|Side 1||Side 2|
Beatles' Hits (GEP-8880, shown next) was the first Beatles EP manufactured
and ready to ship, Parlophone released Twist and Shout first because
of the popularity of the title song.
On August 13, 1963, sales of Twist and Shout reached 250,000 copies, making it the first EP to win a "Silver Disc" award. At the end of its ten-week stay on the charts 800,000 copies were sold. It remains the largest selling British pop EP of all time and was the first EP to enter the singles chart.
Early discs made it through quality control listing Do You Want To Know a Secret as Do You Want "a" Know a Secret.
Dezo Hoffman shot the cover photo.
Each of the four titles here has been clipped away from the Beatles' No. 1 "Please Please Me" which has been at the top of the nation's album charts for umpteen weeks as this sleeve goes to press. It is equally true that one of the songs -Do You Want To Know A Secret - became a No. 1 hit as a single when it was recorded for Parlophone by the Beatles' Liverpoolian colleague, Billy J. Kramer.
The items lined up on this EP have been designed to pass the audio spotlight very fairly from Beatle to Beatle, exposing four contrasting facets of the quartet's vocal and instrumental ingenuity. At one end of the scale we have the all-action, all-raving rocker, Twist and Shout; at the other we have the more subdued mood of A Taste of Honey.
The session kicks off with that wild, compelling John Lennon interpretation of Twist and Shout. No wonder it has become a show-stopping highspot of the foursome's stage act! John must have built himself a set of leather tonsils in a throat of steel to turn out such a violently exciting track!
The tension eases off with the second number on Side One: Paul McCartney's slightly sad, slightly nostalgic version of A Taste of Honey. The tune began as a memorable jazz instrumental; Paul's clear, sturdy voice turns it into a haunting piece of atmosphere balladeering.
The second half opens with George Harrison stepping forward to chant the persuasive ballad Do You Want To Know A Secret. Penned by John and Paul, this must be one of the year's most catchy pop hits, and George tempers his vocal delivery with an intriguing blend of warmth and wistfulness.
For the finale John and Paul join forces to handle their own self-penned composition, There's a Place. With a fair amount of Ringo's percussive pressure behind their voices they offer a part-plaintive, part punchy performance of this infectious beat number. Whatever time of the year you find yourself reading these paragraphs it's a pretty safe bet that The Beatles won't be far from the No. 1 chart spot. And with a little luck they'll be No. 1 on the bill at your local theatre too!
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