Beatles B-Sides

In your column on single records, you mention a few by the Beatles to demonstrate their ability to pen superior “B-sides”. There are a couple of clarifications that need to be made.

You list “I Saw Her Standing There” as the B-side to “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. Although it was released this way by Capitol Records in the US, the “real” B-side on the official British EMI release was “This Boy”. “I Saw Her Standing There” was never intended for a single release.

You also list “Day Tripper” as the B-side to “We Can Work It Out”, when the official EMI release is actually the opposite.


I’d always heard that “Penny Lane”/“Strawberry Fields” WAS a double A- side.

I’d also heard that is was the first-ever released double-A.

I read this in a book written by a Beatle nut, though, who was willing to believe that Ringo created the world in six days, so it could be wrong.


I thought the ratings were based on sales, so I don’t know how they know which of the two songs sold on the same disk is more popular.

Yeah, I’ve never heard of anyone else coming up with an earlier double-A platter. But that’s just a meaningless bit of promotional jive anyway, the way I see it.

DJs determine what is “popular” by playing it for the unthinking masses, who turn around and buy the most what they hear played the most. Thus in a burg like Chicago, where “I’m Down” (the flip-side) was played, it became a “hit,” while the song was unknown in other towns.

Let’s see if this link works.

I mean this link. (I blame that crazy rock music for my mistake.)

IKE: Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane were both desiginated as A sides. George Martin stated in an interview that it was a mistake because neither song hit #1. In the book “All You Need Is Love-The Making Of Sgt. Pepper” the original song lineup including Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane can be found.

“Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans”-John Lennon 1980

Regarding the different UK/US singles arrangements, one of the things to consider with the Beatles or any performer is that multinational record labels will allow their branches in foreign markets – specially those in the US, the 800-lb gorilla of mass media markets – to repackage the product whichever way it will sell most profitably, if they can get away with it.
Pre-Pepper, EMI allowed their sub-labels Parlophone (UK) and Capitol (USA) to set their own market priorities as to Beatles single/album releases, just holding them to roughly parallelling the releases of A-side singles and produced-new Albums. But otherwise you’d have albums on Parlophone with 14 tracks to Capitol’s 11; singles released independently from any album in one or the other market or both; switched b-sides; divergent titles, US-only albums, etc.

JR: It gets more complicated, the cassettes released in a country may not even correspond to the album released in that country. Capitol did it so so both sides of the tape would be as close as possible in length. There is an article about this in this month’s issue of Goldmine magazine(Oct.1999-Annual Beatles Issue).

“Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans”-John Lennon 1980