The Beatles U.S. Albums Track By Track: The Beatles Second Album

Today I continue with Part 2 of my 12 part series on The Beatles U.S. Albums set released earlier this week, comparing the new release with the original vinyl albums.

Capitol Records second Beatles album ‘The Second Beatles Album’,was actually the third by the fab four released in the states.  Vee Jay Records had released ‘Introducing The Beatles’ on January 10, 1964 – 10 days before Capitol’s ‘Meet The Beatles’, and lawsuits were filed almost immediately.  Vee Jay was allowed to sell their album through December 31, 1964.  Nevertheless, it was the second album on Capitol.

Its release on April 10, 1964 came at a time of The Beatles utter dominance of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, where they had 12 songs on four different labels on the chart, including the top 5 positions.  They also had the #1 album on Billboard’s album chart with ‘Meet The Beatles’.

With the vinyl album clocking in at less than 27 minutes (26:57) between both sides,it wasn’t a generous serving of Beatles music, but obviously that didn’t matter.  ‘The Beatles Second Album’ would go on to replace ‘Meet the Beatles’ at #1 – the first time an artist was knocked out of the top spot by the same artist.  The album stayed in the top spot for five weeks, eventually selling over 2 million copies.

While the first Capitol album was filled with Lennon-McCartney originals, six out of the 11 songs on the second album were covers leaving only five Lennon-McCartney originals.  Sonically, the original American album sounds very different from the newly released digital set as the reverb that was added to the Capitol vinyl is missing, giving a much drier sound.  To my ears, thi, and would not appear in that form s new release of ‘The Beatles Second Album’ appears to be made with the 2009 masters from the British album releases.  The Capitol fake stereo ‘Duophonic’ tracks have been replaced on ‘Devil In Her Heart’ with the true stereo master without the extra reverb, and the mono masters of  I’ll Get You’, and ‘She Loves You’ since no stereo masters exist.

One stereo track in particular deserves mention, as it had not seen the light of day on any British album – and would not for another 40+ years.  ‘Thank You Girl”s stereo appearance on ‘The Beatles Second Album’ was also drenched n echo, making it a bit of a rarity, as it’s not on the tapes used for the new set.  It also contained extra harmonica riffs which were not on the original single.  In short, if you liked the reverb/echo drenched sound of the original, you may be disappointed with the latest release, though it is much cleaner.

Here’s a song by song comparison and list of who sang what.  Again, timings may vary die to varying gap times between songs.

Mono Stereo Song/Lead
2:49 2:47 Roll Over Beethoven (Chuck Berry cover)    George
2:07 2:06 Thank You Girl – extra harmonica (Lennon-McCartney)    John
3:05 3:04 You’ve really Got A Hold On Me (Miracles cover)    John
2:30 2:28 Devil In Her Heart (Donays cover)    George with John and Paul
2:53 2:50 Money (Barrett Strong cover)    John with Paul and George
2:40 2:39 You Can’t Do That (Lennon-McCartney)    John with Paul and George
2:07 2:06 Long Tall Sally (Little Richard cover)    Paul
2:11 2:14 I Call Your Name (Lennon-McCartney)    John
3:38 2:37 Please Mr. Postman (Marvelettes cover)    John with Paul and George
2:09 2:09 I’ll Get You (Lennon-McCartney)       John
2:28 2:27 She Loves You (Lennon-McCartney)    John with Paul and George

Front and Back covers of the new release with inner sleeve and CD label

Beatles Producer George Martin On Capitol Records

Monday: Part 3 – The “Something New” album


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