The Beatles • The U.S. Albums (2014)

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From The Beatles website:

On February 7, 1964, The Beatles arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, greeted by scores of screaming, swooning fans who rushed the gate to catch a glimpse of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr as they took their first steps on American soil. Two nights later, on Sunday, February 9, 74 million viewers in the U.S. and millions more in Canada tuned in to CBS to watch The Beatles make their American television debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” In this cultural watershed moment in American history and one of the world’s top-viewed television events of all time, The Beatles performed five songs on the live broadcast. “Beatlemania,” already in full, feverish bloom in The Beatles’ native U.K., was unleashed with blissful fervor across America and around the world. The British Invasion had begun.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of these history-making events, The U.S. Albums, a new 13CD Beatles collection spanning 1964’s Meet The Beatles! to 1970’s Hey Jude, will be released January 20 (January 21 in North America) by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol. 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 albums are presented in mono and stereo, with the exception of The Beatles’ Story and Hey Jude, which are in stereo only. Collected in a boxed set with faithfully replicated original LP artwork, including the albums’ inner sleeves, the 13 CDs are accompanied by a 64-page booklet with Beatles photos and promotional art from the time, as well as a new essay by American author and television executive Bill Flanagan. For a limited time, all of the albums (with the exception of The Beatles’ Story, an audio documentary album) will also be available for individual CD purchase. A Hard Day’s Night (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), The Beatles’ Story, Yesterday And Today, Hey Jude, and the U.S. version of Revolver make their CD debuts with these releases. […]

From Wikipedia:

The U.S. Albums is a box set compilation comprising the remastered American albums released by the Beatles between 1964 and 1970. The box set was released on 21 January 2014 in the United States, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles’ first trip to the US and first American album from Capitol Records, Meet the Beatles!

Disc listing

All 13 unique albums released by Capitol Records are included in the box set (eight of which were previously released in The Capitol Albums, Volume 1 and Volume 2—which, unlike the U.S. Albums set, were sourced from the Capitol master tapes). The set contains remastered mono and stereo versions of each album, except The Beatles’ Story and Hey Jude, which are presented only in stereo. Additionally, Yesterday and Today, and the US versions of A Hard Day’s Night and Revolver were released for the first time on CD in this box set. The Beatles’ Story (in stereo only) is the only album from the box set that is not available separately.

The masters for the US versions of the albums are partially based on the original 1960s masters delivered by EMI and the 2009 remasters released in The Beatles (The Original Studio Recordings) and The Beatles in Mono. Unique stereo and mono mixes prepared in the UK for US release are sourced from the original tapes. Any unique versions prepared for US release were recreated for this set. The tapes used for the 2004 and 2006 Capitol boxed sets drawn from the Capitol tapes were not used in this set, with the exception of The Beatles’ Story.

The albums Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles (the “White Album”), Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road and Let It Be are not included in this set as those albums were identical to available UK editions (although the US edition of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band does not have the inner groove sound featured on the UK edition). Plus, the White Album was released only in stereo in the US. Originally, the American version of Magical Mystery Tour was also unique, as a Capitol Records compilation of the band’s British EP and 1967 singles. When the Beatles catalogue was first issued on compact disc in 1987, the American Magical Mystery Tour running order was chosen as the official version of the release.

Mixes unique to this release

In nearly every case, the master delivered by EMI to Capitol was used as the source; in some cases, unique mixes were re-created. In cases where Capitol had used a folded-down stereo mix (such as for Meet The Beatles, Help! and The Early Beatles) for the mono version, this set uses a dedicated (2009 master) mono mix. In cases where Capitol uses a “Duophonic” stereo mix, this set uses a dedicated stereo mix. For tracks released on the UK Help! and Rubber Soul, the 1987 stereo remix (as remastered in 2009) was used. […]

From The Beatles Rarity » The U.S. Albums box set – a more detailed look:

Unlike the 2004 Apple box set (The Capitol Albums Vol. 1) that included 4 of these albums in mono and stereo and the 2006 Apple box set (The Capitol Albums Vol. 2) containing an additional 4 of these albums in mono and stereo, the new set will not be using the original Capitol master tapes. Apple has cited in a press release that this would not have created the best possible listening experience due to some fidelity limitations with the Capitol mixes. These include mixes made from second, third or even fourth generation tapes and many of the songs being in a duophonic mix instead of “true” stereo (duophonic, otherwise known as “fake” or “rechannelled” stereo is a means of simulating stereo from a mono source). For this reason and with a few exceptions that I will get to in a minute, the remasters that were issued in 2009 of the British mixes will be used for the majority of the tracks. In most cases where a U.S. mix differed from the U.K. mixes now included on the 2009 remasters, most – but not all – U.S. mixes will be used.

Here is a summary of the methodology on selecting the source of these recordings:

1. If Capitol’s original mix on a stereo album was a duophonic mix – the true stereo UK mix remastered in 2009 was used instead (e.g. “Ticket To Ride” but lots of others that were for the most part a & b sides of singles)

2. If Capitol’s original mix on a mono album was a “Type B” mono (i.e. reduced to mono from stereo mix) – the original UK mono mix was used instead. This would cover tracks on the mono Meet The Beatles!The Beatles Second AlbumThe Early BeatlesHelp! and even “Drive My Car” from Yesterday And Today.

3. In the few cases where there was no stereo mix to use and Capitol made duophonic mixes (e.g. “She Loves You,” “P.S. I Love You” and “Love Me Do”) – the original UK mono mix was used instead.

4. There are a few edits and mixes sent to Capitol by producer George Martin that make the US versions of certain tracks unique. Apple has confirmed that these will be remastered and included with the set. However, there is no confirmation on what specific tracks these are. […]

5. For everything not covered in 1-4 above – the 2009 remasters will be used.

So in all cases above except “4,” the 2009 remasters will be re-sequenced to “fit” the track listing of the original Capitol LPs.

Finally, for those of you who prefer to have the digital versions of the original Capitol mixes, if you don’t already have the two earlier box sets – The Capitol Albums Vols. 1 & 2 – you better get them soon because this set will replace them and they will undoubtedly be out of print in the near future.

On the Steve Hoffman’s music corner forum, user “Slane” posted a detailed analysis of each track (reposted on The Daily Beatles), with the conclusions that most tracks are from the 2009 mono and stereo remasters. Contacted in 2021, “Slane” added to this analysis the following:

Five unique US stereo mixes were omitted for whatever reason (Long Tall Sally, I Call Your Name, I’m Only Sleeping, Doctor Robert, And Your Bird Can Sing), and of course they messed up by including the 1987 stereo remixes of Help! and Rubber Soul tracks. While most of the tracks are sourced from the 2009 remasters, they are mastered slightly differently on the US Albums box. […] The unique mixes seem to come from the Capitol tapes (with whatever extra processing Capitol applied to them). However, the mono And I Love Her and I’ll Cry Instead seem to come from United Artists ‘cleaner’ tape (both on AHDN and Something New). The mastering for the box was done in the US by Greg Calbi and Steve Berkowitz, IIRC.


Last updated on May 9, 2021