The Beatles: “Please Please Me” (1963)

The band’s second single was another smash hit in the UK and became the title track for their first album.

Kronomyth 0.8: The s’il vous plaited Beatles.

Please Please Me was the first Beatles song that really got under my skin. It opened the floodgates for all the wonderful songs that followed, from “From Me to You” to “The Long and Winding Road.” “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You” didn’t do anything for me as a kid and still don’t. Honestly, the original B side of this single, Ask Me Why, isn’t one of my favorite Beatles songs either. I appreciate the fact that John Lennon and Paul McCartney were rapidly developing as songwriters, but I was impatient to get to the good stuff: those rocking melodies and minor-key shifts that sent the verse into overdrive with a killer chorus.

While “Please Please Me” was a big hit in the UK, it took over a year for the song to chart in the US, by which time it was paired with another UK hit, “From Me to You.” Beatlemania was in full force at that point. I don’t think we’ll ever see that kind of hysteria for a musical act again, since a lot of it had to do with the introduction of television into homes. Again, you’re not going to learn anything about The Beatles from me. There are plenty of people who have devoted a lot more time and energy to The Beatles, so please please don’t take anything I say about them as authoritative. I just like their music.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Please Please Me (Paul McCartney/John Lennon)
B1. Ask Me Why (Paul McCartney/John Lennon)

Back-to-back hits 7-inch single version (1964)

A1. Please Please Me (John Lennon/Paul McCartney) (2:00)
B1. From Me to You (John Lennon/Paul McCartney) (1:49)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single on January 11, 1963 (Parlophone, 45R-4983) in the UK. Reached #2 on the UK charts.

  1. Re-packaged with “From Me to You” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in January 1964 (Vee Jay, VJ-581). Reached #3 on the US charts (charted on February 1, 1964 for 13 weeks).
  2. Re-issued on 7-inch single in 1964 in Japan (Odeon, OR-1024) with picture sleeve.
  3. Re-issued B2B hits 7-inch single in the US (Oldies 45, OL-150).
  4. Re-issued on 7-inch single in Canada (Capitol, 72090).

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