P.S. I Love You (Beatles song)
|"P.S. I Love You"|
Original "Love Me Do" 45
|Single by The Beatles|
|A-side||"Love Me Do"|
|Released||5 October 1962 (UK)
27 April 1964 (US)
|Recorded||4 and 11 September 1962
EMI Studios, London
Tollie 9008 (US)
|The Beatles singles chronology|
"P.S. I Love You" is a song composed principally by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and recorded by the English rock band the Beatles, with McCartney on lead vocal. It was released on 5 October 1962 as the B-side of their debut single "Love Me Do" and is also included on their 1963 album Please Please Me. It was later included on the 1977 Beatles compilation Love Songs.
The version featured on the single and album was recorded in ten takes on 11 September 1962 at EMI's Abbey Road Studios, London. Producer George Martin had booked session drummer Andy White as a replacement for Pete Best, whom he considered not technically good enough for recording purposes (Martin had been unaware that the other Beatles had already replaced Pete Best with Ringo Starr, who attended the session and plays maracas on the song). White was a freelance show band and session drummer, and gave the recording a lightweight cha cha treatment.
Martin was not present at the session, which was run by Ron Richards in his absence. Richards told the group that the song could not be the A-side of their single because of an earlier song of the same title: "I was originally a music publishing man, a plugger, so I knew someone had done a record with that title. I said to Paul 'You can have it as B-side, but not an A-side'" (despite other titles having been used for multiple hit songs without legal difficulties).
With Starr playing drums, the Beatles recorded this song at the BBC on 25 October 1962, 27 November 1962 and 17 June 1963 for subsequent broadcast on the BBC radio programmes Here We Go, Talent Spot and Pop Go the Beatles, respectively.
Written in spring 1962, while Paul McCartney was in Hamburg, this song is sometimes considered to be a dedication to his then-girlfriend Dot Rhone. However, McCartney denies this; he described "P.S. I Love You" thus:
|“||It's just an idea for a song really, a theme song based on a letter, like the Paperback Writer idea. It was pretty much mine. I don't think John had much of a hand in it. There are certain themes that are easier than others to hang a song on, and a letter is one of them... The letter is a popular theme and it's just my attempt at one of those. It's not based in reality, nor did I write it to my girlfriend from Hamburg, which some people think.||”|
|“||That's Paul's song. He was trying to write a "Soldier Boy" like the Shirelles. He wrote that in Germany, or when we were going to and from Hamburg. I might have contributed something. I can't remember anything in particular. It was mainly his song.||”|
("Soldier Boy" was a US No. 1 single for the Shirelles in 1962.)
Melodically it could be considered in retrospect as typical of McCartney's writing style with two notable exceptions to the contemporaneous model: during the opening chorus the chord D♭7 is placed incongruously between G and D (on write), and during the song’s title phrase a sudden shift to B♭ occurs underneath "P.S. I love you" which Ian MacDonald described as "a dark sidestep". Lennon contributes a single note harmony emphasising the beginning of each stanza. Lyrically constructed with their female audience in mind the Beatles included it as part of their Cavern Club song set. The Beatles admired Buddy Holly and the Crickets (best demonstrated by their cover of "Words of Love" on the Beatles for Sale album) and writer Jonathan Cott suggested that the "P.S." element of the song was a subtle reference to "Peggy Sue", from the lyric "I love you, Peggy Sue".
Missing master tape
No original master tapes of the 11 September version of "P.S. I Love You" are known to exist. Standard procedure at Abbey Road Studios at the time was to erase the original two-track session tape for singles once they had been "mixed down" to the (usually monaural) master tape used to press records. This was the fate of two Beatles singles (four songs): "Love Me Do", "P.S. I Love You", "She Loves You", and "I'll Get You".
- Paul McCartney – vocals, bass
- John Lennon – acoustic rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- George Harrison – acoustic guitar, tremolo lead guitar, backing vocals
- Ringo Starr – maracas
- Andy White – drums
- George Martin – piano
- Norman Smith – cowbell
Engineered by Norman Smith
"P.S. I Love You" has been covered by:
- Sonny Curtis in 1964
- Alvin and the Chipmunks for their 1964 album The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles Hits.
- Hollyridge Strings from 1964 Orchestra rendition
- Peter Lipa on his 2003 album Beatles in Blue(s), which features unusual cover versions of sixteen Beatles songs.
- Filipino actress and singer Jolina Magdangal covered the song on her 2000 album On Memory Lane.
- The Smithereens on their 2008 album B-Sides the Beatles
- Harry 2000, p. 892.
- MacDonald 2007, p. 61.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 20.
- Lewisohn, Mark (2013). The Beatles: All These Years, Volume One – Tune In. New York: Crown Archetype. p. 626. ISBN 978-1-4000-8305-3.
- MacDonald 2007, p. 61, footnote.
- Miles 1997, p. 37.
- Sheff 2000, p. 168.
- Rolling Stone 1976, p. 81.
- "Beatles, The - Love Me Do at Discogs". discogs.com. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- "Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You by The Beatles". rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- P.S. I Love You | The Beatles Bible
- Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
- Deming, Mark. B-Sides the Beatles at AllMusic. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
- Harry, Bill (2000). The Beatles Encyclopedia: Revised and Updated. London: Virgin Publishing. ISBN 0-7535-0481-2.
- Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-57066-1.
- MacDonald, Ian (2007) . Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1-55652-733-3.
- Miles, Barry (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-5249-6.
- Sheff, David (2000). All We Are Saying. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0-312-25464-4.
- The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll. Rolling Stone Press/Random House. 1976. ISBN 0-394-73238-3.
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