The Beatles' Please Please Me Turns 60

The Beatles' Please Please Me Turns 60

22nd March 2023
Today marks 60 years since The Beatles’ debut album Please Please Me was released by Parlophone.

The majority of the album was recorded in a single day on 11 February 1963 in Studio Two with producer George Martin, engineer Norman Smith and tape op Richard Langham.

© UMG Archive

“While this efficiency may be difficult to imagine in today’s world of recording, it was quite plausible for such a seasoned live band, especially when one considers the relative lack of modern excesses at the time (multiple overdubs, sound experimentation, etc.) – Recording The Beatles by Kevin Ryan and Brian Kehew

George Harrison later famously quipped, “The second one took even longer”.

That day between roughly 10am and 10pm they recorded There’s A Place, I Saw Her Standing There, A Taste Of Honey, Do You Want To Know A Secret?, Misery, Hold Me Tight (which was later reworked for their second album), Anna (Go To Him), Boys, Chains, Baby It’s You and finally Twist and Shout.

Those recorded previously were Ask Me Why, PS I Love You, Love Me Do and Please Please Me.

© UMG Archive

In Studio Two Control Room was the EMI REDD.37 mixing desk and two Altec 605A monitors. Engineer Norman Smith also made use of RS124 Altec compressors and RS114 EMI limiters.

All album tracks were recorded using an EMI BTR 2 tape machine which also handled the mono mixes. Stereo mixes were made on 25 February using the next generation of BTR, the BTR 3, and released on 26 April.

“Interviewed in 1963, John Lennon revealed how pleased the group were with the record: ‘Waiting to hear that 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 were very happy with the result.’” – Recording The Beatles by Kevin Ryan and Brian Kehew

© UMG Archive

Please Please Me hit No.1 in the UK in May 1963 and remained there for 30 weeks until finally being dethroned by With the Beatles.

The 1963 album marked the start of a new era at Abbey Road, kickstarting a decade of creative and commercial success led by those four lads from Liverpool who recorded 190 songs within our walls.

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