Please Please Me (Lennon/McCartney)

Home » SECOND TO NONE: The Beatles Song Index » Please Please Me (Lennon/McCartney)

Please Please Me (Lennon/McCartney)

John wrote Please Please Me specifically in Roy Orbison’s song style, and George Martin wouldn’t use the song as the Beatles’ first single because it sounded too much like Orbison. After Love Me Do hit UK #17, the band worked with Martin on speeding it up and adding more pep to it. It was the Beatles’ first #1 single.


“Gentlemen, you have just made your first number one record.” – George Martin, upon completion of recording for Please Please Me

“On my first visit in September we just ran through some tracks for George Martin. We even did Please Please Me. I remember that, because while we were recording it I was playing the bass drum with a maraca in one hand and a tambourine in the other.” – Ringo Starr

“We’d had a top 30 entry with Love Me Do and we really thought we were on top of the world. Then came Please Please Me – and wham! We tried to make it as simple as possible. Some of the stuff we’ve written in the past has been a bit way-out, but we aimed this one straight at the hit parade… We almost abandoned it as the b-side of Love Me Do. We changed our minds only because we were so tired the night we did Love Me Do. We’d been going over it a few times and when we came to the question of the flipside, we intended using Please Please Me. Our recording manager, George Martin, thought our arrangement was fussy, so we tried to make it simpler. We were getting very tired, though, and we just couldn’t seem to get it right. We are conscientious about our work and we don’t like to rush things.” – John Lennon

“At that stage Please Please Me was a very dreary song. It was like a Roy Orbison number, very slow, bluesy vocals. It was obvious to me that it badly needed pepping up. I told them to bring it in next time and we’d have another go at it.” – George Martin

“We sang it and George Martin said, ‘Can we change the tempo?’ We said, ‘What’s that?’ He said, ‘Make it a bit faster. Let me try it.’ And he did. We thought, ‘Oh, that’s all right, yes.’ Actually, we were a bit embarrassed that he had found a better tempo than we had.” – Paul McCartney

“From the drum sound I can tell that I was on it, because it was a vastly different sound to Ringo’s drumset at that time. This was before he got the Ludwig kit. Each drummer gets an individual sound, first of all by the way they tune the drums and then by the way they play the drums.” – Andy White

“Let me tell you the story of ‘Please Please Me’. The record was released on the Vee-Jay label. It was a local Chicago recording company. The owner, Ewart Abner, brought a copy of the record to WLS. I was the music director at the time and listened to his story about a group, and looked at pictures in teen magazines he brought back from England. I figured, what if this group would get as popular in the United States as they were in England and Europe. So I added the record to the list.” – Art Roberts, music director at WLS in Chicago

BBC Performances

See THERE WILL BE A SHOW TONIGHT: The BBC Performances for complete information on BBC performances and recordings

  • Teenager’s Turn (Here We Go) – recorded January 16, 1963, broadcast January 25, 1963
  • Saturday Club – recorded January 22, 1963, broadcast January 26, 1963
  • Talent Spot – recorded January 22, 1963, broadcast January 29, 1963
  • Parade Of Pops – recorded February 20, 1963, broadcast February 20, 1963
  • Teenager’s Turn (Here We Go) – recorded March 6, 1963, broadcast March 12, 1963 and released on Bootleg Recordings 1963 (2013)
  • Saturday Club – recorded March 16, 1963, broadcast March 16, 1963
  • On The Scene – recorded March 21, 1963, broadcast March 28, 1963
  • Easy Beat – recorded April 3, 1963, broadcast April 7, 1963
  • Side By Side – recorded April 1, 1963, broadcast April 22, 1963
  • Steppin’ Out – recorded May 21, 1963, broadcast June 3, 1963
  • Pop Go The Beatles – recorded July 16, 1963, broadcast August 13, 1963 and released on On Air: Live At The BBC Volume 2 (2013)
  • Easy Beat – recorded October 16, 1963, broadcast October 20, 1963 and released on Bootleg Recordings 1963 (2013)


  • John Lennon – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica
  • Paul McCartney – bass, harmony vocals
  • George Harrison – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Ringo Starr – drums

Release history

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *