Produced by George Martin
Principal Engineer: Norman Smith
Having recorded two singles in 1962, The Beatles made their fifth visit
to EMI's studios in Abbey Road, North London on 11th February, 1963 to
record the songs needed to make their debut album. In just nine and
three quarter hours and using severi half-hour reels of tape, they
completed eleven titles. The only song not used from that day was 'Hold
Me Tight'. It was re-recorded severi months later for the next LP.
Recording on a twin-track tape machine with the instruments sent to
track one and the vocals to track two meant that the mono and stereo
mixes could be made ori another day. This ensured producer George
Martiri could devote
all the valuable studio time to the intense recording schedule.
The first session of this productive day began at 10.00am and after
three hours they had two songs ready for overdubbing in the afternoon.
Three more songs were recorded between 2.30 and 6.00pm and two of them
were also given overdubs. The second to be worked ori was 'A Taste Of
Honey', which features the 'trick duet' mentioned in the album's
original cover notes. Ori that song, the recording made earlier was
played back to Paul in the studio and simultaneously copied to another
twin-track machine while he sang along with his original lead vocal.
Double-tracking, as this was known, became a frequently used technique but for this album it was
limited to this song. The afternoon's other overdubs included harmony
vocals, harmonica, percussion and handclaps.
When the evening session began at 7.30,
they had five songs finished. Three and a quarter hours later they had
completed a further six. After working on 'Hold Me
Tight', The Beatles stormed through five cover versions - ending the day
with two performances of 'Twist And Shout'. It was their first take that
was chosen to ciose the album. Two weeks later, the ten selected songs
were mixed into mono and stereo during a three hour session and, when
added to the four from 1962, the album was now complete. Please Please
Me had taken a littie over 25 hours to record, edit and mix - a few
albums later, as Beatles recordings became more adventurous, that would
be hardly enough time to complete one song.
Please Please Me was released at a time
when mono was the preferred format and stereo records sold to a small
number of hi-fi enthusiasts. The twin-track recordings formed the basis
of this stereo album but their original purpose was to achieve a good
balance between the instruments and the vocals when creating the masters.
Inevitably, the stereo mix provides an unusual experience of hearing ali
the voices on the right side with all the instruments coming from the
However, because the 1962 twin-track tapes of 'Love Me Do' and 'P.S. I
Love You' had been discarded, the original stereo vinyl LP presented
them in fake stereo. Although this was common practice at the time, it
subsequently fell out of favour and so these scngs are presented on this
CD in mono.
(Recording notes by Allan Rouge and Kevin Howlett transcribed by the
remastered edition booklet because of the importance, in order to listen
appropriately the historical album)