The Beatles’ entire catalog remains one of the most enduring groups of songs in popular culture. Their first single “Love Me Do,” the song is still fun and vibrant 50 years after its original U.K. release. To celebrate the occasion, fans gathered in Liverpool’s docks Friday afternoon to set a new world record for the most Beatles fans singing “Love Me Do” in a round.
Organized by the city’s Beatles Story tourist attraction, the record setting sing-a-long drew in more than 1,500 participants from around the U.K. to crush the previous record of 897 people singing the song, according to The Telegraph. The “Love Me Do” record attempt was all captured on video, which you can watch go down in the Guinness World Record history books by clicking here.
In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the “Love Me Do” release date, let’s take look back at the history of the song with a few fun facts!
1. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney as teenagers, “Love Me Do” wasn’t an instant hit on the charts when it was released in the U.K. in 1962. The single peaked at #17 on the U.K. charts, but fared much better in the U.S., shooting all the way to the top when it was released in 1964.
2. Two versions of “Love Me Do” were recorded by the group. In the first version, Ringo Starr is featured on drums, but in the 1962 re-recording, producer George Martin was unsure of his ability and enlisted session drummer Andy White instead. Poor Ringo was assigned to playing the tambourine on the beat in that take, which still remains the best known version of the song.
3. Up until the recording of “Love Me Do,” Lennon had always sang lead vocals on songs, but after adding that notable harmonica part, a nervous McCartney had to take over the vocals on the spot. “Until that session John had done it,” said McCartney in Barry Miles’ Many Years From Now, Rolling Stone notes. “I didn’t even know how to sing it … I can still hear the nervousness in my voice.” According to the “The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia,” Lennon also reportedly stole the harmonica heard in the song.
“Love Me Do,” along with all of the other Beatles classics, will be released in remastered stereo form on vinyl on November 13.
— Britt Bickell, K-EARTH 101, Los Angeles