I'm going off the top of my head right now, but I want the UK guys to not use the same rules for the US when it comes to master numbers....(I have the Beach Boys book, wish I had it here though)....John
Quote by Dr Doom "It's usually the side with the lowest matrix or secondary catalogue number but this doesn't seem to be the case for US 45s"
It is simple if you have the info. Let Him Run Wild ....master # 45-53793, recorded March 16, March 30, and April 28, 1965, Western Recorders studio, Hollywood, CA.
California Girls ....master # 45-53865, recorded April 6, Western Recorders studio, Hollywood, CA., and June 4, 1965, Columbia studio, Los Angeles, CA.
Therefore, the lower numbered matrix/master is simply because the first recording date for Let Him Run Wild was earlier than California Girls,
and not an indication as to the supposed preference as an 'A' side.
....Nooooo..don't go by the sleeve, The record was released in JULY...(I always thought the photos were mental anyway, since on one side Al and Dennis are the only ones facing the camera), In fact in the original photo the man standing behind them doesn't have a beard, and the woman next to Dennis wasn't wearing sunglasses..If I find it I'll post it.........John
Thanks, BEATLEJOHN, for your in-depth response. Still it seems that Capitol banked on "Let Him Run Wild" as the more promising side at the time of release of this single (or at least at time of the picture sleeve production).
I'll make this easy...DON'T TRY TO FIGURE US CAPITOL MASTER NUMBERS OUT!!! ....there I've said it, and I'm happy about it!.....Honestly, when Capitol receives a master from an outside source (meaning purchased, or leased from another EMI branch) it usually has the lower number as the intended "A" side...in the case of American artists the numbers are doled out when the masters are handed over to the record company, so whenever the tune is recorded/handed over..is when a master is assigned ...in this particular case, Brian handed completed masters over in bunches for the then upcoming Lp, (Summer Days and Summer Nights)..California Girls (along with "And Your Dream Comes True) were the last songs completed for the project and have higher masters........Capitol during the 50's and 60's pressed records for many small labels and somtimes the Capitol master pops up also......by the mid-60's (to the 90's at least) if a master has been altered for a single release, the song will retain its Lp mater number with an "A" after it (or "B" , or "C" and so on....)...
Keep this in mind,,, US Columbia/Epic will usually follow the "UK Rules" (lower master = intended "A"-side)...
US RCA, masters are assigned at the recording session, if it's a purchase , UK rules apply. (this falls apart once the APB0 & LPB0 series begin)...
...AND DON'T FORGET......B-sides charted here up to November 1969, so the companies usually banked on both sides....(which is around the point out DJ releases go "crazy"....you'll see)..
In the UK there is often a small A under the catalogue number of the commercial release, and you have the big A on many promos. In the USA it seems more difficult to decide, especially until the end of the 1960s, although promos with an explicit "plug side" or similar emphasis existed.
Back to this single: "Let Him Run Wild" has also the lower matrix number.