Canadians Beat Americans To Beatlemania Back In '63

Everything You Ever Wanted To Say Or Read About Music

Canadians Beat Americans To Beatlemania Back In '63

Postby Peter » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:10 am

A new Beatles box set called the U.S. Albums shows Canadians got a better deal from the early Beatles than fans across the border. The collection, due out Tuesday, reissues all 13 of the band's U.S. albums, which often had mixes, track lists and cover art that differed from the U.K. originals.

Its release is tied to the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show - Feb. 9. 1964. (CBS plans to air a two-hour special on Feb. 9.) But another date - Feb. 18, 1963 - is a fascinating footnote in Beatles history. It's the day Love Me Do, the first Beatles single, was released in Canada.

Capitol Records of Canada was blessed with Paul White, a young Brit who headed the label's new artist and repertoire department in Toronto. White delivered the Beatles to Canadian fans almost a year before the band played the Sullivan show.


White was 27 when he heard Love Me Do, around Christmas in 1962. It was among a batch of singles sent by EMI, Capital's parent company in England. The record had been a hit there the previous October. White's job was to choose international records that may become hits in Canada.

"It was just a simple little song, not a great piece, but there was something joyful about the singing," said White, who came to Canada from England in 1957.

"I put it out (in February 1963), and I think it sold 170 copies."

White kept plugging. He released the Beatles' next two British singles, Please Please Me and From Me To You, but both flopped here. All three singles were played on CPFL in London - the only station in the country to do so.

But White believed in the band. His faith paid off when She Loves You, the fourth Canadian single, came out in late September.

"It went berserk," White said.

The U.S. Albums includes five Capitol albums never before available on CD - A Hard Day's Night Soundtrack; The Beatles' Story; an audio commentary of the band's rise to fame, Yesterday ... And Today; Revolver; and Hey Jude.

In the U.S., the company made a hodgepodge of the Beatles' artistic intentions by reordering the songs and replacing some tracks meant for a particular album with others that weren't.

The process meant U.S. fans got bowdlerized versions of the first U.K. albums, with fewer songs and shoddy mixes that were worse in stereo.

White was sharp enough to prevent that from happening in Canada.

In November 1963, White released Beatlemania! With The Beatles. Musically, it was a copy of the band's first U.K. album Please Please Me but with an altered front cover.

White used the arty blackand-white photograph from With The Beatles, their second U.K. album, and bedecked the album cover with quotes from Canadian journalists, including a memorable line from Sandy Gardiner of the Ottawa Journal: "A new disease is sweeping through England ... and doctors are powerless to stop it ... it's Beatlemania!"

Piers Hemmingsen, a leading Beatles historian, credits the album with transforming the music industry. "It sold 300,000 copies in Canada, an enormous success." Before the Beatles, teenagers bought only singles, he said.
© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:47 pm

Re: Canadians Beat Americans To Beatlemania Back In '63

Postby John Kerr » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:15 pm

I believe that it was a Mr. Dexter who messed up the Beatles LP's in the states. Dexter was more into jazz and did not understand rock and roll; according to a book I read some time ago. The Beatles did not like him very much because he was blamed for the 12 songs per LP on North American LP's instead of the 14 on the British releases. The songs removed from the LP's were sold as singles. It was viewed as a money grab.

Mr. Dexter has been tagged with this famous quote "don't bother signing the Beatles, they are not going anywhere". This is odd that he was tagged with this quote as his report (linked below) states that he was the one that worked hard to get the Beatles signed. In this report he complains that Capital Records was not really interested in promoting British bands. ... report.pdf

But then there are other stories:
Dave Dexter = Moron

Dave Dexter covers his tracks?
Who knows?
User avatar
John Kerr
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:44 am

Return to Music