stereo)

Producer = George Martin
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|3|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:0snsa9tgb23g link]
Chronology = The Beatles U.S.
Last album =
This album = "Introducing... The Beatles"
(1964)
Next album = "Meet The Beatles!"
(1964)

"Introducing... The Beatles" ["Introducing... The Beatles" is the front-cover title; the labels and back cover call it "Introducing the Beatles"] is the first Beatles album in the United States. Originally scheduled for a July 1963 release, the LP finally came out on 10 January 1964, mere days before Capitol's "Meet The Beatles!". It was the subject of much legal wrangling, but ultimately, Vee-Jay Records was permitted to sell the album until the fall of 1964, by which time it had sold more than 1.3 million copies.cite book |first=Bruce |last=Spizer |title=The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America |publisher=498 Productions |location=New Orleans |year=2004 |pages=98 |isbn=0-9662649-9-1]

Initial non-release

When it issued the "Please Please Me" single in the United States, Vee-Jay Records signed a licensing agreement with Transglobal, an EMI affiliate that worked to place foreign masters with U.S. record labels, giving it the right of first refusal on Beatles records for five years.cite book |last=Spizer |first=Bruce |title=The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America |pages=14] As part of that agreement, Vee-Jay planned to release the "Please Please Me" album in the U.S., and received copies of the mono and stereo master tapes in late April or early May of 1963.cite book |first=Bruce |last=Spizer |title=Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles Records on Vee-Jay |publisher=498 Productions |location=New Orleans |year=1998 |pages=115 |isbn=0-9662649-0-8]

Originally, Vee-Jay considered releasing "Please Please Me" as it appeared in England. A surviving acetate made by Universal Recording Corporation of Chicago, probably in May 1963, contains all 14 songs in the same order as on the UK album, with the title still listed as "Please Please Me".cite book |first=Bruce |last=Spizer |title=The Beatles Swan Song: "She Loves You" and Other Records |publisher=498 Productions |location=New Orleans |year=2007 |pages=256 |isbn=978-0-9662649-7-5] But in keeping with the American norm of a 12-song album, Vee-Jay chose instead to delete "Please Please Me" and "Ask Me Why" and change the album's title to "Introducing... The Beatles".cite book |first=Bruce |last=Spizer |title=Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles Records on Vee-Jay |pages=110] Also, the engineer at Universal in Chicago thought that Paul McCartney's count-in at the start of "I Saw Her Standing There" was extraneous rather than intentionally placed there, so he snipped the "one, two, three" from Vee-Jay's mono and stereo masters.cite book |last=Spizer |first=Bruce |title=The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America |pages=34] Except for those deletions, the order and contents of the album were untouched, resulting in a U.S. album that bore the closest resemblance to a British Beatles LP until "Revolver" in 1966.

Preparations for the LP's release continued in late June and early July 1963, including the manufacturing of masters and metal parts and the printing of 6,000 front covers.cite book |first=Bruce |last=Spizer |title=Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles Records on Vee-Jay |pages=118] But, despite the claims of many older books that "Introducing... The Beatles" was first released on 22 July 1963 [cite book |first=Harry |last=Castleman |coauthors=Walter J. Podrazik |title=All Together Now: The First Complete Beatles Discography 1961-1975 |publisher=Ballantine |location=New York |year=1976 |pages=17 |isbn=0-345-25680-8] [cite book |first=Tom |last=Schultheiss |title=The Beatles: A Day in the Life |publisher=Quick Fox |location=New York |year=1981 |pages=56 |isbn=0-8256-3229-3] [cite book |first=Mark |last=Wallgren |title=The Beatles on Record |publisher=Fireside |location=New York |year=1982 |pages=145 |isbn=0-671-35682-2] , no paper trail exists to suggest that the album was released at any time in 1963.cite book |first=Bruce |last=Spizer |title=Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles Records on Vee-Jay |pages=120]

After a management shake-up at the label, which included the resignation of company president Ewart Abner after he used company funds to cover gambling debtscite book |last=Spizer |first=Bruce |title=The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America |pages=36] , Vee-Jay canceled "Introducing... The Beatles" as well as albums by Frank Ifield, Alma Cogan and a Jewish cantor.

Version one

Vee-Jay's financial problems forced it to take care of its most pressing debt first. Because the Beatles and Ifield were low priorities, the label chose not to report royalties on their sales. As a result, Transglobal declared its contract with Vee-Jay null and void on 8 August 1963.cite book |last=Spizer |first=Bruce |title=The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America |pages=40]

On 14 December 1963, "Billboard" magazine mentioned that Capitol Records planned an all-out promotional campaign for the Beatles in the United States.cite book |last=Spizer |first=Bruce |title=The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America |pages=96] On 7 January 1964, Vee-Jay's board of directors met for the first time since that announcement, and it discussed the Beatles' material it had in the vault. Desperate for cash, the board decided to release "Introducing... The Beatles", even if it meant legal trouble in the future.

Metal parts were already at Vee-Jay's three primary pressing plants, and 6,000 front covers were already printed. But it had no back cover prepared. So, as a stopgap, the label used a back cover slick made from one side of its standard inner sleeve, consisting of full-color reproductions of the covers of 25 "other fine albums of significant interest".cite book |last=Spizer |first=Bruce |title=The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America |pages=97] This cover is known by collectors as the "Ad Back" version and is highly sought-after. A second stopgap back cover was used when the "Ad Back" slicks were exhausted; because it is all-white with no printing at all, it is known by collectors as the "Blank Back" edition and is also very rare. Finally, third editions contain Vee-Jay's official back cover, with "Introducing the Beatles" (no ellipsis) near the top and the song titles in two columns underneath. All of these were available on the market within days of the 10 January release date.

But on 16 January 1964, less than a week after "Introducing... The Beatles" was released, Vee-Jay was served with a restraining order stopping further distribution. Beechwood Music, Inc., Capitol Records' publishing subsidiary, owned the American publishing rights to "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You", and because the two songs had not yet been officially released in the U.S., Beechwood refused to issue a license for Vee-Jay to release them. Approximately 80,000 copies of "Introducing... The Beatles" had been released with the two songs on them, with only 2,000 or so in stereo.

Version two

In order to circumvent the restraining order, Vee-Jay quickly reconfigured "Introducing... The Beatles". It removed "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You" and replaced them with the previously deleted "Ask Me Why" and "Please Please Me", though some pressings of the album did not alter the track list. The new versions were prepared in late January and began appearing in stores approximately 10 February 1964.

Because of the initial restraining order, "Introducing... The Beatles" did not enter the "Billboard" album charts until one week after "Meet the Beatles!". Once it did, it quickly rose to the #2 spot, where it stayed for nine straight weeks.cite book |first=Harry |last=Castleman |coauthors=Walter J. Podrazik |title=All Together Now: The First Complete Beatles Discography 1961-1975 |pages=357] It also peaked at #2 in "Cash Box", and it got to #1 in "Record World" magazine.cite book |first=Mark |last=Wallgren |title=The Beatles on Record |pages=147]

Even with the replacement of the two Beechwood Music songs, Vee-Jay and Capitol battled in court throughout the early part of 1964. Injunctions against Vee-Jay's album were issued, lifted and restored more than once.cite book |last=Spizer |first=Bruce |title=The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America |pages=102-111] Because the album was often pressed quickly between restraining orders, there are almost two dozen different label variations, including mono and stereo copies, manufactured at numerous pressing plants.cite book |first=Bruce |last=Spizer |title=Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles Records on Vee-Jay |pages=138-145] Finally, on 9 April 1964, the two labels settled. Vee-Jay was granted a license giving it the right to issue the 16 Beatles songs it controlled, in any way it saw fit, until 15 October 1964. At that time, its license expired, and all rights would revert to Capitol.cite book |last=Spizer |first=Bruce |title=The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America |pages=110] During the time "Introducing... The Beatles" was available, it sold approximately 1,300,000 mono copies and approximately 41,000 stereo copies. Because only 3.1 percent of all of the LPs were in stereocite book |first=Bruce |last=Spizer |title=Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles Records on Vee-Jay |pages=132] , true stereo copies are rare.

Other versions

Twice before its license expired, Vee-Jay repackaged "Introducing... The Beatles". Although neither album contained any new music, both of them made the "Billboard" album charts.

One of these was "Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles" (Vee-Jay VJLP(S)-1092), which featured a three-quarters gatefold cover. The record inside the cover didn't even contain the new name; it still stated "Introducing the Beatles" on the label.cite book |first=Bruce |last=Spizer |title=Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles Records on Vee-Jay |pages=161] "Songs, Pictures and Stories" was released either in late July 1964 or 12 October 1964cite book |first=Mark |last=Wallgren |title=The Beatles on Record |pages=156] , with the latter the more likely date, because it entered the "Billboard" album chart on 31 October. It eventually peaked at #63.

The other one was the two-record set "The Beatles vs. the Four Seasons", which contained copies of "Introducing... The Beatles" in one pocket of the gatefold cover and "Golden Hits of the Four Seasons" (VJLP 1065) in the other.cite book |first=Bruce |last=Spizer |title=Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles Records on Vee-Jay |pages=169] This Vee-Jay creation spent three weeks on the "Billboard" chart in October 1964 and peaked at #142.

Though Vee-Jay could not manufacture or distribute any Beatles product after 15 October 1964, it took a long time for the records to vanish from retail stores. Both "Introducing... The Beatles" and "Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles" remained on the "Billboard" LP chart until 9 January 1965.cite book |first=Harry |last=Castleman |coauthors=Walter J. Podrazik |title=All Together Now: The First Complete Beatles Discography 1961-1975 |pages=358]

On 22 March 1965, Capitol issued "The Early Beatles", which contained 11 of the 16 tracks that had previously been issued on Vee-Jay. "Misery" and "There's a Place", two songs on "Introducing... The Beatles", would not make their Capitol Records LP debut until 1980, on the US version of "Rarities".

This legendary album has never been officially released on compact disc in America, although imported copies have circulated from other countries - in both mono and stereo versions, mostly with the Version Two line-up (with "Please Please Me" and "Ask Me Why").

Counterfeits

["Introducing... The Beatles" was the most counterfeited Beatles record of all.] "Introducing... The Beatles" was the most counterfeited Beatles record of all. These counterfeits could be identified by the cover printing and quality, the label, or the sound quality. Such counterfeits can be identified by the cover claiming the record to be stereophonic though the record itself is actually monophonic. The counterfeits may have some differences from the commercial issue. These counterfeits could be easily found and could be disinguished from the commercial versions. [http://www.friktech.com/btls/bc4.htm]

Track listing

All tracks written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney except where noted. See also: Lennon-McCartney.

ide one

#"I Saw Her Standing There" (Paul McCartney counting "one, two, three, four" is omitted - recording starts with "four")
#"Misery"
#"Anna (Go to Him)" (Arthur Alexander)
#"Chains" (Gerry Goffin, Carole King)
#"Boys" (Luther Dixon, Wes Farrell)
#"Love Me Do" ("Ask Me Why" on version two)

ide two

#"P.S. I Love You" ("Please Please Me" on version two)
#"Baby It's You" (Burt Bacharach, Mack David, Barney Williams)
#"Do You Want to Know a Secret"
#"A Taste of Honey" (Ric Marlow, Bobby Scott)
#"There's a Place"
#"Twist and Shout" (Phil Medley, Bert Russell)

Credits

*John Lennonguitar, vocals
*Paul McCartneybass, vocals
*George Harrisonguitar, vocals
*Ringo Starrdrums, vocals
*George Martinproducer

Notes

External links

* [http://www.beatle.net/beatlesonvj.htm Bruce Spizer's "Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles Records on Vee-Jay" website]
* [http://www.dermon.com/Beatles/Veejay.htm The Beatles on Vee-Jay Records]
* [http://www.friktech.com/btls/bc4.htm How to identify counterfeits]
* [http://www.eskimo.com/~bpentium/beatles/intro/intro.html How to identify counterfeit copies from legitamate copies of Introducing The Beatles] , includes price guide for legitamate copies


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