Judged by the standards they set in the mid-sixties, this is not a great Beatles album, yet it is far superior to anything most of their rivals could ever hope to achieve. As such, it (like all Beatles albums) comfortably deserves five stars.
Like all the early Beatles albums, this one contains several covers – six in this case. The three best are Baby it's you (Shirelles), Twist and shout (Isley brothers) and A taste of honey. Twist and shout became a UK top ten hit for Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, the group that Decca signed in preference to the Beatles.
The album's title track became the first major Beatles hit. The chart that is now generally regarded as the standard UK chart (and published in the Guinness book of British hit singles) registers a peak position of 2, but back in the early sixties there were three other charts and all of those gave a peak position of 1. No chart was regarded then as being more reliable than the others, so most connoisseurs regard Please please me as the first Beatles chart-topper.
Three of the other seven originals stand out. I saw her standing there opens the album and was presumably considered for singles release. Do you want to know a secret was covered by Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas and provided them with their first major pop hit. Love me do was the debut single for the Beatles, making the UK top twenty at the time, though it would make the top five when re-released in the eighties.
This is not the best place to begin a Beatles collection but it is a great album in its own way and is required listening for all true Beatles fans.