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Published:August 7th, 2014 14:48 EST
A Little Parlophone LP, 'Please Please Me' Topped the UK Charts This Day In History, August 7th, 1963!

A Little Parlophone LP, 'Please Please Me' Topped the UK Charts This Day In History, August 7th, 1963!

By John G. Kays

I like to take a look at (the) This Day In Music web site in the morning, to consider some of the gems of history getting inked on those timeless pages. This ritual helps me to get through the day smoother, knowing that, while it wasn`t myself, at least somebody did something important on this day. 

Yea, there are some great entries for August 7th, but the one that caught my attention easiest, was the one for 1963. The top 5 UK albums for this week were: 5. Elvis Presley, It Happened At The World Fair (yawn); 4. West Side Story, Soundtrack; 3. Cliff Richard, Cliff`s Hit Album; 2. The Shadows, Greatest Hits; and finally my favorite, 1. The Beatles, Please Please Me, which sticks out like a sore thumb from the others.

This is interesting and significant on many levels; I`ll not attempt to identify all of those, but will only say The Fab Four made the boredom of Pop disappear 51 years ago, during this first week in August! This chart busting was like 3 1/2 months before John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, so it gives you almost a mystical sense of anticipation; history (every type you can imagine) was about to change drastically and radically, BIG TIME, especially here in the United States!

I`ve been over this hallowed ground multiple times before, but that doesn`t mean I couldn`t use a refresher course. So that`s just what I spent my time doing this morning; YouTube has some terrific film documents on Please Please Me. Well, I quickly recognized one 10 minute clip as a portion of The Beatles Anthology, which was shown on American TV in November of 1995 (I always remember that date, since this is when I moved back to Austin [for like the 30th time], and I`ve remained here ever since then). 

You know the drill, George Martin got The Boys in the EMI Studio and just recorded their live show from those days. Recently, I`ve picked up those BBC Radio recordings, so when you compare those records, it`s very similar - this is just a tight little 4 piece Pop/Rock Combo (Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Bass, and Drums), no more, no less. Only a handful of overdubs were needed, most of which were done by George Martin.

Naturally, in 2009 I had to pick up the remastered Please Please Me, released by Apple Records on the original Parlophone label. I remember seeing John & Paul appear on The Tonight Show (Johnny C wasn`t there that night), when launching Apple Records, so the Crazy Beatle label, that initially seemed like it was flopping, has come a long way since then (John Lennon smiles down from Heaven on the Green Apple Logo)! I should say, we Kids here in The States only saw a mutation of this first B LP, as Introducing The Beatles on VeeJay (this is an interesting sidebar also - those Cats at VJ lost a lot of dough!). 

This marvelous remastered edition has the original 1963 cover notes of Tony Barrow, The Beatles` publicity manager, at that time. My favorite numbers are the Lennon/McCartney penned compositions, especially P.S. I Love You, Do You Want To Know A Secret (George on lead vocal), Ask Me Why, and There`s A Place (I had the single). John`s riveting vocal on Twist And Shout is a Rock N Roll Classic that ECHOES ETERNALLY DOWN THE CHAMBERS OF TIME! By the time The Fab Four arrive in the U.S. (Feb of 1964), they appear as Saviors, replacing the pain of JFK`s Assassination with PURE HAPPINESS AND JOY! Ecstasy really!