The Beatles’ debut EP contained four songs from the Please Please Me album.
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 by Dezo Hoffman, and the sleeve notes were by 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...
- 2014: Ringo Starr live at Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, California
- 2014: Paul McCartney live at Fargodome, Fargo, North Dakota
- 2013: Paul McCartney live at Nationals Park, Washington, DC
- 2008: George Martin is honoured by the Grammy Foundation
- 1968: Recording, mixing: Don’t Pass Me By, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Revolution
- 1966: The Beatles receive three Ivor Novello awards
- 1964: Live: Hippodrome, Brighton
- 1963: Live: Winter Gardens, Margate
- 1962: Live: Majestic Ballroom, Birkenhead
- 1962: 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.