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Did the American arm of EMI (Capitol) ever get it right?
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Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
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23 August 2011 - 1.31am

By and large, the British releases are the real thing.

The American albums were butchered versions of British releases (pardon the expression) or very uneven movie soundtracks.

BUT, Capitol was smart to release "Yesterday" as a single (simply relegated to song #13 on Help! in the UK).

Same for "Nowhere Man."

Any other good moves on the American side of the pond?

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)

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MeanMrsMustard
Nowhere Land
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23 August 2011 - 1.35am

I can't really answer, since I've only ever listened to the 9/9/9 remasters. (I do have a Capitol copy of Abbey Road, which is inexplicably a half-step higher than every other version of the songs I've heard.) 

I've looked at the track listings, and I think that the British versions were miles better. 😀 

If I seem to act unkind, it's only me, it's not my mind that is confusing things.

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skye
AZ
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23 August 2011 - 1.52am

Well, the US MMT is the official version. As for the rest, I'm sure they sound fine for people who heard the US versions first. I'm solidly in the cd generation, so UK for me.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!

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meanmistermustard

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23 August 2011 - 1.55am

I am a big fan of Beatles VI, to me its a great album that has a really good running order. Yesterday.. and Today is also a cool compilation, and i think the only Beatle album during the 60's that had 2 Ringo vocals apart from the double LP White Album. Meet The Beatles is meant to be one of the greatest albums ever as voted in the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums (i think thats the right poll, there have been so many). However overall the UK albums have got a better feel to them, but maybe thats because im used to the UK versions. I know that a lot of people who grew up with the US variations say the same thing about the Capitol Albums.

Probably the exception is the Magical Mystery Tour album which was expanded from the uk 6 song ep into a 11 track album. Maybe Capitol could have done something with the Yellow Submarine album to improve it since its 4 new songs and 6 Martin pieces. But then Capitol cut up Revolver which was a massive error.

Its a little scary to think what they would have done to Pepper onwards if The Beatles hadnt insisted that the album releases be standardised before they re-signed to EMI in the beginning of 1967.

 

I heard the US mono mixes of I Feel Fine and She's A Woman earlier today and my word they are awful. So heavily drenched in echo that it does sound like the band are in a tin can. a-hard-days-night-ringo-13

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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Inner Light
Friar Park
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23 August 2011 - 5.28pm

I have always liked the American soundtracks to 'A Hard Day's Night' and 'Help!'

I personally like hearing the instrumental tracks from the movies. The american 'Help!' soundtrack was the first time I got to hear the Sitar which is an instrument that I have been in love with for 46 years.

The further one travels, the less one knows

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Galeans
Italy
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24 August 2011 - 1.56am

Generally the American albums are ripoffs, but there are interesting cases. "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!" being the real soundtracks to the films, rather than the albums. The American "Help!" is on CD on "The Capitol Albums" boxset, the American "A Hard Day's Night" is not (it wasn't a Capitol album in the first place), but has been bootleged so many times (some look even legit) that you could find it even in regular shops if you are lucky.

 

Then there's "Yesterday and Today" which works surprisingly well as an album (it is no substitute to anything, though). This was omitted from "The Capitol Albums" and it's a bad omission, imho. I mean, I can understand the omission of the American "Revolver" since it's just the UK version missing 3 of its best tracks, but this is the best assembled album imho (not counting MMT of course).

 

Then there's of course "Magical Mystery Tour", the only one who became a official album and one of my top 3 Beatles albums.

 

By the way, imho a CD with George Martin's tracks from the American versions of "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!" plus side B of "Yellow Submarine" and "A Beginning" from Anthology III would be pretty cool

"Oh no! What a mad blundering, incredibly handsome young nincompoop I've been! "

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meanmistermustard

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24 August 2011 - 11.00am

A notable mention for Hey Jude (aka The Beatles Again). Some fine songs from the remaining non album singles; Dont Let Me Down, Old Brown Shoe, Ballad of John and Yoko, Rain.

 

Must not forget the 'essential' to any Beatles fan The Beatles Story. The greatest rip-off of any 'official' Beatles album.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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Galeans
Italy
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24 August 2011 - 12.53pm

Oh yeah, I forgot about these two, though "Hey Jude" is now pretty useless with the two Past Masters.

 

"The Beatles' Story" is also bad mixed if I recall correctly: sometimes the interview is on one channel and the background music on the other. Still they should have released this in the box. I mean, why "Beatles VI" and not this?

"Oh no! What a mad blundering, incredibly handsome young nincompoop I've been! "

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kelicopter
Sitting in an English Garden
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24 August 2011 - 1.22pm

I think I've done fine over here with just the British releases; the majority of the remaining singles are available on either the 1 compilation or the Past Masters. The Capitol releases just confuse me. a-hard-days-night-paul-10

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

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meanmistermustard

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24 August 2011 - 3.41pm

Galeans said:

Oh yeah, I forgot about these two, though "Hey Jude" is now pretty useless with the two Past Masters.

 They are all pretty useless compared with the UK albums. And you'd still need A Hard Days Night for Cant Buy Me Love and I Should Have Known Better.

"The Beatles' Story" is also bad mixed if I recall correctly: sometimes the interview is on one channel and the background music on the other. Still they should have released this in the box. I mean, why "Beatles VI" and not this?

Beatles VI is an album with 11 songs, Beatles Story is interviews, commentary and brief clips of 1 or 2 songs, be it from the Hollywood Bowl concert. No real comparison.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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Galeans
Italy
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25 August 2011 - 2.17am

Sorry if I expressed myself badly. I just wanted to point out that "Beatles IV" (I could have said "Beatles '65") is made up of songs that are already available on CD, while "The Beatles' Story" contains material not available on CD. I just wanted to point out that imho it was a bad thing excluding it from the box!

"Oh no! What a mad blundering, incredibly handsome young nincompoop I've been! "

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mr. Sun king coming together
Nowhere Land
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25 August 2011 - 2.43am

But Beatles Story is, in concept, in recording, in reality, not a Beatles record. I'd rather hear the same songs over again (mixed differently, I'll add) then hear drones being just that.

As if it matters how a man falls down.'

'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.

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Joe
Pepperland
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25 August 2011 - 9.08am

It's got some historic value, though, surely? Personally I'd love to have a box set tying up all the extra US albums not on the Capitol boxes - Introducing The Beatles, A Hard Day's Night, The Beatles' Story, Yesterday And Today (with both covers - that'd be great), Revolver and Hey Jude.

Some of them have different mixes to the UK versions, so the completist in me would be happy, but it'd be nice to see the old artwork too in the case of something like Introducing The Beatles.

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meanmistermustard

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25 August 2011 - 11.30am

Introducing The Beatles was on the Veejay label. Capitol released most, but not all, of the material on The Early Beatles which has been released so thats out for the foreseeable future.

Volume 3 containing Yesterday and Today, Revolver, Hey Jude and A Hard Days Night soundtrack would be a fantastic collection.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
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25 August 2011 - 8.14pm

Would indeed be great - but A Hard Day's Night in the U.S. was on the United Artists Label ....

(seriously messed up in the U.S. ...)

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)

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IMDeWalrus
Terrace BC Canada
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25 August 2011 - 8.16pm

I've always thought the US version of Rubber Soul worked better than the EMI/Parlophone version.   It has a more folk-rock feel to it, with the accoustic "I've Just Seen a Face" opening for the also-accoustic "Norwegian Wood".  I think that works much better than the opening Parlophone track ("Drive My Car").   And I also prefer the US version of "I'm Looking Through You", with its false start.  

And the Capitol Records decision to release Magical Mystery Tour as an LP, with that year's five unreleased singles, rather than the double EP issued by Parlophone, was a much better move.   (What the heck IS an EP anyway??)

Other than that, I think the British versions are far and away the best ones.    The Capitol album Hey Jude didn't really make sense to me (even though it was the first LP I ever bought) -- I couldn't understand why they included "Can't Buy Me Love" and "I Should Have Known Better", which are completely out of step with the rest of the album, and why they left off "The Inner Light".   The Past Masters collections are much better, and have made the American album irrelevant. 

I've got nothing to say, but it's okay..

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GOOD MORNING!!

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meanmistermustard

19113 Posts
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25 August 2011 - 9.47pm

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" said:

Would indeed be great - but A Hard Day's Night in the U.S. was on the United Artists Label ....

(seriously messed up in the U.S. ...)

The rights to the  A Hard Days Night soundtrack in the US returned to Capitol but i dont know when exactly, so Capitol could now issue it.

 

IMDeWalrus said:

And the Capitol Records decision to release Magical Mystery Tour as an LP, with that year's five unreleased singles, rather than the double EP issued by Parlophone, was a much better move.   (What the heck IS an EP anyway??)

An EP stood for Extended Play and generally had 4 tracks. It was for the fans who couldnt afford to pay for an album; pay a little more and get a couple more songs. Quite popular in 1963, by 1967 the market was dead. In the UK they had quite a lot. The best was probably Long Tall Sally that contained 4 new songs that never appeared on a 60's UK album (Long Tall Sally, I Call Your Name, Slow Down and Matchbox), all of which were recorded during the A Hard Days Night album sessions. And of course you have the Double EP Magical Mystery Tour which had 6 new tracks.

The Beatles did have a couple of Capitol EPs, confusing called Four By The Beatles and 4 By The Beatles but neither did anything due to no EP market in the US.

Other than that, I think the British versions are far and away the best ones.    The Capitol album Hey Jude didn't really make sense to me (even though it was the first LP I ever bought) -- I couldn't understand why they included "Can't Buy Me Love" and "I Should Have Known Better", which are completely out of step with the rest of the album, and why they left off "The Inner Light".   The Past Masters collections are much better, and have made the American album irrelevant.

Although Cant Buy Me Love had been on the AHDN soundtrack I Should Have Known Better had not appeared on a Capitol album. However I'm Down could also have been added as that hadnt been on a US album, strangely when you consider how Capitol would use anything available. Anyway Hey Jude was an Allen Klein project that was all about money. Wiki has more about it.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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Galeans
Italy
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26 August 2011 - 12.40am

As far as I know "Introducing the Beatles" was just a stripped down version of "Please Please Me", same mixes and all. Correct me if I'm wrong

"Oh no! What a mad blundering, incredibly handsome young nincompoop I've been! "

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meanmistermustard

19113 Posts
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26 August 2011 - 12.58am

Galeans said:

As far as I know "Introducing the Beatles" was just a stripped down version of "Please Please Me", same mixes and all. Correct me if I'm wrong

Yes your right Galeans. According to Beatles expert Doug Sulpy the mixes are the same.

Introducing The Beatles had various track listings depending on the time of release. Vee Jay put it out a couple of times with different songs due to copyright issues, but all songs were from Please Please Me.

 Wiki, unsurprisingly, has a detailed entry if you wish to read it. According to that the count in to I Saw Her Standing There was loped off. How would i cope in life without wikipedia? The fount of all knowledge. Very helpful for college work.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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mr. Sun king coming together
Nowhere Land
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26 August 2011 - 1.01am

This thread is being wasted on so many levels, mostly because any straight comparison would prove futile. But, taken on their own, the albums are great. Meet The Beatles is well and truly better then the UK version, and it made John and Paul more known as songwriters.

As if it matters how a man falls down.'

'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.

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