For the Alistair Taylor autobiography of the same name, see Alistair Taylor
With the Beatles is the second studio album by the English rock group the Beatles. It was released on 22 November 1963, onParlophone, and was recorded four months after the band’s debut Please Please Me. The album features eight original compositions (seven by Lennon–McCartney and “Don’t Bother Me“, George Harrison‘s first recorded solo composition and his first released on a Beatles album) and six covers (mostly of Motown, rock and roll, and R&B hits). The cover photograph was taken by the fashion photographer Robert Freeman, and it has been mimicked by several music groups over the years.
The album became the first Beatles album released in North America when it was released in Canada on 25 November under the augmented title Beatlemania! With the Beatles, with additional text on the album cover, and issued only in mono at the time, catalogue number T 6051 (a stereo Canadian release would come in 1968, catalogue number ST 6051). With The Beatles was unevenly “split” over the group’s first two Capitol albums in the United States; nine tracks were issued on Meet the Beatles! (the eight original compositions plus “Till There Was You“), and the remaining five, all “covers”, were placed on The Beatles’ Second Album.
The LP had advance orders of a half million and sold another half million by September 1965, making it the second album to sell a million copies in the United Kingdom, after the soundtrack to the 1958 film South Pacific.With the Beatles remained at the top of the charts for 21 weeks, displacing Please Please Me, so that the Beatles occupied the top spot for 51 consecutive weeks. It even reached number 11 in the “singles charts” (because at the time UK charts counted all records sold, regardless of format). EMI Australia did not receive the cover art, and used alternate shots of the band in a similar style to the black-and-white photograph on other releases. The Beatles were unaware of this until fans showed them the cover during their only Australian tour, and informed the EMI publicity staff that they were not pleased with the substitution.
On 26 February 1987, With the Beatles was officially released on compact disc (in mono only, catalogue number CDP 7 46436 2). Having been available only as an import in the US in the past, the album was also issued domestically in the US on LP and cassette on 21 July 1987. Along with the rest of the Beatles’ canon, it was re-released on CD in newly re-mastered stereo and mono versions on 9 September 2009.
The album was ranked number 420 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003, and was included in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
Unlike Please Please Me, whose tracks not previously issued on singles (10 of the 14) were recorded in one day (11 February 1963),With The Beatles was recorded over seven sessions across three months, from 18 July to 23 October. None of its 14 tracks were issued as singles in the UK. In between sessions, as Beatlemania took off across the UK, the group were busy with radio, TV, and live performances. The sessions featured:
- 18 July: “You Really Got a Hold on Me”, “Money (That’s What I Want)”, “(There’s A) Devil in Her Heart” and “Till There Was You”.
- 30 July: “Please Mister Postman”, “It Won’t Be Long”, “Money”, “Till There Was You”, “Roll Over Beethoven”, and “All My Loving”.
- 11 September: “I Wanna Be Your Man”, “Little Child”, “All I’ve Got to Do”, “Not a Second Time” and “Don’t Bother Me”.
- 12 September: “Hold Me Tight” “Don’t Bother Me”, “Little Child” and “I Wanna Be Your Man”.
- 3 October: “I Wanna Be Your Man” and “Little Child”.
- 17 October: “I Want to Hold Your Hand“, “This Boy“, and “You Really Got a Hold on Me”. This was the Beatles’ first session to use four-track recording. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “This Boy” were the A-side and B-side of the Beatles’ next single, released on 29 November.
- 23 October: “I Wanna Be Your Man”.
With the Beatles (side 1) –Parlophone yellow and black label.
All songs written and composed by Lennon–McCartney, except where noted.
According to Mark Lewisohn:
- The Beatles
- George Harrison – lead, harmony and backing vocals; lead and acoustic guitars; handclaps; nylon-string acoustic guitar on “Till There Was You”
- John Lennon – lead, harmony and backing vocals; rhythm and acoustic guitars; harmonica and handclaps; nylon-string acoustic guitar on “Till There Was You”; Hammond organ on “I Wanna Be Your Man” and tambourine on “Don’t Bother Me”
- Paul McCartney – lead, harmony and backing vocals; bass guitar and handclaps; piano on “Little Child” and claves on “Don’t Bother Me”
- Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine, maracas, handclaps; lead vocals on “I Wanna Be Your Man” and Arabian loose-skin bongo on “Till There Was You” and “Don’t Bother Me”
Charts and certifications
- Album cuts
BPI certification awarded only for sales since 1994.
||22 November 1963
|16 February 1987
||CDP 7 46436 2
||26 February 1987
||CDP 7 46436 2
|21 July 1987
||9 September 2009
||Remastered stereo CD
||0946 3 82420 2 4
|Remastered mono CD
|13 November 2012
||Remastered stereo LP
- Jump up^ O’Dell, Denis; Neaverson, Bob (2002). At the Apple’s core: the Beatles from the inside. Peter Owen Limited. p. 27.
the first truly convincing British rock and roll album, With The Beatles
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- Jump up^ “British album certifications – The Beatles – With The Beatles”. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 15 September 2013. Enter With The Beatles in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
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