The Beatles Please Please Me Album
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)
Love Me Do/P.S. I Love You (released October 5, 1962)
(Love Me Do, the single version, available on
The Beatles Past Masters, Volume One)
Please Please Me/Ask Me Why (released January 12, 1963)
From Me To You/Thank You Girl (released April 11, 1963)
(available on The Beatles Past Masters, Volume One)
Twist and Shout: Twist and Shout/A Taste of Honey/Do You Want to Know a Secret/There’s a Place (released July 12, 1963)
The Beatles’ Hits: From Me To You/Thank You Girl/Please Please Me/Love Me Do (released September 1963)
The Beatles No. 1: I Saw Her Standing There/Misery/Anna/Chains (released November 1963)
Note: The full set of Beatles’ EPs was released on CD as a box set in 1992.
The full set of Beatles’ U.K. singles was released on CD as a box set in 1999.
Please Please Me (Remastered)
(released September 2009)
Beatles Remastered Stereo Box Set
Beatles Remastered Mono Box Set
Beatles iTunes Digital Box Set (released November 2010)
Beatles Remastered Stereo Vinyl Box set (released November 2012)
Fun Fact: “Twist and Shout” hits the U.S. singles charts again at #23 in September 1986 due to the popularity of Matthew Broderick lip-synching the song in the movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Pete Best and The Casbah
The Beatles went through many temporary drummers in the early days before traveling to Hamburg.
Pete Best had been playing as the Beatles’ drummer since 1960. They had met Pete through his family-owned coffee bar/nightclub in the basement of the Best home called The Casbah.
Pete’s mother, Mona, opened the club with the help of her two sons, Pete and Rory, on Aug. 29, 1959.
John, Paul and George had played at the Casbah a few times before asking Pete to become their drummer in 1960.
After the Beatles returned from Hamburg in 1960, Pete and Mona began booking gigs for the Beatles in Liverpool.
Eventually, pressure from Mona and Cavern DJ, Bob Wooler, persuaded Ray McFall, owner of the Cavern Club, to book the Beatles.
It was at the now infamous Cavern, a smoky, sweaty, underground club, that the Beatles made a name for themselves in Liverpool.
Note: The Casbah Coffee Club in Liverpool reopened in 2002. For more information, visit Pete Best’s official website
For further info on the Beatles and the Casbah, read the book by Pete Best and brothers, Rory and Roag, called “The Beatles: The True Beginnings”
The Beatles Manager, Brian Epstein
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 services.
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.
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 Liverpool, England
(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.
For more info on Pete Best, read his autobiography: “Beatle!: The Pete Best Story” by Pete Best and Patrick Doncaster and visit Pete Best’s official website
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 Do”
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 thought their 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.
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 British charts.
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 proven right.
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 Beatles.
Want to learn more about Early Beatles history?
Take our exclusive course, The Early Beatles: How The Fab Four Came Together
Continue to the second Beatles album, With the Beatles