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.
A lot of stuff here I already knew, but it was good to have it all in one place. His comments on Peter Best and the saga of the drummers are worth reading. The material on the single's promotion is also comprehensive. An enjoyable little book.
This book is well worth a read for any real Beatles fan. However, there are several mistakes and several typos in it,but that does not distract from the fact that it is still a good resource for any collector of rarer American and Canadian releases of the single and record of the Beatles radio and television appearances.
Useful little book - not a huge read but some interesting little bits and pieces you might not already know. Also, with Bill Harry, at least you know it was someone there at the time and not someone trying to make themsleves more important to the story than they were.
Whilst this book is short it is very informative about that period in the Beatles development. Bill Harry was party to much of that development which makes the text more meaningful - it is not just researched. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about this period.