Ask Me Why

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"Ask Me Why"
UK 1963 Parlophone "Please Please Me" single
Single by The Beatles
A-side "Please Please Me"
Released 11 January 1963 (UK)
25 February 1963 (US)
Recorded 26 November 1962
Genre Merseybeat
Length 2:24
Label Parlophone
Writer(s) McCartney–Lennon
Producer(s) George Martin
The Beatles singles chronology
"Love Me Do""
(1962)
"Please Please Me"
(1963)
"From Me to You"
(1963)
Please Please Me track listing

"Ask Me Why" is a song by English rock group the Beatles originally released in the United Kingdom as the B-side of their hit single "Please Please Me". It was also included on their first UK album, Please Please Me.

Composition[edit]

Written in early 1962, "Ask Me Why" is principally a John Lennon composition,[1] but was credited to Paul McCartney and John Lennon, as were all other Lennon–McCartney originals on the first pressings of Please Please Me album. Paul McCartney: "It was John's original idea and we both sat down and wrote it together, just did a job on it. It was mostly John's." (Barry Miles. Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now).[2] It was part of their live act prior to their recording contract, and was one of the songs performed at their Parlophone audition in EMI's Abbey Road studio three on 6 June 1962.[3][4] The song emulates in style that of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, by whom Lennon was influenced, and draws its opening guitar phrase from the Miracles’ "What’s So Good About Goodbye" (1961).[5]

Structure[edit]

The song is in the key of E major, with some leaning to its relative minor of C#, and is in 4/4 time. Structurally, the song is complex and, as Alan Pollack states, contains three different variants of the verse.[6] The song also contains "jazzy parallel sevenths" in most of the chords, and has a live ending.[citation needed]

Recording[edit]

"Ask Me Why" was originally recorded at Abbey Road studios on 6 June 1962 with an unknown number of takes as part of the Beatles' EMI audition. The two quarter-inch tape reels from that session were later destroyed by EMI.[7] It was recorded again on 26 November 1962, the same day the Beatles rehearsed "Tip of My Tongue", another Lennon and McCartney song which, along with "Ask Me Why", was also being considered for the B-side of the "Please Please Me" single.[5] However, George Martin felt that "Tip of My Tongue" still needed some work, and it was eventually given to Tommy Quickly to record.[8]

Other releases[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by The Smithereens on their album B-Sides The Beatles.

Personnel[edit]

Engineered by Norman Smith

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[5][2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Miles 1998, p. 92.
  2. ^ a b Ask Me Why | The Beatles Bible.
  3. ^ Miles 1992, p. 92.
  4. ^ Harry 1992, p. 50.
  5. ^ a b c MacDonald 2005, p. 64–65.
  6. ^ Pollack 2001.
  7. ^ Lewisohn 1988, pp. 17.
  8. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 23.

References[edit]