Well, whaddaya know. Remember how I didn’t think I owned “Please Please Me”? Well, somewhere along the way in the early ’80s, I ran across a 1971 reissue of “Twist and Shout,” the second Beatles album released in Canada. It’s pretty much “Please Please Me,” missing only “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Misery.” That difference in tracks means the album that by all rights should open with that awesome, iconic original raver instead begins with a cover ballad, “Anna (Go To Him),” which sets an entirely different tone and in fact strings together three cover songs before getting to a Beatles original. That the album is titled for a cover as well is perhaps not surprising (they played the hell out of “Twist and Shout”), but it doesn’t present the Beatles as an innovative outfit bringing exciting new music to Canadian ears.
I have to guess where I got this, but it’s a pretty safe guess that I picked it up on one of our visits to Our Neighbor to The North, which, when you live in Syracuse, isn’t exceptionally far away, and lots of Our Neighbor to The North lies pretty much due west. We only visited Toronto once (chronicled here) but I know we picked up records when we were there, maybe 1986. We visited Ottawa a number of times, though I don’t have any particular memories of record shopping when we were there. This is in pristine condition – I’m pretty sure I got it new – and has seen very little play over the years because, as I mentioned before, I had put the entire Beatles catalog in order on cassette tape and mostly listened on tape. (The Beatles stuff was very slow to come out on CD, and when it did, there wasn’t a lot of added value, so I didn’t have those discs until the 21st century.)
Don’t cry for poor Canada — they did get to hear “I Saw Her Standing There.” It appeared on the next Canadian Beatles release, “The Beatles’ Long Tall Sally.” But it does remind me of a wonderful old National Lampoon Radio Hour sketch, “Quick Canada Quiz:”
What was Number One on the Canadian hit parade when “Wake Up Little Susie” was Number One on the American hit parade?
Who knows. But six months later, it was “Wake Up Little Susie.”