The Early Beatles
Compilation album by
Released22 March 1965
Recorded4 September 1962 – 20 February 1963
StudioEMI, London
GenreRock and roll
ProducerGeorge Martin
CompilerDave Dexter, Jr.
The Beatles North American chronology
Beatles '65
The Early Beatles
Beatles VI
Professional ratings
Review scores
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[2]
The Rolling Stone Record Guide[3]

The Early Beatles is the Beatles' sixth album released on Capitol Records, and their eighth album overall for the American market. All of the tracks on this album had previously been available on the Vee-Jay Records release Introducing... The Beatles, issued in January, 1964. The front cover photo for this album features the same back cover photo for the British LP Beatles for Sale.

The album is included in Robert Christgau's "Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings, published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981).[4]


Vee-Jay Records had gained American distribution rights to the tracks on this album before the group became popular in America (because Capitol Records, the US subsidiary of EMI which owned the Beatles' record label Parlophone, had declined to release the group's records in America), and their releases had initially failed to chart. But after the group became famous, Vee-Jay, still holding the rights to the early material, was able to reissue them in America and this time the records sold in the millions. Capitol filed a lawsuit attempting to stop Vee Jay from distributing the tracks, but was unsuccessful. In October 1964, Vee-Jay's license to distribute the Beatles recordings they possessed expired, thus giving Capitol the distribution rights for the tracks on the album.

Release and reception

Although Vee-Jay (and subsidiary, Tollie Records) had compiled four albums, ten singles and one EP in the space of just fifteen months from these Beatles tracks, when issued by Capitol, The Early Beatles sold well, but its highest Billboard chart position was only number 43, making it the only original Beatles album issued by Capitol or United Artists Records not to reach numbers 1 or 2 in America (with the exception of the Capitol documentary album, The Beatles' Story, which peaked at number 7). Capitol did little to promote The Early Beatles since the label merely viewed it as a replacement for Introducing...The Beatles, rather than a "new" Beatles album. The Early Beatles was certified Gold ($1 million in sales) on 8 January 1974 and Platinum (1 million copies sold) on 10 January 1997 by the RIAA.[5] The album was released in both mono and stereo versions. As no stereo masters of "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You" exist, Capitol used EMI's duophonic mixes of both songs. The mono pressing of the album was made with a two-to-one fold-down of the stereo tapes, as evidenced by John and Paul's vocal collision and chuckle heard in the third verse of "Please Please Me". The original mix on the UK mono issue of the Please Please Me album uses an edit to correct the mistake, while the stereo version of the same album does not. So the existence of the vocal error in a mono mix is unique to The Early Beatles as well as a short-lived Capitol Starline 45 rpm single released in October, 1965 and deleted only two months later.

Compact disc

The Early Beatles is available on compact disc as part of The Capitol Albums, Volume 2 boxed set (catalogue number CDP 0946 3 57498 2 3), in both its original stereo and mono fold-down Capitol mixes. In 2014, a second CD version of The Early Beatles containing the 2009 remastered UK stereo and mono mixes, was issued individually and as part of the Beatles The U.S. Albums boxed set.


Track listing

The album consists of eleven of the fourteen tracks from the Beatles' first American album Introducing...The Beatles as well as their first British LP Please Please Me. All songs written by Lennon-McCartney except where noted.

Side one
1."Love Me Do"2:23
2."Twist and Shout" (Phil Medley and Bert Russell)2:33
3."Anna (Go to Him)" (Arthur Alexander)3:00
4."Chains" (Gerry Goffin and Carole King)2:27
5."Boys" (Luther Dixon and Wes Farrell)2:25
6."Ask Me Why"2:28
Total length:15:16
Side two
1."Please Please Me"2:00
2."P.S. I Love You"2:05
3."Baby It's You" (Burt Bacharach, Mack David, and Luther Dixon, credited as Barney Williams)"2:38
4."A Taste of Honey" (Ric Marlow and Bobby Scott)"2:04
5."Do You Want to Know a Secret"1:59
Total length:10:46

Remaining Vee-Jay tracks issued on LP by Capitol in the US

Title Single Album
"I Saw Her Standing There" Capitol 5112–1964
(released prior to The Early Beatles)
Meet the Beatles!—1964
(released prior to The Early Beatles)
"Thank You Girl" Capitol Starline 6064–1965 The Beatles' Second Album—1964
(released prior to The Early Beatles)
"From Me to You" Capitol Starline 6063–1965 1962–1966—1973
"Misery" Capitol Starline 6066–1965 Rarities—1980
"There's a Place" Capitol Starline 6061–1965 Rarities—1980

Charts and certifications


  1. ^
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.
  3. ^ Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (Editors). The Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1st edition, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979, p. 26.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "A Basic Record Library: The Fifties and Sixties". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 0899190251. Retrieved 16 March 2019 – via
  5. ^ "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  6. ^ Whitburn 2010, p. 64.
  7. ^ "The Beatles Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. 30 September 2021. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  8. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Beatles – The Early Beatles". Music Canada. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  9. ^ "American album certifications – Beatles, The – The Early Beatles". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 15 September 2013.


  • Stannard, Neville (1981). The Long and Winding Road: A History of the Beatles on Record. London: Virgin Books Ltd. ISBN 0-907080-96-0.
  • Whitburn, Joel (2010), Joel Whitburn Presents Top Pop Albums, Seventh Edition, Record Research Inc., ISBN 978-0-89820-183-3