20 Greatest Hits is a compilation album featuring a selection of songs by The Beatles that were number one singles in the UK and US. It was released on 11 October 1982 in the United States and 18 October in the United Kingdom and marked the 20th anniversary of The Beatles' first record release, "Love Me Do," in the UK in October 1962. 20 Greatest Hits was the last Beatles album to be released with variations between the US and UK versions (some Beatles hits in the US were not released as singles in the UK, such as "Eight Days a Week" and "Yesterday").
The UK version of the album comprised all 19 tracks from the 17 Beatles singles to top the UK Singles Chart (including both sides of the double A-sides "Day Tripper"/"We Can Work It Out" and "Yellow Submarine"/"Eleanor Rigby") plus the Beatles' first chart hit "Love Me Do", which peaked at number 17 in the UK.
The versions of "Love Me Do" and "She Loves You" on the album were produced in "simulated stereo", leaving "From Me to You" as the only mono track on the compilation.
Although many documentaries state that the first number 1 of The Beatles in England was "Please Please Me", the track does not appear in this collection, and also does not appear in the compilation 1.
For the US LP, catalogue number SV 12245, a five-minute edited version of "Hey Jude" was used due to time constraints.
The American version of this LP was also released in other countries, although the track list does not reflect the local number ones. For instance, in Canada "Can't Buy Me Love" only reached No. 3 on the CHUM singles charts, and the Canadian No. 1 hits "All My Loving" and "This Boy" are omitted.
The New Zealand version was the same as the American one although originally EMI(NZ) was going to issue the UK version. The covers were printed in New Zealand but the inner sleeve was imported from the US
The original issues of this album accidentally indicates the running time of "Yesterday" as being 1:04 in length. Later issues have the correct 2:04 running time.
The album featured the first US appearance of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "I Feel Fine" in true stereo.
In Australia, a 23-track alternate version of this album with bonus EP was issued titled The Number Ones, released a year after.
This single-disc compilation was supplanted by the later single-CD album 1 with 27 Beatles songs that were number one on either side of the Atlantic.
All songs written by Lennon–McCartney
Note: On the US Cassette (EMI-Capitol C4-12245) "Penny Lane" is track 13, but appears at the end of Side 1, rather than the beginning of Side 2. On the original United States LP and Canadian cassette versions of the album "Hey Jude" was edited 5:09 due to time constraints. The United States cassette edition contains the full version of the song.