British musicians recreate marathon Beatles studio session
Re-recording at Abbey Road studio marks 50th anniversary of Please Please Me
Posted: Feb 11, 2013 2:32 PM ET
Last Updated: Feb 11, 2013 2:31 PM ET
Joss Stone, The Stereophonics and other U.K. musical acts have gathered to recreate the marathon session during which The Beatles laid down their debut album Please Please Me, 50 years after the original recording was captured.
Modern performers filed into London's famed Abbey Road studio all day Monday to recreate the Fab Four's nearly 10-hour recording session from Feb. 11, 1963.
The band famously recorded Please Please Me's 10 tracks in approximately 585 minutes, with the session said to have cost £400 ($630.76 Cdn) at the time.
Featuring largely live performances and little of the tinkering the band would later employ, Please Please Me topped the charts upon its release in spring 1963 and remained there for the better part of a year. Its no. 1 spot was usurped by the band's follow-up release, With The Beatles.Joss Stone, seen performing in Lisbon in 2011, is among the modern artists re-creating the marathon Beatles recording session. (Armando Franca/Associated Press)
On Monday, soul singer Joss Stone performed A Taste of Honey accompanied by a string section. The Stereophonics rocked out with a cover of I Saw Her Standing There. Other performers participating in the special session include Blur's Graham Coxon, Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall, indie group I Am Kloot and singer-songwriter Gabrielle Aplin.
In 1963, the Beatles concluded their session with the rollicking Twist and Shout. The tune was held back until the end because of worries over John Lennon's voice, since he had been suffering from a cold. There was just one take captured.
"Trying for a second take, Lennon found he had nothing left and the session stopped there and then — but the atmosphere was still crackling," according to the late Beatles chronicler Ian MacDonald.
"Nothing of that intensity had ever been recorded in a British pop studio."
The British Broadcasting Corporation is airing Monday's cover versions by the modern artists on Radio 2 and its website 12 Hours to Please Me. The remake sessions will also be part of the forthcoming documentary Please Please Me — Remaking a Classic, set for broadcast on BBC Four on Friday.
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