The first single a band ever cuts is an essential milestone in the journey of any artistic outfit. As they would soon be known, the Fab Four had been touring the club circuit for some years before they were invited into the studio to make a single. But when The Beatles finally got their chance, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr would deliver a potent pop song, a commercial success and a song for the ages. Below, we’re listening to the isolated vocals of ‘Love Me Do’ to bring it to you in a brand new way.
“The first record, ‘Love Me Do,’ for me that was more important than anything else,” Ringo Starr poignantly noted when looking back at the single and the album Please, Please Me. “That first piece of plastic. You can’t believe how great that was. It was so wonderful. We were on a record!” No matter what era of The Beatles is your favourite, there is surely a little soft spot saved for the band’s little ditty.
The song would spread across the airwaves and the words ‘The Beatles’ soon found their way onto everybody’s lips. The track will go down as the first thing the band ever recorded, and, for that reason alone, its place in history is confirmed. But there’s a lot more talent bundled up in the song than most people think. It not only displayed the band’s uncanny knack for a grooving rhythm but also showcased the blossoming songwriting partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Though more usually credited to McCartney, Lennon himself did some labelling, it showed how the band would flourish in their surroundings. As the band progressed, the notion that one of the partnership would rush into the studio with the rough cut of a song only to find the other eager to complete it became commonplace. Lennon noting of this track: “Paul wrote the main structure of this when he was 16, or even earlier. I think I had something to do with the middle.”
The track entered the charts within two days of release, and the onset of Beatlemania had touched down. Paul McCartney said in 1982: “In Hamburg, we clicked… At the Cavern, we clicked.. but if you want to know when we ‘knew’ we’d arrived, it was getting in the charts with ‘Love Me Do.’ That was the one. It gave us somewhere to go.”
From there, the band would become one of the most significant pop groups of all time and provide reams of unforgettable songs and some of the finest albums the world has ever seen. It all started with a simple pop ditty and a pure vocal.
What many people forget when they retrace the footsteps of The Beatles is that they were students of The Everly Brothers and, in the early days, aspired to have similar vocal melodies. While the range of ‘Love Me Do’ isn’t outrageously challenging, listening to the isolated vocal track below does confirm just how vocally gifted the band were.
Listen below to the isolated vocal track for The Beatles’ ‘Love Me Do’.