The Day the Beatles Recorded ‘From Me to You’
On March 5, 1963, the Beatles recorded their third single, “From Me to You.” That afternoon, the band ran through seven takes of the tune. Written just a few days prior to the session, “From Me to You” found the songwriting team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney moving forward.
“By the time we got to something like ‘From Me to You,'” McCartney said in Anthology, “it was nice ’cause I remember being very pleased with the [G minor] chord in the middle, which was different. It was like, ‘Ooh, this is something we haven’t done before.'”
The song originally opened with a guitar solo, but producer George Martin suggested the harmonica and vocal line combination. “John popped up to see me, because he wanted to borrow my harmonica, thinking it might make a better sound,” Malcolm Davies (an Abbey Road disc cutter) said in Mark Lewisohn’s The Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Abbey Road Studio Session Notes, 1962-1970. “He brought it back later saying it tasted like a sack of potatoes!”
Following the successes of “Love Me Do” and “Please Please Me” might have seemed a daunting task for the young band, but the Beatles were up to the challenge. “I was always saying, ‘I want another hit, come on give me another hit’,” George Martin remembered in Lewisohn’s book. “And they always responded. […] Right from the earliest days they never failed.” The session was wrapped up with an additional six sessions for overdubs and the recording of its B-side, “Thank You Little Girl,” which was soon changed to “Thank You Girl.”
The single was released on April 11 and made its way to the No. 1 spot in the U.K., a place the band would find itself at more often than not over the next several years. It was released a month later in the U.S. on the Vee-Jay label, but would not make the charts until Del Shannon issued his version of the song in June 1963. It then crept up to No. 77, making “From Me to You” the first Lennon/McCartney composition to appear on the U.S. charts.
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