Hey Jude is a collection, conceived by Allen Klein at Apple Records and distributed in the North American market by Capitol Records. It was released on February 26, 1970. Hey, Jude is essentially a grab bag of previous single releases over the period 1964-1969, plus two songs that had come out only on the UA album, A Hard Day's Night, loosely conceived as a retrospective of the group's work over the years. It was a stereo release, meaning that several singles (distributed only in mono) could be heard in stereo for the first time.
Klein put Allan Steckler of Apple (and Abkco) in charge of producing the record. In addition to the ten songs on the final listing, several others also met the selection criteria; however, Steckler chose not to include them. These "also-rans" include A Hard Day's Night, Get Back, I'm Down, (b-side of Help!), The Inner Light (b-side of Lady Madonna), From Me to You, Misery and There's a Place (an early Vee-Jay release). Because Apple had become disenchanted with Capitol's schedule of releases and their pre-release promotion, Steckler went to Bell Sound Studios in New York for final production, something he also did with subsequent compilations.
The original title (The Beatles Again) was changed in the final hour to Hey, Jude as a means of promoting the first song on side two. Labels had already gone to press, so some early sales have the previous name on the disc. The photos on the album cover come from the last-ever session that included all four band members. It was on August 22, 1969 at Lennon's house.
Hey Jude was placed in the markets of several countries, including most of Europe, North and South America, Australia and Japan. It was not released in the UK for over nine years, but finally Parlophone made it available domestically on May 11, 1979. Curiously the Spanish version of the disc does not include The Ballad of John and Yoko because of John's comment that "Gibraltar is near Spain." At the time the fascist government in Franco's Spain was claiming that Gibraltar was part of Spain, and officially complained about the reference. Another curiosity of this album is that the sides are reversed in the reel-to-reel and cassette tape formats. The likely explanation is that the original side two was longer than side one, and the practice was to release the longer side first on tape, to avoid a long dead spot at the end of the first side. Hey, Jude was not reissued on CD, as all its content was either on the CD of A Hard Day's Night or in the Past Masters collection.
The Beatles Again
The original title of what was eventually released as Hey Jude, was The Beatles Again. The title appears on some of the first pressings of the album.
|Side A||Lead Vocals||Written by||Length|
|Can't Buy Me Love||McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||2:19|
|I Should Have Known Better||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney||2:39|
|Old Brown Shoe||Harrison||George Harrison||3:16|
|Don't Let Me Down||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney||3:30|
|The Ballad of John and Yoko||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney||2:55|