THE BEATLES The U.S. Albums (2014)

Beatles-US-box-set-packshot-770-1

THE U.S. ALBUMS – Box Set Coming January 21, 2014
Pre-Order HERE.
Current Price $159.99 – If price goes up or down, pre-ordering guarantees you the lowest price.

FROM AMAZON: The new 13 CD box set The U.S. Albums commemorates the 50th anniversary of The Beatles landing in America, spanning 1964’s Meet The Beatles! to 1970’s Hey Jude (aka The Beatles Again). The Beatles’ U.S. albums differed from the band’s U.K. albums in a variety of ways, including different track lists, song mixes, album titles, and art. The box set includes the following:
Meet The Beatles! (HERE)
The Beatles’ Second Album (HERE)
A Hard Day’s Night (HERE)
Something New (HERE)
The Beatles’ Story (Only Available In The Box, Apparently)
Beatles ’65 (HERE)
The Early Beatles (HERE)
Beatles VI (HERE)
Help! (HERE)
Rubber Soul (HERE)
Yesterday And Today (HERE)
Revolver (HERE)
Hey Jude (HERE)
These albums were originally issued between 1964 and 1970 by Capitol Records, Apple Records, and United Artists in the United States. These new releases seek to replicate the unique listening experience heard by Americans at the time by preserving the sequences, timings, and artwork found on the albums. Due to the limitations of the record players of the day, engineers often compressed the sound by raising the volume of the softer passages and lowering the volume for the louder parts of the songs. They also reduced the bass frequencies since too much bass could cause the record to skip. In some cases, reverb was added to the tracks to make them sound more “American.” The CDs are packaged in miniature vinyl sleeves that faithfully recreate the original U.S. LP releases, including the inner sleeves. 11 original U.S. albums presented in both mono and stereo. Hey Jude and The Beatles’ Story are in stereo only. A Hard Day’s Night, The Beatles’ Story, Yesterday And Today, Hey Jude and the U.S. version of Revolver are presented on CD for the first time. Yesterday And Today features the original album cover of The Beatles posing with raw meat and baby dolls. The package also comes with a collectible sticker of the subsequent Yesterday And Today cover art. Also included is a 64-page booklet which includes a new essay examining the U.S. albums and their historical significance.

UPDATED NOTE: As readers may know, Capitol attempted a typically half-assed version of this box back in 2004 and 2006. They didn’t bother with all of the discs, but they did include both mono and stereo versions on each disc, as this new box does. According to reports, however, Apple does NOT plan to use the original Capitol masters to create these sets. Instead using the new 2009 remasters to “replicate” these albums (but not the actual rarities contain in them). As hard to believe as that is (as in… what’s the point?) that seems to be the word from Apple, and if you read the promo poop above, slowly and carefully, it seems to verify it; “These new releases seek to replicate the unique listening experience heard by Americans at the time by preserving the sequences, timings, and artwork found on the albums.” But… apparently not the actual mixes. For a taste of the ACTUAL Capitol masters, visit our archives for the 2004/2006 Capitol versions, HERE.

48 Comments

  • 1
    Farmer Allan
    December 14, 2013 - 09:42 | Permalink

    Wow! How weird! I’ve NEVER heard THE BEATLES’ STORY!

    • 2
      Willard
      December 14, 2013 - 10:04 | Permalink

      It’s basically an interview record/documentary (2LP set, actually) with snippets of music.

  • 3
    visions
    December 14, 2013 - 11:52 | Permalink

    God that price is beyond rip-off.

    • 4
      zenarus
      December 14, 2013 - 12:18 | Permalink

      Yes, an absolute rip-off..I can’t see people getting victimized again by Capitol records.
      Stick to the original British versions.

      • 5
        moondogaudio
        December 16, 2013 - 15:38 | Permalink

        Remember everybody…These U.S. albums were different stereo mixes than their British counterparts. Sometimes even the mono’s were different. When it came to Rubber Soul & Revolver I will always prefer
        the U.S. versions. The flow was better from track to track.

        I’m in my 60’s and have waited for the last ones to come out. My gripe is: They could have added the
        U.S. mono Sgt Peppers and the 1970 Christmas album.

        Why they do what they do is my guess and i think it has to do with Apple/EMI.

        • 6
          Anonymous
          January 23, 2014 - 18:15 | Permalink

          I with you on your interests

    • 7
      Willard
      December 14, 2013 - 12:18 | Permalink

      But… but… you get a picture of the Beatles butcher cover, and… and… a sticker of the trunk cover that you can paste over the butcher cover yourself!!?!

      • 8
        December 15, 2013 - 13:59 | Permalink

        Attention K-Mart shoppers-

        The Beatles “US Album” box is $160 for 13 CDs.

        The Bob Dylan “Complete Album Collection v1″ box is $180 for 47 CDs.

  • 9
    December 14, 2013 - 12:10 | Permalink

    From what I have read, “The Beatles Story” will only
    be available as part of the box set release. EMI/Universal
    and Apple strike again. This box set is much more interesting
    than a uber box set of “Let It Be” on CD/BluRay or a really
    cleaned up version of “At The Hollywood Bowl.”

    • 10
      Willard
      December 14, 2013 - 12:15 | Permalink

      I think “interesting” is the appropriate word. And I think you’re right about The Beatles Story, thanks.

    • 11
      James
      December 14, 2013 - 16:46 | Permalink

      I think I have ‘The Beatles Story’ on vinyl…I should look. I know I have a double album of interviews with them that may carry that name. Can’t rightly remember, although memory would have suggested it was on Vee-Jay….or am I thinking ‘Beatles vs The Four Seasons’?

      I wonder how that battle turned out?

      Of course…memory isn’t what it was, I was thinking that it was the Four Seasons who did a remarkable version of ‘Berimbau’ the other day, and it turns out it was Dion & The Belmonts….possibly one of the most remarkable pieces of music not (yet?) to turn up in a Tarantino movie.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frsnAiDcoa0

      Apple still aren’t getting it right.

      Rather than ‘Let it be….Naked’, a McCartney vanity project if there ever was one, I would imagine fans might be more prepared to shell out for a CD with a facsimile of the book that initially accompanied the ‘Let it be’ album. I know I would.

      Being a Brit, I’m not particularly bothered by the US versions either. I bought ‘Let it be’ on vinyl (without the book, sadly) when it first came out, as a pre-teenager, and worked my way back through the vinyl catalogue, so my version of the Beatles story exists in those UK albums, Eps and singles. And ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, expanded to a US album, should still more accurately be a double EP…..with a book(let)!

      Fortunately, all of their stuff -pic sleeve Eps included- were still available in vinyl when I started buying. The Eps were all (MMT apart) duplication, but I still wanted them, and I’ve got ‘em.

      And, as Alan has already mentioned it, I’d also pay for a CD version of ‘Live at the Hollywood Bowl’. Not so much for its musical merit -it doesn’t have much- but for an aural document of the period.

      And if Apple/Capitol wish to fleece us fans (again!) why not follow the Stones’ lead, and issue some ‘official bootlegs’?

      Washington appears to be a well-trodden, well recorded ‘bootleg’. Why not make THAT official?

      Why not make the Ed Sullivan Show(s) an official release (‘This Boy’, the rehearsal version, in Miami, from ‘Anthology’, is remarkable for hitting the spot ‘live’, a lesson to contestants on X-Factor/US-Factor styled ‘reality’ shows)?

      Where is the official release of a fuller ‘Kinfauns’ album? (seeing as some of it was deemed good enough for ‘Anthology’ release…i.e. George’s stunning solo delivery of ‘While my guitar gently weeps’). I’ve heard the tracks….I’d pay cash money for that, while another reissued ‘Something New’ or ‘Meet’ or ‘Butchers’ album doesn’t really excite me.

      Where is the official release of ‘Some other guy’ (remastered), recorded in the Cavern, by the BBC?

      The recent second volume of the BBC sessions sounds, a little, like barrel scraping while there remains much that COULD be issued and excite fans. I mean….a DVD release of ‘Let it be’ would be welcomed if McCartney, again, could see beyond his own revisionism of not wanting fans to witness ‘a band breaking up’. (My understanding is that McCartney doesn’t want it reissued on DVD in his lifetime).

      He’s wrong. Plain wrong. The rooftop session (hmmm…not exactly released in its entirety either, was it?) on a DVD would show not so much ‘a band breaking up’ as a band still capable rocking on all 4 cylinders even in bad days.

  • 12
    Clarence
    December 14, 2013 - 13:15 | Permalink

    I will buy a few of the individual cds, because I bought the original albums in mono & want them in the US versions (btw, it wasn’t because I was an audiophile – it was later in the 60s before I knew to look at the catalog numbers to tell stereo from mono). But the set is such a money-grab for Apple/whoever-owns-EMI-now it makes me sick. And the butcher cover is a sad joke on collectors who have lined Apple’s pockets thru all the reissues.

    oh, I think I listened to Beatles Story twice in 30-odd years of ownership. Sux.

  • 13
    draftervoi
    December 14, 2013 - 14:04 | Permalink

    I think the real question is whether these will be new remasters and really be the U.S. mixes. If Capital (sic) just takes the recent British remasters, reorders the tracks, and gives me the U.S. album cover, that’s not good enough. I do like the idea of the stereo and mono tracks being on the same disc, rather than on two different discs in two different boxes.

    • 14
      Visions
      December 14, 2013 - 21:06 | Permalink

      Bad news. Apple has stated that in preparing the albums for reissue, they decided not to remaster from the original Capitol master tapes.

      “While doing so would have been the easiest way to go, it would not have created the best possible listening experience. In an effort to preserve the original intentions of the band and the producers, the masters used are, in most cases, the same as the stereo and mono remasters released in 2009 as part of the Parlophone/Apple core catalog, all approved by George Martin and The Beatles. All of the duophonic mixes have been replaced with the approved stereo mixes when available and some mono mixes in the few instances where no true stereo mix exists.”

      What to do? Says Happy Nat, of http://www.thebeatlesrarity.com,

      It’s a matter of your own personal preference. If you want something to sound exactly as it did on the US LPs in the sixties, you’ll want Vol. 1 & 2. If you want what they now say is the “best listening experience” with the look and feel of the US releases and a touch of echo to make it sound more American then the new set is fine. They decided to do away with the duophonic mixes, etc. The Yesterday And Today mixes of “Doctor Robert and “Im Only Sleeping” were originally very different but will be the same as the 2009 remasters on this set. US Capitol mono mixes of “I’ll Cry Instead” got an extra verse but its doubtful that will be on this set. Is it good or bad? You could say there is an improvement in the overall fidelity, which may be a plus but it won’t be an actual representation of the way it was.

      I say, what’s the point? $160 for this??

      • 15
        Willard
        December 14, 2013 - 21:18 | Permalink

        Sounds dumb.

      • 16
        Chance
        December 16, 2013 - 11:52 | Permalink

        Wow… Thanks, you just saved me $160.00. And I was enthusiastic about getting this. For better or worse, the US albums SOUNDED quite different than the UK. It wasn’t just reconfigured lineups, anyone can recompile the widely available CDs. Without those much maligned (but to many of us, fondly remembered) mixes, these are anything BUT the American albums. Thing is, I already have all the US albums on bootleg, and I was still going to pay close to two bills to see it done legitimately.

        I can only shake my head. What the hell are they thinking.

  • 17
    pete
    December 14, 2013 - 15:17 | Permalink

    As far as purchasing this material (1st on vinyl) again (2nd vinyl) & again (1st CD) & in some cases again, I got off the bus some time back. (Hey, Ritchie, your pension’s safe.) Now I think I see the download-for-nothing coach trundling off into the distance and I wave it a fond farewell.

  • 19
    john auker
    December 14, 2013 - 16:03 | Permalink

    These albums DO sound very different than the british versions, Not only the track listing, but also Capitol tended to put more echo on the tracks (for American audiences). This is the way I originally heard them and weather it’s a ripoff(it is) or not at some point I’ll probably pick up this set. I AM the sucker coo coo ka choo

  • 20
    Anonymous
    December 14, 2013 - 16:48 | Permalink

    Zero interest in these. The remastered British albums are the standard and render the American version irrelevant …….and yes, I grew up with these too.
    Willard’s right about the butcher cover being the coolest element, though.

    • 21
      Willard
      December 14, 2013 - 17:19 | Permalink

      Actually, I was being facetious.

  • 22
    Willard
    December 14, 2013 - 17:32 | Permalink

    Personally, I don’t subscribe to The Beatles ripping off fans argument. I remember not so long ago when people were complaining that the catalog hadn’t been overhauled in far too long and were clamoring for reissues. Truth is, if The two Beats wanted to hose fans, they could be releasing reams of different projects. Instead they pick one or two every year or two and go with it. When the new BBC discs came out, I saw people actually complaining that it wasn’t “complete.” The fact is that Beatles fans come in all shapes and sizes, and they all seem to want something different. Apple, however, has been relatively selective – for better or worse – and, while I personally have no interest in this box, and haven’t bought a Beatles CD since Anthology, I don’t really view them as ripping off anybody. Especially compared to some artists. Don’t want what they sell? Don’t buy it. No one’s forcing anybody to open their wallets, except maybe their own “completist chip,” that defect that seems to force people to want to have every last little thing in their collection – whether they actually want it or not. The bottom line is, these days you have a choice. You can buy it if you want it (and even get it cheaper used in multiple outlets), or you can download it for free. Anyone who’s still bitching with those options available is just bitching to bitch. None of this pertains to any of our esteemed commenters here, of course. Besides… I’m just bitching myself, so what do I know?

    I just think this box is an odd choice. Especially the individual releases. It’s just going to confuse younger people who don’t know the difference – or understand the reasoning – between the different versions. Why have that kind of marketplace confusion? I remember when Zappa bit back at bootleggers by releasing his own versions of bootleg records – same tapes, same covers, same crappy sound, etc. Then for years those CDs littered mall record shops where anyone curious about Zappa just might pick one one of them up – not understanding what those releases were. I’d seen a few places where the boots outnumbered his own official releases. Backfire. I see the same thing here – though, there IS more information available to buyers these days, it just seems like a strange option to introduce.

    • 23
      Visions
      December 14, 2013 - 18:12 | Permalink

      Well said, W. And CD boots of all of these American versions have been around since at least 1994, in very good quality, on the Red Robin/BEAT label. Yawn.

    • 24
      Willard
      December 16, 2013 - 12:34 | Permalink

      A rant that I may recant in the wake of hearing that Apple will NOT be using the actual Capitol masters for this new box set.

  • 25
    Visions
    December 14, 2013 - 18:23 | Permalink

    By the way, who owns the rights to Vee-Jay any more? There is a bootleg box set of all the Vee-Jay material (basically the same songs reformatted and issued over and over to help Vee-Jay make the most money it possibly could). Here’s what’s in it:

    Vee Jay Records CD Box Set (7-CD set, Includes Introducing The Beatles, Songs, Pictures and Stories of The Fabulous Beatles, The Beatles vs The Four Seasons, The Beatles and Frank Ifield, Hear The Beatles Tell All, The Beatles VJ Singles Collection and the Tollie EP CDs. Includes mini-poster and more.)

  • 26
    Jack
    December 14, 2013 - 18:29 | Permalink

    Where’s Magical Mystery Tour? This should be included since the US version was different than the UK 2-EP release.

    • 27
      Jack
      December 14, 2013 - 18:54 | Permalink

      Oh, guess the US cd version already has the songs from the US vinyl version. Answered me own question. Merry Crimble.

    • 28
      Willard
      December 14, 2013 - 18:57 | Permalink

      The music itself wasn’t monkeyed with, though. Starting with Sgt. Pepper’s, Capitol no longer touched the band’s tapes. Yeah… the Brits later adopted OUR version of MMT.

      • 29
        aitoid
        December 15, 2013 - 02:11 | Permalink

        Not until 1976. Before that MMT was a double EP.

  • 30
    Danny F
    December 15, 2013 - 12:09 | Permalink

    Also, sometime in the next few days there’s going to be a Beatles copyright extension album released, Important enough to be on breakfast TV here in the UK (Woo Hoo!), but very few details have bee revealed. Some of the tracks are supposed to be from BBC recordings, so they must be ones that were too poor quality for the Beatles at the BBC albums.

    • 31
      Willard
      December 15, 2013 - 12:28 | Permalink

      Supposedly hitting iTunes on Tuesday
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-25364624

      The whole copyright thing is a funny development. The Beatles, Dylan and so many others are being forced to empty the vaults in order to protect future capitalization. But, even if they remove these copyright extension releases from the market quickly, or limit the numbers (as Dylan has done), the bootleggers will still post it all online. So, in order to protect their copyrights, they effectively have to give it all away… so they can maybe sell it later. And they’ll have to do this each and every year with all their rarities turning 50. Hysterical.

      Also… this hard to believe, but possibly true info…
      http://wogew.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/official-bootlegs-coming.html

      • 32
        pete
        December 15, 2013 - 16:38 | Permalink

        At a bare minimum, they’ve had a year (since the first Dylan semi-leak) … so why leak at all? Why not figure out a way to do it right? Sales might not he mega-huge but they’d surely cover costs, even for the bottom-of-the-barrel stuff.

        Oh, and where is the official Hollywood Bowl? Not to mention the other, known live stuff? Do we have to outlive the rest of them?!

        • 33
          Willard
          December 15, 2013 - 16:55 | Permalink

          I’m assuming it’s because they don’t really want to release it at all. They’re forced to so it doesn’t fall into public domain, but they’d just as soon keep it under wraps so it doesn’t flood the marketplace with material the artists never intended to release in the first place. My guess is that, in the next few years, they’ll all (including the slew of other groups that will be forced to reckon with this in the next few years), will come up with some concept for all of this. And, it will probably be online only.

          • 34
            Willard
            December 15, 2013 - 18:06 | Permalink

            I’m surprised the legal boys haven’t come up with a way to “release” the stuff without anyone actually getting a hold of it. Or issue it for one day only, when no one knows when it will be. I’m betting that’s in the cards.

    • 35
      Visions
      December 15, 2013 - 18:05 | Permalink

      And all of it has been bootlegged for years. I bet EMI/Universal obtained some of it from bootlegged copies, frankly. Yawn.

  • 36
    December 18, 2013 - 15:12 | Permalink

    That’s an interesting point, Willard. Legally, what qualifies as being “released”? Could it be just one day only for downloading, somewhere on an obscure web page that they take down after 24 hours? They might have the right idea with the 1963 Bootleg set, just release it on iTunes at lower prices for obsessed fans. Why bother with the expense of producing CDs? This way they’ll at least make a few bucks.

    • 37
      Willard
      December 18, 2013 - 16:54 | Permalink

      A question for the legal boys, no doubt. But, you have to think there is some legal way around “releasing” stuff, especially if releasing via iTunes is enough to satisfy the law. But, like I mentioned in C-Box… I’m now curious about all the other stuff that hasn’t been released with the new Bootleg material. What about all those other takes from the first album? The Bootleg disc is only just a sampling of the outtakes. Is Apple giving up the copyrights to all the OTHER stuff in the can since 1963?

      • 38
        December 19, 2013 - 08:33 | Permalink

        It could be they’re releasing what they think are the most marketable/best versions of the songs just to make a few bucks. The US Copyright Office form for registering music doesn’t say anything about the song being available for purchase. You register it as either a musical composition or a sound recording. http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ56a.pdf

        Photographs can be registered if they’re unpublished, it seems to be the same for sound recordings. There’s no way Apple would give up copyrights on the unreleased stuff.

        • 39
          Willard
          December 19, 2013 - 09:02 | Permalink

          That’s US copyright law. All these “copyright” releases from Dylan and The Beats are a result of a UK copyright law that states that anything recorded, but unreleased, goes into public domain after 50 years. It’s a “use it or lose it” law.

          • 40
            December 19, 2013 - 11:59 | Permalink

            Good point.

          • 41
            Danny F
            December 19, 2013 - 14:11 | Permalink

            It’s actually a new EU copyright law, but for once there haven’t been any Conservative party politicians here in the UK ranting about selling out to the ‘Faceless Bureaucrats in Brussels’ when the law was announced. Could it be that money is involved? (Rhetorical question, by the way.)

          • 42
            Willard
            December 19, 2013 - 14:14 | Permalink

            EU, thanks. I tend to refer to the UK like they represent all of Europe.

  • 43
    Colin from Cambridge Canada
    December 30, 2013 - 20:49 | Permalink

    Any more word yet on the rumours of a second B******S copyright extension release that I heard might get dropped before midnight of 2013?

  • 44
    joe
    January 11, 2014 - 10:58 | Permalink

    So I decided to pass on this overpriced box set. If I have the first 2 Capital boxes, plus the Stereo + Mono boxes, which individual U.S. albums should I buy that have something not contained within my boxes? Hard Days Night is one, because of the instrumentals. Any others?

    • 45
      Willard
      January 11, 2014 - 18:17 | Permalink

      Well, I’m no longer an expert on the minor differences in the music, so if there’s something lurking (like the false start on I’m Looking Through You) its been lost to history for me. But, it looks like all you need is The Beatles Story (which has no new music) to be a completist.

      • 46
        JNagarya
        January 27, 2014 - 12:00 | Permalink

        I’ve been around long enough that I find bootlegs boring — I rather respect the decisions of the artists (Beatles in this instance) to not release materials that don’t meet their standards. It is actually, of course, respect for the artists.

        As for the obsessions with minor variations in mixes: I grew up with the Capitol releases, so like to hear Beatles as those were. But those who, today, must have copies of every insignificant variation really need to get lives. Do they even have time to scratch when they have an itch?

        As for this release: the “rarity” website put a good face on it, but I’ll not be buying any of it. That the packaging mimics the Capitol releases doesn’t disguise the fact that the contents are not the Capitol.

        The only thing of potential interest is being able to play the “butcher” cover backwards . . .

  • 47
    SQ
    June 29, 2014 - 13:16 | Permalink

    NO LINK

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