To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' first trip to America, Capitol Records is reissuing all of the Fab Four's American albums in a 13-CD box set. The retrospective, simply labeled The U.S. Albums, arrives in North America on January 21, just a few weeks ahead of February 7, the day that the Beatles landed at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport in 1964.
The U.S. Albums spans from 1964's Meet the Beatles! to 1970's Hey Jude compilation, with most of the records dating between 1964 and 1966, a period when the iconic band most often released U.S.-specific editions of their work. As the Beatles' website points out, the U.S. versions differed from their U.K. counterparts in several ways, including track lists, song mixes, album titles, and artwork.
Most surprising, though, is the fact that five of the full-lengths contained in the set have never been released on CD before. For the first time, fans will be able to own 1964's A Hard Day's Night (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), 1964's The Beatles' Story, 1966's Yesterday and Today, the U.S. edition of 1966's Revolver, and 1970's Hey Jude on CD.
Other efforts featured in the massive reissue are 1964's Meet the Beatles!, 1964's The Beatles' Second Album, 1964's Something New, 1965's Beatles '65, 1965's The Early Beatles, 1965's Beatles VI, 1965's Help! (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack),and 1965's Rubber Soul.
The box set comes with lovingly replicated artwork (including the inner sleeves), a 64-page booklet with photos and promotional art, and a new essay by author and television executive Bill Flanagan. All of the albums will be presented in mono and stereo, aside from The Beatles Story (an audio commentary record) and Hey Jude, which are in stereo only. For a limited time, every one of the CDs — with the exception of The Beatles' Story — will be sold individually.
The Recording Academy plans to honor the Beatles with a Lifetime Achievement Award on January 25. And on February 9, CBS will air The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute to the Beatles, a two-hour television special devoted to the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' legendary appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The broadcast will begin airing at 8 p.m. EST.