How An Unreleased Beatles Song Reached Number 1

UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 16: TOP OF THE POPS Photo of BEATLES, L-R. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison - posed, group shot (Photo by Ron Howard/Redferns)

Throughout their career, The Beatles had many chart-topping hits that were adored by their fans, but not all of their songs were equally appreciated by the band members themselves. In fact, John Lennon disliked several Beatles songs, including some that he had written. Despite this, the band put a lot of effort into one particular song that they did not like, and yet it managed to reach No. 1 on the charts, but for another artist.

Although they eventually revolutionized pop music, The Beatles did not start out on top. Like any other band, they were subject to taking orders. One instance of this was when they were forced to record a song that was ultimately never released.

When John and Paul McCartney were starting out as songwriters, they had a few original songs to their name, but their producer George Martin insisted they work on an outside song. Despite feeling like they had no choice but to comply, they worked on an arrangement of the song “How Do You Do It.” Martin recorded the song, but The Beatles wanted their first single to be an original tune, so “Love Me Do” was released instead. The Beatles’ version of “How Do You Do It” remained unreleased and was later covered by another artist who took it to No. 1 on the charts.


The Beatles’ version of “How Do You Do It” remained unreleased, but the song went on to become a No. 1 hit for another band from Liverpool.


Although The Beatles gained fame with their early sweet-sounding hits like “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “P.S. I Love You,” and “All My Loving,” they thought that “How Do You Do It” was too cloying for their taste. Despite their dislike of the song, they still worked on their own version of Mitch Murray’s composition, as instructed by producer George Martin. However, The Beatles never released their recording of the song. Instead, it was picked up by another Liverpool band, Gerry and the Pacemakers, who took The Beatles’ arrangement of “How Do You Do It” to the top of the English charts in March 1963. The Beatles’ version of the song remained unreleased for decades until it was included in 1995’s Anthology No. 1.


Despite having doubts about the Beatles’ original songs, record producer George Martin decided to go against his instincts and record their original tunes for their first single.


George Martin decided to have The Beatles record “How Do You Do It” because he was confident it would be a hit. His instincts proved to be correct, as The Beatles’ version, which they recorded reluctantly, went on to become a No. 1 hit for Liverpool band Gerry and the Pacemakers.

However, Martin’s instincts to allow The Beatles to record their own originals for their first single release in 1962 also turned out to be correct. Although “Love Me Do” was not a huge success, it did reach the top 20, and the follow-up single “Please Please Me” reached No. 2 on the UK charts. In April 1963, The Beatles had their first No. 1 hit with “From Me to You,” shortly after Gerry and the Pacemakers’ version of “How Do You Do It” topped the charts.