11 May Beatles Debut Album “Please, Please Me” Reaches #1 in UK Charts
On this day in 1963, The Beatles iconic debut album reached the top of the UK charts
After a slew of successful singles throughout early 1963, Parlophone hastened to organise and release the bands debut album, Please, Please Me on the 22nd March, 1963 in order to bolster the early success of singles like Love Me Do and Please, Please Me.
The album contained 14 songs, eight of which were written by Lennon and McCartney. Rolling Stone magazine later called this evidence of the band’s invention of the self-contained rock band concept, musicians in a band writing and performing their own compositions with their own instruments, an idea certainly taken for granted nowadays. George Martin originally intended to record the band playing live at their favourite haunt, The Cavern Club, but technological restraints led him to take the band to EMI studios in London, where the album was recorded in record time.
The album’s cover photograph was also shot in record time, with the original plan of shooting in front of the insect house at the London Zoo being scrapped in favour of the distinctive shot of the band looking down the stairwell at EMI studios. The cover was shot by theatre photographer legend Angus McBean, who after being contacted sped to the studio to shoot the cover.
Despite the hurried nature of the recording, design and release of this album, the debut shot to the top of the UK charts, where it remained for an astonishing 30 weeks, before being replaced by their next album, With The Beatles. Though the release was too early to be recognised by the US, it was later picked up and appreciated by the country, quickly going platinum and being recognised by publications like Rolling Stone, who listed it at #39 on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time, slightly behind other Beatle’s releases like Abbey Road and Revolver.