On #askNat this week I’m responding to a great question from Rick in Canada who has questions about the early Beatles releases in his country:
I’m a 60 year old Canadian musician, and have a lot of Beatles records. I just have a few questions. Releases like the Canadian only LPs, Beatlemania! With The Beatles and Twist And Shout would have been pressed from the original British masters in 1963, and obviously have no ‘production’ from Dave Dexter Jr. But, what about later LPs like A Hard Day’s Night and Help!? Dave Dexter Jr. is credited on the latter, but not the former. I guess my question is, are the early Canadian releases the same as the UK versions of songs? And when did we (as Canadians), start getting the Dave Dexter Jr. recordings?
Interesting question Rick. The Canadians hold the distinction of having the first LP by The Beatles in North America. After releasing the same first four Beatles singles that were released in the U.K during 1962-63, Capitol of Canada released it’s own version of the second U.K. Beatles album With The Beatles, with the title Beatlemania! With The Beatles and only a slight modification to the cover to support the new title and also to add a few endorsements about this new and hot group from the British Isles. The album was released within a few days of the British release at the end of November 1963 and was only issued in mono at the time. The track listing was identical to its U.K. counterpart and the mixes were not tampered with in any way.
Capitol of Canada were not affected by Vee-Jay Records owning the rights to the recordings on the first U.K. Beatles LP Please Please Me as Capitol in America were, and were free to put out their own version of this album in Canada. On January 13, 1964, they released the Twist And Shout LP which is similar to Please Please Me in the U.K. but replaced two of the songs to make room for the two single a-sides “From Me To You” and “She Loves You.” The two songs omitted were “I Saw Her Standing There” which was already a b-side on the Canadian “I Want To Hold Your Hand” single and “Misery.” The cover art uses the same photo of the Beatles used on their first British EP, also titled Twist And Shout, and released on July 12, 1963. Only three days prior to the release of Twist And Shout in Canada, Vee-Jay had released their Introducing The Beatles with a similar track listing in the U.S. Both the Vee-Jay and Capitol of Canada albums left the mixes as they were received from EMI in the U.K. Twist And Shout, like Beatlemania! With The Beatles, was initially only issued as a mono LP in Canada.
The third Canadian LP Long Tall Sally issued on May 11, 1964, included the two omitted tracks from Twist And Shout, “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Misery” plus other singles tracks and four songs that had already been released on Beatlemania! With The Beatles (see the complete track listing here). The two newest songs, “Long Tall Sally” and “I Call Your Name,” had been released to an EP in the U.K and on the U.S. LP The Beatles Second Album. Like the previous two Canadian LPs, Long Tall Sally was only issued in mono at the time and the mixes were left as they were in the U.K. The cover art used was identical to the U.S. Capitol LP The Beatles Second Album.
After the third Capitol of Canada LP the releases synced up with the American releases. United Artists released their soundtrack for the first Beatles movie A Hard Day’s Night in both the U.S. and Canada and following that, Capitol’s Something New album was released in both the U.S. and Canada on July 20, 1964. It was at this point in mid-1964 that the Canadian releases used the same mixes as the U.S. mixes. It was also at this point that the Canadian LPs were available in stereo. Capitol of Canada released the earlier U.S. Beatles albums Meet The Beatles! and The Beatles Second Album in 1968.
In the U.S., Capitol’s Dave Dexter, Jr. oversaw The Beatles U.S. releases for several years compiling the albums for the American market, where they tended to be shorter and where singles tracks were customarily included on albums, unlike what was in common practice in the U.K. Dexter frequently remixed many of the tracks, adding echo and altering the stereo picture. As stated above the Canadian LPs were not affected by this until the U.S. and Canadian catalogs were synced in mid-1964.
Thanks for a great topic, Rick! If anyone has anything to add, I welcome your comments below.
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Here are some Amazon links to read more on, or purchase music related to this post:
1) With The Beatles – 2009 stereo remaster of the second UK LP by The Beatles. Identical track listing to first Canadian Beatles LP Beatlemania! With The Beatles.
2) Please Please Me – 2009 stereo remaster of the first LP by The Beatles. Very similar to track listing on second Canadian Bealtes LP Twist And Shout.
3) Past Masters – 2009 2-CD remaster of 1988 compilation of all of The Beatles non-UK-album tracks. Features stereo mixes of a few songs included on the first three Canadian Beatles LPs.
4) The Capitol Albums Vol. 1 2004 4-CD box set containing stereo and mono versions of 4 Capitol Beatles albums from 1964: Meet The Beatles!, The Beatles Second Album, Something New and Beatles ’65.