“Love Me Do” at 60 – The Beatles First Single Hits Landmark Anniversary

I can’t believe it but a Beatles anniversary has finally hit the magic sixty year mark  – wow (though yikes may be more like it!).

Sixty years ago today, October 5, 1962, The Beatles first 45 release “Love Me Do”/ “P.S. I Love You” hit stores shelves for the first time in the UK and managed to climb to a respectable #17 in the UK charts.

Now for those who aren’t in the know or weren’t fortunate enough to be there a group from the north of England from an industrial seaport town called Liverpool making any kind of impression on the music charts was an almost unheard of event.

As these past sixty years have shown the group’s breakthrough with “Love Me Do” was just the first of many unheard of and remarkable events that went on to create one of the most popular, influential and long-lasting careers in music for the massively successful, both artistically and commercially, foursome from Liverpool – The Beatles.

I know I do a lot of anniversary posts but this particular anniversary is sobering. Sixty years is a LONG time. It actually boggles the imagination that a pop group from sixty years ago could still garner any kind of press or sales, or nowadays streams, for over sixty years.

Thankfully The Beatles music was fresh enough and good enough to weather six decades while still remaining a vital musical force that still attracts new listeners all these years later.

So today in celebration of “Love Me Do” and The Beatles big 60th anniversary I thought I would share a few photos of some fun “Love Me Do” releases that I have in my collection.

First and foremost is the actual first UK single issue of “Love Me Do”/ “P.S. I Love You”. This 45 is one of the crown jewels of any Beatles collection as it’s really the best way of hearing these two songs.

You see the original UK 45 has the only version of “Love Me Do” with Ringo Starr on drums. There were two versions released in the 1960s, this 45 version as well as the version of “Love Me Do” from the The Beatles first UK LP “Please Please Me”.

(Collector’s note: The original first pressing UK single is on a red parlorphone label. It has been re-released a couple of times on anniversary issues that also use the red label but to see how the original label looks check out the photo above.

The reissues change some of the credits so be careful to check the label thoroughly if you’re trying to purchase an original copy.

The original Red label pressing is becoming quite rare but well worth seeking out as it’s the best source for these two songs.)

Regretfully the version of “Love Me Do” from that LP has Ringo Starr playing tambourine and features session drummer Andy White playing the drums.

As the story goes Beatles producer George Martin had heard the Beatles original drummer Pete Best and  thought he wasn’t a strong enough player for their recording sessions. Best drummed on the Beatles initial EMI recording session which wasn’t used for record release.

Shortly after that first EMI session The Beatles replaced Best with Ringo Starr and though Starr did drum on the version of “Love Me Do” that was released as a 45, before Martin chose that version for the single he brought in session drummer Andy White who played on another version of “Love Me Do” that wound up being released on the LP.

(Note: the LP version of “Love Me Do” was the predominate version of the song until the 20th anniversary release of “Love Me Do” in 1982 which reinstated the Ringo version of the song into more prominence in The Beatles catalog)

To make things a bit stranger while the Ringo version of “Love Me Do” was available for many years on 45 in the UK EMI for some strange reason decided to destroy the master tape featuring Ringo’s version thus the only master tape version  of “Love Me Do” in EMI’s vaults features Andy White’s drumming.

Any version of the original 45 version of “Love Me Do” that has been released since the UK 45 has been dubbed from an original vinyl copy of that first UK 45 version.

Because the master tape is now gone the best way to hear the “Love Me Do” 45 songs is from an actual first issue copy of the single. It’s the closest sound to the original master tape and even though the dubs on CD sound good there is an extra sparkle and warmth on the original 45 that isn’t found on any other version of these two songs.

Plus the original UK 45 of “Love Me Do” features drier mixes of both songs including the version of “P.S. I Love You” which is found on the “Please Please Me” LP (the 45 version of “Love Me Do” is a completely different version anyway but still drier sounding than the LP version).

Still with me LOL?

Anyway there are a few different versions of “Love Me Do” from my collection featured in the photos above including the now thirty year old (double yikes) 1992 UK and US CD 30th anniversary editions of the “Love Me Do” 45 plus a mini CD version from the mini CD box set of “The Beatles Singles Collection” box set.

So Happy 60th to both The Beatles and “Love Me Do”! Here’s to another sixty more years though God knows what the world will look like sixty years from now. I won’t be here but I hope it’s a better world and The Beatles still have a place somewhere in the culture.

That’s all for now.

Until next time be well and see you soon.