Meet The Beatles was released 50 years ago today! With the single I Want To Hold Your Hand rising to number one in the US charts, Capital put out this album of songs from With The Beatles (UK) and sporting Robert Freeman's stylish photography. The band arrived in the United States on February 7th, 1964, to promote the record with press conferences, TV appearances and a short tour. Their famous Ed Sullivan debut was broadcast on February 9th, followed by their first gig at Washington Coliseum on February 11th. I became a massive fan and collector when I was about six or seven. My dad and I moved away from the family home when I was starting first grade. Spending a lot of time alone, I expect I was primed to cultivate a new hobby and my first non-childrens record paved the way. Somewhere in those early years, I have vivid memories of playing Help on my portable turntable (a blue and white plastic model w mono speaker). Thanks to a family friend, I was soon spinning a complete collection of original US albums and filling a special box with Beatles cards, magazines, toys, and other memorabilia. All these years later, that still describes how I spend some of my time. Like many others, I remember feeling like the band opened a door into a new world. The sound of the music and message of the lyrics, wrapped in that Captial-reverb glory, were a kind of coming-of-age ritual. Even though I was listening in the early 1970s, the albums transported me back to a more stylish time. I could close my eyes and imagine my room was the Cavern Club or Swinging London (in black and white), populated by intelligent young people from the world of music, fashion, cinema, and design. I've collected multiple copies of the records since then, but my first Meet The Beatles (below) bridges the time and takes me back to my room with that little portable turntable. I posted more about record collecting with images of vintage shops here. Thanks to Barbara L for passing along your collection and fostering a young Beatles fan! Beatlemania comes again during this anniversary with the release of the complete remastered Capital Albums. The box set is on sale today on PopMarket. Amazon page here.
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