The Beatles discography

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My Bonnie / The Saints, by Tony Sheridan & The Beatles, the first Beatles record to be released.

The Beatles released an impressive thirteen albums in a mere seven years. This was an astonishing achievement considering the relatively short period of time in which they were recorded.

The first four Beatles vinyl albums differ based on their location of release. Those released in the US were of lower sound quality and had some of their songs omitted. Additionally, even though the first four Beatles albums were originally released as both monaural and stereo recordings in the United Kingdom, stereo phonographs were quite rare in England at the time. Naturally, then, George Martin and The Beatles only spent a lot of time on the mono mixes. Many early songs were later remastered by Capitol Records for the US as artificial stereo with bass on one side and treble on the other side, with lots of added echo, to the disgust of many fans today.

When it came time to release the Beatles catalogue on CD, the decision was made to use the original British versions of the albums, since those were the "way the Beatles originally intended them to be". The initial releases of the first four CDs were of the original mono mixes. In 2004, Capitol Records released the first four American albums on CD and they represent the current official stereo versions. No official stereo mix of the first four British albums had been released on compact disc, but there were plenty of "official looking" bootleg CDs floating around that include the US stereo mixes and even bear the "Apple" logo. Martin and the Beatles started to spend more time on stereo mixes by 1965.

In the UK

For a detailed listing see The Beatles discography in the UK.

Originally signed to Parlophone (EMI) in the UK, the Beatles' (UK) official studio albums (not including compilations and the like) were:

  1. Please Please Me (March 22 1963) #1
  2. With the Beatles (November 22 1963) #1
  3. A Hard Day's Night (July 10 1964) #1
  4. Beatles for Sale (December 4 1964) #1
  5. Help! (August 6 1965) #1
  6. Rubber Soul (December 3 1965) #1
  7. Revolver (August 5 1966) #1
  8. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (June 1 1967) #1
  9. Magical Mystery Tour (November 27 1967) #1
  10. The Beatles ("White Album") (November 22 1968) #1
  11. Yellow Submarine (January 17 1969) #3
  12. Abbey Road (September 26 1969) #1
  13. Let It Be (May 8 1970) #1

Compilations and other releases in the UK

Note: Two double compilation albums, featuring as covers the photograph originally taken for Please Please Me and a re-creation of that photograph taken in 1969, originally for Get Back, which became Let It Be)
Note: The reason for the Past Masters compilations are so that every song the Beatles released in 1962-1970 could be on a CD. They include singles and B-sides, two songs sung in German, the contents of an EP released in 1964 that had four additional songs, the "single" versions of the songs "Get Back" and "Let It Be", and a version of "Across the Universe" that had bird-like sound effects.

Christmas records

The Beatles also recorded annual Christmas records for their fan club members. From 1963 to 1969 these were released as 7" flexidiscs on LYN. In 1970 the 7 previous records were put onto a 12" vinyl record. These remain largely unavailable today, with the exception of one track, "Christmas Time Is Here Again", which was edited and released on the Free As a Bird CD single in 1994:

  • The Beatles Christmas Record, LYN 492 (1963)
  • Season's Greetings From The Beatles, LYN 757 (1964)
  • The Beatles 3rd Christmas Record, LYN 948 (1965)
  • Everywhere It's Christmas, LYN 1145 (1966)
  • Christmas Time Is Here Again, LYN 1360 (1967)
  • Beatles 1968 Christmas Record, LYN 1743/4 (1968)
  • Happy Christmas 1969, LYN 1970/1 (1969)
  • From them to you - The Beatles Christmas Record 1970, (UK) Apple LYN 2154, (US) Apple SBC 100 (1970)

In Canada

The division of Capitol Records in Canada released three albums and a number of singles in 1963 and 1964 before aligning with the American division and releasing the same albums as in the US.

In the US

In the United States, as noted above, the Beatles albums were rearranged, retitled and remixed. Some of the US releases were nearly identical to their UK counterparts, often only varying by one or two songs. Most releases contained songs that were also found on other records, which made things difficult for the American Beatles fan trying to purchase the band's entire catalog. By 1967, all US releases matched the UK releases exactly. Some of the US releases included:

  1. Introducing... The Beatles, Vee-Jay Records (July 22 1963) #2
  2. Meet the Beatles!, Capitol Records (January 20 1964) (1st Capitol Records release) #1
  3. The Beatles' Second Album, Capitol Records (April 10 1964) (2nd Capitol Records release) #1
  4. A Hard Day's Night, United Artists (June 13 1964) #1
  5. Something New, Capitol Records (July 20 1964) (3rd Capitol Records release) #2
  6. The Beatles' Story, Capitol Records (November 23 1964) #7
  7. Beatles '65, Capitol Records (December 15 1964) (4th Capitol Records release) #1
  8. The Early Beatles, Capitol Records (March 22 1965) (5th Capitol Records release) #43
  9. Beatles VI, Capitol Records (June 14 1965) (6th Capitol Records release) #1
  10. Help!, Capitol Records (August 13 1965) #1
  11. Rubber Soul, Capitol Records (December 6 1965) #1
  12. "Yesterday" ... and Today, Capitol Records (June 20 1966) #1
  13. Revolver, Capitol Records (August 8 1966) #1
  14. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Capitol Records (June 2 1967) #1
  15. Magical Mystery Tour, Capitol Records (November 27 1967) #1
  16. The Beatles ("White Album"), Capitol Records (November 25 1968) #1
  17. Yellow Submarine, Capitol Records (January 13 1969) #2
  18. Abbey Road, Capitol Records (October 1 1969) #1
  19. Hey Jude, Capitol Records (February 26 1970) #2
  20. Let It Be, Capitol Records (May 18 1970) #1

Compilations and other releases in the US

Extended plays (EP's)




UK singles

US singles

See Beatles Bootlegs for a run down of some of the more popular unauthorized, illegal bootleg material.


External links

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