The Beatles -- ‘Love Me Do’

Ringo version Love Me Do (2.24)

John Lennon: Lead vocal, rhythm guitar, harmonica; Paul McCartney: Lead vocal, bass guitar; George Harrison: Harmony vocal, acoustic guitar; Ringo Starr: Drums;

Paul recording ‘Love Me Do’Paul recording ‘Love Me Do’ – 4 Sep ’62

This was written way back in 1958 during their Quarrymen days. It was originally aired at their EMI audition but by the time they came back in September George Martin had told them to spruce up an off-the-shelf number to replace it. He still wasn’t entirely convinced about their song-writing talent and wanted ‘How Do You Do It?’ to be their first single instead. The Beatles, however, disagreed. They were certain that if they recorded this “twee little number” then they’d never be able to show their faces in Liverpool again.

“We figured ‘Now, wait a minute,’” said Paul. “We are now starting a reputation, a major reputation, hopefully, so we must be careful what we do.” But Martin argued that all their songs were rubbish and until they came up with something even half as good …

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Andy White version Love Me Do (2.19)

John Lennon: Lead vocal, rhythm guitar, harmonica; Paul McCartney: Lead vocal, bass guitar; George Harrison: Harmony vocal, acoustic guitar; Ringo Starr: Tambourine; Drums: Andy White

If you want to know which records include the Andy White version, then here’s the list: early versions of their debut single (with the red label) feature Ringo on the drums. Later pressings (with a black label) have Andy White. The ‘Please Please Me’ LP and ‘Beatles’ Hits’ EP both include the Andy White version. The American single features Andy as well.

At some point in the sixties it was decided by the powers-that-be that all future records would include the Andy White version, so they stupidly scrubbed the Ringo master and chucked it away. Duh!

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Take unknown Love Me Do (2.32)

John Lennon: Lead vocal, rhythm guitar, harmonica; Paul McCartney: Lead vocal, bass guitar; George Harrison: Acoustic guitar; Drums: Pete Best

It wasn’t just the drums that got an overhaul because Martin fiddled around with the vocals too. The old Cavern Club version had John singing the whole lot, but as soon as Martin recognised that the last line before the harmonica break overlapped his pipe playing, he insisted that Paul sing it instead. “So we started playing it,– said Paul, “and I’m singing harmony, then it gets to the ‘pleeeaase’ bit and John goes ‘Love me…’ and then puts his harmonica to his mouth: ‘Wah, wah, wahhh’. And George Martin went, ‘Wait a minute, wait a minute, there’s a crossover there. Someone else has got to sing ‘Love Me Do’ because you can’t go ‘Love me wahhh’. You’re going to have a song called ‘Love Me Wahhh’. So, Paul, will you sing ‘Love Me Do’?’… God, I got the screaming heebie-jeebies. I …

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Radio recording Love Me Do (2.30)

John Lennon: Lead vocal, rhythm guitar; Paul McCartney: Lead vocal, bass guitar; George Harrison: Acoustic guitar; Ringo Starr: Drums;

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