LOS ANGELES - More than a quarter century after the U.S. versions of the Beatles' albums went out of print, all will be reissued individually and in a 13-CD boxed set on Jan. 21 (a day earlier in the rest of the world) in conjunction with various commemorations of the group's arrival in the States 50 years ago.
The group's albums were issued in the U.S. in drastically different form than the original U.K. versions, in many cases with different album artwork and song lineups as well as added audio effects that were roundly criticized by the Beatles and their longtime producer, George Martin.
But they are the versions that introduced millions of American listeners to the Fab Four's music. The set spans "Meet the Beatles" through "Hey Jude," a U.S.-only compilation that gathered various singles that had not previously been included on albums.
The box set includes a 64-page booklet with photos and a new essay by writer and television producer Bill Flanagan. Each album will appear in mono and stereo mixes, except for "The Beatles' Story," an audio documentary album, and "Hey Jude," which were originally issued only in stereo. "The Beatles Story" album is the only title that will not be available individually.
Original artwork included will extend to the infamous "butcher cover" of the "Yesterday . . . and Today" album from 1966, in which John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were photographed in lab coats holding body parts of dismembered dolls and pieces of raw meat.