Hey Jude album artworkRecorded: 29 January; 25, 26 February; 10 March 1964; 13, 14, 16 April 1966; 3, 6 February; 9, 10, 11, 12, 29, 30, 31 July; 1 August 1968; 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30 January; 25 February; 14, 16, 18 April 1969
Producers: George Martin, Chris Thomas
Engineers: Norman Smith, Geoff Emerick, Glyn Johns, Ken Scott, Barry Sheffield, Jeff Jarratt

Released: 26 February 1970


John Lennon: vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, harmonica, tambourine, handclaps
Paul McCartney: vocals, electric guitar, bass guitar, piano, Hammond organ, drums, maracas, handclaps
George Harrison: vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, organ, handclaps
Ringo Starr: vocals, drums, tambourine, handclaps
Norman Smith: hi-hat
Ronnie Scott, Bill Povey: tenor saxophones
Harry Klein, Bill Jackman: baritone saxophones
Billy Preston, Nicky Hopkins: electric piano
Uncredited: 10 violins, 3 violas, 3 cellos, 2 double basses, 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, 1 bass clarinet, 1 bassoon, 1 contrabassoon, 4 trumpets, 2 horns, 4 trombones, 1 percussion


‘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’

Hey Jude was a compilation released in North America in early 1970. It was issued as a stopgap in the period between Abbey Road and Let It Be, and contained ten singles and b-sides recorded in 1964, 1966, 1968 and 1969.

The album was initiated by Allen Klein, The Beatles’ business manager at Apple Records. In 1969 Klein had negotiated a new contract with Capitol Records, which stipulated one compilation per year.

Klein delegated the task to Allan Steckler, who chose a selection of songs from throughout The Beatles’ career.

The oldest songs, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ and ‘I Should Have Known Better’, had been issued on US singles in 1964, but not on a Capitol album. The soundtrack of A Hard Day’s Night had been issued there by United Artists.

‘Paperback Writer’/‘Rain’, ‘Lady Madonna’, ‘Hey Jude’/‘Revolution’, ‘The Ballad Of John And Yoko’/‘Old Brown Shoe’, and the ‘Get Back’ b-side ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ were all on US singles and received their first LP outing here.

‘Rain’, ‘Lady Madonna’, and ‘Revolution’ were first mixed for stereo by George Martin and Geoff Emerick specifically for the album. ‘Lady Madonna’ and ‘Rain’ were mixed on 2 December 1969, and ‘Revolution’ and a new stereo mix of ‘Hey Jude’ three days later.

There were several other songs which had never been issued on a Capitol album, which might have been included on Hey Jude: the original Parlophone version of ‘Love Me Do’, ‘Misery’, ‘There’s A Place’, ‘From Me To You’, ‘Sie Liebt Dich’, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, ‘I’m Down’, ‘The Inner Light’, and the single version of ‘Get Back’.

Hey Jude was initially to have been called The Beatles Again, but the title was changed shortly before release. This happened after the record labels had been printed, and initial copies still carried the old title. To avoid confusion, a sticker was added to the cover with the correct name (in Canada the sticker stated: “Includes ‘Hey Jude'”).

No title was listed anywhere on the cover except the spine. The front and back featured photographs taken by Ethan Russell at Tittenhurst Park at The Beatles’ final photo shoot on 22 August 1969.

Apple’s Neil Aspinall later claimed that Klein had swapped the images around, although prototype examples of the artwork all showed the two images being used as released.

Do you know that Allen Klein screwed that up! He reversed the photos. The back picture was supposed to be the cover!
Neil Aspinall
Fox News, 12 February 2007

The release

Hey Jude was released in the US and Canada on 26 February 1970. It was also issued in Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Mexico, New Zealand, and several South American countries. It was not released in Britain, although it was commonly imported.

The album spent spent four weeks at number two on the Billboard Top LPs chart. It sold 2,321,769 copies in the US by 31 December 1970, and 3,264,398 copies by the end of the decade.

The reel-to-reel and cassette editions reversed sides one and two, which meant the album began with ‘Hey Jude’.

In Spain, it was issued as The Beatles Again, but without ‘The Ballad Of John And Yoko’, leaving just nine songs. The competing theories as to why are due to the song’s mentions of Christ and crucifixion, and because Franco’s regime objected to the line “You can get married in Gibraltar near Spain”, since Gibraltarians had overwhelmingly rejected Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum. Spanish radio stations banned the song, although it was issued as a single.

Hey Jude was first made available on compact disc in January 2014, as a standalone release and as part of the box set The US Albums.

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