Seeing how this week marked the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ first official single “Love Me Do” hitting the charts—and how fans gathered in Liverpool this week to break the world record for number of fans singing the song at the same time—it only seemed fitting for it to be this week’s Rock Rewind.
Paul McCartney began writing “Love Me Do” while cutting class at age 16, and John Lennon finished it by adding the bridge. The single peaked at Number 17 on the U.K. singles charts the year it was released, but as the Fab Four’s popularity mushroomed across the pond, the song hit Number 1 on the U.S. Billboard charts two years later.
Interestingly, “Love Me Do” also marks a transition point for the band, as it was recorded about the time Ringo Starr took over on drums. In fact, the song was recorded three times with three different drummers: Pete Best, Ringo Starr and Andy White. Starr was brought in to re-record “Love Me Do” after Best was let go, but Martin was apparently unhappy with his take, as well—so he brought in Andy White to record it again, sending Starr over to tambourine. Ultimately, it was the Starr version that was first released in 1962, although both Starr and White versions are the most frequently heard versions, and can be found on different anthology recordings. How can you tell the difference? Whether or not you can hear the tambourine. (Aficionados of The Beatles can hear the original Pete Best version on Anthology 1.)
Can you tell which version is on the video below?