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How George Martin transform a 'dirge' into the first Beatles Number 1?

George Martin was initially unconvinced that Lennon & McCartney could consistently write hit songs. For their second single John Lennon put forward Please Please Me - his attempt to channel Roy Orbison. Again the verdict was a resounding thumbs down:

I listened to it and I said: 'Do you know that's too boring for words? It's a dirge. At twice the speed it might sound reasonable.' They took me at my word. I was joking and they came back and played it to me sped up and put a harmonica on it.
Impressed by the dramatic improvement, George Martin agreed to give the song a second chance. He was not to regret his decision:
 We worked for ages on their new version of 'Please Please Me', and I said: 'Gentlemen, you're going to have your first #1.
Source: Interview with George Martin, The Observer Music Monthly, 2006


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