Please Please Me (album)

The Beatles first album was called Please Please Me. In a pleasing symmetry for this blog the first Beatles song I heard was Please Please Me. I have captured that particular experience in chapter 8 of “63/68 A Visceral History“, the unpublished book that this blog is promoting. However this blog is about The Beatles albums and is designed to run up to the digital launch of the The Beatles albums on 9/9/9. I have written about the first time I heard a Beatles album, which was Please Please Me, not long after it was released on March 22nd 1963, in chapter 10 of 63/68. You can read about that in the story called From Me To You. You can also access it by clicking on Please Please Me in the Pages section on the left.

So a little context concerning what was happening when it was released in 1963.I was eleven and a half and just starting to be given a hard time at school. I heard The Beatles for the first time just two weeks after being caned for not doing homework and their inventive optimism seemed to open up a new world of possibilities to a newly rejected, scruffy schoolkid. Something in the brightness of their singing and the driving positivity of the music made you feel inspired. Suddenly you felt that the world was a wonderfully inclusive place where you could go off and do something/anything if you wanted. Now I’ve read many people, especially musicians, say similar things about many different songs in the second half of the twentieth century, not least John Lennon about Elvis Presley, so this reaction is not uncommon.

The difference here however is that for me it was Please Please Me, the song, that opened my mind to the potentials of music, hence The Beatles importance in these stories. The Beatles recording career precisely paralleled my time in secondary school and so it was them (and others inspired by them, or responding to other inspirations) and their little bombs of creativity, dropped relentlessly into my teenage life every couple of months, that encouraged me not to follow school rules much or even, being the Sixties, those of society. So the book is about my visceral reactions as first beat music, and later the live “rock” that followed Pepper, inspired much of my behaviour and forced me to think about and then develop my own values. More of that later. For now enjoy Chapter 10 and my first reaction to hearing a Beatles album, mere weeks after it came out. Music was so hard to find in 1963…

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