When Jim and I downsized back in 2007, we had a few billion books. Now we only have a few million. Thus, I don’t buy books anymore. If I want to read something, I go to the library. That gets me out from behind the computer and out into the world, even though the world is somewhat frightening right now and probably will be for the next four years.
The other day I was at my favorite crowded Costco. They often have several huge tables full of books, all of them at discounted prices. I usually ignore them because I’m not going to buy any of them. On this day, though, going straight through the book section was faster to get through the crowd. A big red book caught my attention: “All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release.” Uh-oh. A quick 10-second flip through a few pages and I invited it to come home with me.
The Beatles first single to be released was “Love Me Do.” There actually are two versions of “Love Me Do” out there, a single version and an album version, uncommon then but done all the time in today’s world.
The single version was recorded on September 4, 1962, and the album version was recorded on September 11, 1962. The single version has no tambourine whereas the album version does.
Ringo Starr played drums on September 4, but after listening to the tape of the recording, George Martin decided he didn’t like the drums and wanted to re-record the song. He scheduled the re-recording session for September 11 and hired a session musician, Andy White, to play drums. Ringo thus was delegated to playing tambourine, which had not been in the song to begin with. Many musicians have appeared on Beatles’ records—Billy Preston and Eric Clapton come immediately to mind—but Andy White is the only musician to actually replace one of the Beatles.
The single, released on October 5, 1962, but inadvertently the version featuring Ringo Starr on drums was used. The error was corrected when the album was released, and Andy White is on drums. The only way to distinguish the two songs is to listen for the tambourine!
“Love Me Do” was released on October 5, 1962 in Great Britain and peaked at #17 on the British singles chart on December 27, 1962. The single was released in the United States on April 27, 1964, and peaked at #1 on the American charts on May 30, 1964.
YouTube doesn’t allow Beatles recordings on its site, so I have uploaded mp3 copies to my web site and included links here. If you don’t trust links, hover your mouse cursor over the link and look in the lower left corner (usually) to see the URL of the link, a great way to avoid malware, viruses, and phishing schemes. If you trust the link, click on it. Alternately you can copy the link’s URL and past it into your browser.
Love Me Do
Single version with Ringo Starr on drums and no tambourine
Love Me Do
Album version with Andy White on drums and Ringo playing tambourine