“Love Me Do” was released in the USA in 1962 – two years before Beatlemania. Of course, it didn’t do very much, as in 1962, Americans weren’t buying British music.
In the wake of the Beatles’ takeover of the US pop charts in early 1964, “Love Me Do” was re-released, and it shot to the top of the charts – this was their fourth #1 hit in a three-month period, after all. In this era, most Beatles singles were double-sided. “Love Me Do”’s B-side was “P.S. I Love You”, which went to #10 on the US charts on its own.
There were three versions of the song – all of which have been released in one way or another. In June 1962, the song was done with Pete Best on drums. In early September, a second version was done with Ringo Starr on drums (that was briefly the original UK single, and was also the Canadian single in early ‘64). A week later, a third take was done with session drummer Andy White – that’s the version linked here, featuring Starr on tambourine (rush-released in the USA by Vee-Jay Records after the Canadian single took off here). The Pete Best track came out on the Anthology.
It’s also one of two Lennon-McCartney tracks still owned by Paul McCartney. “Love Me Do” was written so early, it wasn’t included in the Northern Songs boondoggle (that’s the catalog that the Michael Jackson estate still co-owns with Sony).
Tomorrow, one of the last disco #1s (or one of the first post-disco #1s, depending on your take)…
Other songs that reached #1 on May 30:
1970 – “Everything Is Beautiful” by Ray Stevens (his first, 2 weeks)