•The Beatles made their debut in America at a time when
the United States record industry was stagnating. The years 1955
through 1959 had seen sales increase as much as 36 percent each
year. In 1960, however, industry-wide sales were actually down (.5
percent) from the year before, and 63 sales were up less than 2
percent from the year before. The general recession explained some
of the decrease but a bigger problem was the music itself. With
the exception of the 'girl groups', the excitement generated by
the the r & b crossovers and the first wave of rock and roll
had subsided; Philadelphia schlock did little to bring it back (Chapple
and Garofalo. Rock and Roll is here to Pay, p. 63).
•In the summer of 1963 Vee Jay records was involved in financial
disputes that would eventually lead the company to file for bankruptcy
in 1966 (Goldsmith, M. The Beatles Come to America,p. 102).
•John, Paul, George, and Duff Lowe recorded 'That'll Be
the Day' for 17 s and 6p. There was one copy and the tape was destroyed.
•EMI did not promote "Love Me Do".
Before Capitol changed its mind (about the Beatles), two independents,
Vee Jay in Chicago and Swan in Philadelphia, put out singles based
on rather minor agreements with the Beatles. The records engendered
several lawsuits, but Swan's 'She Loves You' still became the second
best-selling single of the year. For its part MGM even pressed a
single from a tape which an affiliate had made in Germany the year
before (Chapple and Garofalo. Rock and Roll is here to Pay, p. 70).
•Brian would be able to sell "My Bonnie" for 6s
each. 25 were sold within 24 hours, so he ordered 2 more boxes.
•'Love Me Do' the band's first record in Canada sold 175
copies. 'Please Please Me did a little better. The third release,
'From Me To You', sold about 500 copies (Kendall, p. 16).
•It is reported that Brian ordered ten thousand copies of
Love Me Do in order to land it on the British charts. Epstein denied
purchasing the records but friends and associates say that it is
almost certain he did (Lewisohn, Live).
•"I Want To Hold Your Hand" became the fastest
breaking record that EMI's American subsidiary Capitol had ever
released (Chapple and Garofalo. Rock and Roll is here to Pay, p.
•By September 63 sales of 'She Loves You' reach 750,000;
total sales for Beatles releases has reached 2 million.
•By October 'She Loves You' has reached gold (1 million
sold). Please Please Me pass 250,000 in UK.
•In Nov 63 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' is released in the
UK with advanced orders of 700,000 (Schultheiss 68).
•The store [NEMS] sold box after box after box of the record
[My Bonnie] before it was realised that The Beatles were, in fact,
a Liverpool group and not from Germany (Gunby, G. Hello Goodbye,
Me to You’ sold over 500,000 copies, reaching #1, before being
replaced in the number one spot by another Beatles’ record.
•In the late summer of 1963 Dave Dexter of Capitol Records
decided against releasing She Loves You as a single, so EMI made
a deal with the small Philadelphia-based label Swan(Goldsmith, M.
The Beatles Come to America, p. 103).
•Since Capitol had turned down the Beatles’ music
for release in America, Brian was free to offer the records to another
company in the U.S. Vee Jay, a Chicago record company, accepted
distribution for the songs. ‘Please Please Me’ sold
only a few hundred copies (Brown, p. 109).
•Swan Records accepted ‘She Loves You’ for distribution.
The single “vanished as soon as it was released” (Brown,
•Advance orders for With the Beatles in the UK were 300,000.
Domestic sales quickly passed 500,000. In 1965 the album passed
the 1,000,000 mark. The album even placed on the singles chart because
the singles chart included any disc sold regardless of its diameter
(Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 126).
•Recording costs for Please, Please, Me added up to a mere
four hundred pounds (Mackenzie. Every Little Thing, p. 167).
•A Brief History on EMI Courtesy of Scripophily.com "Wall
Street History Lost and Found"
Source: Ottawa Beatle Site
•In 1897 the Gramophone Company began trading in London,
intending to establish a European market for the gramophone and
its flat disc records which Emile Berliner had invented and patented
in the USA some ten years earlier. Initially the Company's catalogue
consisted mainly of songs by music hall artists, brass band recordings
and other popular material, but in 1902 a rising young opera star,
Enrico Caruso, recorded ten arias in a hotel room in Milan, and
thereby helped to establish the gramophone as a serious medium for
classical music. The Gramophone Company flourished, selling both
classical and popular recordings throughout the whole of Europe
as well as Australia, India and other parts of the old British Empire.
•Meanwhile, the Columbia Graphophone Company was also establishing
itself in Europe, initially selling the cylinder records and phonographs
invented by Thomas Edison, but quickly switching to flat discs.
Columbia was soon the main competitor of the Gramophone Company,
which had become known as HMV because of its use of the "His
Master's Voice" painting as its main trademark. By 1929 record
sales were booming as never before, with dance band recordings selling
literally millions of copies, but then the Great Depression hit,
and sales slumped dramatically. To avoid bankruptcy, the Gramophone
Company and its arch-rival the Columbia Graphophone Company merged
in April 1931 to form Electric and Musical Industries (EMI).
•In November 1931 EMI opened the world's first purpose-built
recording studio complex in North London at 3 Abbey Road, which
remains to this day the centre of EMI's recording and post-production
work. Throughout the 1930s the record business gradually picked
up, with classical artists like violinist Yehudi Menuhin and tenor
Beniamino Gigli giving significant support to EMI's recovery. After
a further major setback caused by the Second World War, the Company
revived its classical catalogue with major new stars like Herbert
von Karajan and Maria Callas, and hired a number of talented producers,
including George Martin, to strengthen the pop recording programme.
•The 1950s saw the arrival of rock 'n' roll and the beginning
of the pop culture that resulted in a massive sales explosion, aided
by the arrival of the 45 rpm single and the 33 1/3 rpm long-playing
record. In 1955, to replace the loss of its long-established licensing
arrangements with RCA-Victor and CBS, EMI entered the important
American market by acquiring Capitol Records, whose artists included
Frank Sinatra, Nat "King" Cole and, later, The Beach Boys.
EMI was in the forefront of the development of the British pop scene
that reached its initial peak with The Beatles in the early 1960s,
and subsequently produced many successful groups such as Pink Floyd,
Queen, Deep Purple and Iron Maiden.
•In recent years EMI has further strengthened its position
in the world record market by acquiring a number of other important
record companies, including Chrysalis and Virgin, as well as developing
its own roster of outstanding acts. Today EMI is unrivaled both
for the richness of its past heritage and for the strength of its
current catalogue featuring many of the world's most successful
pop and classical artists.
•It was estimated that during the first year the Beatles
would sell about 6 million pounds worth of records in the UK. This
would increase EMI’s profits by 80% (Brown, p. 110).
•For 1963 they received 1 farthing per double-sided disc.
Millions of records were sold under this original Parlophone contract.
By the end of the year (1964) the group had gotten twenty-eight
sides on the singles charts and produced six
top selling albums (Chapple and Garofalo. Rock and Roll is here
to Pay, p. 70).
•Within two years of turning down the Beatles Decca would
help EMI press Beatle records due to the high demand of the records.
•John Burgess (British record producer): We never anticipated
anything being released in America, quite frankly. I used to regard
England as the world...George Martin was the one who got the whole
thing off when EMI put a guy out there and he took all the product
with him. His name was Roland Rennie, a British guy from EMI who
lived in New York. All the product was channeled through him. He
licensed the first three Beatles records to Swan and Vee Jay and
not to Capitol, who didn't want them.
•Capitol Records in Los Angeles continuously turned down
the opportunity to distribute Beatles' records in the U.S. But in
Canada Paul White, an executive at Capitol in Canada said, "I
used to listen to about fifty new records a week. Then one day I
put on 'Love Me Do' by a group called the Beatles...I decided to
release the Beatles' records in Canada (Kendall, p. 16).
•The British Press reports that a Church of England vicar
has proposed that the Beatles record a record called 'Oh Come All
Ye Faithful Yeah Yeah .
•Songwriting credits on records change from McCartney/Lennon
to Lennon/McCartney in November of '63 (Schultheiss 64).
•The Record Retailer in Britain announced that the British
had bought £6,250,000 worth of Beatles' records in '63 (Lewisohn.
Recording in Germany:
•Beatles made a record in Germany with Rory Storm's singer,
Lu Walters. The Beatles were backup with Ringo on drums. The flipside
was a sales pitch by a gentleman selling leather goods. Alan Williams
paid 10 quid for the recording.
Fever, Summertime, and September Song were the recordings the entry
above is referring to. A 78 rpm disk was produced and four copies
were made. Some sources say that only Summertime was recorded.
•The Beatles offered to pay if they could make their own
recording at the above mentioned German studio. Alan Williams advised
that they had to get back to their performance that evening. (Williams).
•The Beatles were to be paid a flat fee of three hundred
DM (about 26 pounds) and would not be eligible to receive any royalties
from the Tony Sheridan sessions (Flippo, p. 134).