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It Was 40 Years Ago Today

August 30, 2008
 

 

The picture sleeve of the British release of the historic 45 single released on August 30, 1968

The picture sleeve of the British release of the historic 45 single released on August 30, 1968

It was (40!) years ago today that the Beatles issued their first release on their own Apple record label in Britain, a 45 single, Hey Jude with Revolution on the B Side (or were they both A sides?). (Yes, the USA version was issued on August 26 but it didn’t have a cool picture sleeve that is seen here, the USA 45 single releases, for a period, had no picture sleeves, just the new Apple logo.)
 
It was a huge, huge hit for the Beatles that eventually became the biggest-selling debut release for any record company. It has been estimated that the single sold over eight million copies worldwide. It was the number one song in 11 countries.

 

Here in the USA Hey Jude remained in the number one position on the Billboard charts for nine consecutive weeks (September 28 – November 23). Another unusual element about the record was it shattered the standard 3-minute limit radio stations almost demanded in a song, clocking in at seven minutes and 11 seconds. It was recorded on July 30, 1968 during the Beatles’ White Album recording sessions at EMI Studio 2 although the band chose not to put it on the double disc set.
 

 

The USA version of the historic 45 record.
Something else that was unusual was the flipside, Revolution, was being flipped over and played by radio DJs and it was charted at number two in the Record World charts.
So what’s the big deal about this particular single? It was the song played (several times) at a school dance (in Apple Creek, Ohio) I attended that year where I slow danced with a girl (actually two) for the first time. At that dance I recall ‘slow’ dancing with Denise and Brenda (I was still in grade school and nervous) although as the song played on I got more ‘comfortable’ to the point that a teacher walked up to Denise and I and decreed we stand apart a bit more (we were getting a bit….too close….).

Wonderful memories set to song.And it’s the only vinyl 45 single record I still have in my possession after all these years. You can catch the Beatles during the recording sessions of the White Album on a YouTube clip.

 

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