Editing, mixing: Please Please Me album

Studio One control room, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

While The Beatles have been justly celebrated for recording 10 songs for the Please Please Me album in one day, work on the release was far from over. On this day producer George Martin oversaw the editing and mixing of mono and stereo tracks, ahead of its 22 March 1963 release date.

Two sessions took place, from 10am-1pm, and 2.30-5.45pm. The morning session began with an edit of I Saw Her Standing There's takes nine and 12, followed by mono mixes of Anna (Go To Him), Boys, Chains, Misery, Do You Want To Know A Secret, There's A Place, I Saw Her Standing There, Twist And Shout and A Taste Of Honey.

Martin then continued with stereo mixes of Anna (Go To Him), Boys, Chains, Misery, Baby It's You, Do You Want To Know A Secret, There's A Place, I Saw Her Standing There, Twist And Shout and A Taste Of Honey.

The afternoon session was no less productive. An edit of takes 16, 17 and 18 of Please Please Me was the first to be made, before mono mixes of Ask Me Why, Misery, and Baby It's You were made.

Stereo mixes of Ask Me Why, Please Please Me, Love Me Do and PS I Love You were also created, the latter two from the 11 September 1962 mono mixes. The final song to be worked on was Misery, which was mixed in stereo.

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5 responses on “Editing, mixing: Please Please Me album

  1. McLerristarr

    “An edit of takes 16, 17 and 18 of Please Please Me was the first to be made”

    I never knew that. So the single version was different to the album version? You learn something knew every day. Take 18 was the overdubbed version of take 17 though so which part was the non-overdubbed take, and which part was take 16?

    1. Joe Post author

      I’m not sure. I know the mono mix was also an edit of different takes, but the studio documentation hasn’t survived (or wasn’t made at the time) so it isn’t known which takes were used.

      Take 18 was a harmonica overdub, so takes 16 and 17 would most likely have been sections without harmonica.

    1. Joe Post author

      A mono mix of Please Please Me wasn’t done on this day – they used the one that was made for the single on 30 November 1962, and released on 11 January 1963.

      That’s the reason why the mono and stereo versions of the song are different: the stereo mix was of an edit of three different takes. You can hear differences in the final versions, notably when Lennon laughs while singing one of the last ‘come on’s towards the song’s end.

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