The Beatles

Love Me Do

Song Review by

As the A-side of the first Beatles single in late 1962, "Love Me Do" gave little indication of the creative songwriting genius of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Much simpler melodically than even the group's early 1963 recordings, "Love Me Do" was a jaunty, slightly bluesy singalong, with lyrics that even by 1962 standards were bulging with elementary romantic clich├ęs. The song, nonetheless, was notably distinguished from other British rock of the era, and if only in retrospect contained definite hints of the Beatles' strengths. First, there were those close, straining harmonies, projecting a sincerity and even a depth that was simply lacking in most other British pop artists of the period. There was also the unfettered directness of the performance, with an emphasis upon personal pronouns -- "me," "you," and so forth -- that Lennon and McCartney would rely upon throughout their first year or so as recording artists. And there was Lennon's bluesy harmonica, influenced by Bruce Channel accompanist Delbert McClinton (whom the Beatles had already met while supporting Channel on a British gig). In the days before multi-track recording was common, a nervous Paul McCartney had to take the low lead vocals on the brief sections of the song on which all of the instruments drop out bar the voice, since Lennon had to keep playing harmonica in the background once the music started up again. It was a modest beginning, but a fairly successful one, reaching the British Top 20. After the Beatles conquered America in early 1964, some of their 1962-1963 tracks were revived as singles, including "Love Me Do," which made number one in the U.S., although that was probably due more to the craze for all things Beatle than the merits of the specific song. With so many other Lennon-McCartney gems available, "Love Me Do" has attracted little cover action over the years, although David Bowie would jam on the tune briefly on-stage circa 1973 in his Ziggy Stardust days, and Sandie Shaw did a harmless lounge-pop version in the late '60s.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Please Please Me 1963 Apple Records / Capitol
The Beatles' Hits [EP] 1963 Parlophone 2:19
Introducing...The Beatles 1964 Vee-Jay
Meet the Beatles! 1964 Capitol 0:00
No Image 1964 Vee-Jay
The Early Beatles 1965 Capitol / Universal 2:22
1962-1966 1973 Capitol / Parlophone 2:22
No Image 1980 Capitol 2:22
No Image 1982 Odeon 2:23
Past Masters, Vol. 1 1988 Capitol 2:23
Past Masters 1988 Apple Records / Capitol 2:25
No Image 1992 Toshiba EMI 0:00
Love Me Do 1992 Capitol
Compact Disc EP Collection 1992 Apple Records
CD Singles Collection 1993 Capitol 0:21
No Image 1994 Big Music 1:34
The Ultimate Box Set 1995 Capitol 2:23
EP Boxset 1999 Parlophone 2:19
Forever Gold 1999 Diamond Recordings 2:25
1 2000
Capitol 2:20
Beatles Story 2001 CTA
The Capitol Albums, Vol. 2 2006 Apple / Capitol / EMI 2:21
Audiobiography 2007 Nova / Regeneration
The Beatles: Stereo Box Set 2009 Capitol 2:25
The Beatles USB 2009 Capitol / EMI 2:25
1962-1970 2010 EMI / Parlophone 2:22
The 1962 British Hit Parade, Pt. 3: September-December [Acrobat] 2013
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:23
Salut Les Copains 1959-1968: Best of 2013
Various Artists
UMSM / Universal Music 2:18
The U.S. Albums 2014 Capitol / Universal 2:22
Thirty Weeks in 1963 2014 Doxy Records
Love Me Do [Stargrove] 2015 Stargrove 2:22
Golden Best 20, Vol. 2 Nihon Audio
Liverpool Sounds
Various Artists
Fantastic Voyage 2:25
Party Tyme Karaoke: Billboard Top 40 Karaoke, Vol. 6
Sybersound Records 2:26
The Beatles: 16 Superhits, Vol. 2 Dorado Records 2:21