The Beatles’ debut album “Please Please Me” was first released in the United Kingdom today in 1963 by producer George Martin and Parlophone Records. Now WE know em

Publicity photo of the Beatles with producer George Martin in the studio at Abbey Road.

Publicity photo of the Beatles with producer George Martin in the studio at Abbey Road.

In 1962 George Martin, the English record producer for Parlophone Records, was told by Sid Coleman of Ardmore & Beechwood that he should contact Brian Epstein who was the manager of a great new band.

George Martin ended up signing this unknown group to a record contract and initially contemplated recording his new band live at the Cavern Club in front of the group’s fans and visited the club December 9, 1962 to consider the technicalities.

Time constraints intervened however, and Martin decided to book two, three hour recording sessions for Monday, February 11, 1963 at Abbey Road Studios in London for the band that called themselves the “Beatles.”

 

Abbey Road Studios, where George Martin recorded his Parlophone artists

Abbey Road Studios, where George Martin recorded his Parlophone artists

At 10:00 am that morning they began recording essentially the live Cavern Club act of the young group.

George Martin was so impressed during the second session that as he was later quoted as saying:

“I don’t know how they do it. We’ve been recording all day but the longer we go on the better they get.”

After only a few minor overdubs and edits, they all decided to add an evening session.

The last song recorded was “Twist and Shout,” because John Lennon had a bad cold on that day and feared his throat-shredding vocal would ruin his voice for the rest of the day.

By the time they wrapped at 10:45 pm that night, the Beatles had recorded a total of 14 songs, eight of which had been written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

In his 1986 book “The Beatles Live!”, author Mark Lewisohn wrote:

“There can scarcely have been 585 more productive minutes in the history of recorded music.”

The entire day’s recording session cost around £400 (£10,000 as of 2014).

George 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 Musicians’ Union, each Beatle collected a £7 10s (£7.50) session fee for each three-hour session.

George Martin considered calling the first album Off the Beatle Track before they settled on “Please Please Me” and released the debut album on March 22, 1963.

 

This is the cover art for the album Please Please Me by The Beatles

This is the cover art for the album Please Please Me by The Beatles

In 2012, Please Please Me was voted 39th on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

Now WE know em

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