A Collection of Beatles Oldies (subtitled But Goldies!) is a compilation album by the English rock band the Beatles. Released in the United Kingdom in December 1966, it features hit singles and other songs issued by the group between 1963 and 1966. The compilation served as a stopgap release to satisfy EMI’s demand for product during the Christmas period, since the Beatles had only begun recording Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the follow-up to their Revolver album, late the previous month. It was the band’s first official greatest hits collection, although the Beatles had no involvement in the album.

The album’s preparation and release coincided with rumours in the press that the group were on the verge of splitting up. This speculation was encouraged by the band members’ high-profile individual activities since completing their final US tour, in late August 1966, and the announcement that, unlike in previous years, the Beatles would not be performing any concerts in Britain at the end of the year. The album cover is a painting combining contemporary psychedelic and op art themes and was commissioned by the band’s manager, Brian Epstein. To proponents of the Paul is Dead theory, the artwork offered the first clues relating to the alleged demise of Paul McCartney and his replacement in the Beatles by a lookalike, a scenario that is said to have taken place in November 1966 and been facilitated by the group’s retirement from live performance.

A Collection of Beatles Oldies offered the debut album release in Britain for many of the band’s singles, although these songs had been available on compilation EPs since their initial release. It also provided the debut release in stereo for these recordings, since the Beatles favoured mono mixes for their singles until 1969. The compilation peaked at number 7 on the UK Albums Chart, where all the band’s previous albums had held the top spot. It was also released in some other European countries and, in 1968, in Australia. The album was deleted from the Beatles’ catalogue following the reissue of their albums on compact disc in 1987.

Track listing

All songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney except where noted.*
Side one
1.    “She Loves You”
2.    “From Me to You”
3.    “We Can Work It Out”
4.    “Help!”
5.    “Michelle”
6.    “Yesterday”
7.    “I Feel Fine”
8.    “Yellow Submarine”

Side two
1.    “Can’t Buy Me Love”
2.    “Bad Boy” (Larry Williams)*
3.    “Day Tripper”
4.    “A Hard Day’s Night”
5.    “Ticket to Rid
6.    “Paperback Writer
7.    “Eleanor Rigby”
8.    “I Want to Hold Your Hand”

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