Monday, May 4, 2009

Love Me Do

Please Please Me, Track 8, 1963

Ah, Universe. It's been over two months. I'm so sorry about that. At my place of work (Porto Rico Importing Company), we have Beatles Fridays, where I am in charge of the playlist, and am challenged every week to come up with a new way of sorting the Beatles songs that take up nearly 3/4 of my iPod.

So, it's really embarrassing that I haven't been keeping up with this blog.

But anyways, "Love Me Do." The Beatles' first single. Ever. Yeeeeeah!

This song topped in its original release, at #17 in the UK, and at #1 in the US, putting it (but not frikkin' "Please Please Me)" on the "1" album. Several versions were recorded with George Martin (the great) after initially signing the Beatles. There was some concern about how John would play the harmonica and sign the hook/title line "love me do," since these were the days in which those things could barely be recorded on separate tracks. In fact, this whole album was done on two-track, vocals on one, and all the instruments on the other. That's how Paul got to sing the title of the song, just so John could start playing the harmonica as the vocals finished up.


I Love:
  • That harmonica part: not terribly sophisticated, but effective nonetheless
  • The lyrics are So. Simple.
"Love, love me do. You know I love you. I'll always be true. So please love me do. Someone to love. Somebody new, Someone to love, Someone like you."
  • That's it. That's the entire song.
  • The thump-thump after the "someone like you" for emphasis.

Actually, I love the drums on the album version of this song, which are different than the single version, because of the last minute switch between Pete Best, Ringo Starr and the studio drummer that briefly came between them. The Beatles didn't want Pete, and George Martin was initially wary of Ringo, but the band put their foot down, and rest is history. On the album track, Andy White plays the drums, and Ringo plays the tambourine. And I must say, it's a damn fine tambourine part.

Here are links to several different versions of the song, so you can try to concentrate and compare and then consider yourself a connoisseur of Beatles drumming. (Like the alliteration? Thanks.)

Just Ringo This appears to be live-ish, and the quality is much lower than these other two.
Pete Best
Andy White/Ringo Starr

Okay, there you go. Let me know when you realize that some of this doesn't make any sense.