Beatles release 1st single
The 4th of October 1962 AD
For what ended up as a single just two minutes 17 seconds in duration Love Me Do had a surprisingly complex history. And though of course The Beatles went on to dominate the charts for the rest of the decade, and pop history perhaps for all time, Love Me Do only got as reached number 17 in the British charts before disappearing again.
Three versions of the song were recorded. The first in June featured Pete Best on drums; George Martin was not impressed with his contribution. The second on September 4 had Ringo Starr on the kit; again Martin was not satisfied, Ringo’s rhythm and blues style not then to his taste. So on September 11 a third version was made, using session drummer Alan White (Ringo relegated to the tambourine). The history of the pressings is only slightly less complicated, the earliest discs to hit the shops having the Ringo version, the later ones with Alan White handling the sticks. In all there were 33 takes.
In the light of subsequent events number 17 was perhaps disappointing. But for the band it was their first issue as The Beatles; and it was their own song (Martin had planned on their first release being a song written by an outside professional songwriter), in fact written by Paul when he was in his teens, with the middle eight down to John ; and with the harmonica adding colour and grit they were on their way to finding their own unique sound.
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