A compilation album of songs by The Beatles released in the U.S. on the Apple label, of songs that hadn't made it onto the other Capitol albums released in the U.S., plus some others as filler. (Capitol tended to shuffle tunes around from album to album.) Never released on CD because all the songs were on the other CDs (which used the British track listings for albums). An odd mixture of different eras of the Beatles' style.
Contains:

Hey Jude weighs in at 7:11, and it was, at the time, the longest song to ever go to number one on the charts. It was also the first song that the Beatles released by themselves on Apple Records. Coincidence? Nope. The lyrics--or the verses, anyway--last just over three minutes, like all pop tunes of the day, but because Hey Jude started out at that slow tempo, it just barely cracks that three-minute barrier.

Conventional wisdom of the day said that if they wanted it to get airplay, they would have to speed it up a bit, to get it in under the wire. Lennon and McCartney, not two lads to have their artistic vision trifled with, told the universe and its conventional wisdom to bugger off and released it themselves on Apple Records, with the song at its original, way-over-3-minutes length. Then, just for a lark, they tacked on the childish playground taunt, "Na na na nana na na", and let it sail up the pop charts. As an aside, you can hear an unedited expletive at about 2:59 on the track; whether this is because of a mistake in the studio or because they were getting a kick out of breaking the 3-minute mark is all conjecture.

Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" novel sequence (the as yet unfinished chronicles of Roland, the Last Gunslinger) portrays an alternate universe called Midworld. There is evidence that the people of Midworld have had trade with other universes--importantly, not our own Reality, but the versions of our Reality that exist in King's various other novels and short stories. And one piece of evidence for this transcendence of worlds is the existence of "Hey Jude" in Roland's Midworld. The song is heard performed by a piano player in a tavern, and other people throughout the novels are heard to whistle or hum the tune.

Why "Hey Jude" of all songs? Probably just one of King's favorites--and what makes it into his head, appears in his worlds.

Paul McCartney penned Hey Jude while sitting on a train, on his way to visit Julian Lennon to help him through his parents' (John and Cynthia's) divorce. McCartney originally titled it "Hey Jules" (after Julian), but decided to change it to "Hey Jude".

Upon returning to the studio, McCartney showed the song to John Lennon. McCartney mentioned that he wasn't done with it; he wanted to get rid of the lyric "the movement you need is on your shoulders".

"Are you kidding?" Lennon exclaimed, "that's the best part!"

The rest, as they say, is history.

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