With The Beatles
Release date: 22 November 1963
"It's about the nearest it could get to knowing what we sounded like before we became the clever Beatles."
"I wrote my first song on this album."
"We could play different stuff live from what was recorded and still have stuff left over for the next album."
"We weren't thinking in terms of an album being an entity by itself, it was a collection of their songs and I think one or two other people's songs as well."
The Beatles' Please Please Me album was rush-released by Parlophone on 22nd March, 1963 to capitalise on the enormous success of the title track which had been the group's second single and their first no. 1 in the majority of UK charts.
Ten of the album's fourteen tracks were recorded in just one day - 11th February, 1963. These included a mixture of stage favourites and "Lennon-McCartney originals". The four remaining songs had been committed to tape in 1962 having formed the B-side of their debut release and both sides of their second single. A slightly later recording of 'Love Me Do' to that previously released, was selected for the album. This version would also appear on a subsequent EP and later still on an American # 1 single in 1964.
The iconic front cover shot was taken at the then headquarters of EMI Limited at 20 Manchester Square in London's West End in early 1963 by Angus McBean. EMI remained in the building until 1995 before moving to West London taking the famous balcony railing with them.
Given that the UK album chart in those days tended to be dominated by more 'adult' tastes such as film soundtracks and easy listening vocalists, it was a surprise when Please Please Me hit the top of the chart in May 1963 and remained there for thirty weeks before being replaced by With The Beatles.
Please Please Me didn't receive an official US release until 1987 but "Introducing The Beatles" issued early in 1964 on the Vee-Jay label and "The Early Beatles" released by Capitol Records the following year later did contain many of the songs from the British release.
With The Beatles' advance orders already hover on the brink of 300,000. The new album is a complete contrast to the Beatles' first album 'Please Please Me'. This was recorded in one day. It's a tribute to their talent that this one session has already produced two numbers which have found a place in the Top Thirty.
If there are any Beatle-haters left in Britain, I doubt they'll remain unmoved after hearing 'With The Beatles'. I'll even go this far: if it doesn't stay at the top of the NME LP Chart for at least eight weeks, I'll walk up and down Liverpool's Lime Street carrying an "I Hate The Beatles" sandwich-board.NME Friday, November 15, 1963