Rock 'n' Roll Music
On June 7, 1976, Capitol Records in the US released a two-disc album set of the Beatles called simply, Rock 'n' Roll Music. Parlophone came out with the UK version of the same collection on June 10, just days later. The track lists are the same, but the mixes used for the two releases differ. The title comes from the Chuck Berry classic, Rock 'n' Roll Music, which the Beatles covered.
Many consider this compilation to be one of the very best examples of rock and roll, as that genre had developed in the 1950's and peaked with the Beatles in the 1960's.
Disc 1 is mainly early period material, and disc 2 comes from the later periods. Cover versions of popular songs by other artists can be found throughout disc 1, and disc 2 mainly features Lennon/McCartney compositions and one by George Harrison, from the time when the Beatles only recorded their own material. (A cover of Larry Williams and one of Carl Perkins did make their way onto disc 2 as well.) Eventually the two discs were separated and sold as individual albums (vol 1 and vol 2) for budget record sales in both markets.
The album cover is a collage of 1950's symbols and paraphernalia: neon signs, drive-in restaurants, Marilyn Monroe, and Coca-Cola. Both Ringo and John complained about the cover, alleging that EMI had made the Beatles appear cheap and highly commercialized. To mollify the band members, a more conventional photo was used for the cover of volume 2 when the two-disc set was redistributed as separate albums.
A second "flap" concerning EMI-Parlophone and this album relates to the mixes employed. The Capitol version employs a set of re-mixes prepared by Martin from the original tapes. Martin disapproved of the practice of taking the original two-track mono recordings and manipulating them into a "fake" stereo sound. Instead, he prepared newly filtered and mixed tracks, which the British unit of EMI refused to use. Thus, the American version came out with the Martin remixes, but he UK version included duophonic tracks derived from the original mono versions as well as some true stereo mixes from the archives. When the two-disc set was re-issued as two LP's, the UK versions used the Martin remixes.
Rock 'n' Roll Music sold well for being a compilation record. Paul McCartney made a US tour with his group, Wings, around the time of first release, and the movie based on Charles Manson's crimes, Helter Skelter, made a new and younger public curious to hear the original songs from The White Album that had figured in the psychopath's hallucinations. In the US the album went to number 2, behind McCartney's Wings At the Speed of Sound.
A promo single for the two-LP set was released in the US with Got to Get You Into My Life and Helter Skelter. It rose to number 7 in the charts. In the UK a promo single with Back in the U.S.S.R. and Twist and Shout also charted.
|Volume 1, Side One||Lead Vocals||Written by|
|Twist and Shout||Lennon||Medley/Russell|
|I Saw Her Standing There||McCartney||Lennon/McCartney|
|You Can't Do That||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney|
|I Wanna Be Your Man||Starr||Lennon/McCartney|
|I Call Your Name||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney|
|Long Tall Sally||McCartney||Johnson/Penniman/Blackwell|
|Volume 1, Side Two|
|Rock and Roll Music||Lennon||Chuck Berry|
|Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey||McCartney||Leiber/Stoller/Penniman|
|Money (That's What I Want)||Lennon||Bradford/Gordy|
|Roll Over Beethoven||Harrison||Berry|
|Volume 2, Side One|
|Dizzy Miss Lizzy||Lennon||Williams|
|Any Time at All||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney|
|Drive My Car||McCartney||Lennon/McCartney|
|Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby||Harrison||Perkins|
|The Night Before||McCartney||Lennon/McCartney|
|Volume 2, Side Two|
|Back in the U.S.S.R.||McCartney||Lennon/McCartney|
|Got to Get You into My Life||McCartney||Lennon/McCartney|