Friday, March 22, 2013

please please me

The Beatles recorded their groundbreaking debut live in the studio in just under ten hours and then rush released it to capitalize on the success of their singles.  At the time, it was uncommon for a pop group to record an entire album because it was considered out of the price range for teenage fans.  The band also broke convention with their inclusion of songs they wrote themselves.  

Martin had considered recording the band at the Cavern Club to capture their live sound; but eventually decided to bring them into the EMI studios at Abbey Road. 'Please Please Me' features John Lennon on lead vocals, background vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, harmonica, and hand claps; Paul McCartney on lead vocals, background vocals, bass guitar, and hand claps; George Harrison on background vocals, lead vocals on "Chains" and "Do You Want to Know a Secret", lead guitar, acoustic guitar, and hand claps; Ringo Starr on drums, tambourine, maracas, hand claps, and lead vocals on "Boys"; with George Martin as producer, mixer, additional arrangements, piano on "Misery", celesta on "Baby It's You"; Norman Smith as audio engineer and mixer; and Andy White on drums on "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You".   Martin says:   "It was a straightforward performance of their stage repertoire — a broadcast, more or less."

Starr recalls:   "We started (recording the album) about noon and finished it at midnight, with John being really hoarse by 'Twist And Shout.'"

Lennon looked back:   "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."

McCartney remembers:   "The whole album only took a day... so it was amazingly cheap, no-messing, just a massive effort from us. But we were game. We'd been to Hamburg for Christ's sake, we'd stayed up all night, it was no big deal. We started at ten in the morning and finished at ten at night... it sounded like a working day to us! And at the end of the day you had your album. There's many a person now who would love to be able to say that. Me included."

Harrison would consider:  "It was good, it was enjoyable. We'd get into doing harmonies and this and that. Because in the early days we were only working on four-track tapes. So what we'd do would be work out most of the basic track on one track, get all the balance and everything set, all the instruments,. Then we'd do all the vocals, or overdub. If there was guitar, lines would come in on the second verse and piano in the middle eight with shakers and tambourines. We'd line up and get all the sounds right and do it in a take, and then do all the vocal harmonies over.  Those old records weren't really stereo. They were mono records and they were rechanneled. Some of the stereo is terrible because you've got backing on one side. In fact, when we did the first two albums-- at least the first album which was 'Please Please Me,' we did it straight onto a two-track machine. So there wasn't any stereo as such, it was just the voices on one track and the backing on the other."

Lennon said at the time:   "We sang for twelve hours nonstop. Waiting to hear the LP played back was one of our most worrying experiences. We're perfectionists. If it had come out any old way we'd have wanted to do it all over again. As it happens we're very happy with the result."

'Please Please Me' hit number five in Germany and spent thirty weeks at the top of the British album chart, relinquishing the spot only to their second album, 'With the Beatles'.  The cover photo was taken in the stairwell of EMI's London headquarters at Manchester Square.   In the US, the album was released in January of 1964 as 'Introducing... the Beatles' with two songs omitted on the Vee-Jay label and peaked at number two. 

Please Please Me

Twist And Shout

I Saw Her Standing There

'Please Please Me'
full album:

All songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, except where noted.

1. I Saw Her Standing There 
2. Misery  
3. Anna (Go To Him)  (Alexander)
4. Chains  (Goffin-King)
5. Boys  (Dixon-Barrel)
6. Ask Me Why  
7. Please Please Me  
8. Love Me Do  
9. P.S I Love You  
10. Baby It´s You  (David-Williams Bacharach)
11. Do You Want To Know A Secret 
12. A Taste Of Honey  (Scott-Marlow)
13. There´s A Place  
14. Twist And Shout  (Medley-Russell)


Please Please Me Live Album Version by silverHofner

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