Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Forgotten Beatles Week: "The Beatles' Story"

What was it?
A two-disc spoken word documentary about The Beatles. It contained no real music (some snippets) or meaningful interviews, just 1964-style announcers reading from a prepared script as seriously as if they were covering the moon landing.

Capitol Records always insisted The Beatles' Story was an official Beatles album, and listed it as such in their promotional material.

It continued to be widely available right up until the end of the vinyl era. And being a double-album with a gate-fold cover meant that it usually cost the same as The Beatles (White Album).

Why is it forgotten?

Always a bitter pill to swallow for the vinyl completist - Beatles' Story was only ever a "Beatles" album because Capitol Records said so. The Beatles themselves are hardly on it.

The company wisely skipped it when re-issuing the early albums on CD.

Fun Facts:
Clocking in at just under 50 minutes in length, the album’s contents could easily have fit on a single disc.

A certified Gold album, Beatles' Story peaked at #7 on the Billboard charts.

Update: Listen to Side One here.

Tomorrow: The Beatles' best and most controversial American album.