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11 February 1963, the 585 most productive minutes in the history of music with Please, Please me by

the 585 most productive minutes in the history of music with Please, Please me by the Beatles

Producer George Martin had everything planned: he was going to record the four of them in concert at the Cavern Club in Liverpool to make a live album.

This should have been The Beatle’s debut album. But instead, the unexpected success of the single Please, Please Me meant record label Parlophone started pressuring the new English rock band.

And so George Martin, far-sighted producer and so-called ‘Fifth Beatle’, booked a morning and afternoon session at Abbey Road’s Studio Two.

And that was how 11 February 1963 became one of the most productive days in the history of music.

The Beatles began recording at 10:00 that Monday morning and they carried on, track after track, until 10:45 that evening, creating a masterpiece that perfectly captured the sound of the Cavern Club era.

Every track from Please, Please Me was recorded over the course of the day, which cost approximately £400 at the time (£10,000 today), except the singles that had already been released: Love Me Do and Please, Please Me.

George Martin commented “I don’t know how they do it. We’ve been recording all day but the longer we go on the better they get.”

And Mark Lewisohn stated “There can scarcely have been 585 more productive minutes in the history of recorded music”*

The album was released on 22 March 1963 and The Beatles went on to make history.

* Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books


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