On the Billboard charts of April 4, 1964, 45 years ago this week, a phenomenal thing took place. Not only was the #1 single by the Beatles – Can’t Buy Me Love, which would stay on the top of the charts for five weeks – but the whole top five was dominated by the Fab Four. The week before, the Beatles had 10 singles on the Top 100 charts, 12 the following week and 14 the week after, crushing Elvis Presley’s record of nine on December 19, 1956. and it was facilitated by this one fact: the Beatles were a bust when they were first released in the United States.
For instance, She Loves You was a reissue of a failed September 1963 release on Swan Records. From Me To You managed to get all the way up to #116 in 1963 on VeeJay. My Bonnie, a 1962 Decca release, originally failed to chart at all.
But when the Beatles, now on Capitol Records, hit #1 with I Want To Hold Your Hand the week of February 1, 1964, followed by their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, those records on those other labels began to chart as well. No label would have put out more than a couple songs by an artist at once – Can’t Buy Me Love ascended to the top as I Want To Hold Your Hand descended for Capitol, but the other companies wanted to take full advantage of Beatlemania.
I was always a little bothered by the Beatles’ #1 as a collection, for it fails to register the quality and quantity of Beatles hits in that first period. Please Please Me (likely) and Twist and Shout (almost definitely) were blocked from getting to #1 only by another Beatles song.
MIT DEN BEATLES Whole Category on JEOPARDY!, Show #5644 – Thursday, March 5, 2009
$200 The Beatles honed their chops playing clubs in the Reeperbahn, a red-light district in this German port city
$400 One of 2 official Beatles German-language releases, “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand” was the lads’ take on this 1964 smash
$600 Astrid Kirchherr & Klaus Voormann are characters in this movie dramatization of the Beatles’ time in Germany
$800 To please their rabid German fans, the boys re-recorded this hit as “Sie Liebt Dich” in 1964
$1000 While making “Let It Be”, the Beatles recorded “Geh Raus”, a German-language spoof of this No. 1 hit
The Beatles Complete on Ukulele.
Math Professor Figures Formula for Beatles Success
I Want To Hold Your Hand [on Past Masters #1]
BackBeat [which no one on the show got; I saw the movie and own the soundtrack]
She Loves You [on Past Masters #1]
Get Back [which I’ve never heard! Anyone out there own this? Anyone even HEARD this?]