The Beatles

There's a Place

Composed by John Lennon / Paul McCartney

Song Review by

There are few if any genuinely obscure songs released legitimately by the Beatles, but "There's a Place" is, unjustly, one of the less-well-known ones. It is one of their earliest recordings. On February 11, 1963, the Beatles recorded this John Lennon-Paul McCartney song at the session for their debut album, Please Please Me. With John Lennon playing harmonica and singing, and McCartney singing harmony, it is a comment on introspection. The place the song refers to is the singer's mind, to which he retreats when he is depressed, at which time he thinks about the woman being addressed in the song. The lyric is brief and ambiguous -- is the narrator buoyed up by his happy thoughts of the woman, or is he ruefully recalling a past love? In either case, he looks forward to the future -- "There'll be no sad tomorrow" -- and the galloping musical track belies any negative connotation. The subject matter anticipates the Beach Boys' "In My Room," which was recorded five months later, though there is no reason to think that its authors, Brian Wilson and Gary Usher, got a chance to hear "There's a Place" before writing it. "There's a Place" was released on Please Please Me in England in March 1963, where the album topped the charts, and in America in July 1963 on Introducing the Beatles, where the album had no commercial impact at first. But a reconfigured version of Introducing the Beatles became a Top Ten hit in February 1964 as Beatlemania hit the U.S. In March, "There's a Place" was released as the B-side of the single "Twist and Shout." By then, the Beatles were all over the singles charts, and "There's a Place," in a brief chart appearance, was one of more than a dozen titles by the group. Thereafter, it

suffered neglect, for a long time being available only on an oldies single, to the point that it earned its place on the 1980 Beatles compilation Rarities. There haven't been too many covers of it, though rock & roll revivalists the Flamin' Groovies did one.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Please Please Me 1963 Apple Records / Capitol
Twist and Shout [EP] 1963 Parlophone 1:44
Introducing...The Beatles 1964 Vee-Jay
Meet the Beatles! 1964 Capitol 0:00
No Image 1964 Vee-Jay
No Image 1980 Capitol 1:47
Back Track Part Three 1989 VigoTone 2:03
Hold Me Tight 1989 Condor 2:07
Compact Disc EP Collection 1992 Apple Records
No Image 1993 Big Music 2:07
No Image 1994 Big Music 2:05
The Ultimate Box Set 1995 Capitol 1:52
EP Boxset 1999 Parlophone 1:49
As It Happened: The Classic Interviews 2000 Enlightenment 1:51
The Beatles: Stereo Box Set 2009 Capitol 1:50
The Beatles USB 2009 Capitol / EMI 1:50