Almost half a century ago this month, the Beatles released their first U.S. single, "Please Please Me." Though a fine example of the group's early pop sound, it wasn't an immediate smash in the States. After being issued in England on the EMI-owned Parlophone label on Jan. 12, 1963, Capitol Records, EMI's U.S. label, rejected it. Atlantic passed, too.
|We were into 'em back when they were called the "Beattles."|
A minor, Chicago-based label named Vee Jay finally released "Please Please Me" stateside on Feb. 25, 1963. The band's name was misspelled on the single's first pressing, and the song was a flop. It would be nearly a year until "Please Please Me" became a hit when it was re-released in the wake of the Beatles' appearance on the Jack Paar Show. Soon, Beatlemania would be in full swing.
"Please Please Me" wasn't only notable for being the Fab Four's first American single, however. It was also the group's first recorded usage of a double entendre in a song title. Using double meanings to inject a bit of sexy sleaze into songs was a common practice in the early R&B tunes that heavily influenced the Beatles during this period, and Lennon and McCartney would become masters in their own right with songs like "Honey Pie," "Drive My Car" and (ick) "Come Together."
The Beatles were nothing if not trend setters. Double-entendres, both obvious and oblique, have littered rock and roll titles for going on five decades now. Here are 10 of our favorite examples.More »