WITH THE BEATLES
|With The Beatles - Robert Freeman|
Freeman remembers that the next noon a set up was prepared in the dining room of the Palace Hotel: with a maroon velvet curtain as a solid dark background and the natural bright sidelight coming through the large windows.
|Robert Freeman's book - The Beatles: A Private View|
Freeman put Ringo a little lower not to have four heads in a row. Ringo was a bit smaller anyway and he was the last to join the group. Freeman doesn’t remember consciously arranging the Beatles in any particular order, but noticed later that they ended up in the reverse order of their grouping on the cover of Please Please Me.
|Outtake from the photo session - Robert Freeman|
While the Beatles were pleased with the results – it remembered them of the pictures Astrid Kirchherr and Jürgen Volmer took of them in Hamburg in 1960 – that was not the case for everybody else. Beatles’ publicist Tony Barrow noted in Beatles Monthly that "Brian Epstein was very disappointed with the photograph and the Beatles put tremendous pressure on him to support them and take the picture to EMI."
The marketing executives at EMI thought that the picture was "shockingly humorless". "Where is the fun? Why are they looking so grim? We want to project happy Beatles for happy fans."
|Happy Beatles for happy fans - unused outtake from photo session, Robert Freeman|
In the end the Beatles won and the sleeve went on to become another iconic Beatles image.
For the second time, the tasks to write the notes on the back cover, came to Tony Barrow.
In the United States, the same picture was used for the first Capitol album Meet the Beatles!. However, the US copies were tinted blue.
|Meet The Beatles - USA album|
This article was written by Patrick Roefflaer and you can find it in it's older incarnation here.
Books: 'Yesterday' by Robert Freeman, The Beatles Anthology book, 'Many Years From Now' by Miles, 'In My Life' by Pete Shotton, 'The complete EMI Recording Sessions' by Mark Lewisohn and 'The Beatles London' by Mark Lewisohn and Peter Schreuder. And countless websites.