November 22, 1963 is a date that is burned into the psyche of any American aged five years or older at that time. It is the day that JFK was assassinated in Dallas, of course, and as a people we were collectively shattered. We wouldn’t begin to emerge from these doldrums until about two months later, when our eyes and ears were distracted by the intriguing sight and sound created by four kids from a northern city in England. For the next six years, they, with their instinct for melody and humor, knack for the zeitgeist, and their outrageously long hair, would make us smile, make us think, and encourage us to be different. All while raising the bar on popular music at an astonishing rate.
Their debut American single, I Want To Hold Your Hand, released just after Christmas, would enter the American charts in mid-January and reach #1 by the beginning of February. Their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9 sealed the deal. A week later, their first American album, Meet The Beatles, was #1 on the Billboard charts and the rest is history.
After JFK, they were exactly what we needed. And as we would come to learn over the years, their timing was impeccable.
As many Beatle aficionados are aware, all British and American albums varied at least slightly in track listing and release date during the years 1963-66. Meet The Beatles, Capitol Records' release here in America, did not exist in England. Its British counterpart was on Parlophone Records and was called With The Beatles, and though it varies slightly from the American LP, this was, essentially, the record that made America fall in love with The Beatles.
The British version was released a couple of months before its American offspring.
With The Beatles hit the shelves in England on November 22, 1963.
Look it up.