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They Want To Hold Your Hand

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” was finally released in the United States in January 1964, and it moved up the charts quickly. The Beatles were playing a three-week stand in Paris when they got the news that “I Want to Hold Your Hand” had gone to number one in the United States. Soon enough, Meet the Beatles, the same album that in Britain had been titled With the Beatles, hit number one on the U.S. album charts. In February, the Beatles made their first visit to the States, touching down at Kennedy airport with more than 10,000 screaming teenagers greeting them. All eyes were glued to this British phenomenon called the Beatles.

The next single, “Can't Buy Me Love,” went straight to number one in the United States and Britain. The advance sales alone on this single were three million, a world record. At one time the group had the top five records on the charts! They began filming their first movie, A Hard Day's Night (Ringo supplied the title), in March. “In 1964, we seemed to fit a week into every day,” said George. The film was a huge success on both sides of the Atlantic, and featured a soundtrack written entirely by the Beatles. John and Paul had to race to compose the soundtrack music for the film, and among the brilliant songs was the title song, with its opening chiming guitar chord. That chord seemed to announce the presence of something young and entirely new, something important enough to stay around for a while.

Did You Know?

The Beatles played The Ed Sullivan Show in New York, to an estimated TV audience of 73 million. Hunter Davies, in his official biography of the Beatles, reported: “The screams echoed across America. In New York, during the show, not one hubcap from a car was stolen. Througout America, not one major crime was committed by a tennager.”

Additional topics

Musician BiographiesThe BeatlesBeatlemania - Beatle Hair, Beatle Boots, They Want To Hold Your Hand, A World Apart