50 years ago: Beatles record their first LP in a single day

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Nearly 50 years ago, on 11 February 1963, the Beatles entered EMI Studios on Abbey Road in London for a marathon session to record the ten songs they needed for their first album. Today, when musical artists often take months to complete an album, it’s hard to believe that the Beatles recorded their first album in a single day.

“The album was basically the gas that fueled the launch of Beatlemania,” says Alex Hendler, author of the critically acclaimed short e-book, Please Please Me. “Yet the Beatles faced tremendous obstacles going into the session. They were on a national tour so they only had the single day to record the entire album. The musicians’ union’s rules had a limit on how many hours the band could actually work so they could only do so many takes of each song. And John was sick as a dog.”

Hendler is making himself and his rare collection of outtakes from the “Please Please Me” sessions available to bring this historic day in rock ‘n’ roll history to life.

“Fifty years later, they still blast ‘Twist & Shout’ between innings at Yankee Stadium. I think people would appreciate the song even more if they knew how John had one performance left in him at the end of a very hard day’s night, and the curious ritual he undertook to nail their classic performance in one take,” says Hendler.

To schedule an interview with Alex Hendler, please contact him directly via email.