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It was 44 (and 43) years ago today…

It seems that February 11th is quite a red letter day in Beatles’ history.  I mean aside from being my wife’s (and her mother’s) birthday, it is a remarkable date in Beatle history for two reasons.  The Fab’s recorded their first album, and a year later they made history performing in the United States.

It seems quite remarkable today to even look at these facts and figures.  It doesn’t seem that anything like this would be possible today.  I guess unless you were a finalist on American Idol or something.  It looks to me like The Beatle’s overnight success, at least in terms of America, was at least a year in the making. Interesting.

Here’s what we’ve read.

It was 44 years ago on Sunday (February 11th, 1963), that the Beatles recorded their first album, Please Please Me, in just under 10 hours. The album also featured both sides of their first two singles — “Love Me Do”/”P.S. I Love You,” and “Please Please Me”/”Ask Me Why,” which were recorded the previous autumn. The session for the album began at 10 a.m. at Abbey Road’s Studio Two — the main studio the group would use for the next eight years — with 10 takes of the John Lennon-Paul McCartney original, “There’s A Place.”

Over the course of the day the group basically performed their stage show as the tapes rolled, recording future Beatles classics like “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Do You Want To Know A Secret,” and “Twist And Shout.” The group’s recording engineer Richard Langham recalled the session in Mark Lewisohn’s The Beatles’ Recording Sessions book. He remembered that when producer George Martin and the other engineers announced that they were taking a lunch break, the Beatles chose to stay and rehearse, revealing that, “When we came back they’d been playing right through. We couldn’t believe it. We had never seen a group work through their lunch break before.”

The sessions only produced one outtake — an early attempt at Lennon-McCartney’s “Hold Me Tight” which was re-recorded for their second album With The Beatles later that year. George Martin originally wanted to name the album Off The Beatle Track, but it was decided that it would help sales by naming the album after their current hit single. (Martin went on to use the name for his 1964 instrumental album of Beatles hits.)

Please Please Me was released on March 22nd, 1963, and entered the British charts at Number Nine. After seven weeks it hit the Number One spot, where it stayed for 29 weeks. The American version of the album called Introducing The Beatles was originally released in the U.S. on July 22nd 1963 — and went nowhere. It was re-issued on January 27th 1964 and peaked at Number Two for nine weeks behind the group’s breakthrough album Meet The Beatles.

One year later, on February 11th, 1964:

The Beatles performed their first American concert, in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Coliseum, in front of 8,092 screaming fans.

The group’s set list that night was: “Roll Over Beethoven,” “From Me To You,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “This Boy,” “All My Loving,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “Please Please Me,” “Till There Was You,” “She Loves You,” “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “Twist And Shout,” and “Long Tall Sally.”
The group performed in the round, and after every three songs the group and their roadies would switch their equipment to face another side of the audience. Portions of the concert are available on the DVD The Beatles’ First U.S. Visit.

Source: Rock Radio


One Response

  1. And 42 years ago today Ringo married Maureen ;D

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