Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Lost Beatles Album

I was listening to the United Artists version of A Hard Day's Night yesterday. Nearly half of the tracks are George Martin instrumentals and like the Capitol version of Help!, fans (and the Beatles themselves) felt these LPs were inferior to the British versions which were released sans the instrumentals.

But to me, someone who grew up with this record, I really dig it. For some reason it's never been released on CD. So for us North American baby-boomer fans, it's a 'lost album', which is too bad. There's something really charming about the instrumentals, and in retrospect, I think it was a good move. It made the record more accessible to 'grown-ups'. It sure didn't affect the sales any. It was a huge hit.

There are other 'lost' US albums, but Hard Day's Night is the biggie. Vee Jay's Introducing the Beatles has never made it to CD, but it's basically the same record as Capitol's Early Beatles which was released on CD with the 'Capitol Albums Vol. 2' set (yes, there are a few tracks missing on Early, but the songs are now available on other CDs). Also never released on CD, the pretty much horrible The Beatles' Story which is only interesting from a historical perspective. I even hated it as a kid.

You can buy vinyl copies of the American A Hard Day's Night for pretty cheap at used record stores, and there was also a cassette. So go get a copy, dust off that turntable or tape player and give it a listen. It's a fun record.


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