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US & UK Question
8 June 2012
3.56am
The Strawberry
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HELLO BEATLES BIBLE! :D

 

Maybe I'm losing my mind something. I remember know the answer to this question before but I guess I forgot.

 

What was the reason for the different albums in the US? The albums in general and also in some cases, just the track listings.

 

Thanks.

"Time wounds all heels." -John Lennon
8 June 2012
4.13am
mr. Sun king coming together
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Capitol, due to American standards and pure attempts at profit, reduced, added, delayed and generally butchered the albums to get more money. If they had 12 or 11 songs, and added both sides of the concurrent album, they could squeeze more albums, and more sales, out of the same amount of songs. And they would have to pay less per album in publisher fees.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
8 June 2012
5.55am
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So why did they sign with Capitol and not something else?

"Time wounds all heels." -John Lennon
8 June 2012
1.00pm
Into the Sky with Diamonds
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American records rarely (never?) had more than 12 songs on an album, so part of the reason might have been that this was the standard. As MSKCT points out, it didn't hurt that spreading the songs over more albums would be more profitable. It would be something to investigate.

They signed with Capitol because

a) this was the American branch of their British EMI recording label

b) No other major American company was interested! Even Capitol wasn't interested for an entire year despite the band's spectacular success in Europe (for more details on this matter, read "Can't Be Me Love" or, if you want less of an encyclopedia, "Into the Sky….")

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
8 June 2012
1.28pm
The Walrus
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In the UK, singles could not be included on an album for a year after they had been release. There was no such problem in the US.

Also, It's Only Love and I've Just Seen A Face were displaced from Help! to Rubber Soul by the inclusion of various instrumentals. This created unintended coherence (It's Only Love, Girl, I'm Looking Through You) which inspired Brian Wilson to create Pet Sounds.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
8 June 2012
1.40pm
meanmistermustard
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They signed with Swan and Vee Jay, two small US labels, but the singles didnt do a lot if anything until after I Want To Hold Your Hand hit #1 and everything exploded. One reason for the failure was that Swan and Vee Jay didnt have and didnt put the finance into promoting the songs.

Capitol was always the target, one reason being that Capitol was linked to EMI (i think owned but could be wrong) and parlophon another that it was a big US label. However Capitol didnt believe The Beatles would make a dent in the market place, and with good reason since every band and artist from the UK before had either had no impact at all or had 1 or 2 minor hits and then fallen away (She Loves You was shown in the Jack Parr show in November(?) 1963 and the comments by the reporter were more in a jokey manner, but there is also this report on CBS which is a journalistic look into the Beatles impact in the UK).

The pressure was mounting in the US for the Beatles to come over because of how much impact they were making in the UK, Sweden and in other parts around the world, Capitol couldnt refuse to take them on. In the end Capitol spent a fortune in promotion for the beatles arrival but by then American teens had caught on, IWTHYH was massive, and they couldnt be ignored any longer.

One additon to Sun Kings reply was that UK lps had 14 songs whereas the US albums only had 11 or 12 for all the reasons sunking said. Capitol wouldnt change their policy for a  uk artist. In the beginning George Martin would send over songs to the US in advance of the UK release so that albums could be compiled and released ( I Call Your Name and Long Tall Sally for The Beatles Second Album being one example). However by the time their contract with EMI was up for renewal in late '66 The Beatles detested how their albums were being treated and so insisted that all subsequent releases would be identical in the UK and US (tho the US Pepper didnt include the Inner Groove and MMT was made into an LP as EPs werent accepted in America).

The Walrus said

In the UK, singles could not be included on an album for a year after they had been release. There was no such problem in the US.

Not so. Love Me and PS I Love You were on Please Please Me which was released 6 months later, Ticket To Ride is on Help!,  Eleanor Rigby and Yellow Submarine were released as a single on the same day Revolver was issued. The Beatles didnt think it was right for fans to buy the single and then get the same songs again on the lp; that was the reason why Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane were not included on Sgt Pepper.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
8 June 2012
5.00pm
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MMM, good summary.

One little correction to  "The Beatles didnt think it was right for fans to buy the single and then get the same songs again on the lp; that was the reason why Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane were not included on Sgt Pepper":

 

Although it's true that generally speaking "The Beatles didnt think it was right for fans to buy the single and then get the same songs again on the lp," they clearly violated that policy multiple times over. (Or at least EMI did.)

Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane were not included on Sgt Pepper because of the pressure to release something – anything-  in the winter of '67.

By Beatle standards, it had been an eternity since their last release (Revolver, Elearnor Rigby/Yellow Submarine summer '66).

There were multiple rumors that the band had broken up.

Sgt Pepper was in fact originally going to include Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields. If memory serves, the original idea (prior to the birth of the Sgt Pepper concept) was to create songs around their childhood.

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8 June 2012
5.48pm
meanmistermustard
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There is always an exception to the rule, and nothing in Beatle history is straightforward.

 

I have no idea why some singles are on albums and others are not. I suppose because Ticket To Ride is in the film Help! and Cant Buy Me Love is in film AHDN they were naturally going to be on the relevant albums, and the title tracks were always going to be on the albums. 

When the Please Please Me lp was issued in the UK it was standard practice for the singles to be the selling points for the album ("Please Please Me with Love Me Do and 12 others songs"). Thats probably why the singles close side 1 and open side 2, its more than just coincidence that the a & b-sides are bunched together and placed where they are.

For Yellow Submarine & Eleanor Rigby there wasnt anything else in the vaults suitable for release and EMI would have wanted a single to promote the album and vice versa.

 

Something and Come Together were the first songs that were deliberately pulled off an already released album, Allen Klein wanting to get money into Apple; the same reason for the Hey Jude lp being released in the US. 

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
8 June 2012
8.00pm
Joe
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The Capitol/Vee-Jay thing is complex, but the best account is in Bruce Spizer's The Beatles Are Coming!

Vee-Jay had an exclusive licence to release EMI recordings, although Capitol had first refusal in the USA. Capitol weren't interested, except in Canada.

Eventually Vee-Jay's president Ewart Abner got into gambling difficulty and the label was in debt – he 'borrowed' $3-400,000 from the label to cover his losses (the label was doing very well). Vee-Jay couldn't pay their artists, suppliers or pressing plants, and the release of Introducing The Beatles was delayed until January 1964.

Because they hadn't paid royalties on Beatles or Frank Ifield records for some months, in August 1963 Vee-Jay were told to stop manufacturing more records, giving Swan the chance to release She Loves You (Capitol didn't want it). It was a short contract.

Eventually Epstein went to the US to convince Capitol to release The Beatles' records. He talked the company president Alan Livingston into giving I Want To Hold Your Hand a $40,000 promotional push, and the rest you know.

As for the differences in length of albums etc, according to Spizer:

While British pop albums typically had 14 tracks, American LPs normally had 12 songs. The disparity resulted from the different method of calculating song publishing royalities between the two countries. In the US, publishers are paid a mechanical license fee for each song that appears on a record. UNder this system, each song represents an additional cost. In England, song publishers receive a share of the total royalties paid on each album sold. For example, if an LP contains 14 songs, the publishing royalty owed on each song is a fourteenth of the total publishing royalty due from the sale of the album. Because the number of songs included on the disc has no direct cost effect, British record companies can afford to provide a more generous number of songs per album. Thus, for financial reasons, Capitol decided to limit its first Beatles album to the American standard of a dozen selections.

It's a bit dry, but hopefully helpful.

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8 June 2012
8.08pm
meanmistermustard
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Thank Joe, very interesting.

I would love to read the Spizer books but always seem to expensive, tho The Beatles are Coming is on amazon for £17. 

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
8 June 2012
10.51pm
The Walrus
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meanmistermustard said

The Walrus said

In the UK, singles could not be included on an album for a year after they had been release. There was no such problem in the US.

Not so. Love Me and PS I Love You were on Please Please Me which was released 6 months later, Ticket To Ride is on Help!,  Eleanor Rigby and Yellow Submarine were released as a single on the same day Revolver was issued. The Beatles didnt think it was right for fans to buy the single and then get the same songs again on the lp; that was the reason why Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane were not included on Sgt Pepper.

Sorry, to clarify: they couldn't be released in the same calendar year, according to Ian MacDonald. Love Me Do was 1962, so 1963's Please Please Me was fine. This must have been overturned by 1970, as Let It Be was included on… Let It Be, though maybe that was exempted due to the different guitar solos.

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9 June 2012
12.46am
meanmistermustard
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That still doesnt stand. Ticket To Ride is on the Help lp, both released in 1965; Cant Buy Me Love is on A Hard Days Night (both '64); Yellow Submarine & Eleanor Rigby were released as a double A-side single on the same day as they were included on Revolver lp. Plus there is Help! (the single was released before the album in '65) and A Hard Days Night (both issued on 10th July 1964). 

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
9 June 2012
3.14pm
Joe
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I don't remember reading about that one-year rule in Ian Macdonald's book. Where does it say that?

They either released singles before the album came out or on the same day, otherwise they took none at all from the album. It was one of Epstein/Martin's guidelines, which also included four singles and two albums a year. Interestingly, the UK EPs were issued quite haphazardly, and apart from Long Tall Sally and Magical Mystery Tour contained no new material.

The rules fell apart in the Allen Klein days, when making money was more important than giving value for money to fans, hence Come Together/Something etc.

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9 June 2012
5.47pm
meanmistermustard
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Even the guideline of 4 singles a year fell thru after '63, with 3 being the normal tally. In 1966 there was only 1 lp of new material and 2 singles in the UK (with 1 being material included on Revolver), the christmas release being Collection of Oldies but Goldies to keep EMI happy, resulting in only 17 new songs being released (Bad Boy being new to the UK market).

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
9 June 2012
8.30pm
Joe
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Good point. I guess when Epstein and Martin drew up the plans they didn't think The Beatles would be doing quite so many tours, interviews, TV appearances, radio sessions, films…

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