Love Me Do  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"Love Me Do", backed by "P.S. I Love You", was the first single released by The Beatles on October 5, 1962. Both songs were written by Paul McCartney (although credited to Lennon-McCartney) and were recorded on September 11, 1962 at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London. When the single was originally released in the UK it peaked at #17 in the singles chart; in 1982 it was re-issued and this time reached #4. In the US the single was a #1 hit in 1964.

This song was recorded by the Beatles at different times with three different drummers:

  • The Beatles first recorded it on June 6, 1962 with Pete Best on drums, as part of their EMI audition.
  • By September 4, Best had been replaced with Ringo Starr (producer George Martin did not approve of Best's drumming), and on that day the Beatles with Starr recorded a version.
  • One week later, on September 11, the Beatles returned to the studio to discover that Martin was dissatisfied with Starr's drumming and made a recording of "Love Me Do" with session drummer Andy White on drums, while Starr played tambourine.

Most issues of the single contain the Andy White version of the track (that can also be heard on several albums (including Please Please Me) and The Beatles' Hits EP). However, the initial issues of the UK single featured the Ringo Starr version, which is also included on the compilation album Past Masters, Volume One. All singles printed with the red Parlophone label contain the Ringo Starr version (recorded on September 4), whereas the singles having a black Parlophone label are the Andy White version (recorded on September 11). The CD single issued on October 5, 1992 contains both of these versions of "Love Me Do". The Pete Best audition version remained unreleased until 1995 when it was included on The Beatles Anthology 1 album.

"Love Me Do", featuring Starr drumming, was also recorded eight times at the BBC; and played on the BBC radio programmes Here We Go, Talent Spot, Saturday Club, Side By Side, Pop Go the Beatles, and Easy Beat between October 1962 and October 1963. The version of "Love Me Do" recorded on July 10, 1963 at the BBC, and broadcast on the July 23, 1963 Pop Go The Beatles programme can be heard on the Beatles album Live at the BBC. The Beatles also performed the song live on the February 20, 1963 Parade Of The Pops BBC radio broadcast.

In 1982, Paul McCartney remarked: "In Hamburg we clicked... At the Cavern we clicked... but if you want to know when we 'knew' we'd arrived, it was getting in the charts with 'Love Me Do'. That was the one. It gave us somewhere to go."

Cover versions

"Love Me Do" has been covered by:

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