The Beatles’ second UK EP was released on this day. The Beatles’ Hits contained three previous a-sides and one b-side.
The Beatles’ Hits first charted on 21 September 1963, and spent three weeks at number one from 2 November. In all it spent 43 weeks in the EP chart. It also spent 18 weeks in the singles chart, peaking at number 14.
Released by Parlophone, the EP’s serial number was GEP 8880. The front cover picture was taken by Angus McBean, and the sleeve notes were by Tony Barrow.
The four numbers on this EP have been selected from The Lennon & McCartney Songbook. If that description sounds a trifle pompous perhaps I may suggest you preserve this sleeve for ten years, exhume it from your collection somewhere around the middle of 1973 and write me a very nasty letter if the pop people of the 70’s aren’t talking with respect about at least two of these titles as “early examples of modern beat standards taken from The Lennon & McCartney Songbook”.
The success of The Beatles as a bill-topping, chart-topping team of vocalist/instrumentalist entertainers hasn’t been far short of unique. What makes this foursome’s history quite unprecedented is the fact that two of the boys write (with an output rate which is prolific-plus!) all the songs which The Beatles take to the top of the hit parade. We’ve had successful songwriters before and we’ve had golden-touch recording stars before but the two entirely different facts of Tin Pan Alley fame have never before combined themselves so brilliantly in the all-round, do-it-yourself versatility of a single singing/playing/composing unit.
Chronologically speaking, this exciting little session starts with Love Me Do. In the autumn of ’62 this number went out to the disc stores on the top deck of The Beatles’ first Parlophone single. 48 hours later it had notched up sufficient sales to put it into the charts.
Next came Please Please Me which stayed in the charts throughout February and March of 1963, reached the coveted Number One slot, earned The Beatles their first Silver Disc award and eventually gave its name to a twelve-inch LP programme which was destined to become one of the fastest-selling album releases of the year.
For their third single The Beatles coupled From Me To You with Thank You Girl. The former zoomed to the pop peak in the middle of April and defended its mighty position against all comers for a total of seven spectacular weeks. (Incidentally it was ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret’, another item from The Lennon & McCartney Songbook, which replaced From Me To You at the Number One position in June!)
Thank You Girl found another way of proving its undoubted popularity by making a prolonged appearance amongst the nation’s list of best-selling sheet music.
P.S. In case you still doubt my opening paragraph prophesy, you should know that Messrs. Lennon & McCartney have written enough songs to keep them in singles and albums from now until 1973 even if their composing talent were to wither and die in the immediate future!
Also on this day...
- 2010: Ringo’s Beatles debut venue burns down
- 1993: Paul McCartney live: Wiener Stadthalle, Vienna
- 1968: Recording: While My Guitar Gently Weeps
- 1968: Television: Paul McCartney and Mary Hopkin filmed for Magpie
- 1967: Recording, mixing: I Am The Walrus, The Fool On The Hill, Blue Jay Way
- 1966: John Lennon begins wearing ‘granny’ glasses
- 1964: The Beatles live: Olympia Stadium, Detroit
- 1963: The Beatles live: Odeon Cinema, Luton
- 1962: The Beatles live: Rialto Ballroom, Liverpool
- 1962: The Beatles live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1961: The Beatles live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1960: The Beatles live: Indra Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.