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Why did the Beatles release Something as a double-A side rather than give it its own 45?
14 January 2014
2.11am
russb
St Peters Church
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I've always wondered about that.  It's so great.  As I recall, Come Together was more played, shouldn't have been.

14 January 2014
3.38am
ivaughan
The Top Ten Club
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It is great. I agree. However, it never occurred to me that they were giving Something short shrift by pairing it up with Come Together. Several Beatles singles were double-A's. I don't Day Tripper or Eleanor Rigby or Strawberry Fields suffered particularly because they were double A's. And while I prefer Something myself, I do think that Come Together deserved to be an A-side too.

14 January 2014
5.19am
Ron Nasty
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It is important to remember that Something/Come Together was not so much a Beatles single as an Allen Klein single. Its release saw, for the first time in the group's history, UK product released to make money. While there was the occasion (Eleanor Rigby/Yellow Submarine and Revolver) when material included on an album was released as a single on the same day as the album, there was not one example in their run of UK singles of one being released featuring album material after the album had been released.

The fact that Klein was restricted to choosing material from Abbey Road limited his choices. He had no unreleased track that he could get approval to use as a b-side, and choosing a song by each of his most important supporters in the group was a good political move. Giving George his first a-side would strengthen his influence with George, but making the John song a b-side would not have gone down well with John. So you end up with a double a-side.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
14 January 2014
8.13am
Atlas
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Excellent assessment mja.

14 January 2014
5.32pm
Ron Nasty
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Atlas said
Excellent assessment mja.

Thanks. It is just my view of it though, doesn't mean someone else might not come up with a better explanation.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
14 January 2014
5.38pm
Bungalow Bob
Seattle, Washington
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mja6758 said
It is important to remember that Something/Come Together was not so much a Beatles single as an Allen Klein single. Its release saw, for the first time in the group's history, UK product released to make money. While there was the occasion (Eleanor Rigby/Yellow Submarine and Revolver) when material included on an album was released as a single on the same day as the album, there was not one example in their run of UK singles of one being released featuring album material after the album had been released.

The fact that Klein was restricted to choosing material from Abbey Road limited his choices. He had no unreleased track that he could get approval to use as a b-side, and choosing a song by each of his most important supporters in the group was a good political move. Giving George his first a-side would strengthen his influence with George, but making the John song a b-side would not have gone down well with John. So you end up with a double a-side.

This is fascinating information, mja. Thanks for your insights into this. From a purely marketing, money-making angle, I wonder why the Beatles' bean-counters weren't able to insist on an unused track to occupy the b-side of the Something single. It seems to me that if they had put an abandoned leftover, like "What's The New Mary Jane" on the flipside, that the single would have sold more units just based on the many collectors' desires for rarities. Maybe that thinking was too new for that era.

All this talk about the "double-A sided single" makes me think of how The Rutles would have crafted a comedy bit about the extremely rare "Double-B sided single." :)

14 January 2014
6.22pm
Ron Nasty
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Bungalow Bob said 

From a purely marketing, money-making angle, I wonder why the Beatles' bean-counters weren't able to insist on an unused track to occupy the b-side of the Something single.

 The simple answer to that is that The Beatles themselves had to say yes to UK releases. They themselves were not at all keen on seeing the single released in the UK, and it took lots of persuading and badgering from Klein (bean-counter #1 at the time) to get their agreement. That this argument was going on is shown by the time-lag of around three weeks between the US and UK release of the single.

Capitol had no need to worry about what The Beatles thought — as was constantly shown by their '60s releases — but EMI, who believed they were still an active group, and their Golden Egg, did.

The bean-counters could insist on nothing in the UK that The Beatles themselves did not agree to.

 

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
14 January 2014
7.50pm
Billy Rhythm
Shea Stadium
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Bungalow Bob said 

All this talk about the "double-A sided single" makes me think of how The Rutles would have crafted a comedy bit about the extremely rare "Double-B sided single." :)

 

As comical as this idea may sound, it nearly did happen only months after the 'Something/Come Together' single appeared.  There were stories of 'You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)' being targeted for the "A-Side" to 'What's The New Mary Jane?' before they decided on using the single version of 'Let It Be' instead, which differs from the album version, that would've been a "Double-B sided single" if there ever was one!..:-)   

14 January 2014
8.03pm
Ron Nasty
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Billy Rhythm said

Bungalow Bob said 
All this talk about the "double-A sided single" makes me think of how The Rutles would have crafted a comedy bit about the extremely rare "Double-B sided single." :)

 

As comical as this idea may sound, it nearly did happen only months after the 'Something/Come Together' single appeared.  There were stories of 'You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)' being targeted for the "A-Side" to 'What's The New Mary Jane?' before they decided on using the single version of 'Let It Be' instead, which differs from the album version, that would've been a "Double-B sided single" if there ever was one!..:-)   

That was happening virtually parallel. The new mixes of Mary Jane were made a month before Something/Come Together on 11 September while the final work on it and You Know My Name happened a month after, on 26 November. John wanted them released as a Plastic Ono Band single ("[with instrumental backing from a group] of many of the greatest show business names of today"). A date was set, 5 December 1969, a catalogue number assigned, APPLES 1002, copies pressed, and then the others blocked Beatles recordings being released as Plastic Ono Band recordings.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
14 January 2014
9.19pm
russb
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They should've made Walrus a double A side.  Meanwhile, even though Daytripper is listed as a double A-side, Cashbox Magazine and others did not include it in their chart listings.

14 January 2014
9.24pm
Ron Nasty
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Day Tripper did make #5 on the Billboard chart however, which is the chart used for US chart statistics nowadays.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
15 January 2014
5.08pm
Billy Rhythm
Shea Stadium
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mja6758 said

Billy Rhythm said

Bungalow Bob said 
All this talk about the "double-A sided single" makes me think of how The Rutles would have crafted a comedy bit about the extremely rare "Double-B sided single." :)

 

As comical as this idea may sound, it nearly did happen only months after the 'Something/Come Together' single appeared.  There were stories of 'You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)' being targeted for the "A-Side" to 'What's The New Mary Jane?' before they decided on using the single version of 'Let It Be' instead, which differs from the album version, that would've been a "Double-B sided single" if there ever was one!..:-)   

That was happening virtually parallel. The new mixes of Mary Jane were made a month before Something/Come Together on 11 September while the final work on it and You Know My Name happened a month after, on 26 November. John wanted them released as a Plastic Ono Band single ("[with instrumental backing from a group] of many of the greatest show business names of today"). A date was set, 5 December 1969, a catalogue number assigned, APPLES 1002, copies pressed, and then the others blocked Beatles recordings being released as Plastic Ono Band recordings.

 

I wonder how many "copies pressed" there were, they'd be worth their weight in gold today, it would have been most interesting to see just how well that single would've performed on the charts of the day...:-)

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