Monday, 8 October 2012

Mono Mondays: The Beatles - Love Me Do 50th Anniversary

1982 single reissue of
Love Me Do
Last Friday saw the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles first single Love Me Do released on the Parlophone label from EMI records.

The record itself now has major historical significance but back in late 1962 it made a small but significant dent on the UK music char reaching No.17 in the charts. Its release however came after a busy year for John, Paul, George and Ringo.

A failed Decca audition didn't get the year off to a good start. The Beatles then consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best. The group recorded several tracks at Decca studios on New years Day 1962  but ultimately lost out to Dagenham group Brian Poole and the Tremeloes.

Dave Munden, drummer of The Tremeloes recently told me: ‘We didn't actually know they (The Beatles) were auditioning at the same time. I don’t know why we got the audition and they didn't. Maybe we were a bit well-rehearsed and perhaps they came down from Liverpool looking a bit scruffy. We looked like nice boys and all that, so I guess they must’ve liked us and we got the deal.’

The Beatles left the audition downhearted but manager Brian Epstein despite been told that guitar groups were out by Decca believed he had a hit combo on his hands and took them to George Martin of Parlophone Records at EMI.

George Martin was convinced the band had some potential but wasnt impressed with drummer Pete Best. Following the session, The Beatles sacked Pete Best in favour of Ringo Starr although  George Martin was not confident enough to let Ringo play drums on Love Me Do, so session musician Andy White was brought in to play drums while Ringo added support with a tambourine.

As first singles go however Love Me Do remains a cracking debut. Fabulous harmonies from Lennon and McCartney (not forgetting Lennon on Harmonica) and a catchy melody. Bigger and better things awaited in 1963 but it would be another 20 years before the single (re-released with the Please, Please Me album version as the A Side) impacted the charts once again, this time reaching number 4.

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