Saturday, September 26, 2009

Please, Listen to My Pleas...

The last song on the debut LP is also the title song and LP was named after this hit single by the Beatles. It has been disputed if "Please Please Me" actually made it to the top of the charts, but it all depends on which chart you were reading about back in the day. I remember a mini controversy in 2000 when the "1" LP/CD was released and "Please Please Me" was not in the track listing. I think it should have been included. I don't really care if one chart said number two and another said number one. It's a great, classic, energetic tune that is appreciated as a huge hit for the Beatles everywhere the music is played. Shame on Apple for that one !!

Anyhoo, the recording of "Please Please Me" was first attempted on September 11 1962 with both Ringo and Andy White present. This early version can be heard on the "Anthology 1" CD/LP. Andy White plays drums on this take and he's very busy all the way through it. Also, it has been said that the original version of "Please Please Me" was a slower, more Roy Orbison type song that had to be changed, speeded up and re-worked. Hearing the early September version, there is not that much difference in tempo between this early version and the recorded version. Anyway, it makes for interesting listening none the less.

The re-make of the song was recorded on the same day as the previous number - November 26 1962. It took 18 takes to perfect and sounds great. The harmonica was overdubbed. George Martin had told the Beatles over the talkback: "You've just made your first number one !!".

A great song, a great single. The harmonica intro and the intricate vocal harmonies make it so refreshing and instant. A true Beatles classic. Written mainly by John, by the way.

The mono and stereo version are different for this song. I prefer the mono version as it sounds so much better, tighter and perfect. There are imperfections and timing problems - mainly sync problems - on the stereo mix. That's because the mono mix was done from the proper take whereas the stereo mix was done from combined takes. In the stereo mix, there is a vocal mistake in the last verse and you can hear Lennon chuckle just before the first "Come On" section of the chorus. Also, the ending on the stereo mix is imperfect as the vocals and instruments sorta get off time near the end of the song.

"Please Please Me" (the song) is available on the debut LP/CD "Please Please Me" of course, but also the Canadian 6000 series LP "Twist and Shout", the Vee Jay LP "Introducing the Beatles" and "Jolly What ! The Beatles and Frank Ifield Live on Stage!", the Capitol LP "The Early Beatles" and the Apple LP/CD "The Beatles 1962-1966".

"Please Please Me" was performed 12 times live on the BBC radio. The song was also performed live on the 1964 Ed Sullivan show, Live for the Washington DC show and lipsynced to a pre-recorded live track for "Around the Beatles".

1 comment:

  1. We must be reading different history books.
    I thought that the mono (single) mix of 'Please Please Me' differed from the raw take on the stereo album, because George Martin edited in the first verse and chorus to replace the repeat verse and chorus, thereby losing Lennon's mistake (and chuckle).
    I am happy to have heard the mistake, but like you, prefer the single.
    I'm sorry to have to publish this comment anonymously, but I can't get the site to accept my details.