Although the ‘extended play’ concept had been around for years – it originated on a 78 in 1919 – the 1960’s were its heyday. EPs were usually compilations of singles or album samplers and were typically played at 45 rpm on seven-inch discs with two songs on each side.
The Beatles ‘No 1’ is a good example…
Unfortunately vinyl and cover have become separated over the years – probably ended up on a bedroom wall sometime around Christmas 1963! However, I still have the vinyl.
No.1 was the Beatles’ third British EP released in November 1963. A side – “I saw her standing there” and ‘Misery” B side – “Anna (go to him)” and ‘Chains”.
Other than those published by RCA, EPs were relatively uncommon in the United States and Canada, but they were widely sold in the United Kingdom, and in some other European countries. Record Retailer printed the first EP chart in 1960. The New Musical Express (NME), Melody Maker, Disc and Music Echo and the Record Mirror continued to list EPs on their respective singles charts. The Beatles’ Twist and Shout outsold most singles for some weeks in 1963. When the BBC and Record Retailer commissioned the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) to compile a chart it was restricted to singles and EPs disappeared from the listings.