The American Beatles Albums: 1967 And Beyond

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Sergeant Pepper And Beyond

In 1962 the Beatles had signed a five year recording contract, and on January 27th 1967 a

new nine-year recording contract was issued. One of its key clauses was to ensure that

Beatles albums would be issued the same throughout the world, even in America. Thus,

Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Land was the first Beatles album to be released

identically in America and Britain.

There were, however, two further albums released in America which were unique to that

country; Magical Mystery Tour and Hey Jude.

Magical Mystery Tour

In the UK, "Magical Mystery Tour" posed EMI with a problem on how to market a soundtrack

album from a film which only contained six songs. In the UK the Beatles, ever experimenting

with different sounds and formats, released it as the world's first double-EP, containing

only the six songs from the film.

However, in America where the EP format had not taken root, a full album with 11 tracks

was released instead. This not only contained the six songs from the film that the British

album did, as the album's A-side, but also a further five songs, all dating from 1967.

Magical Mystery Tour
Magical Mystery

UK - December 1967USA - November 1967
Side A:
Side A:
Magical Mystery TourMagical Mystery Tour
Your Mother Should KnowThe Fool On The Hill
Side B:
I Am The WalrusBlue Jay Way
Side C:
Your Mother Should Know
The Fool On The HillI Am The Walrus
Side B:
Side D:
Hello, Goodbye
Blue Jay WayStrawberry Fields Forever
Penny Lane
Baby, You're A Rich Man
All You Need Is Love

The five songs on the American album which had not appeared on the EP were "Hello,

", "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Penny Lane", "Baby, You're A

Rich Man
" and "All You Need Is Love".

"Hello Goodbye" had been the A-side on the same single as "I Am The Walrus"

in the UK, and did not actually feature in the Magical Mystery Tour film, although

the "Maori finale" was played over the film's final credits. In the UK it was released in

November, and was the Christmas Number 1. "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny

" were the February 1967 double A-side single released in the UK. "All You Need

Is Love
" was released in 1967 and was Britain's contribution on the historic first

Global Television Linkup on the 25th June 1967. It was later released as a Number One

single, with "Baby, You're A Rich Man",
also on "Magical Mystery Tour", as its B-side. "All You Need Is Love" later appeared

on the "Yellow Submarine" album in January 1969.

In the mid 70s EMI noticed that the American Album was the more popular version, with

British Beatles fans consistently importing the album from America. So, on the 4th December

1976 the American Album version was released in the UK, becoming the first, and only,

American version of a Beatles album, to supersede its UK counterpart. However, the original

EP artwork was kept, which included the words to only the six songs featured in the

Magical Mystery Tour film, and a smaller booklet.

Hey Jude

Hey Jude was the penultimate Beatles album released in America before the break-up

of the Beatles in April 1970. Hey Jude essentially collected most of the singles and

their B-sides that had not previously been released on an album in America into one


Hey Jude

USA - February 1970
Side A:

  • Can't Buy Me Love
  • I Should Have Known Better
  • Paperback Writer
  • Rain
  • Lady Madonna
  • Revolution
Side B:
  • Hey Jude
  • Old Brown Shoe
  • Don't Let Me Down
  • The Ballad Of John And Yoko

"Can't Buy Me Love" and "I Should Have Known Better" had both appeared on

American Beatles albums before, but only on the United Artists' A Hard Days' Night

album in 1964. This was the first Capitol album they were released on.

"Paperback Writer" and its B-side, "Rain", had been released as a single in

May 1966. "Lady Madonna" had been released as a single in March 1968. Its B-side,

"The Inner Light", the first George Harrison composition to appear on an American

single, did not appear on an American album while the Beatles were together.

"Hey Jude" and its B-side, "Revolution", had been released as a single in

August 1968. "Hey Jude" had not appeared on an album before, yet a version of

"Revolution" had, on the White Album in November 1968. The White Album

version, recording of which dated from May 1968, was slower, and one line in particular


"When you talk about destruction, don't you know that you can count me out,


This indicated that John had not made his mind up. The version on the Hey Jude

album, however, is

"When you talk about destruction, don't you know that
you can count me out.

This, recorded in early July 1968, indicates that John had made his mind up not to take

part in a revolution, a position John later clarified by saying, "Count me out if it's

for violence. Don't expect me on the barricades unless its with flowers.

"The Ballad Of John And Yoko" and its B-side, "Old Brown Shoe", had been

released as a single in May 1969 in the UK, and June in America. In England, the two songs

did not appear on an album until 1973's Blue Album, The Beatles 1967-1970, and 1988's

Past Masters: Volume Two album.

"Don't Let Me Down" was the B-side to the "Get Back" single released in the

UK in April and in America in May 1969. It was not released on an album in the UK until the

Blue Album, and also has appeared on 1988's Past Masters: Volume Two and

2003's Let It Be... Naked.

Songs Which Did Not Appear On American Albums

There were three Beatles songs that did not appear on any American Beatles album between

1962-1970, when the Beatles were together.

The first of these was "Sie Liebt Diech", which was "She Loves You" sung in

German for the West German market. The Beatles had sung two of their songs in German, and

although both "Sie Liebt Diech" and "Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand" were not

released in Britain until 1988, "Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand" had been released in

America on "Something New" in 1964.

As both Capitol Records and Vee Jay record companies had passed on the rights to release

"She Loves You" as a single to Swan, Swan also retained the rights to its German

equivalent, even though it had not been intended for release in the English-speaking world.

When "Sie Liebt Diech" had been released as a single in America, it reached a

respectable 97th in the chart in May 1964. The English language version, "She Loves

" had reached number 1 in September 1963 and was included on The Beatles' Second

in America.

The other two songs not released on a US album were "You Know My Name (Look Up The

" and "The Inner Light", both of which were B-sides of Beatles singles, to

"Let It Be" and "Lady Madonna" respectively.


In conclusion, therefore, the differences between the American and British Beatles albums

were profound. Although the 1967 contract effectively established the original British

versions as the recognised Beatles canon, the albums remain part of the Beatles experience

for many American fans, and therefore had an important role in the history of the


The Beatles American Albums
The BeatlesHow The Beatles Did Not Get Their NameBeatles for SaleSergeant Peppers' Lonely Hearts Club BandYellow SubmarineMagical Mystery TourGet Back - The Lost Beatles AlbumLet It Be... Naked - The AlbumPlastic Ono BandBand On The RunThe Paul McCartney Death CluesJohn LennonYoko OnoGeorge HarrisonThe Travelling WilburysLiverpoolRingo Starr

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