Please Please Me was the magnificent beginning to the recording career of possibly the greatest, and certainly the most culturally important, rock n' roll band of all time. Released in 1963, just as Lennon and McCartney were hitting their strides as songwriters, the album includes several early classic Beatles compositions, as well as a few covers that seemed to be the idea of a not quite convinced George Martin. The album rarely falters, from the thrilling opening (1-2-3-4) sung by Paul on I Saw Her Standing There through to John's equally exciting rendering of Twist & Shout, the best Beatles cover ever. In between are the band's first two singles - Love Me Do and the much better Please Please Me - and great performances on Misery, Ask Me Why, P.S. I Love You, There's a Place, and especially Do You Want to Know A Secret? The weakest tracks are the other covers - Anna, Chains, Boys, A Taste of Honey, and Baby It's You - though most are redeemed by stellar vocals by Lennon and McCartney. The Beatles were about to become huge, and not necessarily for all the right reasons, but Please Please Me offered enough evidence that the band's popularity would not be based on hype alone. John and Paul were already great vocalists and would soon develop into two of the greatest writers in the history of rock n' roll. Those who listened to this album back in 1963 heard something fresh that had been missing from music for a long while. In particular they heard a band that was fronted by two singers as good as Elvis, two writers as good as Chuck Berry, and that played as if it was having a great time playing.