Dateline October 5, 1962 – The Beatles first single “Love Me Do” is released. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Beatles had been signed to EMI Records earlier in the year. In June they recorded “Love Me Do” with original drummer Pete Best at a demo test. By the time they returned to the studio in September for their first official recording session Pete Best had been fired, replaced by Ringo Starr. Producer George Martin had been less than impressed with Best’s drumming in June and told Brian Epstein he’d be using a session drummer for their upcoming recording session. That’s all John Lennon and Paul McCartney needed to hear. Aside from being a mediocre drummer, Best wasn’t the greatest fit personality-wise either. Lennon and McCartney tapped Ringo, who was in Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. Ringo had actually sat in with them during their Hamburg days. Also from Liverpool, they knew Ringo would fit right in.
When The Beatles returned to EMI to record on September 4th, it was with Ringo on drums. However, George Martin was unhappy with his meter and the song was re-recorded a week later with session drummer Andy White on the skins and Ringo Starr relegated to tambourine. That’s why there are two different versions of “Love Me Do.” The originally released single was the Ringo Starr version, while the Andy White recording is the one on The Beatles first LP “Please, Please Me.” The Pete Best version, which for the longest time had been thought lost, was including on the Anthology 1 box set.
This version is clearly the Andy White version, as there was no tambourine on the Ringo Starr version.
I also found two covers of “Love Me Do:” that are a lot of fun. One is by a string quartet and the other is a terrific Tex-Mex version by Flaco Jimenez.
It hardly seems like half a century has passed, but in the last 50 years our lives have been enriched non-stop by the music of The Beatles.