1/11 Happy 60th anniversary, Please Please Me! Sir Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison released their debut LP 'Please Please Me' on March 22, 1963, from that moment they changed the face of music FOREVER! But how much do you know about The Fab Four's first album? (©BANG Showbiz) 2/11 The title was inspired by a Bing Crosby song McCartney and Lennon were the chief songwriters for The Beatles, although the LP included a selection of covers which was common for albums at the time. Lennon spilled that the album title was inspired by Bing Crosby's song 'Please'. He said: "I was always intrigued by the words ‘Please lend your little ears to my pleas’ - a Bing Crosby song. I was always intrigued by the double use of the word ‘pleas(e)'." (©BANG Showbiz) 3/11 It features this rare credit.. The Beatles' catalogue sees the songwriters credit appear as Lennon-McCartney but for this album their surnames are the other way round. Paul later commented that the traditional way of printing the names just became "a good logo", which is why it was used on the other LPs. (©BANG Showbiz) 4/11 The boys were late for the recording because John had a cold 'Please Please Me' was recorded in Studio 2 of Abbey Road Studios in London in Setpember 1962, but session engineer Norman Smith later recalled that the boys showed up late to the recording because John was suffering from a cold, which he tried to treat with throat lozenges. He said: "[His] voice was pretty shot." (©BANG Showbiz) 5/11 'We were just on edge!' Guitarist George Harrison commented years after the album became the catalyst for their success that the group were "on edge" and had ran through every song around the piano several times before they recorded a single note. George also revealed that there had been disagreements throughout the process. He said: "We were permanently on the edge. "We ran through all the songs before we recorded anything. We’d play a bit and [producer] George Martin would say, ‘Well, what else have you got?'” Paul McCartney wanted to record the old Marlene Dietrich ballad 'Falling in Love Again', but the number was vetoed by Martin who deemed it "corny". (©BANG Showbiz) 6/11 'That song KILLED my voice!' One of the most popular early Beatles songs is their cover of 'Twist and Shout' - which was written by Phil Medley and Bert Berns (later credited as (Bert Russell) and made popular by the Isley Brothers in 1962. It is the closing track on 'Please Please Me', and although it has a famous Lennon vocal, John later admitted that delivering his raspy lines left his throat feeling like "sandpaper". He said: "That song nearly killed me! My voice wasn’t the same for a long time after; every time I swallowed it was like sandpaper. I was always bitterly ashamed of it, because I could sing it better than that; but now it doesn’t bother me. You can hear that I’m just a frantic guy doing his best." (©BANG Showbiz) 7/11 The album cover could have been very different... Producer George Martin was an honorary fellow of the Zoological Society of London - which owns London Zoo - and thought it would be good publicity for them to pose in front of the insect house in a play-on-words on the band's name. Ultimately, the Zoological Society denied the request and they ended up with the classic cover depicting them looking down over the stairwell inside EMI's London headquarters in Manchester Square. The producer - commonly known as the Fifth Beatle - later revealed: "We rang up the legendary theatre photographer Angus McBean, and bingo, he came round and did it there and then. It was done in an almighty rush, like the music. Thereafter, though, The Beatles' own creativity came bursting to the fore." (©BANG Showbiz) 8/11 It was recorded on a tight budget The album was reportedly recorded for just a few hundred dollars, because there "wasn't a lot of money in Parlophone" at the time. John later recalled how hearing the LP back was one of the most "worrisome" things he had ever experienced, but noted that in the end he and the boys were happy with their work. He said: "Waiting to hear that LP played back was one of our most worrying experiences ... As it happens, we were very happy with the result." (©BANG Showbiz) 9/11 'It is the nearest thing to how we sound live' At the time, the band felt that the album was "more or less" a recording of their on stage setlists and John Lennon later admitted that the album sounds as close as possible to the group's live performances in Hamburg and their hometown Liverpool. He said: "That record tried to capture us live, and was the nearest thing to what we might have sounded like to the audiences in Hamburg and Liverpool. You don't get that live atmosphere of the crowd stomping on the beat with you, but it's the nearest you can get to knowing what we sounded like before we became the 'clever' Beatles." (©BANG Showbiz) 10/11 George Martin was not a fan of the original title track According to various accounts, George Martin had heard the title track 'Please Please Me' and thought it sounded too similar to the Roy Orbison track 'Only the Lonely'. John said: "I’d heard Roy Orbison doing ‘Only the Lonely’ or something. George said to was too boring for words!'" Paul later commented that the boys were "embarrassed" the remark, so accepted Martin's feedback and changed the song. (©BANG Showbiz) 11/11 It was recorded in just hours! When the time came to record their debut album, The Beatles were busy with their touring schedule and so spent just 13 hours recording the entire LP. On a cold February morning, the band arrived at the studios just before 10am and finally finished recording just after 10pm that evening. Tape operator Richard Langham later said: "When we came back they’d been playing right through. We couldn’t believe it. We had never seen a group work right through their lunch break before!" (©BANG Showbiz)
Sir Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison released their debut LP 'Please Please Me' on March 22, 1963, from that moment they changed the face of music FOREVER!
But how much do you know about The Fab Four's first album?