It was 55 years ago today… The Beatles released their debut album

Please Please Me is the debut studio album by English band The Beatles. Parlophone rush-released the album on 22 March 1963 in the United Kingdom. Of the album’s 14 songs, eight were written by Lennon–McCartney (originally credited “McCartney–Lennon”),

Parlophone Records, hoping to capitalise on the success of their singles “Please Please Me” and “Love Me Do”, promptly decided to follow it up with an album. Consequently, their record producer George Martin urgently needed ten more tracks if he were to include the four sides of the group’s first two singles: “I asked them what they had which we could record quickly, and the answer was their stage act” Having established that Liverpool’s Cavern Club was unsuitable for live recording purposes they were booked into EMI Studios in Abbey Road and recorded live there instead. Therefore, at 10:00 am on Monday, 11 February 1963, the Beatles began working their way through their live set song by song, the number of takes varying on each, and finished at 10:45 pm, less than 13 hours later, capturing an authentic representation of the band’s Cavern Club-era sound. The day ended with a cover of “Twist And Shout”, which had to be recorded last because John Lennon had a particularly bad cold and Martin feared the throat-shredding vocal would ruin Lennon’s voice for the day. This performance was caught on the first take.

The whole day’s session cost around £400 Martin said: “There wasn’t a lot of money at Parlophone. I was working to an annual budget of £55,000”. This budget had to cover all of the artists on Martin’s roster. Individually, under a contract with the Musician’s Union, each Beatle collected £7 10s (£7.50 in today’s money) session fee for each three-hour session.

The album was recorded on a two-track tape machine with most of the instruments on one track and the vocals on the other, allowing Martin to better balance the two in the final mono mix.

Please Please Me was released as a mono album on the Parlophone label in the UK on 22 March 1963, and has remained on UK catalogue continuously since 1963. The stereo version was released on 26 April, over a month after the mono version.

The now-iconic colour photograph of the group looking down over the stairwell inside EMI’s London headquarters in Manchester Square, London was taken by photographer Angus McBean. The rest, as they say, is history…

We currently have a first pressing available in stock, please see the details below:

THE BEATLES Please Please Me – Rare 1963 UK first press second variant 14-track mono vinyl LP on the legendary black & gold Parlophone label, with ‘Northern Songs Ltd’ label publishing credit for the songs I Saw Her Standing There, Misery, Do You Want To Know A Secret & There’s A Place, & “Dick James Mus. Co” credit for Please Please Me, housed in the Ernest J Day front laminated flipback picture sleeve with large mono logo on the top right hand corner of the sleeve & ‘Photo: Angus McBean’ credit to the far bottom right [no overlap with the print above]. Please check out our website for further details on this rare pressing.

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