April 4, 1964: The Beatles Hold Top 5 Chart Spots

by
Share This:

They might as well have called it Beatleboard. On the Hot 100 singles chart ending on this date in 1964, The Beatles—a name that had meaning to very few Americans just a few months earlier—held the top five spots in Billboard, the country’s leading music trade publication.

Anyone perusing the chart would have seen this:

1. “Can’t Buy Me Love”
2. “Twist and Shout”
3. “She Loves You”
4. “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
5. “Please Please Me”

Never before in the history of Billboard—and never since—had one artist dominated the top five positions.

And that wasn’t all. In addition to the five chart-toppers, the Beatles were represented by another seven titles on the chart that week: “I Saw Her Standing There” (#31), “From Me to You” (#41), “Do You Want to Know a Secret” (#46), “All My Loving” (#58), “You Can’t Do That” (#65), “Roll Over Beethoven” #(68) and “Thank You Girl” (#79). And several of those were B-sides—such was the pervasiveness of Beatlemania in early 1964.

Two more Beatles singles would join the club on the April 11 chart: “There’s a Place” and “Love Me Do” (the latter having been their first charter in the U.K., in the fall of 1962). That gave them 14 singles in the Hot 100.

Related: The Yellow Submarine film is getting the 50th anniversary treatment

At the very beginning of 1964, there wasn’t a Beatles song to be found on the chart, although the group had already been a phenomenon in England for more than a year. Then, on the Billboard chart ending Jan. 18, there they are, entering at #45 with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Topping the chart that week: Bobby Vinton’s “There! I’ve Said It Again.”

By the following week, the Beatles’ tune had jumped to #3, and with their arrival in America and first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in early February there was no stopping them. When “Can’t Buy Me Love” took over the #1 position, jumping straight up there from #27, it was replacing another Beatles record, “She Loves You,” which had held the spot for two weeks. And that single had replaced “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” which didn’t budge from the top for seven full weeks.

The Beatles in A Hard Day’s Night, 1964

How this invasion of the charts became possible is another story in itself, involving the ownership rights of the group’s recordings. A peek at that top 5 reveals that only two of the songs, “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” were on Capitol Records, the label to which the Beatles were actually signed. The others were released on labels—Tollie (“Twist and Shout”), Swan (“She Loves You”) and Vee Jay (“Please Please Me”)—that had, for one reason or another, obtained the rights to those early recordings because Capitol, the American branch of Britain’s EMI, had at first passed on releasing those songs in the United States.

With the Beatle floodgate now wide open, virtually anything with their name on it was going to sell.

In fact, sitting at #85 on that April 4 chart was a single by the 4 Preps, “A Letter to the Beatles,” while at #42, by an entity called the Carefrees, sat “We Love You Beatles.” That was an understatement if ever there was one.

Watch the Beatles perform “Can’t Buy Me Love”

  • Sign up for the Best Classic Bands Newsletter




 

Best Classic Bands Staff

Best Classic Bands Staff

The BCB team brings you the latest Breaking News, Contests, On This Day rock history stories, Classic Videos, retro-Charts and more.
Best Classic Bands Staff
Share This:

1 Comment so far

Jump into a conversation
  1. Jack
    #1 Jack 5 April, 2018, 22:36

    Truly amazing, and indeed something that won’t be duplicated anytime soon. Something like The Beatles phenomenal impact on society doesn’t happen ever generation, or even ever century. I consider myself extremely luck to have “gotten in” on the last 3 yrs. of The Beatles, which only occurred because I had two older brothers which allowed me access to their record collections.

    Reply this comment

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.