It was released on Parlophone, 14 tracks of great music all recorded in one day and produced by George Martin.
It’s hard to understand the impact it had on everyone if you weren’t there. The raw fresh sound which heralded the swinging sixties for many people. As Tony Barrow wrote on the back of the LP cover “Their music is wild, pungent, hard-hitting, uninhibited …. and personal”
I wasn’t that keen on their first single “Love Me Do” but the second one, and the title of this LP, “Please Please Me” was for me and many other group members a turning point.
The album starts with an upbeat “I saw her standing there” and finishes with a cover of “Twist & Shout”, always a crowd pleaser for any guitar group.
We’d had Buddy Holly and the Motown artists but here was a group of Liverpudlians who could not only do great versions of those US songs but also write their own.
On this LP there are 8 original songs and 6 covers of artists like Arthur Alexander, The Shirelles, the Isley Brothers and a pop/jazz song from the film A Taste of Honey. They were very eclectic in their early cover versions from their days in Hamburg and included cover versions on all their LPs until the 6th one Rubber Soul.
I saw the Beatles just once, in Blackburn, Lancashire (where they must have experienced all those potholes for themselves). They opend with their version of “Some Other Guy” which was a song recorded by fellow-Liverpudlians The Big Three.
In those days you were either a Beatles fan or a Rolling Stones fan (early shades of Blur v Oasis in the later BritPop era). I was a Beatles fan until Sergeant Pepper which I didn’t understand at the time and didn’t like apart from “With a little help from my friends”.
Looking back it was a great idea which inspired others like The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and Billy Joel‘s Nylon Curtain album (I love “Scandinavian Skies“).