A 13-CD box set of The Beatles’ Capitol Records albums has been issued in the United Kingdom and elsewhere (21 January 2014 in the US).
Released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ US invasion, the collection brings together reissues of the group’s American long players, which often contained different mixes, running orders and artwork from their UK counterparts.
The box set contains mono and stereo versions of all The Beatles’ Capitol albums released between 1964 and 1966, as well as the United Artists soundtrack for A Hard Day’s Night, which contained incidental music not released in the UK, and the 1970 US-only compilation Hey Jude.
A 64-page booklet accompanies the discs, and contains liner notes, photography and artwork from the 1960s. The infamous ‘Butcher cover’ version of Yesterday And Today also comes with a sticker depicting the replacement artwork that was used for later pressings.
The CDs are also available individually, with the exception of The Beatles’ Story documentary, which is exclusive to the box set.
Two previous compilations, The Capitol Albums vol 1 and 2, contained a number of the same titles, but omitted The Beatles’ Story, Hey Jude, Yesterday And Today and the US versions of A Hard Day’s Night and Revolver.
Apple being Apple, not all the albums are straight reissues. Capitol’s Dave Dexter originally released many of the songs with added echo and reverb, but for the most part these have been replaced with 2009 remasters. The two Capitol Albums box sets, though missing some albums, remain the best way to get the authentic mixes on compact disc.
Wherever Capitol had originally released a duophonic mix (fake stereo made by slashing the treble on one channel, and the bass from another), they have now been replaced with a true stereo mix from the 2009 remasters.
In instances where Capitol had originally used ‘type B’ mono mixes (made by combining both channels of a stereo mix into one mono one), the original UK mono mix has been used instead.
In most instances where stereo and mono mixes were made by George Martin for Capitol in the 1960s, these have been sourced from the original tapes. However, Yesterday And Today omits the unique stereo mixes of I’m Only Sleeping and Doctor Robert.
Also on this day...
- 2013: McCartney demo of World Without Love is unveiled
- 1988: The Beatles are inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame
- 1982: Paul McCartney appears on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs
- 1970: John Lennon and Yoko Ono have their hair cropped in Denmark
- 1969: The Beatles meet at Apple’s basement studio
- 1967: Recording: A Day In The Life
- 1965: Ringo Starr proposes to Maureen Cox
- 1964: Live: Olympia Theatre, Paris
- 1964: US album release: Meet The Beatles!
- 1963: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1961: Live: Lathom Hall, Liverpool
- 1961: Stuart Sutcliffe leaves Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.