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P.S. I Love You (Beatles song)

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"P.S. I Love You"
Love Me Do.jpg
Original "Love Me Do" 45
Single by the Beatles
from the album Please Please Me
A-side"Love Me Do"
Released5 October 1962 (UK)
27 April 1964 (US)
Recorded11 September 1962
StudioEMI, London
LabelParlophone R4949
Tollie 9008 (US)
Producer(s)George Martin
The Beatles UK singles chronology
"Love Me Do"
"Please Please Me"
The Beatles US singles chronology
"Can't Buy Me Love"
"Love Me Do"
"A Hard Day's Night"

"P.S. I Love You" is a song recorded by English rock band the Beatles in 1962. It was composed principally by Paul McCartney[1] (credited to Lennon–McCartney), and produced by Ron Richards. The song was released in the UK on 5 October 1962 as the B-side of their debut single "Love Me Do" and is also included on their debut album Please Please Me (1963). It was later included on the American release Introducing The Beatles (1964), its reissue The Early Beatles (1965), and the Beatles compilation album Love Songs (1977).


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.[2]

Martin was not present at the session; in his absence, it was run by Ron Richards. Richards told the group that the song could not be the A-side of their single because of an earlier song with 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.'"[3]

With Starr playing drums, the Beatles recorded the 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. The 17 June 1963 recording was officially published on the On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2 album (2013).


Written in spring 1962,[4] while Paul McCartney was in Hamburg, this song is sometimes considered to be a dedication to his then-girlfriend Dot Rhone.[5] However, McCartney denies this; he described "P.S. I Love You" saying:

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.[6]

John Lennon said about this song:[7]

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.

Melodically typical of McCartney's later writing style, the song demonstrates 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".[2] 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.[2]

Missing master tape[edit]

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".[citation needed]


On its 20th anniversary, Parlophone re-issued "P.S. I Love You" as a picture disc, and shortly afterwards as a 12-inch disc.[8]


Engineered by Norman Smith

Personnel per Ian MacDonald except where noted[2]

For the Beatles' BBC session recorded 17 June 1963 and released on the album On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2 (2013), Starr plays drums.


Cover versions[edit]

"P.S. I Love You" has been covered by:


  1. ^ Harry 2000, p. 892.
  2. ^ a b c d MacDonald 2007, p. 61.
  3. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 20.
  4. ^ Lewisohn, Mark (2013). The Beatles: All These Years, Volume One – Tune In. New York: Crown Archetype. p. 626. ISBN 978-1-4000-8305-3.
  5. ^ MacDonald 2007, p. 61, footnote.
  6. ^ Miles 1997, p. 37.
  7. ^ Sheff 2000, p. 168.
  8. ^ Calkin, Graham. "Love Me Do b/w P.S. I Love You - The Beatles". Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Music: Top 100 - Billboard Hot 100", Billboard, retrieved 15 January 2018
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  11. ^ "Sonny Curtis - Beatle Hits Flamenco Style Guitar". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  12. ^ The Chipmunks sing the Beatles hits. WorldCat. OCLC 226419215.
  13. ^ "The Hollyridge Strings - The Best of the Beatles Songbook". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 10 August 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Peter Lipa - Beatles in Blue(s)". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  15. ^ Deming, Mark. B-Sides the Beatles at AllMusic. Retrieved 27 December 2016.


External links[edit]

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