George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and John Lennon of The Beatles in their London backyard.
Before Beatlemania and The Ed Sullivan Show; before they met Queen Elizabeth and smoked pot with Bob Dylan; before they sprouted drooping mustaches, dropped acid, discovered sitars and pilgrimaged to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Himalayan retreat; before John met Yoko, before the walrus was Paul; before they took over popular music and, um, transformed Western culture – before all that, at 10 in the morning on February 11th, 1963, the Beatles were merely the world's finest little rock & roll band, gathered at Abbey Road studios in London to make a debut album. Twelve hours later, they'd done it. Of all the astonishing things aboutPlease Please Me – and there are many – the most impressive may simply be the quick-and-dirty haste with which it was recorded. In 2011, it can take a band a dozen hours to mike the kick drum. But in a single long day – with just a £400 budget – the Beatles laid down 10 songs for their album, including some of their most indelible early performances: "I Saw Her Standing There," "There's a Place," "Do You Want to Know a Secret," "Baby It's You." The day's work wrapped up, sometime around 10:45, with a shirtless John Lennon roaring himself hoarse through two takes of "Twist and Shout." "It was amazingly cheap, no messing, just a massive effort from us," Paul McCartney later recalled. "At the end of the day, you had your album."
That Hippie Penny Lane