"One, two, three, four! Well she was just seventeen. You know what I mean." - Paul McCartney singing the opening to "I Saw Her Standing There," the first song on the first British record album of The Beatles.
Fifty years ago today, British record label Parlophone released the first album by The Beatles, "Please Please Me." Ten of the album's fourteen tracks were recorded in one day, February 11, 1963. Popular music would be forever changed.
The album hit the top of the British charts in May 1963 and stayed there for thirty weeks before being replaced by "With the Beatles." In America, Capitol Records' "Meet the Beatles" was released on January 20th of 1964. Ten days prior, Vee-Jay Records released "Introducing the Beatles."
I was a sophomore in high school when a classmate brought in a copy of "Meet the Beatles"and played it on a portable record player before classes began. I had never heard anything like it. My life changed on that day.
The Beatles put out two 14-song British record albums every year from 1963 through 1965 - Please Please Me, With the Beatles, A Hard Day's Night, Beatles For Sale, Help & Rubber Soul - 83 songs in 3 years.
I love you John, Paul, George & Ringo.
"Rubber Soul" ended the musical soundtrack that accompanied my high school years. The songs from the six British releases would be spread out over a dozen U.S. records by Capital, Vee Jay and United Artists from 1963 through 1966.
The summer of my graduation in 1966 would bring "Revolver." And everything would change again, dramatically - in music and in the world.
What was ahead was startling and revolutionary - Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles (White Album), Abbey Road & Let it Be.
Hard to believe that John, Paul, George & Ringo only recorded as The Beatles for seven years. In those years they produced some of the most extraordinary music ever made.
People throw around the phrase "soundtrack of their lives" pretty loosely. But, for the children of The Sixties, The Beatles music truly was with them every step of their joyful adolescence and awakening maturity.
"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."