Way Back Whens-day: 1964 Meet The Beatles Tops the Charts
Written by Logan Phillips on February 15, 2023
On this day, February 15, 1964, The Beatles: Meet the Beatles! reached the number one spot on the Billboard top 100 charts, and more impressively would rein at the top spot for 11 weeks before, ironically, being knocked out of the top spot by The Beatles’ Second Album. This would be the first instance in the music business that the same band would replace the number one spot with another record on the US charts.
Meet the Beatles! is a studio album by the Beatles that was technically the band’s second album in the United States. But it was The Beatles’ first American album under Capitol Records, being released on January 20, 1964. This album is arguably one of the most groundbreaking and important albums in music history. The reason is that up until the release of this album, there was not much of a music market for the post-war generation.
The market at the time was primarily for “adults” whose tastes didn’t usually reflect what teenagers wanted to hear. Big-selling albums were usually by artists such as Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and others. Elvis Presley was the first to really break the mold for the younger generation back in ’56, having enough popularity and records sold to have albums go Gold (sales of 500,000).
Then Meet the Beatles! came out in 1964, and a new pop music phenomenon was born. The Beatles brought the youth of America to not only want to buy what was considered their first “official” album, but the teenage market shot this album to the top spot for 11 weeks on the Billboard charts and ran 71 weeks on the charts, ultimately reaching the platinum sales figures (sales of 1 million records). With the overwhelming popularity and record sales of this album, the music industry changed direction, continuing to be marketed toward the younger generation of Americans, and now, the world.