"1" was yet another collection of Beatles songs released by Apple Records and distributed by Parlophone (UK) and Capitol (US and Canada). It became publicly available on November 13, 2000. A vinyl version (released in the UK only) had two discs (four sides). The CD version was a single disc release. A cassette version was also produced. The sequence of songs on the LP and cassette differed from the CD, due to a need to balance the run time across more than one side of the medium in question.
The concept behind "1" was to place on one release all of the Beatles songs that ever went to number 1 in the UK (Record Retailer) or US (Billboard) charts. Twenty-seven such songs are included. They represent a blending of the UK and US versions of the previous compilation, 20 Greatest Hits, with Something More added in. That song was kept off the previous compilation for reasons of disc capacity. Hey Jude appears in "1" in its full, 7-minute version. Total run time of the CD is 1 hour and 19 minutes.
A few songs were not included in the album, even though an argument could be made that they should be there. For You Blue was the b-side to The Long and Winding Road in the US, and the record went to number one. But Capitol regarded the b-side as a non-contender. Day Tripper made the cut, even though it was the b-side to We Can Work It Out in the US, which was considered to be the hit. The fact that the record made number 1 in the UK salvaged the song, since the single was marketed there as having a "double a-side." Please Please Me and Strawberry Fields Forever only went as high as number 2 in the UK per Record Retailer. Strawberry Fields Forever was a double-a-side with Penny Lane in the UK, but the charting system split the sales equally between the two songs, denying the number one spot to both, even though the record, as such, outsold all others for a certain period of time.
Once more, George Martin assisted in the compilation, with input from the surviving band members. By the release date in 2000, every song on "1" could be purchased on CD, either from the remasters of the Red and Blue Albums (1993), or from the Beatles Box Set and Past Masters (1987-88). However, the new remasters for the "1" album were of vastly higher quality than the earlier remakes. The use of the most recent technology provided clear, bright renditions of each of the 27 history-making songs. All are in stereo except for the first three singles, which have only a mono mix: "Love Me Do," "From Me to You," and "She Loves You."
The distinctive album cover is a field of red with a large yellow "1" on it. The back shows Avedon portraits of the Beatles from 1967. The CD package included a 32-page folio of 163 picture covers from Beatles releases the world over, together with data on each song on the record. The LP cover had a gatefold with 126 album covers and some of the Richard Avedon photos. George Martin wrote the foreword.
The album "1" was an unexpected success in all the markets where it was sold. In spite of its being released nearly 30 years after the Beatles had disbanded, it sold millions of copies, over 3.6 million in the first week alone. Worldwide, it had sold 12 million copies in the first three weeks of sale. It was Billboard's "Album of the Year" when it was released, and remains in the top ten best selling albums since Soundscan established the standard in 1991. It became the Beatles' 17th number one album in the UK. Apple says that "1" has sold well over 30 million copies worldwide, with 12 million of those in the US alone.
|Song||Lead Vocals||Written by||Length|
|Love Me Do||Lennon and McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||2:20|
|From Me to You||Lennon with McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||1:56|
|She Loves You||Lennon and McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||2:21|
|I Want to Hold Your Hand||Lennon and McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||2:24|
|Can't Buy Me Love||McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||2:11|
|A Hard Day's Night||Lennon and McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||2:33|
|I Feel Fine||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney||2:18|
|Eight Days a Week||Lennon and McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||2:44|
|Ticket to Ride||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney||3:10|
|We Can Work It Out||McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||2:15|
|All You Need Is Love||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney||3:47|
|The Ballad of John and Yoko||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney||2:59|
|Let It Be||McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||3:50|
|The Long and Winding Road||McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||3:37|