Beatles’ U.S. albums box set to be released Jan. 21



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 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.

The set doesn’t include studio albums after “Revolver” in 1966 because EMI in England and Capitol Records in the U.S. agreed to release the same versions from that point on.