Writers: Paul McCartney and John Lennon
Producer: George Martin
Recorded: September 4th and 11th, 1962, at EMI Studios in London, England
Released: October 5th, 1962
|Players:||Paul McCartney — vocals, bass
John Lennon — vocals, guitar
George Harrison — guitar, vocals
Ringo Starr — tambourine
Andy White — drums
|Album:||Meet The Beatles (Capitol, 1964)|
“Love Me Do” was recorded at the Beatles‘ first sessions for Parlophone Records.
The group recorded 17 takes of the song on September 4th, 1962, but producer George Martin was unhappy with Ringo Starr‘s drumming. Martin brought the group back into the studio on September 11th, at which point Starr was relegated to tambourine and replaced by session player Andy White.
Martin later explained that Starr “hit good and hard and used the tom-tom well enough, though he couldn’t do a roll to save his life…His tempos used to go up and down, but up and down in the right way to help the song.”
Starr said that Martin’s decision “shattered” him — “What a drag. How phony the record business was, I thought.”
Martin also disliked the lyrics of “Love Me Do”: “That was the best stuff they had, and I thought it pretty poor.”
Singer-bassist Paul McCartney defended the song, saying, “‘Love Me Do’ was our greatest philosophical song…For it to be simple, and true, means that it’s incredibly simple.”
Singer-guitarist John Lennon stole the harmonica he played on “Love Me Do” from a store in Arnheim, Holland.
The Beatles and Martin celebrated the completion of the song’s recording at the Swiss Cottage, a steakhouse in London.
“Love Me Do” was initially released as a single in England only, where it peaked at Number 17.
In the U.S., Capitol Records belatedly released “Love Me Do” as a single in April 1964 to cash in on then-rampant Beatlemania. It hit Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 in May.