Beatles Almost Threw 'Please Please Me' Away

The following article appeared in New Musical Express on March 8, 1963, page 10

The Beatles opened a copy of NME and gazed proudly at the charts when "Please Please Me" hit the top recently. It was a big moment for the talented boys from Liverpool, worth waiting a long time for-writes Alan Smith.
"But what makes it more exciting," revealed group member John Lennon when I first met him this week, "was that we almost abandoned it as the B side of 'Love Me Do'! Imagine that-a number that could get us to the top, just tucked away!
"We changed our minds only because we were so tired the night we did 'Love Me Do'. We'd been going over it a few times and when we came to the question of the flipside we intended using "Please Please Me.'
"Our recording manager, George Martin, thought our arrangement was fussy, so we tried to make it simpler. We were getting very tired, though, and we just couldn't seem to get it right. We're conscientious about our work and we don't like to rush things.
"Eventually, George suggested we do another song. 'Leave "Please Please Me" till some other time,' he said, 'and see if you can tidy it up a bit.'
"Are we glad we did! In the following weeks we went over it again and again. We changed the tempo a little. We altered the words slightly. And we went over the idea of featuring harmonica, just as we'd done on 'Love Me Do."
"By the time the session came around we were so happy with the result, we couldn't get it recorded fast enough."
It's not widely known that Decca turned down The Beatles before they were snapped up by EMI. It happened nearly a year ago, shortly after the group's German-made disc, with Tony Sheriden, "My Bonny", was released in this country on Polydor.
Says John: "That disc was a tremendous hit in Germany. Because of this we thought we stood a reasonable chance of being accepted by a British label, so you can imagine our disappointment. Still, we didn't let it upset us too much. We just tried to keep on improving."
If there's one thing The Beatles are determined on, it's not to move to London. They've a great fondness for their home city, Liverpool.
"We love the place," says Paul. "We all met at school there, and it's where we got our first big breaks. The fans were-and still are-terrific. They make us feel somebody."
Paul recalls an amusing episode. "At one time the rest of the boys and I used to work at a club in Liverpool's Upper Paliament Street, playing for a strip-tease girl.
"We played behind her, but at the end of the act she would turn around and...well, we were all young lads in pink mohair suits...what a colour picture!
She brought sheets of music for us to play her arrangements, things like Beethoven and the Spanish Fire Dance.
"We can't read music, so in the end we said: 'Sorry! But instead of the Spanish Fire Dance we can give you the Harry Lime Cha Cha, which we've arranged ourselves.' She had no choice-she had to accept them as a bare necessity," he chuckled.
At the moment The Beatles are looking forward to the issue of their first LP, featuring mostly number written by John and Paul. It is due for release on Parlophone in the next few weeks.
Incredibly, the boys recorded non-stop for 12 hours, even though most of them had heavy colds. And after the final number-a scorching thumping, pulsating version of "Twist and Shout" a-and-r manager George Martin looked down from the control room in sheer amazement.
"How could anybody," he asked, "achieve such a fantastic sound after so long? The tougher the condition, the better they get!"

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