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Something New

Categories: Beatles albums US-only albums

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Beatles Something New album cover art
Something New was the fourth proper Beatles release in America, after the chopped and edited US version of A Hard Day's Night. Like that predecessor, Something New continued the amazing Beatlemaniacal success that gave the group truly unprecedented success in the States (and Capitol a license to keep printing Beatle money for themselves).

The album was, like all Beatles albums in the US until 1967, a record-company-driven release (rather than a band-dictated one). It took several tracks from the British AHDN album that were left off the US version, plus some tracks from the 1964 covers EP (the Larry Williams and the Carl Perkins tracks), and the German-market "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand".

Of course, it is hard to jumble up Beatles music from any era and concoct a release that doesn't hold great appeal for Beatles fans, and Something New is, at the end of the day, a fantastic collection of music. Some of the rowdiest rock music from the UK A Hard Day's Night LP — "When I Get Home", "Any Time At All" — are included, as well as that album's two great slow songs, "If I Fell" and "And I Love Her".

While Ringo and George get a vocal each (Perkins' "Matchbox" and "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You", respectively), Something New is actually a John-dominated collection. Given the adrenaline-fuelled bluesiness of John's exuberant singing voice throughout 1964, the songs on Something New comprise a collection that rocks like few others.

Clearly indispensable in its day for American audiences, today Something New can be considered superfluous since the UK lineup of albums (plus Past Masters 1 and 2) is the more efficient and band-sanctioned discography. However, it was finally released on CD in 2004, allowing American Beatles fans to experience these songs in the same order that was, after all, good enough in 1964 to help propel Beatlemania on its way to the stratosphere.

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