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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, February 11, 1963

So, it really wasn't unusual for pop groups in 1963 to record an entire album in one day - quality and care were forsaken but budgets were adhered to. What was rare was the Beatles' ability to turn out a brilliant debut album under these circumstances. Please Please Me, the 14-track LP for which all ten recordings were made this day, remains a first-class collection of great performances. There can scarcely have been 585 more productive minutes in the history of recorded music.

Only two sessions (10:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:30 to 5:30 pm were originally booked, the 2nd session ended at 6:00 and a third, 7:30 to 10:45, was added. The Beatles weren't fully fit, John had a bad cold which affected his voice. Tea, milk, cigarettes and "Soothing and Comforting" Zubes lozenges helped.

A basic run-down of the day: They reached 10 takes of "There's a place" and nine of a song at this point titled "Seventeen" (later changed to "I saw her standing there") Then 7 takes of "A taste of honey", 8 of "Do you want to know a secret", 3 more of "There's a place" 3 more of "I saw her standing there" and 11 of "Misery".

13 takes of "Hold me tight" (this song would remain unreleased until a re-make recorded on September 12, 1963 was included on the group's second album with "With the Beatles",  3 takes of "Anna (Go to him), one of "Boys", 4 of "Chains", 3 of "Baby it's you" and finally, the closing number, 2 takes of "Twist and Shout" (the first of which was chosen for the album).

An article in the February 22nd edition of NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, and later in POP WEEKLY (probably the work of the same author), suggested that the Beatles also recorded a version of "Keep your hands off my baby" at this session. But the complete set of the day's recording sheets do not mention this title, nor does it appear in the tape library log.

Please Please Me was released in Britain on Friday, March 22, 1963 where it was the best-selling LP for 30 straight weeks, until it was dislodged by "With the Beatles".

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