PLEASE PLEASE ME ALBUMThough the Beatles' debut single. "Love Me Do," was a moderate success, their second release, "Please Please Me," was a huge hit. As it neared the top of the charts, the Beatles took one night off from touring to rush to London to record most of this album in one daylong session. The following night they were back on tour and performed in both Yorkshire and Lancashire.LiveCHART ACTIONUNITED KINGDOM: Rush-released March 22, 1963, shortly after the title song fell from its No. 1 position. The album entered the chart March 27 at No. 9 and in seven weeks was No. 1, where it stayed for twenty-nine weeks. It set a record for the longest continuous run at No. 1 in theNME (New Musical Express)album chart.RoadUNITED STATES: Capitol refused to release the album. It was released in a different form by the little Vee Jay record label asIntroducing the Beatles,which failed to place in the charts. It differed from the U.K. version by not including "Please Please Me" and "Ask Me Why."RoadRECORDEDFebruary 11, 1963, except for the title song and "Ask Me Why" (since both were previously released as a single) and "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You" (another single), at Abbey Road.ATN: Liveand Salewicz agree on date.Sources disagree significantly on how long it took to record this album -- anywhere from 9 3/4 hours to 16 hours -- but it probably took about 13. About the only thing the sources agree on is that it required just one session to complete. variousGEORGE MARTIN, producer: "All we did really was to reproduce the Cavern performance in the comparative calm of the studio."At the beginning [of the Beatles' recording career], my specialty was the introductions and the endings, and any instrumental passages in the middle. I might say, for instance: "Please Please Me" only lasts a minute and 10 seconds, so you'll have to do two choruses, and in the second chorus we'll have to do such-and-such. "That was the extent of the arranging."Ears PAUL AS THE BUDDING MUSICAL DIRECTORMcCARTNEY: "...Then [Martin] had a lot of control -- we used to record the stuff, and leave him to mix it, pick a single, everything. After a while though, we got so into recording we'd stay behind while he mixed it, watching what he was doing." Jamming!(June 1982)NORMAN SMITH, engineer: "[It was] nearly always Paul who was the MD, the musical director, as early as this. Obviously John would have quite a lot to say, but overall it was always Paul who was the guv'nor. Which is fair, because he was the natural musician, and even at this stage, the natural producer. On this session he was trying to figure out everything we were doing with the controls."Salewicz A two-track tape machine was used, and the recording was entirely live. None of the vocals was overdubbed, and no more than four takes were made of any song. SalewiczNORMAN SMITH: "I kept the sound relatively 'dry.' I hated all that echo that everyone was using back then. And I placed the singers' microphones right there with the rest of the band, although singers were usually hidden away in a separate recording booth. I thought that was a bad idea, because you lost the live feel of the session."DiaryAt the Beatles' request, a large candy jar of cough lozenges and two new packs of Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes were placed on the piano for the session. So began a tradition that lasted for years. SalewiczINSTRUMENTATIONMcCARTNEY: bassLENNON: rhythm guitarHARRISON: lead guitarSTARR: drumsRoadALBUM PACKAGEThe cover photograph was taken on the staircase of EMI House in Manchester Square, London, by Angus McBean.RoadMcBean shot a similarly staged photo six years later, to adorn theGet Backalbum (which later becameLet It Be).It wasn't used for thDowlding, William J. is the author of 'Beatlesongs', published 1989 under ISBN 9780671682293 and ISBN 0671682296.