After constantly rejecting requests by both Brian Epstein and George Martin to release Beatles records in the United States, in November 1963 EMI label head Sir Joseph Lockwood sent a deputy to Los Angeles ordering EMI's subsidiary, Capitol Records to commence promoting and releasing Beatles records in the United States. Despite the "first album" claim on its cover, ten days prior to its release, Vee-Jay Records of Chicago beat Capitol to the punch with the release of the Beatles' American debut album Introducing... The Beatles, which had been delayed for release for various reasons since the previous summer. Perhaps as a result of the Vee-Jay release, Liberty Music Shops advertised in the New York Times of 12 January 1964 that Meet the Beatles! was available for purchase, an ad not authorised by Capitol.
In 2003, Meet the Beatles! was ranked number 59 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2004, the album was released for the first time on compact disc in both stereo and mono as part of The Capitol Albums, Volume 1 box set, containing the original US stereo and mono mixes. In 2014, Meet the Beatles! was issued on CD again, individually and included in the Beatles boxed set The U.S. Albums, wherein although following the running order for Meet the Beatles!, contained the UK mono and stereo mixes.