Recorded in October 1963, “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was the first Beatles record to be made using four-track equipment.
With advance orders exceeding one million copies in the United Kingdom, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” would ordinarily have gone straight to the top of the British record charts on its day of release on November 29 1963, had it not been blocked by the group’s first million seller “She Loves You”, the Beatles’ previous UK single, which was having a resurgent spell in the top position following intense media coverage of the group. Taking two weeks to dislodge its predecessor, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” stayed at number one for five weeks and remained in the UK top fifty for twenty-one weeks in total.
It was also the group’s first American number one, entering the Billboard Hot 100 chart on 18 January 1964 at #45 and starting the British invasion of the American music industry. By February 1st, it held the number one spot — for seven weeks — before being replaced by “She Loves You”, a reverse scenario of what had occurred in Britain, and remained in the US charts for a total of fifteen weeks. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” became the Beatles’ best-selling single worldwide.