UK EP release: The Beatles No. 1

The Beatles’ third UK EP was a collection of four songs taken from their debut album Please Please Me.

It was released, like all the group’s UK output so far, on the EMI subsidiary label Parlophone. The Beatles No. 1 was issued only in mono, with the catalogue number GEP 8880.

Side one contained ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ and ‘Misery’. The second side featured ‘Anna (Go To Him)’ and ‘Chains’.

Beatles No. 1 EP artwork – United Kingdom

As with their previous EPs, The Beatles No. 1 had sleeve notes penned by the group’s press officer Tony Barrow.

Each time I settle down to pen a set of paragraphs for the sleeve of another new Beatle release, I am able to recall fresh sets of honours and triumphs which have come the way of this fabulous foursome in the brief ‘tween-discs spell.

Every Beatle-cut disc adds to the outfit’s greatness by topping the charts. The Please Please Me LP turned out to be the fastest-selling album ever issued on any of the EMI group of labels. Within weeks of its release the Twist And Shout EP topped the extended play charts, outsold almost every contemporary pop single in earshot and notched up sales in excess of a quarter of a million.

The release of this latest batch of constantly requested stage-show favourites in EP form coincides with the first anniversary of The Beatles’ arrival on the pop scene. They seem to have achieved so much during this first stand-out year that, short of getting themselves a Fan Club branch on the moon* or something equally incredible, I doubt if there are many more strengths for them to go on from or to!

I Saw Her Standing There is already a pretty permanent fixture of The Beatles’ self-penned repertoire. It has a strong tune, a solid beat and one of the most effective sets of lyrics produced to date by the Lennon/McCartney team.

MIsery is a second vehicle for the voices of John and Paul. Their joint delivery is so accurate that it comes over on record almost like a self-duet performance. It tells a delicate lost-love story sadly and hauntingly.

Anna brings out a curiously satisfying quality of plaintive rawness in John’s voice. The number is one of his personal favourites.

Chains is (or are!) used to bind together the voices of George, John and Paul in a hard-hitting finale to this pungent little programme.

*For the information of earth dwellers, the address of THE OFFICIAL BEATLES FAN CLUB is c/o Anne Collingham, First Floor, Service House, 13 Monmouth Street, LONDON W.C.2.

Tony Barrow
Last updated: 29 October 2019
Travel: Stockholm to London
The Beatles live: Odeon Cinema, Cheltenham
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