Before The Beatles took America by storm one February in 1964 they where gaining momentum in their homeland, with a hot debut single “Love Me Do” and it’s follow up “Please Please Me”, the boys where quick to record their first album, knocking it out live in 24 hours. Composed of Lennon/McCartney originals and covers, Please Please Me is a solid debut record that barely even teases at what’s to come from The Beatles.Let’s see how it is…song by song.
Track By Track
I Saw Her Standing There
- Stone cold classic. A great lead off that takes the sound of 50s rock n’ roll and mushes it into an exciting new sound. George’s leads are airy and his solo is tight. It’s a catchy number with a chorus and bridge you’ll be singing for days after you first hear it.
- Starting slow with a Lennon whine, Ringo kicks this show in high gear. Misery is a simple tune but solid with some nice piano in the bridge.
Anna (Go To Him)
- The first cover on the album, this is extraordinary. John knocks it out of the park with his vocal performance. He has crackling passion and his voice really explodes on the bridge. A remarkable tune and one of the album’s highest highs.
- Another cover. It’s pretty darn catchy and The Beatles make it sound good.
- Rock it Ringo! This is a jam, silly tune and Ringo’s voice is only okay at best but it’s a really fun song and it has good energy.
Ask Me Why
- Back to originals we have a song with a great melody! I like this one a lot, it’s memorable and has a good harmony.
Please Please Me
- Speaking of good harmonies, side 1 ends with a smash! Please Please Me is a classic and is early Beatles to a tee. It’s 2 minutes of pop masterwork and it for me defines the beginning period of the band (pre-I Want To Hold Your Hand).
Love Me Do
- Love love me do. You know I love you. I’ll always be true. *Yawn* Okay to be fair it’s not a bad song and it starts side 2 well but if you ask me it’s a little boring, repeating the same lines over and over with little energy. John’s harmonica is one of the saving graces.
P.S. I Love You
- Pure McCartney and nothing but. It’s short and sweet. No one could ever mistake this for a Lennon song.
Baby It’s You
- Another cover. Baby It’s You is a sweet song with a very good John vocal. I like this one a lot, it’s laid back and The Beatles did it justice!
Do You Want To Know A Secret
A Taste Of Honey
- My least favorite song on the album. I don’t much care for this song to be honest, the melody is a bit meh and it just reminds me of Honey Nut Cheerios “I’ll be back for the honey!”
There’s A Place
- I like this song but I feel John’s low vocal doesn’t work with McCartney’s high on this song. They are two completely different sounding parts and John falls right under Paul instead of cutting through him (see If I Fell and Day Tripper). This is a song I sing to myself often, it’s a catchy number regardless but it gets left in the dust next to…
Twist And Shout
- My very favorite song on the album! A high powered jam with John’s greatest vocal performance. One of rock’s finest at that. Twist And Shout is nothing short of 100% classic. It has explosive energy and it caps off the album on a high.
Please Please Me is a good album, as a debut and as a record on it’s own. If this was the only album The Beatles ever recorded…then no one would remember them outside of the U.K. so bad point. However I do feel every song on this album is very catchy and the covers where chosen well, even if some like “Boys” are odd choices. Lots of girl group covers in The Beatles discography.
For a record kicked out in one day it’s smashing, there is great energy and John sounds great, thanks to the cold he had at the time which gives his voice extra crackle! He sizzles on “Twist And Shout” and “Anna (Go To Him). There are a lot of group harmony songs on this album but I feel overall John has the strongest presence, even though McCartney opens the album.
Please Please Me is a great listen and it’s a record that gives no indication of what craziness would come in the next few years for the band.
- Twist And Shout
- Anna (Go To Him)
- Please Please Me
- I Saw Her Standing There
- Ask Me Why
- Baby It’s You
- A Taste Of Honey
- Do You Want To Know A Secret