Happy 50th birthday, “Love Me Do”. The Guardian has taken a look at the transformative effect that “Love Me Do” had on the pop charts, basically since the moment of its release:

The single was released on October 5, 1962, with barely any promotion from EMI. The (well-substantiated) story goes that Epstein ordered 10,000 copies for his Liverpool record shop, enough to push it into the Top 20 and 10 times more than he could ever sell. It also became a dance favourite throughout Britain’s two ballroom chains, Mecca and Top Rank. Even so, it got no higher than number 17.

In 1962, broadcasters still regarded pop music as deeply disreputable, if not dangerous. After some press furore over their haircuts, however, the Beatles’ cheeky but deferential charm captivated the whole nation. From now on, pop would become a guaranteed audience-boost for TV and radio, as it would prove to be a guaranteed circulation-boost for newspapers.

Meanwhile the BBC asked the youth of today what they think of the song – apparently it sounds “country.”

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