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Love Me Do
on 8 November 2012
This is a short read (less than 50 pages) about the release of the Beatles first single: Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You, written by Bill Harry; the man who started Mersey Beat and who knew the band well in those early days. It is a shame this is such a short read, because it is extremely well written and, if you have little knowledge about the bands early days, you will find this really informative. Of course, it is the fiftieth anniversary of the singles release this year and so it is great to go back to that very first record. In all honesty, I have never much liked "Love Me Do" as a song, preferring the B-side, but Harry explains why the songs were chosen as they were - something I had never read before, so even I (who have read hundreds of books about the band) learnt something new!
Bill Harry goes right to the beginning, explaining how the band got a recording contract and then going on to discuss the recording sessions which led to their first record release. He goes over which drummer is on each take of the song: Ringo, Pete Best or Andy White, and which copies were released. Also, there is a quick look at why Pete Best was asked to leave the band - if this interests you, the best book on the subject (now sadly out of print, but available second hand) is Drummed Out!: The Sacking of Pete Best. I was pleased to see that Harry also debunked some myths in this book, including the long held story that Brian Epstein had boxes of "Love Me Do" gathering dust in his shop and that he somehow single handedly managed to get the record into the charts. There is also information on John Lennon's harmonica playing and the promotion of the record. So, although a short read, it packs a lot in and if you are interested in the minutiae of facts about the best band of the world then you will enjoy this. Another short read, this one looking at the Beatles first album is The Beatles: Please Please Me - The Album Guide, which may well interest you if you liked this.