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Author Topic: Love Me Do  (Read 1976 times)

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The Swine

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Love Me Do
« on: December 09, 2008, 10:47:11 AM »

somehow i have always found it amazing that this song reached #17 in the UK charts after all. i mean it wasnt a very good song in particular and at that time the majority of the british didnt have a clue about who these guys were in first place. rumours said that brian epstein bought piles of love me do singles himself. is there any documentation on how the song reached the charts at all. much airplay? anybody any thoughts on the beatles first single?
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BlueMeanie

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2008, 01:01:16 PM »

I've always had a strong suspicion of foul play regarding the chart success of Love Me Do. I can't find the reference, but I'm pretty sure it hovered around the lower reaches of the chart before suddenly jumping up to 17, and then slipping down again. Certainly by November it was out of the charts. This makes me suspect that someone either bought a job lot all at the same time, or organised a mass buy at record stores that were on the Record Retailer returns list. After all, they were still virtually unknown outside the North West at that time.
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alexis

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2008, 02:27:51 PM »

OK song, but not great, IMO. The fact that it was the best song they had written at the time speaks wonders for how fast they developed as songwriters over the next few months. I've always wondered how much of a role, even possibly subliminal?, George Martin had on them in that key few months.
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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008, 04:55:37 PM »

Quote from: 568
OK song, but not great, IMO. The fact that it was the best song they had written at the time speaks wonders for how fast they developed as songwriters over the next few months. I've always wondered how much of a role, even possibly subliminal?, George Martin had on them in that key few months.

Oh it certainly wasn't the best song that they'd written, even then. Several songs that appeared on the PPM album were being performed by that time. It was obviously thought that Love Me Do was the most suitable of them for a single. I would have thought that a lot of their hard core following in the north east would have been quite disappointed with this a first single, which makes the plot thicken even more. Bring on Mr. Harry!
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Geoff

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2008, 05:11:40 PM »

Quote from: 483

Oh it certainly wasn't the best song that they'd written, even then. Several songs that appeared on the PPM album were being performed by that time.

I was about to say, "What about 'I Saw Her Standing There,'" but apparently that wasn't finished until the fall of 1962. Maybe they went with "Love Me Do" because it had the most original sound of any of their early songs?

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alexis

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2008, 05:58:09 PM »

Quote from: 483

Oh it certainly wasn't the best song that they'd written, even then. Several songs that appeared on the PPM album were being performed by that time. It was obviously thought that Love Me Do was the most suitable of them for a single. I would have thought that a lot of their hard core following in the north east would have been quite disappointed with this a first single, which makes the plot thicken even more. Bring on Mr. Harry!

Which song from PPM do you like better, and think would have been a better single, than Love Me Do?   "There's a Place", "Ask Me Why", "Misery" ... maybe "Hello Little Girl", "One After 909" ... I like all of these for sure, not sure though I can make a case for any one of them being much better than the others. For sure though they weren't as hot-rocking as songs they came up with just a few months later like PPM, She Was Just 17, From Me to You, etc. Some kind of magic fairy dust landed on our lads in those intervening months!

I did read somewhere that George Martin chose it because, among other things, the harmonica part made it stand out, kind of like Geoff said re: original sounding.

Yes ... calling Mr. Harry please!

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BlueMeanie

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2008, 06:02:41 PM »

Wasn't I Saw Her Standing There pretty much a complete song by the time they did the final recording of Love Me Do?
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Geoff

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2008, 06:13:01 PM »

According to this Wiki link, for which the source is apparently Many Years From Now, "I Saw Her Standing There" was "finished" at Forthlin Road in September of 1962. "Love Me Do" was recorded on September 4th and 11th. Awfully close.

The song was a Lennon & McCartney collaboration based on McCartney's original idea. Initially titled "Seventeen", the song was apparently conceived by McCartney whilst driving home from a Beatles concert in Southport, Merseyside and later completed at his Forthlin Road home in September 1962 with Lennon, while the two were playing truant from school.
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alexis

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2008, 06:47:35 PM »

Quote from: 1161
According to this Wiki link, for which the source is apparently Many Years From Now, "I Saw Her Standing There" was "finished" at Forthlin Road in September of 1962. "Love Me Do" was recorded on September 4th and 11th. Awfully close.

The song was a Lennon & McCartney collaboration based on McCartney's original idea. Initially titled "Seventeen", the song was apparently conceived by McCartney whilst driving home from a Beatles concert in Southport, Merseyside and later completed at his Forthlin Road home in September 1962 with Lennon, while the two were playing truant from school.


Couple of things about this ...

1) Reliability of the wiki reference is called into question by the "playing truant from school" bit ... in 1962?
2) Assuming the rest of the reference is accurate (?) ... if memory serves correctly, "Love Me Do" was completed in or earlier than June 1962, when it was first recorded in Studio 2. "I Saw Her Standing There" being finished in the parlor in September 1962 means it was at least a few months behind in the song pipeline, if not more.

Then the question is, even if both songs were available to choose from for their 1st single in September 1962, which would have made the better first single? Though probably everyone would say "I Saw Her Standing There" is a better song, maybe it's more important to release something with an original sound as the first single. The harmonica definitely made it stand out (best harmonica hit since Frank Ifield's "I Remember You"!). Also, though I'm not fond of Love Me Do nearly as much as other songs, I have to admit the harmonies there are much nicer and more developed-sounding than "I Saw Her Standing There". So maybe George Martin, as bright as he was, decided to market the essence of what he thought made the Beatles the Beatles - their originality and their vocal harmonies.

Another question that comes to mind is why didn't he at least use "She Was Just 17" as the 3rd single, instead of  "From Me to You" ? Maybe for the same reasons, sacrificing musical energy (which was WAY more on ISHST than FMTY) for vocal harmonies, and actually a great chord modulation (going to from the key of C to  F for the middle eight).  Or maybe he simply thought a loud rocker just wouldn't sell as a single back then ...

Just conjecturing, of course, and the only people around that would really know this would be Sir George, Paul, (Ringo?),  Geoff Emerick ... I wonder if they lurk here?
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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2008, 06:52:05 PM »

Hmmm.  No-talent songwriters suddenly become chart-toppers in a matter of months.  I beginning to smell a conspiracy.  Perhaps Lennon and McCartney DID NOT write the songs attributed to them.  It may have been this guy: the 17th Earl of Oxford.
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alexis

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2008, 06:58:04 PM »

Quote from: 9
Hmmm.  No-talent songwriters suddenly become chart-toppers in a matter of months.  I beginning to smell a conspiracy.  Perhaps Lennon and McCartney DID NOT write the songs attributed to them.  It may have been this guy: the 17th Earl of Oxford.


OMG, look at his amulet!!!!  ... The common thread to all this here is ... The Swine!!
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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2008, 07:13:14 PM »

Though it doesn't exhibit the Aeolian cadence of Not A Second Time or the octave ascent of I Want To Hold Your Hand, Love Me Do remains one of my favorite early Beatles songs.

 ;)
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BlueMeanie

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2008, 07:15:48 PM »

Quote from: 568
Another question that comes to mind is why didn't he at least use "She Was Just 17" as the 3rd single, instead of  "From Me to You" ? Maybe for the same reasons, sacrificing musical energy (which was WAY more on ISHST than FMTY) for vocal harmonies, and actually a great chord modulation (going to from the key of C to  F for the middle eight).  Or maybe he simply thought a loud rocker just wouldn't sell as a single back then ...

It would have been almost unprecedented to have released a third single from an album back then.
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alexis

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2008, 08:35:04 PM »

Quote from: 483

It would have been almost unprecedented to have released a third single from an album back then.

Gotcha, thanks BM!

I'd give a lot to have been a fly on the wall when discussions were had regarding George Martin's decision to release "Please Please Me" as the 2nd single rather than "I Saw Her Standing There". Not the easiest of choices!

BTW BM. what would you have released as the 1st single from among the songs known to have been ready at the time ("Love Me Do", "Misery", "One after 909", "Hey Little Girl", ("When I'm 64"?!) ? I'm not sure what'd I'd pick, I can see why George Martin went with "How Do You Do It" for their 2nd single ...

Maybe it was John and Paul's stubborn determination to have only self-written tunes as singles (mainly John's?) that was the stimulus for their enormous advancement as song writers ... they made their own fairy dust!
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Bill Harry

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2008, 03:53:42 PM »

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Bobber

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2008, 12:02:26 PM »

Very interesting input there, Bill. Thanks. I can however imagine Brian ordering more Love Me Do records than he could ever sell, being so enthusiastic that his band made a record. So, if it wasn't for the charts, maybe it was for his own idea that The Beatles would sell thousands of records in their hometown.
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Bill Harry

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2008, 08:37:57 PM »

Agreed, but he was a sensible businessman. Also, he would have known that ordering bulks of records he couldn't sell wouldn't have any impact on a chart position. The stories of him having stacks of copies of the record in a storeroom is rubbish.
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Jane

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2008, 09:08:18 PM »

Sorry, I am a bit confused, Did Brian E. buy the records or not? Tim Hill writes: Love Me Do was released in October and managed to reach #17 in the charts - if rumours are to be believed, mainly because he bought up 10,000 copies. Another writer: Love Me Do peaked at #17 in December thanks to big sales in the north-west, there were rumours of E-arranged bulk-buying.
I just got mixed up in English, I think.
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Geoff

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2008, 12:55:21 AM »

Quote from: 1393
Sorry, I am a bit confused, Did Brian E. buy the records or not? Tim Hill writes: Love Me Do was released in October and managed to reach #17 in the charts - if rumours are to be believed, mainly because he bought up 10,000 copies. Another writer: Love Me Do peaked at #17 in December thanks to big sales in the north-west, there were rumours of E-arranged bulk-buying.

"Rumor" is the key word here, and without documentation I'm skeptical: the most that can be said for the story is that it's possible but unproven. I'm inclined to think that Brian probably did have a lot of unsold copies of "Love Me Do" collecting dust somewhere (the Beatles were a local act and he was their manager, after all), but the idea that he had 10,000 of them and was attempting to fiddle the charts is another matter altogether.

Philip Norman includes the story again in his new Life (p. 287), but he's more skeptical as well:

According to close associates, including Joe Flannery and Peter Brown, Brian ordered 10,000 copies of "Love Me Do," roughly ten times the quantity he could possibly have sold through NEMS, to guarantee its entry into the top twenty. John, however, always insisted the song had succeeded on it's own merits, through that magic element, word of mouth, and its chart history tends to support him. A week after its release, Record Retailer magazine showed it at only number 49. From there it made a slow and erratic ascent through the thirties and twenties, gaining a few places, dropping a couple, then creeping up again. Far more crucial than any bulk order from Brian had been Tony Calder's insistence that promotional copies he circulated to the country's two main ballroom chains, Mecca and Top Rank, both of which featured the earliest form of disco. Radio and TV might not have been playing "Love Me Do," but the teenagers were dancing to it.

The last two sentences are every bit as speculative as the story about fiddling the charts, but they also show that alternate (if equally unproven) hypotheses for "Love Me Do's" modest chart success can easily be found.   :)

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The Swine

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Re: Love Me Do
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2008, 08:40:11 PM »

thanks for all the input. i think billy harry is on the right track here and most probably the beatles did it all over the country more or less.
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