Love Me Do

Album: Please Please Me (1962)
Charted: 17 1
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  • John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote this in 1958, when John was 17 and Paul was 16. They made time for songwriting by skipping school. They had written songs before, but "Love Me Do" was the first one they liked enough to record.
  • McCartney wrote this about his girlfriend at the time, Iris Caldwell.
  • This was The Beatles' first single. It was released in the UK on October 5, 1963 by Parlophone Records and climbed to #17 on January 2, 1963. The band got a lot bigger with their next UK singles, "Please Please Me," which went to #2 on February 27, and "From Me to You," which went to #1 on May 8.

    Despite their UK success, the group had a lot of trouble getting attention in America. Parlophone's US counterpart, Capitol Records, wouldn't release "Love Me Do," figuring it would flop. It ended up getting American distribution on the smaller Tollie label, but not until April 27, 1964 during the height of Beatlemania. It rose to #1 on May 30, giving the group their fourth US #1 hit.
  • By 1962, The Beatles were playing regular gigs at a club in Hamburg, Germany. They played cover songs -mostly blues tunes by American artists - so it was a big deal when they introduced an original, "Love Me Do," into their set, as they didn't know how it would hold up against songs by Little Richard and Ray Charles. The song was well-received and gave The Beatles a lot of confidence, which led to them writing and performing more original songs.
  • When they played this for an audition with Parlophone Records, the producer they auditioned for was George Martin, who became a key figure in Beatles history as he helped shape their sound. He started tinkering with the song right away, adding the harmonica part. Fortunately, John Lennon knew how to play the harmonica and was able to come up with something.
  • The Beatles recorded versions of this song with three different drummers. At their first Parlophone audition in June 1962, Pete Best was still their drummer. When they recorded it on September 4, Ringo Starr was their drummer, but when George Martin decided it would be the single, he had them record it again a week later.

    At this session, he used a session drummer named Andy White and stuck Ringo with the tambourine. The version with Ringo drumming was released as the UK single, but the version released on the album had Andy White's drumming. Ringo didn't pitch a fit when he got bumped at the session, but was very upset and felt real insecure, especially since The Beatles had just fired a drummer. The US single is the one with White on drums.
  • When this was released in the UK, it was not a big hit. The Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein, was so confident in the group that he gave the single a big marketing push by buying a bunch of copies of it (some say 10,000) for his record store, which helped get it on the charts and ensured more exposure for the band.
  • The Beatles were very close to releasing another song as their first single. At their September 4 recording session, George Martin decided their first single should be a song called "How Do You Do It?" which was written by someone else. The Beatles were not pleased and did some lackluster takes of the song before they were allowed to record "Love Me Do." Eventually, Martin changed his mind and went with "Love Me Do." "How Do You Do It?" became a hit for Gerry & the Pacemakers in 1964.
  • Before they recorded this, Lennon always sang the lead vocal, but when his harmonica part was added, McCartney had to sing it because Lennon's mouth was full of harmonica. Paul claims that you can hear the fear in his voice at the audition.
  • John stole the harmonica used in this song from a music shop in Arnhem, a Dutch town near to the German border, while the Beatles were on their way to Hamburg in 1960. This according to Allan Williams, who was their manager at the time. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Leo - Hilversum, Netherlands
  • Lennon's lips went numb from playing the harmonica at session. He was trying to sound like Delbert McClinton.
  • Paul McCartney once called this, "Our greatest philosophical song."
  • "Love Me Do" was recorded in mono on one-track tape. No stereo version exists.
  • This song has been covered by The Brady Bunch, The Chipmunks, Dick Hyman, Flaco Jimenez, Madooo, The Persuasions, Sandie Shaw, Ringo Starr and Bobby Vee. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • When John's Aunt Mimi heard this song, she said to him "Well, if you think you're going to make a fortune with that, you've got another thing coming."
  • According to Q magazine, Parlophone employees weren't impressed when George Martin presented this song to them. One staffer inquired whether English comedian Spike Milligan was behind the record.
  • This was primarily a McCartney song. Though he and Lennon split writing credits equally on their songs no matter the actual split of work, some songs were fundamentally Lennon songs and some McCartney songs.

    McCartney wrote the bulk of the song at his home on Forthlin Road. Lennon contributed the middle verse, "someone to love, somebody new, someone to live, someone like you."
  • In The Beatles Lyrics, editor Hunter Davies points out that while singing "somebody new," Lennon pronounces the word "noo" like an American rather than a Brit. Davies surmises that Lennon was trying to sound "bluesy" at a time when the blues were a distinctly American music form.

Comments: 62

  • Jc 9091 from IowaLove Me Do is a brilliant, even monumental song. It was basically written by Paul with the middle 8 and harmonica obligatto added by John. The song is often dismissed as overly simplistic due to the economical lyric. Second verse, same as the first. The middle 8 is equally and appropriately economical.
    It's been described as a "jaunty" tune and has lots of stops and starts. John's harmonica riff stands as the most recognizable harmonica riff of a generation. Dylan put harp on most of his songs for several albums. Keith Relf and Brian Jones did blues harp for their respective bands and there are many others, but none more known than John on Love Me Do. The riff is not the melody, nor does it support the melody like a fat horn section behind a soul singer. It independently sets up the melody not just as an intro, but throughout the song. I can't think of another song that does that.
    The two most popular themes for songwriters throughout time are: "I love you, please love me", and "my baby's gone, please come back". Different perspectives and circumstances abound, but those themes are universal. Paul took the first one, but he found a new way to say it. It's completely unambiguous. You know exactly what he means. To come up with a new way to say the most universal expression is monumental! Also, he says love (noun), love (verb) me do. John Lennon answers back with "Please please me". Very clever boy that John Lennon.
  • Mary Wealth from New JerseyRe: Trebor from Texas: "Love Me Do" didn't hit #1 in Australia and U.S. right after the release. It hit big after The Beatles caught on in both of those countries in 1964. By the time that "Love Me Do" hit number one in those nations, "Please Please Me" had long before topped the Melody Maker chart in Britain (March of '63).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1964 {April 5th} the Carefrees' "We Love You, Beatles" peaked at #39 {for 1 week} on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    And I guess the British sextet* weren't the only ones who loved the Fab Four, for at the time the Beatles had fourteen records on the Top 100:
    #1. "Can't Buy Me Love"
    #2. "Twist and Shout"
    #4. "She Loves You"
    #7. "I Want To Hold Your Hand"
    #9. "Please Please Me"
    #14. "Do You Want To Know A Secret"
    #38. "I Saw Her Standing There"
    #48. "You Can't Do That"
    #50. "All My Loving"
    #52. "From Me to You"
    #61. "Thank You Girl"
    #74. "There's A Place"
    #78. "Roll Over Beethoven"
    #81. "Love Me Do."
    And the Fab Four were also at #1 and #2 on Billboard's Top LPs chart with "Meet the Beatles" and "Introducing the Beatles" respectfully...
    * And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, even though the Carefrees sound like an all girl group, it actually consisted of three female and three males members...
  • Trebor from TexasWhat Johan, my friend from Stockholm fails to reveal is that even John Lennon admitted that this song was Paul's or mostly Paul's but Paul (the selfish one) said it was a 50-50 split. Also, Johan fails to inform us is this song, while it only made number 17 in England; hit number 1 in Australia and the United States. That is very incomplete information from a music historian. Or is he?

    So if it made number one in two of England's largest former colonies wouldn't it be The Beatles first number one hit and not Please Please Me?
  • Henry from Rhode Island, UsaThe acoustic guitar used on this song, a Gibson J-160E, was purchased by Brian Epstein for John only 24 hours before the recording session began.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer:
    Beatles producer Sir George Martin died Tuesday (March 8th, 2016) of natural causes at his home in England, the 'Fifth Beatle'* was 90...
    Though the London native primarily created symphonic and comedy records early on in his career, it was signing the Fab Four to Parlophone Records in 1962 that launched him as one of the premiere producers in rock music. Besides the Beatles, he worked with such British Invasion artists as Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cilla Black, and Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas. Later he expanded to such artists as America, Cheap Trick, the Bee Gees and Ultravox. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1988 and was awarded a knighthood in 1996.
    May he R.I.P.
    *Sadly, now both 'Fifth Beatles' have now passed away...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer:
    Andy White, the Scottish session drummer hired by producer George Martin to play on the first Beatles single, "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You," passed away November 9th, 2015 in New Jersey at the age of 85...
    George hired Andy to play drums because he was unsure as to Ringo Starr's ability. Andy's version of "Love Me Do" made the American pressing of the single (where Ringo can be heard on tambourine), but Ringo's take was used early on in the UK...
    Andy went on to play for many other sessions, including Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual," Lulu's version of "Shout" and recordings by Engelbert Humperdinck, Dusty Springfield, Herman's Hermits and Petula Clark...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 28th, 1962, the Beatles appeared for the first time at Liverpool's largest theater*, the Empire Theater, they were one of eight acts with Little Richard being the headliner...
    A little over three years later on December 5th, 1965 the Beatles played at the theater for the final time...
    At the time the Beatles’ “Love Me Do” was on the UK Singles chart {see next post below}…
    * In 1962 the Empire Theater seated 2,348 patrons and was Britain's largest two-tier auditorium.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 25th 1962, the Beatles were interviewed* for the first time on radio; it was on Radio Clatterbridge, the closed-circuit radio station that served the Cleaver and Clatterbridge Hospitals in Wirral, near Liverpool...
    At the time the quartet's "Love Me Do" was at #32 on the United Kingdom’s Singles chart; a little over a two months later on December 23rd, 1962 it would peak at #17...
    * Rumor is that during the interview Paul was quoted as saying "John is, in fact, the leader of the group".
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyTwenty years after it was first released, EMI Records would re-release the record; and on October 24th, 1982 it would peak at #4 {for 1 week} on the United Kingdom's Singles chart...
    R.I.P. to John and George.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 5th 1962, "Love Me Do" {on Parlophone Records} by the Beatles was released in the United Kingdom; it is widely believed the record was played on Radio Luxembourg* that very same day, marking the first time a Beatle song was aired…
    R.I.P. John and George...
    * Radio Luxembourg was owned by EMI Group Unlimited, the parent company of Parlophone Records.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 10th 1964 Vee-Jay Records of Chicago released the album 'Introducing The Beatles'...
    And on that day the #1 album was "The Singing Nun" by the Singing Nun and ten days later on January 20th Capitol Records released 'Meet The Beatles'...
    Four tracks from the album made Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; "Love Me Do" (#1 for 1 week), "Twist and Shout (#2 for 4 weeks), "P.S. I Love You" (#10 for 1 week), and "There's A Place" (#74 for 1 week); these four songs were on the Tollie Records label, which was a subsidiary of Vee-Jay Records...
    R.I.P. John and George.
  • Johan from Stockholm, SwedenA list of early Beatles songs sent by B.Epstein - I guess on McCartney´s order - to George Martin on the 6th June 1962, shows Lennon and McCartney´s compositions under their respective authors, rather than as a product of a partnership. For example, McCartney: Love Me Do, Lennon: Ask Me Why.
    But when Lennon came with their first masterpiece, and their first number one hit Please Please Me, completely written by Lennon, McCartney seemed to be keen to call it a joint composition McCartney-Lennon
  • Zero from Nowhere, Nj"Our greatest philosophical song"? Really? I think he was joking.
  • Cj from Oak Creek, WiDick Hyman.. lol
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlI listen to this song everyday before school! lol Love, love me do!
  • Russell from Bridgnorth, United KingdomWithout doubt, the single biggest influence on the Beatles were Buddy Holly and the Crickets. It was where they derived their name, and the idea of writing songs themselves. What is interesting about BH's influence on the Beatles is that the B-side of his first single in the UK (Blue Days, Black Nights) was called 'Love Me', a song that actually includes the term 'Love Me Do'. Were the Beatles subconsiously - or deliberately - paying homage to (or imitating) Holly with their first single?
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyWhen this song was released in the U.S. the flip-side was "PS I Love You". According to Billboard this was two-sided Top Ten record. "Love Me Do" stayed at #1 for one week while "PS I Love You" peaked at #10!!!
  • Dnnz from Aqp, Peruoh come on the fact about Brian Epstein buyin records is total b*lls--t it was nothing more than a hearsay that was never proved true, in fact at the time Epstein didn't have enough money to buy 10000 or even 1000 copies. On the same fact is awesome how such a simple song made it up to the #17 on British charts just to show how great the Beatles were to be
  • John from Antigonish, NsGreat may all be interested in this...I play in a Beatle cover band called Penny Lane..While learning this song..I play bass and Harp...the mouth organ part is played by two different harpd...a C for most of the song and two small parts in a G harp...Took me a while to figure that out...sneeeeky...not so easy to play..using two different harps....
  • Mike from Highland Park, IlJohn's harmonica takes me for a trip
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Mohey, krissy from boston, i have that same shirt. i wore it for valentine's day, and i dont think anybody got it, either. oh my dear god, are people ACTUALLY saying that this is about drugs?! people, put yourself into the shoes of the teenage john and paul. you just skipped a day of high school to write a song and are sitting in your parents' living room. you're very self-conscious and just want to write something catchy enough that you wont be laughed off the stage at gigs. would you write about love or drugs? SERIOUSLY.
  • Michael from Chicago, IlWhen they first invaded the U.S. they voiced lots of respect to Elvis, R&B and C&W. Love Me Do is definitely R&B/Blues in a Country stew. Elvis would've nailed it but this should have been John's vocal. Along with the harmonica for this song, George Martin always had a smart idea for the lads.
  • Julia from *, OhThis song is amazing, it's the one that got me into the Beatles! About two and a half years ago, I was at a restaurant with my parents and heard it playing on the jukebox. It was familiar, and my parents said that it was the Beatles. I then listened to my dad's One album, and there was no turning back after that! So this is the song that did it for me, great vocal and bass playing by Paul, harmonica by John, and everything else. I knew Paul wrote it when he was 16, but I didn't know that he wrote it for his girlfriend. One lucky chick if you ask me.
  • Beatlesfan64 from Dallas, TxJohn´s Harmonica playing is awesome!!!! This is definetely the song that started the Beatle´s rise to fame.
  • Matthew from Melbourne, AustraliaThis is so catchy! The Beatles ROCK!
  • Steve from Fenton, MoAn interesting song. It reached number 1 in the U.S. mostly because after they broke through with I Want to Hold Your Hand, people were buying pretty much any record by the Beatles. I seriously doubt they would have broken through on the strength of this record, but possibly they would have with Please Please Me, From Me to You, or She Loves You, if they had been promoted properly.
  • Meredith from Wauwatosa, WiGreat tune and one of their best from the really early days! Even if Paul was nervous, he did a splendid job on lead!
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, NmWhy does everyone think Beatle songs are about Drugs? They're not. Gosh.
  • Krissy from Boston, MaActually it came out in 63'. Please Please Me album didn't come out to 63'. So the date on the top is wrong.
  • Krissy from Boston, MaNo it should sound the same else u got a different veriosn other than the Beatles.
  • Michael from Oxford, EnglandOK, OK! That's enough! Maybe it sounded better in 1962 than it does now.
  • Krissy from Boston, MaPlus if it was so bad it wouldn't have became number 1 on the US chart.
  • Krissy from Boston, MaIt is not a bad song. It might not be a complicated as Something or Come Together. If you guys love The Beatles as much as you say y r you always picking on them ? I love them.
  • Michael from Oxford, EnglandI'm rather embarrassed now!
  • Michael from Oxford, EnglandYeah, come to think of it, it's not that bad.
  • Krissy from Boston, MaMichael, Get them a break they wrote this in their early years. It was when they first started writing. They weren't very exprinced with song writing so their songs may not be as complicated lyrics as later ones. It is a good song.
  • Michael from Oxford, EnglandI hate this song because of the repetitive lyric. Who's with me?
  • Krissy from Boston, MaI love this song. My sister came back from flordia and got me a sure that is pink and says LOVE ME DO and at the bottom it says The Beatles but it not very big writing. So for that whole day everyone was asking me what my sure meant. IDK....maybe because they are middle schoolers. But I was surpise that so many people asked me about it.
  • Calum from Edinburgh, ScotlandI think that John and Paul wanted to sell records. The model was to write about boy and girl relationships. Love Me Do, P.S. I Love You, Thank You Girl. Now why would they start writing about dopamine? Would anyone say that 'Bye Bye Love' was written about drugs? No. So surely it is reasonable to think that The Beatles were getting on with being singer songwriters in the normal way, without any particular slyness?
  • Phil from Holland, PaThis is not about drugs. Most of the later songs were inspired by drugs, but this is way too early to be written about them. Anyway, who would write about a drug like the ones mentioned earlier. They sound like speed to me. Who the heck would sing about speed! Come on!
  • Zoloft from Milton, WvThis was perhaps the first Beatles song about drugs. The Beatles were using amphetamines in order to survive their hectic schedule. Amphetamines act as dopamine transporter substrates to competitively inhibit dopamine uptake and increase dopamine efflux via a dopamine transporter. At the time, dopamine was considered the 'reward chemical' of the brain. Thus, the 'do' in Love Me Do, actually refers to dopamine, as in "Lads, I really love me dopamine. Cheers."
  • Dennis from Anchorage, AkMike in Germantown, Dylan most definitely did NOT introduce the Beatles to drugs. He introduced them to pot. They were dong drugs like fiends in Hamburg, speed, diet pills mostly, to keep themselves awake with their crazy schedule.
  • Jeff from San Jose, CaGeorge Martin was ready to saddle them with a song from an outside composer (How Do You Do It) for their first single.
  • Mike from Germantown, MdOops. Sorry, I had'nt read that comment Yet.
  • Mike from Germantown, MdHow Can This be Avout Drugs, if Bob Dylan introduced The Beatles to drugs and they Had'nt even het him yet?
  • Becca from Hamilton, CanadaAnd just to clarify things,I was kidding.
  • Becca from Hamilton, CanadaThis song is about drugs!
  • Mike from Germantown, MdI agree With Calum. Whenever I see the comments to a Beatles song, I always see"This song is about drugs"! It drives me crazy!
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScVery funny Calum!!
  • Calum from Edinburgh, ScotlandGreat to see that no one has yet said 'This song is all about drugs'!
  • Sammy from New York, NyInteresting fact: Delbert McClinton played harmonica on Bruce Channel's "Hey Baby." They subsequently went on a British tour, which is how McClinton met Lennon and taught him to play the harmonica. I gotta admit that the solo is really awesome and adds a cool bluesy twist to the song. I think more songs today should include some harmonica parts; if not in the forefront, then at least in the background. Bring back the harmonica!
  • Mike from Emmaus, PaMcCartney admitted years later than Lennon sang "Love Me Do" better than him and that fans were disappointed with his singing of the song in Liverpool.
  • Brandon from Morristown, TnIn the song Shooting Star(Bad company) It says
    ''Johnny was a school boy when he heard his first Beatles song Love Me Do, I think it was and from there it didn't take him long''
  • Ken from Louisville, KyWhen they recorded this, all Abbey Road studio had was a twin-track recorder. Since stereo records wern't selling much in England at the time, George Martin used the second track for what little overdubbing he could do, rather that recording the song in stereo.
  • Helen from Oxford, EnglandYea... i've never heard of "sagging off"
  • David from Waco, TxI read an interview where McCartney was so nervous he asked if Harrison could sing it and Martin, not overly concerned with feelings at the moment, said "He can't sing".
  • Will from Portland, OrEd, thats the way it is in America too.
  • Scott Baldwin from Edmonton, CanadaI agree,catherine.HE must have been REALLY nervous.
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeIn fact Catherine, he sounds even more nervous on the Anthology 1 take which is verified in the notes about that session.
  • Edward Hall from London, EnglandJust a small note, skipping school in England is called playing hookey.
  • Catherine from Glasgow, EnglandJohn apparently took up playing the mouth organ because he always thought he would end up in prison and he wanted to be the guy who played the mouth organ.
    The Beatles hadn't thought about who was going to sing the song now that John had an instrument in his mouth. George Martin handed the lyrics to Paul McCartney. If you listen to the song even now, i think you can still hear how nervous he was at being given the task.
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