|The second official EMI release.
This was originally pressed with the red label (above), and it was actually IN January during pressings of
this release that EMI moved to the more familiar black label, therefore there are a lot less red than black.
Also during this release's chart life, in March 1963, EMI dropped the "45" prefix,
therefore any after March have just "R 4983". (Mine are both numbered 45-R 4983.)
Notice the "black" release (below) has the small "rights of the manufacturer" writing in Mixed upper/lower case,
this changes with later releases, as I will discuss when I get to "I Want To Hold Your Hand" !
The plain green paper sleeve with a round "£" logo was introduced at the same time as the black label.
So, a common debate ... was this release The Beatles first number 1 !?
"Please Please Me" was the second official release by The Beatles since their signing to E.M.I. It was released on
11th January 1963 after having been recorded in 18 takes on 26th November 1962. To discuss the chart career of The Beatles
follow-up to "Love Me Do" and it's omission from the greatest hits CD '1' we need to properly understand the evolution of
the U.K. music charts.
The first U.K. chart of record sales was produced 14th November 1952 by the New Musical Express (N.M.E.) which is therefore
the longest established chart. In the N.M.E. chart of 1963 "Please Please Me" did indeed reach the top spot on
22nd February where it remained for 2 weeks.
But prior to this, from 10th March 1960, the music industry started to compile
it's own chart in "Record Retailer". This was a trade publication as used by record shops and the music industry which later
became "Music Week". For a couple of years from it's inception this chart was not the most widely accepted chart and was
largely overlooked by the record buying public who, on the whole, still relied on the ever-present N.M.E. listing.
But the "Record Retailer" chart is historically the official chart of the music industry as it was the fullest chart and no
less accurate than any other. In this chart The Beatles reached number 2 on the 2nd March 1963 but were kept off of
number 1 by Frank Ifield's third consecutive chart-topper "Wayward Wind".
The choice of this chart as the one used for "official" purposes is slightly unfortunate, because in the hit parades of
NME, Melody Maker and Disc "Please Please Me" was number 1, and therefore the Beatles FIRST number one.
"Please Please Me" remained in the "official" chart for 18 weeks in 1963 and returned for a further 4 weeks as part of
E.M.I.'s "It Was Twenty Years Ago" re-release series, on 10th January 1983.
The picture disc version seen below was part of the re-release "It Was Twenty Years Ago" series, on 10th January 1983.