ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Music

A Review of The Beatles' Vee Jay Record "Songs, Pictures, and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles"

Updated on February 20, 2018
miriamyentraccm profile image

Miriam has been a freelance writer since 2013. Born in Whittier, CA, she now lives in Ontario, (California) with her husband and family.

Vee Jay's Promotional Beatles EP

The Beatles EP: Misery, A Taste of Honey, Ask Me Why, and Anna.
The Beatles EP: Misery, A Taste of Honey, Ask Me Why, and Anna. | Source

Vee Jay Records' Originally Released As "Introducing The Beatles"

The Beatles' First U.S. Album Not "Meet The Beatles!"

Many people think the first American Beatles album was "Meet The Beatles!" however, this is not true. The first US Beatles’ record was recorded in 1963 by a small recording company in Chicago, Illinois called Vee Jay Records.

My parents had the 45 rpm (single) "P.S. I Love You" backed with "Love Me Do" on Tollie Records. Actually it was really "Love Me Do" on the A side and "P.S. I Love You" on the B side, but I always thought "P.S. I Love You" was a better song. Paul's voice was amazing.

Actually, this entire collection of songs is excellent: I give it 5 stars. Every song, including the songs written by other artists, is very well performed; these are very good quality recordings -- especially for the time. Another great thing about this album is you don't have to be a Beatles fan to enjoy this. It is just good music played by one of the most influential bands of all time. Enjoy!

Enter Beatlemania

Radio, Television & Magazines

As a huge Beatles/Paul McCartney fan I read a lot about The Beatles throughout my life -- long before the Internet was available. I read anything I didn’t have to buy: I borrowed books from the library or quickly ran through articles about them in magazines while waiting for my parents to finish grocery shopping. Sometimes they were even on television – this is how we fans got updated. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot: we also listened to the radio.

The Beatles Were Everywhere

I grew up with The Beatles in my ears and in my eyes, on the walls and so on. You really could not go far without either seeing their image on a billboard or hearing them singing on the radio. It was Beatlemania.

My sister, Vivian, was a huge Beatles fan, she taped photos of all four of them (cut out from teen magazines) on our bedroom walls and closet doors. She was 14 years old when they arrived in America; I was only four.

By the time I was five I already knew Paul was my favorite Beatle.

Loved By Parents-- Not Just Teens

“Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles” was a family favorite -- yes, even our parents loved The Beatles' music. Music was not just for the teenagers anymore. The Beatles crossed all barriers; it seemed that nothing could stop them from rising to the top-- and they did.


Beatlemania erupted all over America (Click to Tweet) making it difficult for record store managers to keep Beatles' records in stock.

Everything from Beatles’ memorabilia, wigs, boots, lunch boxes, trading cards, coloring books, scrapbooks, Halloween costumes, rings, and about anything you could think of had their logo or their picture on it and was selling very well.

My sister bought a Beatle wig and two of my brothers had to have Beatle boots!

I was only 4 in 1964, but I was sharp enough to notice that something was happening here, but it was happening mostly to teenagers.

Inside the Gatefold Cover of "Songs, Pictures, and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles"

This is the "gatefold" cover (opened up) for "Songs, Pictures, and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles."
This is the "gatefold" cover (opened up) for "Songs, Pictures, and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles." | Source

Repackaged Versions: "Introducing The Beatles" & "The Early Beatles"

"The Early Beatles" Nothing New

I used to go shopping with my mom all the time when I was about nine years old, and as soon as we got inside the store I would wander over to the Record Department to check and see if there were any new releases I needed for my collection. If I saw a new Beatles album cover I'd look at the back to check what songs were on it.

I saw "The Early Beatles" and checked the listings on the back. Disappointed, I put the album back, thinking, “Well, I have all the songs already”...The only different songs it had were “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You” -- but we had that same single on Tollie records, so there was nothing new here.

So, not wanting to pay full-price for just an album cover, I was forced to keep waiting until Capitol released some Beatles songs I didn't already have.

All Time Favorite

“Introducing The Beatles” has always been one of my favorite Beatles' albums. When I was five years old I used to sit on the rocking chair in our front room and listen intently to every song.

My dad used to be so amazed that every song on almost all the Beatles' albums were good! He was used to buying an album, and after listening to it finding out that he only liked two songs on each side. This was perfectly normal back then-- and it still is today for most bands.

Several Versions of This Song Collection

There are several different versions of this particular set of songs, but “Songs, Pictures and Stories of The Fabulous Beatles” is the one I am referring to for this review because it is the one I have. (I refer to it as “Introducing The Beatles” but the one I have is actually titled “Songs, Pictures, and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles” -- the songs are the same except for two songs but the album covers are totally different.

Favorites On This Album

Some of my favorites from this set are “Misery”, ”Anna (Go To Him)”, ”Ask Me Why” and “I Saw Her Standing There”, however, all of these songs are excellent.

As you listen to this album, let your mind wander back to a simpler time: 1964. Black and white TV, mono records, Beatles' wigs and boots, and girls fainting and screaming hysterically….

Here's The Beatles' Vintage Record, "Songs, Pictures & Stories of the Fabulous Beatles"

Vee Jay: Promo Portrait of The Beatles

Autographed promotional portrait of The Beatles.
Autographed promotional portrait of The Beatles. | Source

Song Credits for "Songs, Pictures & Stories of the Fabulous Beatles"

All songs on this album that were written by John and Paul read "McCartney-Lennon" on this (VeeJay) label -- instead of the usual "Lennon-McCartney.

Six of the songs on this album were not written by The Beatles. The six songs and their authors/writers are:

  • Anna: By Arthur Alexander
  • Chains: By Gerry Goffin & Carole King
  • Boys: By Luther Dixon and Wes Farrell
  • Baby it’s You: By Burt Bacharach, Mack David, and Barney Williams
  • A Taste Of Honey: By Ric Marlow and Bobby Scott
  • Twist And Shout: By Phil Medley and Bert Russell

A Quick Review of “Songs, Pictures & Stories of The Fabulous Beatles”

Here are all the songs from the album and a brief description of each song:


1. I Saw Her Standing There (McCartney-Lennon): This song also appears on “Meet The Beatles!” and is the opening song for this album. Instead of the usual “One, two, three, fah!” We only hear Paul count “fah!” then the song begins, “Uh, well, she was just 17…” This song was released as the B-side to “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.

2. Misery (McCartney-Lennon): “The world is treat-ing me ba-a-a-ad mis-ery.” This song has always been one of my personal favorites. I love the melody, the strum of the guitars, and especially, Paul’s vocal. The song title ("Misery") prepares you for a sad story, but the music is upbeat and sounds "happpy-go-lucky; I thought this strange, yet amusing.

3. Anna (Arthur Alexander): This song is sung tenderly by John, but the chorus is what most of us remember best: “You give back your ring to me - and I will set you free: Go with Him - (Anna)- Go with him (Anna)."

4. Chains (Gerry Goffin & Carole King): This song is a typical “tin pan alley” formula-song-- very popular in those days. John plays the opening harmonica, and George takes the lead vocals. In my opinion, this song is okay, but not one of their best songs; but back then it was all about dancing.

5. Boys (Luther Dixon-Wes Farrell): Ringo used to sing this energetic song while playing his drums and shaking his head -- and hair! The girls just went crazy! For a while Ringo was getting the most fan mail!

6. Ask Me Why (McCartney-Lennon): The lead guitar is a little jazzy, and played beautifully in this syncopated rhythm. John sings the lead, ”Ask me why, I say I love you--and I'm al-ways think-ing of you-woo-woo-woo..." A beautiful ending-song to Side 1.


1. Please Please Me(McCartney-Lennon): John plays the anthem lead-in on his harmonica, and then sings: “Last night I said these words to my girl.." The entire song is great, I especially like the part "Come on (come on) ... Please please me, whoa yeah, like I please you..." Please Please Me was a big hit for The Beatles in the U.K, and it also did very well here in the United States.

2. Baby it’s You (Burt Bacharach-Mack David, Barney Williams): John does an amazing rendition of this classic song, while Paul and George sing background vocals: “Sha-la-la La-la-la…”

3. Do You Want to Know A Secret? (McCartney-Lennon): George sings lead on this one, “Listen (do-la-do) Do you want to know a secret?(do la do)...” My friends and I used to sing this song a lot as kids, along with some of the songs from “A Hard Day’s Night.”

4. A Taste Of Honey (Ric Marlow, Bobby Scott): Paul sings this song beautifully, as usual. This version is very nicely done, and a big improvement on previous renditions of this song.

5. There’s a Place (McCartney-Lennon): John and Paul sing together on much of this song: “There’s a place -- Where I can go-- when I feel low - when I feel blue--…” There's A Place is is an energetic, fast-paced song, that was also one of their first local hits.

6. Twist And Shout (Phil Medley, Bert Russell): John intentionally sang all the previous night to thrash his throat, so he could get it raspy (hoarse) sounding when he recorded this song.

This album is really short, as far as time goes. But, back in the early 1960s many of the songs averaged between 2:00 to 2:30 minutes.

Please Rate This Page!

Cast your vote for Songs, Pics & Stories of the Beatles

"Misery": This is really short, but it's Take 1 of the song.

"Please Please Me"

"I Saw Her Standing There" -- With Lyrics

"Anna (Go to Him)"

"Twist & Shout"

"Chains" -- With Rare Photos

"Ask Me Why" - With Movie Scenes + More

There's A Place

Take My Beatles Poll

Which version of "Songs, Pictures & Stories of the Fabulous Beatles" do you have?

See results

Please Post Your Comment Below

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)