The Story Behind the Beatles’ Debut Single, “Love Me Do”

The essential partnership between Paul McCartney and John Lennon would produce many hit songs for the Beatles. But there was a time when betting on a song written by these two artists would’ve been a gamble–one that the bet placer would go on to win, albeit. Among the first songs to earn the Beatles a spot on the charts is “Love Me Do.”

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The simple song about being true to your lover ultimately became a calling card for the Fab Four in their earliest days and eventually earned them a No. 1 single.

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“Love Me Do” was written by McCartney and Lennon years before it was ever committed to tape. It was rumored to be written about an early girlfriend of McCartney’s, Iris Caldwell. It peaked at No. 17 upon its initial release, but would later hit No. 1 in the U.S. when it was re-released in 1964.

Though the lyrics are relatively simple, it established the melody-making abilities of McCartney and Lennon. It’s certainly an ear-worm and was good enough to help launch the career of one of the biggest bands ever.

Love, love me do
You know I love you
I’ll always be true
So please, love me do
Whoa-oh, love me do

Moreover, this song helped to establish Ringo Starr as the official drummer of the Beatles, following the dismissal of Pete Best. In fact, three different versions of this song were recorded using three different drummers: Best, Starr, and another session drummer. In the end, they used Starr’s rendition for the original Parlophone single pressing.

“For me that was more important than anything else,” Starr once said of “Love Me Do.” “That first piece of plastic. You can’t believe how great that was. It was so wonderful. We were on a record!”

(Photo by Jim Gray/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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