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“Please Please Me”

What the Beatles said about “Please Please Me”

JOHN 1963: “Our recording manager (George Martin) thought our arrangement was fussy, so we tried to make it simpler. We were getting tired though, and just couldn’t seem to get it right. In the following weeks we went over it again and again. We changed the tempo a little, we altered the words slightly, and we went over the idea of featuring the harmonica just as we’d done on ‘Love Me Do.’ By the time the session came around we were so happy with the result, we couldn’t get it recorded fast enough.”

JOHN 1980: “‘Please Please Me’ is my song completely. It was my attempt at writing a Roy Orbison song, would you believe it? I wrote it in the bedroom in my house at Menlove Avenue, which was my auntie’s place. I heard Roy Orbison doing ‘Only The Lonely’ or something. That’s where that came from. And also I was always intrigued by the words of ‘Please Lend Your Ears To My Pleas,’ a Bing Crosby song. I was always intrigued by the double use of the word ‘please.’ So it was a combination of Bing Crosby and Roy Orbison.”

PAUL 1988: “It’s very Roy Orbison when you slow it down. George Martin up-tempo’d it. He thought it was too much of a dirge, and probably too like Orbison. So he cleverly speeded us up… and we put in the little scaled riff at the beginning, which was very catchy.”

Info about “Please Please Me”

“Please Please Me” was the Beatles’ second single in the United Kingdom, and their first in the United States. It is also the title track of their first LP, which was recorded to capitalize on the success of the single. It is a John Lennon composition (credited to Lennon–McCartney), although its ultimate form was significantly influenced by producer George Martin.

Lennon first conceived “Please Please Me” as a bluesy, slow tempo song. Originally it was vocally sparse, did not contain any harmonies or responses, nor did it have the scaled harmonica intro.

Personnel

  • John Lennon – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica
  • Paul McCartney – bass, harmony vocals
  • George Harrison – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Ringo Starr – drums

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