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Please Please Me (album)

The history of this classic Beatles album

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The original vinyl LP cover for

The original vinyl LP cover for "Please Please Me"

source: norwegianwood.org

Please Please Me

Recorded: September 11, 1962; November 26, 1962; February 11, 1963 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Mixed: February 25, 1963
Length: 32:45
Credits:
Produced by George Martin
Engineered and Mixed by Norman Smith
Liner Notes by Tony Barrow
Photography by Angus McBean
First released: March 22, 1963
Versions:
  • Please Please Me UK: Parlophone PMC 1202, March 22, 1963 (mono)
  • Please Please Me UK: Parlophone PMC 3042, April 26, 1963 (stereo)
  • Introducing... The Beatles US: Vee-Jay VJLP 1062, January 10, 1964 (mono)
  • Introducing... The Beatles US: Vee-Jay VJLPS 1062, January 10, 1964 (stereo)
  • Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles US: Vee-Jay VJLP-1092, October 12, 1964 (mono)
  • Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles US: Vee-Jay VJLPS-1092, October 12, 1964 (stereo)
  • The Early Beatles US: Capitol T 2309, March 22, 1965 (mono)
  • The Early Beatles US: Capitol ST 2309, March 22, 1965 (stereo)
  • Please Please Me (CD) Apple CDP 7 46435 2, February 26, 1987
  • The Early Beatles (CD) CDP 0946 3 57498 2 3, April 11, 2006
Highest chart position: UK: 1 (30 weeks beginning May 11, 1963)
History:
  • Recorded in order to capitalize on the phenomenal UK success of the single "Please Please Me," the fourteen tracks on the album of the same name consisted of the group's first two singles ("Love Me Do" b/w "P.S. I Love You" and "Please Please Me" / "Ask Me Why") fleshed out with ten more songs, a representation of the group's live set at the time, recorded in one marathon all-day session on February 11, 1963. The group began recording at 10 a.m. with "There's A Place" and ended near 10 p.m. with John's hoarse rendition of the Isley Brothers' "Twist And Shout."
  • Because of the album's relation to the live show, about half of the tracks on Please Please Me are covers, mainly of girl group hits that were quite popular in England at the time (there are not one but two Shirelles songs on the album). Notable among the originals are John's "There's A Place," an early exploration of his themes of isolation that would appear again in "Strawberry Fields Forever" and other Beatles songs, as well as "Misery," a song written by Lennon-McCartney for English singer Helen Shapiro.
  • The cover of the album was shot on March 5, 1963 by photographer Angus McBean after plans for a shoot in the London Zoo, playing on the name "Beatles," fell through. The famous shot was taken in the stairwell of London's EMI offices; in 1969, the Beatles would pose for the same picture again for the cover for their ill-fated Get Back project. (Both photos were eventually used for the double US compilation albums The Beatles 1962-1966 and The Beatles 1967-1970, known as the "Red" and "Blue" albums.)
  • The total budget for the album was 400 pounds (or about 800 American dollars), with each Beatle receiving a union scale pay of 29 pounds.
Trivia:
  • The actual title on the cover of this album is Please Please Me with Love Me Do and 12 other songs.
  • This is the one and only Beatles album on which the original songs are credited to "McCartney-Lennon"; hereafter (and in subsequent releases of this album on CD), they would be credited as the more familiar "Lennon-McCartney."
  • The gold and black Parlophone label of the album's initial pressing is one of the more valuable Beatles albums, due to the fact that the label in question was never used again for any other Parlophone albums.
Tracklisting:

Side One:

  1. I Saw Her Standing There (2:55)
  2. Misery (1:50)
  3. Anna (Go To Him) (2:57)
  4. Chains (2:26)
  5. Boys (2:27)
  6. Ask Me Why (2:27)
  7. Please Please Me (2:04)

Side Two:

  1. Love Me Do (2:22)
  2. P.S. I Love You (2:05)
  3. Baby, It's You (2:38)
  4. Do You Want To Know A Secret (1:59)
  5. A Taste Of Honey (2:05)
  6. There's A Place (1:52)
  7. Twist And Shout (2:33)
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