Thursday, March 31, 2011

Covering the Beatles: Please Please Me

Track one: "I Saw Her Standing There"

In 1964, Motown guru Berry Gordy put together an album called A Bit of Liverpool featuring The Supremes covering British Invasion tunes. Critically regarded as a disappointment, it featured five Lennon/McCartney tunes and even two Motown songs covered by The Beatles. This Beatles cover, featuring Florence Ballard on lead vocals, was left on the cutting room floor, however, until a 2008 compilation album.

On tour in January 1963, The Beatles wrote this song for a planned country album by tour headliner Helen Shapiro called Helen In Nashville, but it was rejected. Also on the tour was singer Kenny Lynch, who recorded his own version, the first ever cover of a Beatles song. The Beatles, needing material for their debut alubm, recorded it themselves. Lynch's version was issued as a single the same day that Please Please Me was released, March 22, 1963.

Track three: "Anna (Go to Him)"

Soul singer Arthur Alexander deserves to be a lot less obscure than he is, and after you hear this you may agree. Penned and released by Alexander in late 1962, the song became a favorite of John Lennon's and The Beatles regularly covered it in their early shows.

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