The first song to be recorded at the 11 February 1963 session for The Beatles’ Please Please Me album, ‘There’s A Place’ was completed in 10 takes, plus a harmonica overdub later that afternoon.

‘There’s A Place’ was my attempt at a sort of Motown, black thing. It says the usual Lennon things: ‘In my mind there’s no sorrow…’ It’s all in your mind.

The song was co-written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney in the latter’s home at 20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool. It was based loosely upon ‘Somewhere’ from the West Side Story soundtrack album, a copy of which McCartney owned.

In our case the place was in the mind, rather than round the back of the stairs for a kiss and a cuddle. This was the difference with what we were writing: we were getting a bit more cerebral. We both sang it. I took the high harmony, John took the lower harmony or melody. This was a nice thing because we didn’t actually have to decide where the melody was till later when they boringly had to write it down for sheet music.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

‘There’s A Place’ encapsulates the drive and hunger of The Beatles in 1963. The song is full of the energy familiar to those who saw them live in Liverpool or Hamburg, and a sense of urgency and desire for success pervades the recording.

In the studio

The song was recorded with another Lennon-McCartney composition – ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ – on 11 February 1963, during the 10am-1pm morning session for Please Please Me. Recording took place in Studio Two at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, London.

‘There’s A Place’ was mostly completed in 10 takes. In the afternoon session, from 2.30-6pm, John Lennon overdubbed a harmonica part onto take 10. This addition was recorded in three attempts, with the final version becoming known as take 13.

Previous song: ‘A Taste Of Honey’
Next song: ‘Twist And Shout’
Published: |