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Recording: From Me To You, Thank You Girl, One After 909

Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Although the Please Please Me album had not yet been released, The Beatles returned to EMI Studios once again to record their third single ‘From Me To You’.

George Martin and Brian Epstein had devised a plan by which The Beatles would record and release four new singles and two albums each year. Fortunately, The Beatles had written From Me To You just five days earlier, on 28 February 1963, while on tour with Helen Shapiro.

There were two sessions on this day, from 2.30-5.30pm and 7-10pm. The first part saw them tape the two sides of the single, From Me To You and its b-side, ‘Thank You Girl’.

The Beatles performed the songs live in the studio. From Me To You was recorded in seven takes, followed by six short edit pieces, of the harmonica, guitar solo and introduction, to be cut into the best take at a later stage.

  • Take one broke down a minute into the song, when The Beatles mistook a finger scrape on a guitar string for a whistle from the studio control room.
  • Takes two, three, four, five and seven were complete.
  • Take five was the first to feature the middle eight.
  • Take six was a false start.
  • Take seven was the final attempt, and deemed the best of them.

The edit pieces were numbered takes eight to 13. They were overdubs onto a second twin-track tape machine as the backing track was played back.

  • Take eight: Lennon’s overdubbed harmonica onto the introduction and middle eight.
  • Take nine: harmonica overdubbed onto the middle eight and the song’s end. Lennon didn’t realise he was supposed to play at the end, so missed the cue.
  • Take 10: harmonica overdubbed onto the song’s end.
  • Take 11: The Beatles humming the introduction.
  • Take 12: The Beatles singing the introduction.
  • Take 13: The Beatles singing the introduction, with Lennon an octave higher than the others.

The final edit of From Me To You began with the take 12 introduction, followed by take eight’s first three verses. The middle eight was from take nine, and the song ended with take 10.

The b-side at this time had the working title of Thank You Little Girl. The Beatles recorded the song in six takes, with seven further edit pieces being taped. The final version was a combination of takes six and 13.

The Beatles wanted to record two more original compositions during the evening session, ‘One After 909’ and ‘What Goes On’. In the end they only had enough time for one, and so recorded four basic takes of One After 909 plus a shorter edit piece which began with the middle eight and continued to the end of the song.

Only one of the takes was complete, and it was not considered good enough to release at the time. The Beatles returned to the song during the ‘Let It Be’ sessions in 1969, and a composite version of the 1963 recordings was eventually issued in 1995 on Anthology 1.

Last updated: 4 March 2019
Photo session in London
Radio: Here We Go
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