The untold story of the The REAL First Beatles Album from 1962!
Many think that The Beatles' “Please Please Me” album, released March 22, 1963, was there first album. But, there is another, little-known German album which predates it, produced by Bert Kaempfert!
The story of how Bert Kaempfert came to record the Beatles has been told many times, so here is a condensed version:
In early 1962, manager Brian Epstein discussed the Beatles recording an entire album with Kaempfert, agreeing to record 12 songs. Kaempfert would use the previously recorded "Ain't She Sweet" and "Cry for a Prellie" (the song received yet another name change) to make the total of songs for the album 14 songs. Brian Epstein financed it himself, specifying that it be a German-only release. Bert Kaempfert intended to market the album as "Prellie-Twist" music!
Right: Producer Bert Kaempfert proudly holding a press-testing of the final album!
On May 28, 1962, the Beatles again entered Hamburg's Friedrich-Ebert-Halle. Again, Kaempfert was producing, with Karl Hinze as engineer. The 12 songs were recording in one day. That day The Beatles also recorded 2 songs for Tony Sheridan: "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "Swanee River". Now that a total of 14 completed Beatles songs were in the can, the running order for the album was:
"Bitte Preludin Mich (Please Preludin Me)"
Through Bert Kaempfert Produktion, the album was to be released on Polydor on 22 June. Titled, "Bitte Preludin Mich mit Cry For a Prellie und 12 anderen Leidern" ("Please Preludin Me with Cry For a Prellie and 12 other songs"), the album only got as far as a handful of test pressings on the German Polydor Records label. It is now a collector's item.