Today in 1963, a rock and roll quartet called The Beatles released their first full length album, Please Please Me. It was rush-released and rush-recorded to take advantage of the Fab Four's first #1 single of the same name. The lads already had four songs in the can (the A side and B side of two singles), so producer George Martin and ace engineer Norman Smith put the group through a 12-hour recording session which produced 10 more songs including "I Saw Her Standing There" and the incendiary cover of the Isley Brothers' "Twist and Shout."
Having played nearly every day for the last four years, a day-long recording session that produced 10 songs was not too difficult for the band. John Lennon
, in fact, had a cold throughout the session which you can clearly hear on his solo rendition of Arthur Alexander's Muscle Shoals classic, "Anna." For a first album, it is indeed, "pretty good" as Lennon described it. Norman Smith and The Beatles would really warm up to one another over the course of the next album, With the Beatles, which would make use of Smith's ingenious mic-set up which captured The Beatles as they would have been heard by fans streaming into small theaters in the UK. Compared to a lot of pop records at the time, the Beatles' beat was thunderous and it would only get more dense as time went on. No matter how many times these records get remastered, they can't get any fresher--that was accomplished on the first downbeat after "1,2,3,4." Even if you're sick of The Beatles, you'd have to be made of stone to not admire the verve and fervor of these four young cats who had committed themselves to making it to the top no matter what.
The Beatles had yet to get their Epiphone Casinos
at this point, but Paul's had already shipped from Kalamazoo, Michigan and was packed on a ship and headed to London as John was shredding his vocal chords on "Twist and Shout." Not a bad way to spend a day. Check it out.