CHART stars past and present will today attempt to recapture ten hours that shook the world as they emulate the recording of The Beatles’ Please Please Me album to mark its 50th anniversary.
In one mammoth recording session – the productivity of which would put some sluggish or perfectionist bands to shame – the Fab Four recorded almost their entire debut album.
BBC Radio 2 is celebrating the historic breakneck workrate which took place on 11 February, 1963, by inviting a group of stars to work on one track each during a live broadcast throughout the day from Abbey Road’s Studio 2. Figures such as Mick Hucknall, Stereophonics, Gabrielle Aplin and I Am Kloot will be putting their own spin on the songs The Beatles recorded.
The original recording saw the band playing live renditions of the songs that formed the core of their shows.
The final track of the day Twist And Shout – held back to the end because of fears that John Lennon’s already ailing voice could be wrecked if it was played any earlier – was captured in one take. When Lennon, singing topless at the climax of the session, had tried again he could barely sing, so they stuck with what they had.
“Trying for a second take, Lennon found he had nothing left and the session stopped there and then – but the atmosphere was still crackling,” wrote Ian MacDonald, the late chronicler of Beatles recordings. “Nothing of that intensity had ever been recorded in a British pop studio.”