Love Me Do
- John Lennon – harmonica, lead vocal
- Paul McCartney – bass, lead vocal
- George Harrison – guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums (on September 4, 1962 version)
- Andy White – drums (on September 11, 1962 version)
- Pete Best - drums (on Anthology 1 version)
Love Me Do was one of Paul McCartney's first songs and the first Beatles single to be released (October 5, 1962). P.S. I Love You was on the B-side. McCartney wrote this ground-breaking tune in 1958 or 1959 while taking an unofficial vacation from school. The middle eight bars were composed by John Lennon and added later. Love Me Do rose as high as number 17 on the British charts. When released in the U.S. in 1964, it went to number one. Fans immediately recognize the harmonica riff of John Lennon in the beginning of the song. (Later versions, done in a slower style, omit the harmonica.) In the original version, McCartney and Lennon share the lead, with McCartney singing a couple of phrases solo, to give Lennon time to switch to harmonica. Love Me Do was recorded at Abbey Road as part of the EMI audition on June 6, 1962 with Pete Best on drums. George Martin, the producer, then wanted to substitute drummers, and Ringo Starr came into the group. The September 4 recording with Starr on drums is the version on the single release in the UK, but on the debut album, Please Please Me, the cut is a September 11 version in which Ringo plays the tambourine with session drummer Andy White on the trap set.
Pete Best version - June 6, 1962
Best played drums on the June 6, 1962 version during the EMI audition. George Martin was so unhappy with his drumming that Best was fired from the band shortly thereafter.
Ringo Starr version - September 4, 1962
Ringo played drums during the band's first proper studio recoding session for EMI at Abbey Road Studios on September 4, 1962. Starr was brand new to the band and had not had much time to rehearse. As a result, his drumming was slightly off and deemed unsatisfactory for what would be the band's first single. To leave nothing to chance, the song was re-recorded on September 11, 1962 with experienced session drummer Andy White sitting in for Ringo. Ringo played tambourine on this version which is how one can distinguish between the two versions - the version with Ringo on drums has no tambourine. This version appears on early pressing of the original UK single, Rarities, and Past Masters.
Andy White version - September 11, 1962
Session drummer Andy White played drums on Love Me Do when it was re-recorded. For reasons that are unclear, this version was only released on later pressings of the original UK single but has been the "staple" version of Love Me Do over the years appearing on the album Please, Please Me, 1 and most subsequent compilations featuring a studio recording of the song.
Ringo plays drums on subsequent live recordings of the song, of which there are many.
See The White session.