01 December 2009

This Date In Rock History: 1 December

In the aftermath of one of the most traumatic events in American history, Capitol Records unwittingly lit a spark that would provide a healing balm in the matter of a couple of months. On this date in 1963, The Beatles' first U.S. single was released, the double-sided monster pairing of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "I Saw Her Standing There." Both written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the lads from Liverpool had vowed that they would not touch American soil until they had their first number one.

On February 1, 1964, the record hit the top of the charts and stayed there for seven consecutive weeks. (TNOP still has its 45 rpm copy in the archives.) And the music world was literally never the same.

"I Want To Hold Your Hand" remains the biggest selling single of The Beatles' career.


The Beatles perform "I Want To Hold Your Hand" live over the screaming throngs on The Ed Sullivan Show early in 1964.

Producer George Martin talks about the record and the Fab Four lip-synchs to the studio version of the hit song.

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