I have finally got round to seriously studying parts of Andrew Hickey’s The Beatles in Mono, which I was given for Christmas.
I’ve been wanting to compare some of the different versions of songs, recorded by the great men, which Andrew comments on.
“Love me do” had three different versions recorded in the studio by the group (plus the eight versions recorded at the BBC, including the one on Live at the BBC). Each version had a different drummer, which provides an interesting contrast in styles.
The first version was recorded on 6th June 1962 at Abbey Road with Pete Best on drums. Here it is on YouTube from Anthology 1. It is quite different from the single version. The drums are particularly….well……I don’t want to be uncharitable but I find them rather plodding. The drums remind me of an old cart horse clopping along. They turn the whole song into a bit of a dirge but admittedly that’s because I am used, like most people, to the single version.
The next version was recorded, again at Abbey Road, on 4th September 1962 with Ringo Starr on drums. This became the single version. Here it is on YouTube. It’s a distinctly different kettle of fish from the first version.
And finally, on 11th September 1962 an album version was recorded with session drummer Andy White at Abbey Road. The main distinguishing feature of this recording is the ever-so slightly less relaxed drums and the sound of a tambourine played by none other than Ringo Starr, who had been relegated due to George Martin’s disapproval of him. Here is that version:
And as a bonus, here is the version from Live at the BBC, recorded at the Aeolian Hall in New Bond Street, London:
There is a great deal of minutiae about this song on Wikipedia. Their article includes this gem from Ringo Starr as he later recalled being demoted to tambourine shaker by George Martin:
He has apologised several times since, has old George, but it was devastating – I hated the bugger for years; I still don’t let him off the hook!