13 September 2015
I’m curious how the Beatles & George Martin selected which songs would be released as singles (and so left off the current album). I’m familiar with the story of George Martin choosing Strawberry Fields / Penny Lane , but wondered about other singles, or why certain album cuts were not chosen (I’ve read that Things We Said Today & Maxwells Silver Hammer were both considered for singles.) Does anyone know of an online article or a section of a book that discusses these choices?
14 April 2010
Hi Patrick – George Martin mentioned this in Anthology (DVD’s) while discussing where the band was in terms of their songwriting around the time of With The Beatles . He said something along the lines of , “they (the band) were still thinking in terms of singles and not an album as a separate entity. We would save the best songs for singles and put the rest out on the album”.
If he mentioned it on DVD, I would have to assume it’s also in the book (my spotty memory prevents me from saying yes or no w/100% certainty). I do know that he did not go into any detail about what criteria was used for determining the “best” songs, or how that philosophy may have been revised in the coming years.
Maybe others here can guide you to additional sources.
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1 May 2011
Quote from the Anthology book
GEORGE MARTIN: The first album was really a recital of their repertoire. We weren’t thinking in terms of an album being an entity in itself back then. We would record singles, and the ones that weren’t issued as singles would be put onto an album – which is how the second album, With The Beatles , was put together. It was just a collection of their songs, and one or two other people’s songs as well.
I think it was very much a group decision; the group consisting of the four Beatles, George M and Brian (whilst alive). From the off the Beatles were very vocal with George M over their image and sound and therefore which song they prefered to be a single (see ‘Tune In’ book two). There are instances where we know why potential singles were rejected, e.g. ‘Eight Days A Week ‘ because John and Paul didn’t want it and then John came up with ‘I Feel Fine ‘; the slow ‘Revolution ‘ because the others thought it was not suitable.
‘Things W Said Today’ was the b-side of ‘A Hard Day’s Night ‘ which was the unquestionable a-side and it was recorded after that so not sure how it could have been considered a potential a-side. ‘Maxwell…’ would never have been granted such status due to how much George and John hated the song.
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