Producer: George Martin
Track listing: Roll Over Beethoven / Thank You Girl / You Really Got a Hold on Me / Devil in Her Heart / Money (That’s What I Want) / You Can’t Do That / Long Tall Sally / I Call Your Name Please Mister Postman / I’ll Get You She Loves You
May 4, 1964
Despite its title, The Beatles’ Second Album wasn’t actually the Fab Four’s second American I.P. Just as Capitol had taken the liberty to pro¬claim, “The First Album by England’s Phenomenal Pop Combo” on the cover of Meet the Beatles! (which was in fact the group’s second American album), the label once again attempted a bit of revisionist history with the title of the group’s second Capitol Records album.
The Beatles’ Second Album was actually the group’s fifth American album chart entry. With the success of the Number One single “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and Meet the Beatles!, Introducing … The Beatles, the Beatles’ first American album, finally began to climb the chart. That album, which was licensed to the independent Vee-Jay label, was released in July 1963 and again in January 1964. Before Capitol could rush-release The Beatles’ Second Album, two other Beatles-related LPs appeared on the chart: early recordings of the band on an MGM album called The Beatles with Tony Sheridan and Their Guests and a Vee-Jay compilation album titled Jolly What! The Beatles & Frank Ifield. Both of those albums, however, failed to make much of an impact.
The Beatles’ Second Album was another story. With Beatlemania in full effect, the album debuted at number 16 on the Top LP’s chart on April 27, 1964. Meet the Beatles! was at Number One for the 11th straight week at the time, while Introducing… the Beatles was in the number two position. The following week, The Beatles’ Second Album rocketed to the summit, pushing Meet the Beatles! down to the number two position, while Introducing fell to number four.
When The Beatles’ Second Album finished its five-week run at Number One, the Fab Four had racked up a total of 16 consecutive weeks at the top with their first two Capitol albums, the longest run by one act since Andy Williams’s The Days of Wine and Roses.
Like Meet the Beatles!, The Beatles’ Second Album was comprised of a hodgepodge of material culled from the group’s British albums and singles. “We always objected terribly to what the Americans did to our recordings, but we had no say in it,” says George Martin, the group’s producer. “They just did what they wanted to do.”
Capitol had chosen to delete five cover versions from the Beatles’ second British album, With the Beatles, when the label issued it in the U.S. as Meet the Beatles! Those songs — “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Please Mister Postman,” “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Money,” and “Devil in Her Heart” — surfaced on The Beatles’ Second Album. Also included was the group’s second Number One single, “She Loves,” which topped the Hot 100 on March 21, 1964, and its B-side “I’ll Get You.” Two other B-sides, “You Can’t Do That” and “Thank You Girl,” were also featured.
Yet The Beatles’ Second Album did have something special for American fans. It contained the premiere of two new recordings, the Beatles’ cover of Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally” and a new John Lennon/Paul McCartney original, “I Call Your Name.” Those tracks didn’t make their debut in the U.K. until June 19, on the Long Tall Sally EP.
THE TOP FIVE
Week of May 4, 1964
1. The Beatles’ Second Album, The Beatles
2. Meet the Beatles, The Beatles
3. Hello Dolly!, Original Cast
4. Introducing… the Beatles, The Beatles
5. Honey in the Horn, Al Hirt