Today saw the release in the U.S. of the “Paperback Writer”/“Rain” single. Previous information indicated to me that the UK version had been released a week previously; other sources say that it did not appear until June 10. It’s all very confusing, and I don’t suppose it matters all that much. What’s important is that — to paraphrase the Temptations — The Beatles’ new record was a gas. (Doubly confusing is that “Ball of Confusion” — the song I’m referencing here — would not be released until May 1970, well after The Beatles broke up.)

It’s somewhat amazing to me that even as the Fabs were bringing in gazillions of pounds for EMI, they were contractually obligated to produce singles in addition to their LP output. It also amazes me that they were still recording on 4-track tapes and would continue to do so for several more albums, despite the fact that 8-track machines were available. Even The Beatles were not immune from the First Rule of the Long Plastic Hallway: art comes second, money first.

And speaking of music business shenanigans, as previously noted by a commenter, stateside records were commonly pressed on lower-quality vinyl than their UK counterparts, meaning that U.S. audiences may never have heard either of these songs in their full high-fidelity glory. Stupid Americans.

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