The Beatles Please Please
and Ringo Starr becomes drummer
The Beatles' first album, Please Please Me, was released
on March 22, 1963. It featured 8 original songs, including The Beatles
first single "Love Me Do" and 6 cover songs (written by other artists)
including "Twist and Shout".
1) I Saw Her Standing There (McCartney/Lennon)
2) Misery (McCartney/Lennon)
3) Anna (Go To Him) (Alexander)
4) Chains (Goffin/King)
5) Boys (Dixon/Farrell)
6) Ask Me Why (McCartney/Lennon)
7) Please Please Me (McCartney/Lennon)
8) Love Me Do (McCartney/Lennon)
9) P.S. I Love You (McCartney/Lennon)
10) Baby It's You (David/Williams/Bacharach)
11) Do You Want To Know A Secret (McCartney/Lennon)
12) A Taste of Honey (Scott/Marlow)
13) There's A Place (McCartney/Lennon)
14) Twist and Shout (Medley/Russell)
Beatles History 50th Anniversary Series
September 4, 1962: The Beatles' First Official Recording Session at Abbey Road,
where they recorded "Love Me Do"
John Lennon's inspiration for writing "Please Please Me", The Beatles' second single (Read article)
In Hamburg, the Beatles had progressed from playing at
the Indra Club, moving on to the Kaiserkeller where they met Astrid
Kirchherr and Klaus Voormann, and then were offered a gig at the more
prestigious Top Ten Club.
Since they had been able to arrange this gig on their
own, they told then-manager, Allan Williams, they no longer needed his
Williams was furious, but the contract he had with the
Beatles was destroyed in a fire, so he had to let them go.
While in Germany, the Beatles recorded two songs ("My
Bonnie" and "The Saints") as Tony Sheridan's backing band, and a few
songs on their own ("Ain't She Sweet" and "Cry for a Shadow") which were
later released in the '90's on The Beatles Anthology 1).
According to Brian Epstein's personal assistant, Alistair Taylor, the legend is that a man named
Raymond Jones came into Brian Epstein's record shop in Liverpool and
requested "My Bonnie" by the Beatles.
The popularity of the record at NEMS shop led Brian to
seek out the Beatles and watch them perform at the Cavern Club in Nov.
1961. Brian was so impressed by the Beatles he offered to manage them.
The Beatles saw Brian as a wealthy businessman who had
contacts in the record industry. They accepted his offer to be their
manager in December 1961 and within less than a year, Brian was able to
get the Beatles a record deal.
Beatles History 50th Anniversary Series:
Read why Brian Epstein is called The Man Who Made The Beatles on our BRIAN
The Cavern Club in Liverpool
With their success in Hamburg, Germany, The Beatles were now in demand
back at home in Liverpool, England.
They got a regular gig at The
Cavern Club, a sweaty basement club on Mathew Street.
Many people thought The Beatles were a German band due
to their popularity in Hamburg. They were still wearing their leather
jackets and pants onstage when Brian Epstein came to see them perform
at The Cavern in November 1961.
It was here at The Cavern on August 19, 1962 where fans
got violent over the replacement of Pete Best with Ringo Starr. Fans
would chant, "Pete forever, Ringo never". That night was Ringo's Cavern
debut as a Beatle and The Beatles were attacked as they entered the
club. George received a black eye in the incident.
Watch the Beatles in August 1962 just a week after Ringo
joined the group perform "Some Other Guy" at The Cavern Club in
(Notice how they were now wearing suits and ties instead
of leather clothing thanks to Brian Epstein)
The Beatles would appear at The Cavern Club
almost 300 times between August 1961 and August 1963.
Fun Fact: Paul McCartney returned to the Cavern
Club in 1999 to perform a concert to promote his Run Devil Run album.
Why was Pete Best fired?
The real reason has never been revealed, but the main excuse that Brian Epstein offered Pete was that The Beatles and George Martin did not believe he was a good enough drummer.
It's true that George Martin wanted to hire a session drummer for their first recording session because he believed Pete's drumming was more appropriate for live concerts versus a recording studio.
But George Martin says he never told The Beatles to fire Pete.
It turns out The Beatles had been contemplating for some time to kick Pete out of the group.
And once George Martin expressed the need to use a session drummer, they seized the opportunity to sack Pete.
Initially, the Liverpool fans were outraged at this decision.
Mona Best, Pete's mother, claimed that the other three were jealous of Pete's popularity and that's why they fired him. She was also hurt since she had helped them acquire concert gigs and helped manage them for almost two years.
While it seems that there was a personality clash between Pete Best and the other three Beatles, Paul McCartney has stated that The Beatles were more impressed with Ringo Starr's drumming.
To be kicked out of the group on the eve of their success was devastating for Pete, but he went on to play in his own band throughout the years albeit to mediocre success.
In 1995, when the Beatles Anthology 1 was released, Pete finally got compensated for his years as a Beatle. Many of the early recordings featured Pete on drums and he was paid accordingly.
Ringo Starr was the drummer for another popular Liverpool group, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.
His real name was Richard Starkey, but he acquired the stage name, Ringo, for all the rings he wore on his fingers, and Starr, for his drum solo called "Starr Time."
Ringo first played with the Beatles when he sat in for Pete a few times in Hamburg, Germany.
In terms of personality, Ringo was a much better match for the Beatles. He was laid back, happy-go-lucky, and had a great sense of humor.
On top of that, he was a good drummer. Ringo's destiny was solidifed in August 1962 when he was asked to join the Beatles.
He quickly got rid of his beard and adopted the Beatles moptop haircut.
Local Liverpudlians used to label him, "The luckiest man in the world."
George Martin and "Love Me
After being turned down by every record label in London, the Beatles'
manager, Brian Epstein, finally got them a recording contract with
EMI's small label, Parlophone.
The Beatles had already been turned down by EMI's pop
music labels, but someone recommended to Brian that he approach
Parlophone, a recently acquired label from Germany. Parlophone recorded
classical, jazz and comedy records.
Record producer, George Martin, was appointed head of
the label in 1955 at the ripe young age of 29, which was extremely
young for that position.
Brian Epstein's perseverance paid off. On June 6, 1962,
the Beatles auditioned for Parlophone.
George Martin has said in interviews that although he
music needed some work, he was struck by the Beatles' charm.
He offered them a standard contract with minimal
royalties. Since the Beatles had been rejected so many times, Brian
agreed to the offer.
The Beatles officially entered the recording studio as
signed artists on Sept. 4, 1962 with Ringo Starr, who had replaced Pete Best, as their drummer.
During this first recording session, they recorded "Love
Me Do" and "How Do You Do It?" Unsatisfied with Ringo's drumming that day,
George Martin hired session drummer, Andy White, to play at the next
session on Sept. 11, 1962.
[Read more about The Beatles' first recording session on our LOVE ME DO page]
That day, the Beatles recorded their first single to be
released: "Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You", produced by George Martin.
(Andy White plays on "Love Me Do", the album version, while Ringo plays
on "Love Me Do", the single.)
George Martin was not a pop music producer. He had
classical training and had produced artists such as Sophia Loren,
Shirley Bassey and comedians, The Goons (who the Beatles were fans of).
For him to take an interest in producing a group like the Beatles was a
matter of fate.
George Martin was also acting as the head of A&R
(Artists and Repetoire) for the Parlophone label, so he was motivated
to help make this new group that he signed as successful as possible.
How rare could it be to have a classically-trained
musician producing a pop group? Luckily, both sides were open-minded
enough to work with each other. The combination proved ingenious,
especially as the Beatles music progressed.
However, the Beatles' first single, "Love Me Do", released
in Oct. 1962, did not immediately become a hit. In fact, it struggled
for a while climbing up the charts. In Dec. 1962, the single peaked at Number 17 on the
In February 1963,
the Beatles released their second single, "Please Please Me." George
Martin predicted that
this would be their first number one hit, and on March 2, 1963 he was
Upon the success of their number one hit, the Beatles
were rushed into the recording studio to produce their first album
titled Please Please Me. Finally, the Beatles were on their way to becoming the
"toppermost of the poppermost."
The album hit number one in April 1963 and remained
there for 30 weeks, only to be replaced by their next album, With the