Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Please Please Me" Outtakes

February 11 1963 is an important date in musical history. This is the day that The Beatles entered EMI studios (number 2) to record 10 songs in approximately 10 hours and completed their first LP !! Yes, folks...the LP was completed in one day !! The first LP was recorded basically "live" off the floor with every one playing and singing at the same time. There were a few overdubs (mainly percussion, handclaps, double tracking vocals, etc.) but the basic tracks were all live. Fortunately, a lot of the outtakes from this LP are still circulating. In fact, as the Beatles' career moves forward, the method of recording and the reliance of more overdubbing becomes more frequent and true outtakes of the song seem to be less and less. A lot of the "Please Please Me" LP reels have made their way to bootleg, so they are available for your listening pleasure. The LP name was the title track of their second single. Both sides of the first and second single are available on the LP hence only 10 songs recorded on this day.
The first song recorded that day was the original composition: "There's a Place" - all previous attempts at the song (12 takes) are available on various bootlegs mentioned below. Take 13 was the take used on the LP. The second song available is another original composition: "I Saw Her Standing There" - all 12 takes are available on various bootlegs mentioned below. An edit of takes 09 (for the count-in) and take 01 (for the main body of the song) were used as well as edit pieces (handclaps) for the later takes (a mixture of takes 10 and 12). The next original composition "Do You Want To Know A Secret?" is available as takes 07 and 08 (both being backing vocal/percussion overdub takes). Take seven features the back up vocals throughout the whole song but this was changed by take 08 which is also the version heard on the LP. The first cover version appears: "A Taste Of Honey": we can hear both takes 06 and 07 which are, once again, double tracking Paul's vocal. Take 07 is the take used for the LP. We have 08 takes available from the original composition: "Misery". The final version of "Misery" used for the LP ended up being take 16 with overdubbed piano courtesy of George Martin who added this on February 20 1963.
The remaining tracks for the LP are all available commercially and I have not heard outtakes of these.
Most of these outtakes can be heard on the "Ultra Rare Trax" series (mostly volumes 3-4" LP and on the first volume of the "Unsurpassed Masters" series as well.

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