Please Please Me – The Beatles

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………….on April 4th of 1964 The Beatles set a recording industry record that may never be equaled. They held the top 5 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Can’t Buy Me Love” at #1, “Twist and Shout” at #2, “She Loves You” at #3, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” at #4 and “Please Please Me” at #5. In Canada, they had nine of the Top 10 singles, while the Australian charts saw them occupying the first six places. “Please Please Me” was The Beatles first single released in America, and getting it issued in the States was a struggle. The Beatles first recorded “Please Please Me” on September 11, 1962. That version was rejected for release. They re-recorded the song on November 26, 1962 and that version was first issued in England on the EMI-owned Parlophone label on January 12, 1963. After EMI’s US affiliate, Capitol Records, rejected the song (and a lot of other early Beatles material), the small, Chicago-based Vee Jay label stepped in and released “Please Please Me” stateside on February 25, 1963 and again on January 30, 1964 and August 10,1964. The only release that charted was the second, when The Beatles finally made a name for themselves in America. John Lennon, who was a big Roy Orbison fan, wrote this in the style of Orbison’s overly-dramatic singing. Beatles producer George Martin suggested it would sound better sped up. In 2006, Martin told The Observer Music Monthly, “The songs the Beatles first gave me were crap. This was 1962 and they played a dreadful version of ‘Please Please Me’ as a Roy Orbison-style ballad. But I signed them because they made me feel good to be with them, and if they could convey that on a stage then everyone in the audience would feel good, too. So I took ‘Love Me Do’ and added some harmonica, but it wasn’t financially rewarding even though Brian Epstein bought about 2,000 copies. Then we worked for ages on their new version of ‘Please Please Me,’ and I said: ‘Gentlemen, you’re going to have your first #1.'” Although in the UK this was officially a #2 record, three of the four charts used at the time – Melody Maker, NME and Disc – listed it #1. Only the Record Retailer chart had it at #2. This was the second Beatles single released in England, the first being “Love Me Do.”