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Music / Please Please Me

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A pleasing album that will make you twist and shout!

Please Please Me is the debut studio album by The Beatles, released in 1963. It is best remembered for the hit singles "Love Me Do" and "Please Please Me". Fan favourites such as "I Saw Her Standing There", "There's A Place" and the cover "Twist And Shout" are also present on this album.

It may or may not sound like it to modern ears, but no British band in 1963 had ever recorded anything this wild. Lemmy from Motörhead used to go and see the early Beatles, and he considered them "the gear" and a better live band than The Rolling Stones.

It was listed at #39 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.



Side One

  1. "I Saw Her Standing There" (2:54)
  2. "Misery" (1:50)
  3. "Anna (Go to Him)" (2:55)
  4. "Chains" (2:23)
  5. "Boys" (2:24)
  6. "Ask Me Why" (2:24)
  7. "Please Please Me" (1:59)

Side Two

  1. "Love Me Do" (2:23)
  2. "P.S. I Love You" (2:04)
  3. "Baby It's You" (2:40)
  4. "Do You Want to Know a Secret?" (1:59)
  5. "A Taste of Honey" (2:03)
  6. "There's a Place" (1:51)
  7. "Twist and Shout" (2:32)

Principal Members:

  • George Harrison - guitar, backing and lead vocals
  • John Lennon - lead vocals, guitar, harmonica
  • Paul McCartney - lead vocals, bass
  • Ringo Starr - drums, percussion, lead vocals, tambourine, maracas
  • Andy White - drums in "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You" (uncredited)


I Saw Her Troping There:

  • Alliterative Title: "Please Please Me".
  • Break Up Song: "Misery"
    Send her back to me
    'Cause everyone can see
    Without her I will be in misery
  • The Cameo: Session drummer Andy White is featured in "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You". Ringo plays tambourine on "Love Me Do"†  and maracas on "P.S. I Love You".
  • Careful with That Axe: Lennon's screaming during "Twist & Shout", sang while he had a cold, by the way!
  • Counting to Three: Paul's "one, two, three, FOUR!" kicking off "I Saw Her Standing There".
  • Cover Version: "Anna (Go to Him)" (originally recored by Arthur Alexander), "Chains" (originally by The Cookies), "Boys" (a The Shirelles cover), "Baby It's You" (another Shirelles cover), "A Taste of Honey" (a Lenny Welch song) and "Twist and Shout" (The Isley Brothers cover).
  • The Cover Changes the Gender: The cover of The Shirelles' "Boys" has a few lyrics changed so that Ringo has a female love interest, but he's still singing about "Boys".
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: "A Taste of Honey" gets a happy ending here, or at least loses the "He ne'er came back to his love so fair..." verse.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: "I Saw Her Standing There", "Twist & Shout", about the joy of dancing with your loved one.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Note that the original songs on the album are credited to McCartney-Lennon. The credit order would be changed to Lennon-McCartney shortly thereafter, and remained so for the rest of the group's career.
  • Face on the Cover: A group shot of the band, photographed from below.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • The lyrics to "Please Please Me" essentially mean "I went down on you, so why won't you go down on me?" (They deny this, though.)
    • As discussed on the Headscratchers page, the song is blatantly sexual yet there is absolutely nothing in the lyrics that narrows it down to the subject of oral sex.
    • Many question the opening lines of "I Saw Her Standing There":
      "Well she was just seventeen
      You know what I mean" note 
      • It could be playing along the lines of Nature Adores a Virgin, which she probably is because she's so young.
      • John and Paul have both sworn it means literally nothing. Paul's original lines went: "Well she was just seventeen / Never been a beauty queen / But the way she looked was way beyond compare..." which they both agreed was crap; the final version was literally the only other idea they had.
  • Henpecked Husband: "Chains"
    Chains. My baby has me locked up in chains!
    And they ain't the kind that you can see
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: In "Ask Me Why", the voice of the song is overwhelmed that he's in a relationship. So much that it makes him cry...
    If I cry, it's not because I'm sad
    But you're the only love that I've ever had;
    I can't believe it's happened to me...
  • "I Want" Song: "Do You Want To Know A Secret?" is an inversion.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: "I Saw Her Standing There":
    Well she was just 17
    You know what I mean
    And the way she looked
    Was way beyond compare...
  • Live Album: The whole album was recorded live, with few overdubs, and is a pretty good reflection of the band's live sound in its early days. In fact, ten of the 14 songs were recorded in a single ten-hour session on February 11, 1963. The other four songs were the "Please Please Me" and "Love Me Do" singles, also recorded live with minimal overdubbing.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Misery," a Break-Up Song that sounds just like the Silly Love Songs that make up most of the album.
  • Manly Tears: The voice of "Ask Me Why", who cries because he cannot believe he's in a relationship...
    Now you're mine, my happiness still makes me cry
    And in time, you'll understand the reason why...
  • One-Woman Song: "Anna (Go to Him)".
  • One-Word Title: "Misery", "Chains", "Boys".
  • Pun-Based Title: "Please Please Me", a pun on the word "please" and the verb "to please".
  • Questioning Title?: "Do You Want To Know A Secret?"
  • Shout-Out: The bass riff from Chuck Berry's "Talkin' About You" inspired "I Saw Her Standing There".
  • Silly Love Songs: Virtually all the songs here fit this trope.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: George Harrison sings lead vocals on "Chains" and "Do You Want To Know A Secret?". Ringo Starr sings lead vocals on "Boys".


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