The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- An outstanding vintage British pressing of the Beatles debut with Double Plus (A++) sound throughout
- Both sides have superb presence, clarity and size - they're bigger, bolder and richer, as well as more clean, clear and open than many other pressings we played
- "Decades after its release, the album still sounds fresh [and]...it's easy to get wrapped up in the sound of the record itself without realizing how the album effectively summarizes the band's eclectic influences. There's a love of girl groups, vocal harmonies, sophisticated popcraft, schmaltz, R&B, and hard-driving rock & roll, which is enough to make Please Please Me impressive, but what makes it astonishing is how these elements converge in the originals."
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Folks, if you’re looking for an amazing Top Quality copy of the first Beatles release, here it is! Big and lively with superb presence and energy, this is EXACTLY the right sound for this music. The album itself is nothing short of amazing. It captures more of the live sound of these four guys playing together as a rock and roll band than any record they ever made afterwards. (Let It Be gets some of that live quality, too, and makes a great bookend for the group.)
This vintage British Beatles pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to "see" the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It's what vintage all analog recordings are known for -- this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it -- not often, and certainly not always -- but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
What The Best Sides Of Please Please Me Have To Offer Is Not Hard To Hear
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1963
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange -- with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there's more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
There's a subtle smearing and masking that occurs on most pressings. You don't notice it often because you have no better pressing to compare yours to. But when you have many copies of the same pressing, and you are lucky enough to discover a Hot One lurking among them, you can hear instantly how much better defined all the instruments and voices are. You hear the ambience and presence that's veiled on other LPs. Dynamic contrasts increase.
It all starts to sound right, so right in fact that you forget it's a record and you find yourself just enjoying the music. Disbelief has been suspended.
On the top copies like this one, the presence of the vocals and guitars is so real it's positively startling at times. What started out as a great Beatles recording had turned into a great Beatles album. Now it's a piece of music as opposed to a piece of plastic.
Just play Baby It's You to hear what we're talking about. When the boys all say "Oooooh," you can pick out WHO is saying it and HOW they're saying it.
Anna (Go To Him) is another stunner. It's Tubey Magical with amazing immediacy and presence. The voices are PERFECTION -- smooth, sweet, rich, full and breathy. The overall sound is lively and energetic with a meaty bottom end -- in other words, it really rocks.
What We're Listening For On Please Please Me
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The instruments and voices are jumping right out of the speakers as The Beatles' brilliant engineer for their early albums up through Rubber Soul -- Norman Smith -- intended.
- The Big Sound comes next -- wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information -- fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass -- which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency -- the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Please Please Me Hot Stampers are a regular feature on our site. We've been telling anyone who will listen for YEARS that The Beatles in their early days were exceptionally well-recorded, but only the right pressing will prove that.
And the odd thing -- not so odd to us anymore but odd to most record collectors I would guess -- is that many of the hot copies have exactly the same stampers as the less than hot copies. It's a mystery, and the only way to solve such a mystery is... to play the record. That's what we do around here all day, and what we heard on this copy was musically involving Hot Stamper sound.
Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don't have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that's certainly your prerogative, but we can't imagine losing what's good about this music -- the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight -- just to hear it with less background noise.
The Tracklist tab above will take you to a select song breakdown for each side, with plenty of What to Listen For advice. Other records with track breakdowns can be found here.
- I Saw Her Standing There
Like any of the boys' most radio ready singles, this song tends to be a bit bright. If this track sounds at all dull, there's probably no hope for the rest of this side.
This track should sound lively and punchy. The best copies have excellent bass definition and superb clarity, allowing you to appreciate how the wonderful bounce of the rhythm section really energizes the song.
- Anna (Go to Him)
Does it get any better? This is the real Beatles magic baby!
Note that the vocals on this track are not as well recorded as they are on the track above. As a rule they're a bit edgier and not as transparent.
Go back and forth between the two songs a number of times and we think you will hear exactly what we mean. Although this difference is more audible on the better copies, it should still be noticeable on any Hot Stamper pressing.
- Ask Me Why
- Please Please Me
- Love Me Do
- P.S. I Love You
Another track with a bit of that "mixed for radio" sound. On most pressings this song tends to be bright, thin, and grainy.
- Baby It’s You
Listen carefully to the middle eight section -- you can hear the rhythm track levels turned down at the first bar and then back up at the last.
Some of the most Tubey Magical sound on the album -- we love this song!
This is the real Beatles All-Tube-Recording-Chain Magic, Parts Three through Seven. Every track from here on out is killer.
- Do You Want to Know a Secret
- A Taste of Honey
- There’s a Place
- Twist and Shout
Notes on the MoFi Pressing
By the way, if you own the MoFi LP, do yourself a favor and buy one of our Hot Stamper pressings. (Actually any good British import pressing will do.) What's the first thing you will notice other than correct tonality, better bass and overall a lot more "life"?
No spit! As I've commented elsewhere, MoFis are full of sibilance because of the wacky cutting system they used. As I was playing this record a few years back, maybe by about the fifth or sixth song it occurred to me that I hadn't been hearing the spit that I was used to from my MoFi LP. You don't notice it when it's not there. But your MoFi sure has a bad case of spitty vocals. If you never noticed them before, you will now.
AMG 5 Star Rave Review
Once "Please Please Me" rocketed to number one, the Beatles rushed to deliver a debut album, bashing out Please Please Me in a day. Decades after its release, the album still sounds fresh, precisely because of its intense origins. As the songs rush past, it's easy to get wrapped up in the sound of the record itself without realizing how the album effectively summarizes the band's eclectic influences. Naturally, the influences shine through their covers, all of which are unconventional and illustrate the group's superior taste. There's a love of girl groups, vocal harmonies, sophisticated popcraft, schmaltz, R&B, and hard-driving rock & roll, which is enough to make Please Please Me impressive, but what makes it astonishing is how these elements converge in the originals. "I Saw Here Standing There" is one of their best rockers, yet it has surprising harmonies and melodic progressions. "Misery" and "There's a Place" grow out of the girl group tradition without being tied to it. A few of their originals, such as "Do You Want to Know a Secret" and the pleasantly light "P.S. I Love You," have dated slightly, but endearingly so, since they're infused with cheerful innocence and enthusiasm. And there is an innocence to Please Please Me. The Beatles may have played notoriously rough dives in Hamburg, but the only way you could tell that on their first album was how the constant gigging turned the group into a tight, professional band that could run through their set list at the drop of a hat with boundless energy. It's no surprise that Lennon had shouted himself hoarse by the end of the session, barely getting through "Twist and Shout," the most famous single take in rock history. He simply got caught up in the music, just like generations of listeners did.