Introducing... The Beatles

Introducing... The Beatles
Studio album by
Released10 January 1964 (1964-01-10)
Recorded4 September-26 November 1962; 11 and 20 February 1963
StudioEMI Studios, London
GenreRock and roll
ProducerGeorge Martin
The Beatles North American chronology
Beatlemania! With the Beatles
Introducing... The Beatles
Meet the Beatles!
The Beatles United States chronology
Introducing... The Beatles
Meet the Beatles!
Singles from Introducing... The Beatles
  1. "Please Please Me"
    Released: 3 January 1964
  2. "Twist and Shout"
    Released: 2 March 1964
  3. "Do You Want to Know a Secret"
    Released: 23 March 1964
  4. "Love Me Do"
    Released: 27 April 1964
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]

Introducing... The Beatles is the first Beatles album released in the United States. Originally scheduled for a July 1963 release, the LP came out on 10 January 1964, on Vee-Jay Records, ten days before Capitol's Meet the Beatles!. The latter album, however, entered the U.S. album chart one week before the former. Consequently, when Meet The Beatles! peaked at No. 1 for eleven consecutive weeks, Introducing...The Beatles stalled at No. 2 where it remained nine consecutive weeks. It was the subject of much legal wrangling, but ultimately, Vee-Jay was permitted to sell the album until late 1964, by which time it had sold more than 1.3 million copies.[2] On 24 July 2014 the album was certified gold and platinum by the RIAA.

Initial non-release

The Beatles' recording contract that began May 1962 with Parlophone in the United Kingdom gave the parent corporation EMI rights to offer any of the group's recordings to the various labels EMI owned in many countries of the world. However, EMI's United States subsidiary, Capitol Records, declined to release the "Please Please Me" single.[3] Following this, Transglobal, an EMI affiliate that worked to place foreign masters with US record companies, negotiated with several labels before Vee-Jay Records signed a licensing agreement giving it the right of first refusal on Beatles' records for five years.[4] As part of that agreement, even after its singles releases of "Please Please Me" and "From Me to You" failed to chart above No. 116 on the Billboard Hot 100, Vee-Jay planned to release the Please Please Me album in the US, and received copies of the mono and stereo master tapes in late April or early May 1963.[5]

Originally, Vee-Jay considered releasing the Please Please Me LP unaltered, as it appeared in the UK. A surviving acetate made by Universal Recording Corporation of Chicago, probably in May 1963, contains all 14 songs in the same order as on the UK album, with the title still listed as Please Please Me.[6] But in keeping with the American norm of a 12-song album, Vee-Jay chose instead to omit "Please Please Me" and "Ask Me Why" (which had comprised the first single release) and change the album's title to Introducing... The Beatles.[7] Also, the engineer at Universal in Chicago thought that Paul McCartney's count-in at the start of "I Saw Her Standing There" was extraneous rather than intentionally placed there, so he snipped the "one, two, three" (leaving the "four") from Vee-Jay's mono and stereo masters.[8] Except for those omissions, the order and contents of the album were untouched, resulting in a US album that bore the closest resemblance to a British Beatles LP until Revolver in 1966.[9]

Preparations for the LP's release continued in late June and early July 1963, including the manufacturing of masters and metal parts and the printing of 6,000 front covers.[10] But, despite the claims of many older Beatles books and discographies that Introducing... The Beatles was first released on 22 July 1963,[11][12][13] no documentation exists to confirm that the album was released at any time in 1963.[14]

A management shake-up at Vee-Jay, which included the resignation of the label's president Ewart Abner after he used company money to cover gambling debts,[15] resulted in the cancellation of the release of Introducing... The Beatles and albums by Frank Ifield, Alma Cogan and a Jewish cantor.[15]