Please Please Me
- John Lennon – vocal, rhythm guitar, harmonica
- Paul McCartney – vocal, bass guitar
- George Harrison – harmony vocal, lead guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums
Please Please Me was the Beatles' second single in the UK, and the first in the US. Lennon wrote the song in 1962 as a slow, blues-like ballad. Lennon said Roy Orbeson's Only the Lonely inspired him to write Please Please Me. Producer George Martin felt that the original version was too drab to be a success, and insisted on changes that molded the song into a hit. Recorded in November of 1962, the song required 18 takes before Martin was satisfied. By February of 1963 it was number one in the British pop charts. Its first release in the US (with Ask Me Why on the B-side) was unsuccessful. In a re-release in January of 1964 (with From Me to You on the B-side) it reached number three on the US charts. (At that time, the Beatles held the top five slots on the list.) Innovations include Lennon's harmonica intro and the McCartney-Lennon vocals in which McCartney holds the high note and Lennon comes down from it through a scale, in the style of the Everly Brothers (Cathy's Clown). In the stereo mix of the song (made at Abbey Road in February, 1963 for the album), you can hear Lennon chuckle slightly when he sings "come on" in the final verse, as he had started to sing the wrong words. Martin wisely kept the take. Please Please Me (the UK singles release) was played by Chicago disc jockey Dick Biondi in early February of 1963, making him the first in the United States to broadcast a Beatles song.
George Martin wanted to pep up the song to make it more appealing to British audiences. Recorded November 26, 1962 in 18 takes.