The Beatles’ debut EP, Twist And Shout, contained four songs from the Please Please Me album. It was released in the UK on 12 July 1963.
Twist And Shout entered the EP chart on 20 July. It duly reached number one, spent 21 weeks there, and was in the chart for a total of 64 weeks.
Although all the songs were available on Please Please Me, the EP still sold more than 800,000 copies.
Released by Parlophone, the EP’s serial number was GEP 8882.
The front cover picture was taken on 25 April 1963 by Fiona Adams. The location was a patch of wasteland near London’s Euston Station.
I had been keen at that time to break away from the conventional Hollywood-style of stage and studio shot. To this end, I would ride around on the top deck of London buses to search out possible locations. An abandoned area had caught my eye at the crossroads of Euston and Gower Street. This was still a London blitzed in parts and awaiting rebuilding.
As far as I remember, we all managed to pile into one taxi; the four Beatles, myself and Maureen O’Grady of Boyfriend – plus the camera gear! I climbed down the rubble into a bombed-out cellar, open to the sky, and had a wonderful session with the Beatles lined up on the wall above who couldn’t have been more co-operative.
Taken on this single roll of film was the Jumping Shot, the shot which John Lennon and Tony Barrow chose for the cover of the Beatles EP album [sic] ‘Twist and Shout’.
The sleeve notes on the back of the EP were by The Beatles’ press officer Tony Barrow.
Each of the four titles here has been clipped away from the Beatles’ No. 1 LP Please Please Me which has been at the top of the nation’s album charts for umpteen weeks as this sleeve goes to press. It is equally true that one of the songs – Do You Want To Know A Secret – became a No. 1 hit as a single when it was recorded for Parlophone by the Beatles’ Liverpoplian colleague, Billy J. Kramer.
The items lined up on this EP have been designed to pass the audio spotlight very fairly from Beatle to Beatle, exposing four contrasting facets of the quartet’s vocal and instrumental ingenuity. At one end of the scale we have the all-action, all-raving rocker, Twist And Shout. No wonder this has become a show-stopping highspot of the foursome’s stage act! John must have built himself a set of leather tonsils in a throat of steel to turn out such a violently exciting track!
The tension eases off with the second number on Side One: Paul McCartney’s slightly sad, slightly nostalgic version of A Taste Of Honey. The tune began as a memorable jazz instrumental; Paul’s clear, sturdy voice turns it into a haunting piece of atmosphere balladeering.
The second half opens with George Harrison stepping forward to chant the persuasive ballad Do You Want To Know A Secret. Penned by John and Paul, this must be one of the year’s most catrchy pop hits, and George tempers his vocal delivery with an intruiguing blend of warmth and wistfulness.
For the finale John and Paul join forces to handle their own self-penned composition, There’s A Place. With a fair amount of Ringo’s percussive pressure behind their voices they offer a part-plaintive, part punchy performance of this infectious beat number. Whatever time of the year you find yourself reading these paragraphs it’s a pretty safe bet that The Beatles won’t be far from the No. 1 chart spot. And with a little luck they’ll be No. 1 on the bill at your local theatre too!
Also on this day...
- 2022: The Beatles and Paul McCartney receive eight Emmy Awards nominations
- 2014: Ringo Starr live: Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, California
- 2014: Paul McCartney live: Fargodome, Fargo
- 2013: Paul McCartney live: Nationals Park, Washington, DC
- 2008: George Martin is honoured by the Grammy Foundation
- 1972: Wings live: Théâtre de la Mer, Juan-les-Pins
- 1968: Recording, mixing: Don’t Pass Me By, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Revolution
- 1966: The Beatles receive three Ivor Novello awards
- 1964: The Beatles live: Hippodrome, Brighton
- 1963: The Beatles live: Winter Gardens, Margate
- 1962: The Beatles live: Majestic Ballroom, Birkenhead
- 1962: The Beatles live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1958: Recording: In Spite Of All The Danger, That’ll Be The Day
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.