First Recording Session at Abbey Road

On June 6th 1962 The Beatles took part in their first recording session at EMI Studios, on Abbey Road. 

Ringo Starr didn't join the band until August of 1962, so Pete Best was on drums at this session; his only known recording time at Abbey Road with John, Paul and George.

Between 7-10 pm The Beatles ran through a few songs with producer George Martin.

"The Beatles didn't make a very good impression, apart from visually. I mean, we heard nothing of John and Paul's songwriting ability. They had tiny little Vox amplifiers and speakers, which didn't create much of a sound at source. Of course, every sound engineer wants some kind of sound at source that he can then embellish and improve, but I got nothing out of The Beatles' equipment except for a load of noise, hum and goodness-knows-what. Paul's was about the worst — in those days we had echo chambers to add onto the reverberation, and I had to raid the Studio Two echo chamber in order to fix him up with a sound so that we could get something down on tape" - Norman Smith, engineer


  1. Besame Mucho
  2. Love Me Do
  3. P.S. I Love You
  4. Ask Me Why 

The only recordings to survive from this day were Besame Mucho and Love Me Do, which were later released in 1995 on The Beatles' Anthology 1. The other two songs were destroyed due to poor sound quality; a common practice at the time.

"They left, and George turned to me and said, 'Well, what do you think?' And I said, 'I've seen a lot of groups come in for artists test, but this one – there is something special about them. I can't tell you what, but there is something there.' As I said, the test hadn't gone too well, and I wasn't impressed by their sound. But they had an appealing quality, a kind of charisma. And I told George, In my view, I think they should be signed." - Norman Smith, engineer

Sound quality issues aside, George Martin was sufficiently impressed with the group to offer them a recording contract. He was however, less than impressed with The Beatles' drummer.  

Best was sacked from the band on August 16th. 

 Anthology 1 front cover,  1995.

Anthology 1 front cover,  1995.

Share this post