Please Please Me was the debut album by The Beatles. Parlophone rush-released the album on 22 March 1963 in the United Kingdom to capitalise on the success of singles "Please Please Me" (number one on most lists but only number two on Record Retailer) and "Love Me Do" (number 17).
Of the album's fourteen songs, eight were written by Lennon/McCartney, early evidence of what Rolling Stone later called "[their invention of] the idea of the self-contained rock band, writing their own hits and playing their own instruments."
George Martin, a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, owners of the London Zoo, thought that it might be good publicity for the zoo to have The Beatles pose outside the insect house for the cover photography of the album. However, the Zoological Society of London turned down Martin's offer, and instead, Angus McBean was asked to take the distinctive colour photograph of the group looking down over the stairwell inside EMI's London headquarters in Manchester Square. Martin was to write later: “We rang up the legendary theatre photographer Angus McBean, and bingo, he came round and did it there and then. It was done in an almighty rush, like the music. Thereafter, though, The Beatles' own creativity came bursting to the fore". In 1969, The Beatles asked McBean to recreate this shot. Although the 1969 photograph was originally intended for the then-planned Get Back album, it was not used when that project saw eventual release in 1970 as Let it Be. Instead, the 1969 photograph, along with an unused photograph from the 1963 photo shoot, was used in 1973 for The Beatles' retrospective albums 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 . Another unused photograph from the 1963 photo shoot was used for The Beatles(No1) (also released in 1963).