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.
|UK - December 1967||USA - November 1967|
|Magical Mystery Tour||Magical Mystery Tour|
|Your Mother Should Know||The Fool On The Hill|
|I Am The Walrus||Blue Jay Way|
|Your Mother Should Know|
|The Fool On The Hill||I Am The Walrus|
|Blue Jay Way||Strawberry Fields Forever|
|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,
Goodbye", "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
Lane" 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 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
USA - February 1970
- Can't Buy Me Love
- I Should Have Known Better
- Paperback Writer
- Lady Madonna
- 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
You" had reached number 1 in September 1963 and was included on The Beatles' Second
Album in America.
The other two songs not released on a US album were "You Know My Name (Look Up The
Number)" 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