Friday, December 30, 2011
The Beatles rarest commercial US picture sleeve: "Can't Buy Me Love b/w You Can't Do That"
Released at the height of Beatlemania in the United States (March 16, 1964- one month and one week after their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show), "Can't Buy Me Love" was a massive hit before a note of it was even heard, as advance sales alone surpassed one million copies. For some unexplained reason, the picture sleeve issued with the single was printed in EXTREMELY limited numbers, and only on the east coast. Capitol picture sleeves were printed both on the east coast and west coast, and differ by the way the sleeves were cut; if you scroll down to "Help/ I'm Down", see an example of a west coast printed sleeve.
Not only is the sleeve incredibly hard to find and in demand, the music contained in the grooves is (in this writers' opinion) not only The Beatles greatest double sided hit, but also the greatest EVER double sided single. Each side shows Lennon and McCartney at a peak of Motown soul influence for a record that will remain fresh sounding as long as people continue to have ears. This sleeve has been elusive to Beatles collectors for nearly 50 years now!