Love Me Do
Writer(s): John Lennon, Paul McCartney (see lyrics here)
Released: October 5, 1962
First Charted: October 11, 1962
Peak: 11 US, 11 CB, 13 GR, 11 HR, 1 CL, 4 UK, 6 CN, 17 AU, 6 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 2.0 US
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 23.4 video, 100.0 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
In 1958, a 16-year-old Paul McCartney skipped school and wrote most of the song “Love Me Do,” with his friend John Lennon helping out. SG After they formed the Beatles in 1962, they were signed to Parlophone Records in the UK on June 4. Two days later, they recorded “Love Me Do” at their first session.
Producer George Martin was curious about the group and, as he said, “I spent an evening, afternoon, and evening with them in Abbey Roads Studio. I fell in love with them.” TC However, he said they didn’t yet show signs of being great songwriters. “The best they could offer me were pretty ordinary songs. I thought ‘Love Me Do’ was the best.” TC
That first version had Pete Best on drums and didn’t see release until the Anthology collection in 1995. On September 4, the Beatles recorded the song again with new drummer Ringo Starr. Martin wasn’t satisfied and on September 11 they recorded again with session drummer Andy White while Starr played tambourine. In the UK, the Ringo Starr version was released as a single, but in the U.S. the single version and the one on the Please Please Me album was the one featuring White.
“Love Me Do” marked the Beatles chart debut in the UK, reaching #17. When reissued 20 years later, it hit a new peak of #4. In the United States, when Beatlemania took off in 1964, the song charted as an import via the Canadian branch of Capitol Records. By May 30, the song had climbed to the pinnacle of the Billboard Hot 100.
The song “has a tough R&B feel with a delicious pop melody” TC and sports “unearthly Everly Brothers-style Lennon/McCartney harmony singing” SG Its “hooks seem to bubble up naturally, as if they’d always existed. And it hinted at a future where this band would be perceived as something more than just a soundtrack to teenage-girl screaming.” SG The song is “a graceful lope, a sunny front-porch jam that would’ve sounded at home on the radio next to, say, Buck Owens’ speed-freak California country.” SG
The harmonica – which John Lennon shoplifted in 1960 in Amsterdam – “is one of the things that makes the song,” SG echoing McCartney’s melodies. Lennon was inspired by Delbert McClinton’s playing on Bruce Channel’s song “Hey! Baby.” FB
First posted 6/23/2022; last updated 9/19/2023.