ST 2309 The Early Beatles
Produced by George Martin
Released on March 22, 1965
US CHART POSITION #43 . . . GOLD RECORD (1/8/74), PLATINUM (1/10/97)
Find it at GEMM
ST 2309 cover
[high resolution photo]

O f course, everyone had already met The Beatles by the time Capitol got around to releasing material from the band’s first official album. The Early Beatles covers the same ground as Introducing... The Beatles, the first US elpee whose distribution rights were sold to Vee-Jay. Oops. Although it didn’t chart particularly well when it was released in 1965, The Early Beatles gained more followers during its reissue on Apple in the ‘70s and later on Capitol again. The record, available in stereo, became the best way to hear The Beatles’ early recordings in the US: “Love Me Do,” “P.S. I Love You,” “Twist And Shout,” “Do You Want To Know A Secret.” The Apple reissue in particular is printed on thick vinyl (no wonder they went out of business) and sounds terrific. Listening to these tracks today, you can hear the sound of revolution at work in the bristling, energetic arrangements of “Love Me Do,” “Twist And Shout” and “Boys.” The Beatles really could rock out when the mood overtook them, just as they could wax romantic on “P.S. I Love You” or “Ask Me Why.” Nearly half of the material is original, including “Ask Me Why,” which dates from their days with Tony Sheridan. If I don’t give this a green rating, it’s only because it’s hard to get excited about a reissue of the US repackage of the band’s first record (Please Please Me). The songs themselves are classics, though the band’s early work obviously strikes some listeners as precious (Rolling Stones fans, I’m looking at you). In the end, it’s not that their cover of “A Taste of Honey” or “Chains” is great. Greatness lies in the way they carelessly shuffle between old favorites and new material with the same revolutionary musical sensibilities; alternating vocals, adding tart guitar licks and churning out excitement like a studio rumble all speak to the invincibility of youth. So, in any incarnation, this is invincible music, and you’ll probably have to own it sooner rather than later. The Early Beatles is one way to get it, though it’s no longer the easiest way.

ST 2309 back cover
ST 2309 back cover


  1. LOVE ME DO    (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)    2:19
  2. TWIST AND SHOUT    (Bert Russell/Phil Medley)    2:32
  3. ANNA (GO TO HIM)    (Arthur Alexander)    2:56
  4. CHAINS    (Gerry Goffin/Carole King)    2:21
  5. BOYS    (Dixon/Farrell)    2:24
  6. ASK ME WHY    (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)    2:24
  7. PLEASE PLEASE ME    (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)    2:00
  8. P.S. I LOVE YOU    (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)    2:02
  9. BABY IT'S YOU    (Davis/Williams/Bacharach)    2:36
  10. A TASTE OF HONEY    (Ric Marlow)    2:02
  11. DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET    (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)    1:55



return to THE BEATLES discography

US March 22, 1965 Capitol LPm/s T/ST 2309 avail. in mono or stereo, colorband label
US 1971 Apple LP ST 2309 reissue
JPN   Apple LP EAS-80565  
US   Capitol LP/8T ST/8XT 2309 orange label
US   Capitol LP ST 2309 purple label


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