Meet the Beatles!

The Beatles

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Meet the Beatles! Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Meet the Beatles! wasn't the first Beatles album released in the U.S. (that would've been Introducing the Beatles, on Vee Jay), but as the first Beatles album released by Capitol Records, it was indeed the LP where many millions of Americans were introduced to the Fab Four. As an introduction, there could hardly have been one better. Largely comprised of material released on their second U.K. LP, With the Beatles -- the album art offers a blue-tinted spin on that late-1963 release -- Meet the Beatles! contains nine of that album's 14 songs, cutting out almost all the covers (all the better for publishing rights, but also an effective showcase of the group's talents; it's hard not to view the inclusion of the one remaining cover, "Till There Was You" from The Music Man, as a way to illustrate how Meet the Beatles! could appeal to parents) in a quest to trim the LP down to 12 songs. What was added to the With the Beatles material are three of the Beatles best early songs: their American breakthrough single "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and its U.K. B-side ballad "This Boy," plus "I Saw Her Standing There" from their U.K. debut Please Please Me (this song was the B-side of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in the U.S.). The revisions make Meet the Beatles! slightly more of a frenetic rock & roll record than its parent LP -- there isn't much R&B or as many ballads -- which, at the time, made it an appropriate soundtrack for the wild heyday of Beatlemania but, as the years have passed, the emphasis on joyous, exuberant rock & roll means that Meet the Beatles! still sounds fresh and exciting on its own terms. [A 50th Anniversary release of the album included both mono and stereo mixes of the original.]

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Beatles 02:27 Amazon
2 The Beatles 02:54 Amazon
3 The Beatles 02:15 Amazon
4 The Beatles 02:13 Amazon
5 The Beatles 02:04 Amazon
6 The Beatles 02:08 Amazon
7 The Beatles 02:29 Amazon
8 The Beatles 01:48 Amazon
9 The Beatles 02:15 Amazon
10 The Beatles 02:33 Amazon
11 The Beatles 01:58 Amazon
12 The Beatles 02:10 Amazon
13 The Beatles 02:27 Amazon
14 The Beatles 02:55 Amazon
15 The Beatles 02:15 Amazon
16 The Beatles 02:13 Amazon
17 The Beatles 02:04 Amazon
18 The Beatles 02:08 Amazon
19 The Beatles 02:29 Amazon
20 The Beatles 01:48 Amazon
21 The Beatles 02:15 Amazon
22 The Beatles 02:33 Amazon
23 The Beatles 02:01 Amazon
24 The Beatles 02:05 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick