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06th January, 2022

Love Me Do: 60 Years

“First hearing ‘Love Me Do’ on the radio sent me shivery all over. It was the best buzz of all time.” - George Harrison

The song’s release proved to be a real turning point for the band and in 2022, Liverpool’s award-winning attraction, The Beatles Story, will be celebrating 60 years since The Beatles released their first record, ‘Love Me Do’, into the UK chart.

On 5th October 1962 the track entered the UK chart and peaked at number 17. Two years later, it was issued in the US where it became the 4th of 6 songs by The Beatles to hit number 1 in a 12-month period.

The song, an early Lennon-McCartney composition from 1958, was recorded by The Beatles on 3 occasions with 3 different drummers - Pete Best, Ringo Starr & Andy White.

The Pete Best EMI Artist Test (The Beatles’ audition for George Martin) was recorded on 6 June 1962 and remained unreleased until 1995, when it was included on the Anthology 1 album.

In August 1962, Pete had been replaced with Ringo Starr since George Martin did not approve of his drumming for studio work. It was the norm at that time to have a specialist studio drummer who knew the way studios worked. The Beatles, with Ringo, recorded a version at EMI Studios on 4th September 1962 in 15 takes. This version is available on Past Masters and was the version first released on Parlophone in the UK charts.

A week later, The Beatles returned to the same studio and made a recording of ‘Love Me Do’ with session drummer Andy White, while Ringo instead played the tambourine. As no tambourine is present on the September recording, this is the easiest way to distinguish between the Ringo Starr and Andy White recordings. The Andy White version is available on Please Please Me.

In the early days, The Beatles mainly performed covers and ‘Love Me Do’ was the first track of their own that they dared to perform live. In 1976, Ringo Starr described how the track became a real turning point for the group: “For me that was more important than anything else. That first piece of plastic. You can’t believe how great that was. It was so wonderful. We were on a record!"

Paul McCartney knew the band had clicked in the Cavern and honed their craft in Hamburg but Love Me Do offered something special: “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.”

The record, despite only reaching number 17 in the UK chart, led to the band receiving a warmer welcome from EMI, and gave them greater access to studio and recording time. 

In 2022, 60 years since the first release of ‘Love Me Do’, The Beatles Story will be marking this milestone with the launch of exciting new memorabilia around the anniversary, along with various celebratory events to be held throughout the year.

Emma Davies

Emma is a Sales and Marketing Executive at The Beatles Story with a Bachelor's in Music & Popular Music from the University of Liverpool.

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