Back in the 1960s, The Beatles albums heard in the United States weren’t always the same as their original British counterparts. Track order was changed, reverb sometimes added to songs, and even completely different albums created for the American market.
These U.S. versions of albums haven’t been around much since CD issues of Beatles records began, all of which used the original British albums and track order. But anyone interested in reliving some personal history or completing their Beatles collection needs to check out The U.S. Albums box set being issued for the 50th anniversary of the legendary group’s first performances in America.
The 13-CD set includes the U.S. versions (or U.S.-only issues) of Meet The Beatles!, The Beatles’ Second Album, A Hard Day’s Night [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack], Something New, documentary record The Beatles’ Story, Beatles ’65, The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, Help! [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack], Rubber Soul, Yesterday and Today, Revolver and Hey Jude. All but The Beatles’ Story and Hey Jude are in mono and stereo. The aforementioned two records are in stereo only.
(The British and American versions of Beatles albums were the same for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles (the “White Album”), Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road and Let It Be.)
If you haven’t heard these U.S. records before, you may notice how Capitol Records engineers reduced bass frequencies, in a move designed to prevent bass lines from making records skip.
Each CD features detailed, miniaturized versions of the original album sleeves (that means the famed, controversial Yesterday and Today “butcher cover” is intact), and the entire set also includes a 64-page book about the historical significance of the U.S. albums.