Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Beatles' Story

During the late summer and early fall of 1964, both VJ and Capitol were devoid of any new Beatles musical material. It is no surprise that two LPs appeared in November of 1964 that consisted mainly of interviews. My previous post dealt with the VJ records release "Hear The Beatles Tell All". This post will deal with the second of these interview LPs: "The Beatles' Story".
"The Beatles' Story" was released in the United States and Canada on November 23 1964 in the US and on December 21 1964 in Canada according to P. Hemmingsen discography (p. 35). This was also the Beatles' first double LP released by Capitol. The original working title for this LP was "The Beatles Documentary" which appeared on white Capitol acetate labels before the commercial release and name change. This double LP was released in mono with the catalogue number (Capitol TBO-2222) and in stereo (in the US only; Canada released the stereo version in 1968) with the catalogue number (Capitol STBO-2222).

Unfortunately, this release is shoddy and definitely a low point for Capitol. This is clearly a "cash-in" album and no input from EMI, Brian Epstein nor The Beatles themselves was even considered. Similar to the VJ "Hear The Beatles Tell all" which feature interviews from two DJs of KRLA in Los Angeles, this Capitol release features interviews put together mainly by Gary Usher and Roger Christian of radio station KFWB of Hollywood, California (who also get production credits). The material contains original music by The Beatles but only in short snippets. You never get to hear a complete song. Only forty seconds of a live version of "Twist And Shout" ; the opening number from the August 23 1964 live performance at the Hollywood Bowl.

The front cover features the LP title in red. A red, purple and white Union Jack appears with black and white head shots of the individual Beatles above the Union Jack.

The inside gatefold cover features the name of the band and a photo of The Beatles performing in Washington during their February 1964 visit to the US on the left. On the right, various black and white photos of the Beatles during their visit to the US are featured both as a group and individually. The track listing and catalogue number is to the right of the tracklisting.

The back cover is corny and stupid. There are two photos of the Beatles at the bottom of the cover (one being the February press conference from JFK airport and the other live in Washington DC) and tons of silly hyperbole. Here are examples: "It's like spending a very special evening in the company of The Beatles themselves!" (yeah, right!!). I won't even repeat the bullshit written all over the back cover.

Labels for this double LP are the classic black background with rainbow Capitol label. All original copies consisted of the sides 1/4 and 2/3 version in both Canada and the United States with the exception of the subcontracted RCA labels which have the 1/2 and 3/4 versions making them rarer. This is not to be confused with the Capitol of Canada RCA versions which had the standard 1/4 and 2/3 version.

Speaking of Canadian copies, the covers for "The Beatles Story" were imported from the US therefore it is common to see this LP with US marked covers and Canadian inners and labels. The manufacture of the vinyl also seems to have been imported from the US east coast factory in Scranton, PA due to the "IMA" union triangle etched into the inner groove area.

Original inner sleeves for the US had the light blue inner dust jackes with the mini LP black and white photos and "Caution!" information similar to the earlier royal blue inne sleeves. In Canada, the LPs were housed in the red and white Capitol/Pathe inner sleeves.

Incredibly, this double LP remained in the Beatles official Capitol catalogue until the 1980s and was re-issued i the various concurring labels.

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