On February the 11th 1963 The Beatles went into Abbey Road Studios, to record ‘Please Please Me’, their first album. Produced by George Martin, the recording was played completely live to two-track tape with very few overdubs, which were accomplished by running a second two track machine at the same time. The album was completed in three sessions between 10:00 a.m. and 10:45 p.m. The first session began at 10:00 a.m. and finished at 1:00 p.m., though The Beatles declined a trip to the cafe and stayed to rehearse through the lunch break and prepare for the afternoon’s recording. The second session started at 2:00 p.m. and finished at 6:00pm, with one double tracked over-dub added of Paul doubling his lead vocal, which he got right on the second attempt.
The third session of the day took place between 6:00 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. The Song ‘Anna (Go To Him)’ featured Ringo Starr on drums and vocals live in the same take; quite an accomplishment!
The song ‘Twist and Shout’ was left until the very end of the session and was only decided upon in the canteen prior to the final take of the day. It was a long-time favourite show-closer for their live set and nearly wrecked John’s voice in the process of recording it, as they had been working hard and singing all day.
The album was released with addition of four extra tracks, already released as ‘A’ and ‘B’ sides for their first two singles. Richard Langham was the tape operator and the engineer was Norman Smith.
This session was a milestone in the history of music. It set The Beatles on a path towards musical and recording innovation that changed pop music forever.