55 Years Ago: The Beatles Complete Their Second Album
As opposed to the marathon session that produced most most of the Beatles' first album, the follow-up, With the Beatles, was recorded during a series of dates in the summer and fall of 1963. The final day of recording took place on the morning of Oct. 23, 1963, at Abbey Road's Studio Two.
Compared to the famous story of them closing out their first album by nailing "Twist and Shout" in one take, this one was anticlimactic: They overdubbed a tambourine into "I Wanna Be Your Man," the song they had written six weeks earlier for the Rolling Stones.
Beatles Bible says that it is unknown who played the part. But given that it was the only thing recorded on that day, it's possible that the Beatles weren't even present for the session and it was performed by producer George Martin or engineer Norman Smith.
From there, they made mono mixes of that song and two others that had yet to be mixed, "Little Child" and "Hold Me Tight." Six days later, Martin, Smith and Geoff Emerick made stereo mixes to the entire album except "Money (That's What I Want)," which was completed the next day.
With the Beatles was released on Nov. 22, 1963, to advance orders of 300,000. It contained such beloved songs as "All My Loving," "It Won't Be Long" and "Don't Bother Me," which was George Harrison's first composition. A week later, a track they recorded during the sessions, "I Want to Hold Your Hand," was released as a single. The song instantly shot up to No. 1 on the U.K. chart, displacing their own "She Loves You." Over the course of the next month, it would make its way across the Atlantic and be responsible for breaking the Beatles in America.