Trivia: This 1964 release was not actually The Beatles’ American debut, but it was their first release on Capitol Records 1.
“Oh please, say to me
You’ll let me be your man
And please, say to me
You’ll let me hold your hand”
— I Want to Hold Your Hand, The Beatles
This early period of The Beatles was their pop phase, with dozens of up-tempo tracks that even non-Beatles fans recognize and have heard countless times on “Oldies” radio stations across the country in the back seat of their parent’s car. It wasn’t until the UK release of Help that the sound of The Beatles began to change; most notably 2 with Paul McCartney’s song Yesterday.
The following video contains a moment with a fan holding a sign with “THE BEATLES ARE GEAR” written on it, which was Mod slang for “very cool” or “in style”. (The sign is at the 24-25 second mark)
The first Beatles record distributed in the United States was actually Introducing… The Beatles on Vee-Jay Records of Chicago. It was released ten days before Meet the Beatles. ↩
See also — One of my favorite scenes in a film that this song always reminds me of; Lux Lisbon’s ((Kirstin Dundst)) secret visit to Trip Fontaine’s ((Josh Hartnett)) car for a frantic make-out session in Sofia Coppola’s film adaptation of The Virgin Suicides:
This album is one of my favorites, and every single track reverberates for days after I listen to it. I know that there are moments that aren’t particularly strong lyrically, but the rest are transcendent.
Buying this album on 12″ also gets you a delightful second record of B-sides and remixes.
The first time I heard this album was in my best friend’s apartment. From Sweet Sugar Mama‘s opening harmonica I was hooked, and then came G. Love’s blues guitar and confidant hiphop cadence. By the end of Coming Home, I had tears in my eyes.