George Martin Recalls Recording The Beatles' 'Please Please Me' in a Day 'That Lasted 3 Weeks'

Eamonn McCabe/Redferns
Portrait of record producer Sir George Martin in the recording studio in London in the 1990s.

When he was interviewed by Billboard in 2008, the "Fifth Beatle" George Martin recalled his most vivid memory recording the Beatles' first album, Please Please Me. His response was that they managed to track the whole set in one day -- a day, he joked, "that lasted three weeks." 

George Martin, Producer and Arranger for The Beatles, Dies at 90

Martin died Tuesday at 90. His production credits are vast but he is best known for first signing and producing nearly all of the Fab Four's work. 

The album was recorded in 13 hours, Martin said, as the band ran through its standard set from performing at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. He held off the cover of "Twist and Shout" for last because he said he knew Lennon wouldn't have any voice left after recording the intense song. 

George Martin: Life in Photos

"It was a day that lasted three weeks," Martin said. "We started at about 10 in the morning, and we finished at about 11 at night. The last song we did was 'Twist and Shout' and I didn't do it earlier because I knew John wouldn't have any voice left. We did 11 songs in 11 hours. It was really a run-through. I'd seen them working in the Cavern in Liverpool, and I'd seen them other places, so I said, 'Let's just run through what you do as an act and record it.' I needed that album out quickly, so that was why I did it [that way]."