Artists To Record Beatles Debut In 12 Hours

Could you record an album in half a day? That's what bands around the world will try to do in February as part of the BBC's "Golden Age Of The Album" season.

Ultimate Guitar

Could you record The Beatles' debut album in 12 hours?

That's what Stereophonics and other bands plan to do as part of BBC Radio 2's "The Golden Age Of The Album" celebrations this February.

They'll join Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall, young songwriter Gabrielle Aplin and others to record songs from The Beatles' album "Please Please Me".

If 12 hours sounds impossible, just remember that it's been done once before - by The Beatles themselves in 1963.

The BBC will broadcast the event live from studios around the world as musicians and bands take part in the event.

"The re-creation of 'Please Please Me' promises to be one of Radio 2's stand-out moments of 2013," said BBC Radio 2's Bob Shennan. "Hearing those tracks brought to life again with a contemporary twist will have the network buzzing as much as the original did. It's one album that changed the world of pop music and I think the 50th anniversary is a timely moment to remind everyone why."

A TV tribute to "Please Please Me" will coincide with the event on BBC Four.

Another show to air during the "Golden Age Of The Album" season will be "The Great Album Showdown", which pits celebrities and musicians against each other in deciding the best pop and rock records of all time.

Have you ever set yourself a musical challenge? Should we arrange something equally ambitious on UG? Share your ideas in the comments.

36 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Will they record it onto 4 track machines? Would be cool to keep it as authentic as possible.
    frehley freak
    And Analog?
    It would be impossible to use all analog now a days. How many people still know how to use all the equipment? Even if they do remember, they will be a lot slower at it.
    There are actually quite a few technicians who still prefer using analog, I can name you a few all-analog studios in The Netherlands alone; It adds a different sound that some people enjoy... Including me, actually.
    Of course, but at some point it would have to be converted to digital for most people to enjoy.
    Any major studio will have an old school tape machine and at least one person that knows how to use it. I use them sometimes and they're pretty straight forward if you don't do many overdubs.
    any group of professional musicians should be able to do this in less than 12 hours. especially with the technology we have at our disposal.
    It wasn't just the 10 tracks to "Please Please Me" but also 2 singles. From "The Beatles Recording Sessions" by Mark Lewisohn. "There can scarcely have been 585 more productive minutes in the history of recorded music. For in that small space of time, The Beatles recorded all ten new songs for their first long-player. Together with the four sides of their first two singles, a 14-song album was born." From George Martin, "I asked them what they had which we could record quickly, and the answer was their stage act." Beatles Forever!
    Wiki: Therefore, at 10 am on Monday, 11 February 1963, the Beatles and George Martin started recording what was essentially their live act in 1963, and finished 585 minutes later (9 hours and 45 minutes). John had a sore throat from a cold the whole day, and Twist and Shout was recorded in one take, as well. Probably a bit of a moot effort to recreate something as insane as that.
    Diony x
    No, I could not.
    You might not be able to, but lots of bands in the 60's used to do it all the time, oftentimes more than once a year. Trout Mask Replica for instance, was recorded in 6 hours.
    Sure I could do that. That doesn't mean they would be good quality though. this will be interesting to see though
    10 hours of recording goes by fast. Let's say that's 3minutes times 14 songs. That's 42 minutes of music. Now let's add 4 tracks. That's almost 3 hours of straight up music if you one shotted every track. You have 3 takes per track maximum if you're recording nonstop for less than ten hours.
    not if theyre done live though. im not sur ehow the beatles play it though
    Shouldn't be hard if they all practice before hand. I would lay down a first take for each track, just so its in the books, and then go band by band to perfect them, going from worst to best.
    Please Please Me is one of The Beatle's worst (although it does have some outstanding songs, some others are not so) and I just hope the bands doing the covers are decent. This could be very interesting!
    It was definitely their most unoriginal album, which it didn't really do too well in the until Meet the Beatles came out. More than half of the album are covers. BTW Paul's high harmony on There's a Place > all the things
    Chet Atkins often recorded several full albums in a day as a producer/ engineer. His technical prowess and insistence on a band being tight before entering the studio meant that he was able to take care of several albums in a day. All it takes is being tight on your music, budgeting your time, limiting excesses and just bearing down on the task at hand. A lot of bands these days are too caught up in layering and multi-tracking and insisting on having PERFECT songs that they lost the ability to just get solid on their songs, hit the studio, crank out a great album and, most importantly, leave it alone for the engineer and mixer to make it sound great.
    Didn't the Beatles themselves record the album in 9 hours? In broken-up blocks over the course of one day, but in 9 hours total
    According to "The Beatles Recording Sessions" the sessions ran a total of 585 minutes or 9 3/4 hrs for "Please Please Me" and 2 other singles.
    the album is half an hour long, if they record it live like it was when it was originally recorded, they can probably get through all of it in a few takes in about an hour, then another hour or two for overdubs this isn't really that hard to accomplish if they know all the material well before going in to record it
    certainly the easiest beatles album to pull this sort of thing off with but i like it. i will be interested to hear the results.
    ed turner and the number 9 band here in augusta georgia play beatles for charity here.look them up on youtube they have even the strings for songs etc
    kill it
    They also had far less recording technology and much better writing skills/chemistry than most bands of today.
    I don't think it's fair to say that they had more chemistry than most bands today without actually knowing personally most bands today. We have no idea what kind of chemistry they really had.