All of the 12 songs on The Album had already been released in England.
“I Saw Her Standing There” was the oldest, having been released on March 22, 1963. This song was the first track on the EMI/Parlophone LP Please Please Me.
“I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “This Boy” were the A & B sides of the EMI/Parlophone single (R 5084) that came out on November 29, 1963.
The remaining 9 songs on The Album were from the EMI/Parlophone LP With The Beatles, which had hit the stores in England on November 22, 1963.
The Album had been programmed, remixed and mastered by Dave Dexter, Jr., an executive at Capitol Records, who was assigned the task of assembling tracks from the EMI/Parlophone records for an American release. Author Dave Marsh, writing in his 2007 book, The Beatles’ Second Album, describes Mr. Dexter as someone who: “despised Rock’n’Roll as a whole, believing it inferior to what he called ‘legitimate’ music.”
Because Capitol Records feared that “remakes” or cover versions of previously-recorded songs would turn off American listeners, eleven of the twelve songs selected for The Album were written by the members of the band.
The only cover version on The Album was of the Meredith Wilson song, “Till There Was You,” a selection from the 1957 musical play, The Music Man.
The Album reached #1 on the Billboard Top LP chart for the week of February 15, 1964 and held the #1 spot for eleven weeks in a row.
The Album of which I write, as you’ve probably guessed by now, is Meet The Beatles!
It was released in the United States on January 20, 1964, 50 years ago today.