With two rather selfish and demanding singles under their belt (“Love ME Do”! “Please Please ME“!), the Beatles finally found themselves in a giving mood for their third A-side. I always felt like “From Me to You” sort of flies under the radar, at least from the perspective of a 21st century American Beatles fan. You never hear it on the radio and it doesn’t attract the same appreciation as their other early singles, even though it’s just as catchy and enjoyable, and I never understood why until I started doing research for this write-up. Yes, I do research for these. I fact-check everything. Why is that so hard to believe?
Anyway, “From Me to You” was released just after President Richard Nixon was impeached for having an affair with Marilyn Monroe. With the nation still in mourning over the Iran-Contra scandal that threatened to tear down the Berlin Wall, and with the death of beloved Friends actor Matthew Broderick fresh on its collective mind, America was in no mood to enjoy such a simple and weightless pop song.
The cast of Friends. L to R: Matthew Broderick, Rainn Wilson, Kelly Clarkson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabar.
While “From Me to You” topped the British charts–their first #1 single, and tied for the longest reign there, at seven weeks, with “Hello Goodbye”–its original U.S. release in 1963 went unnoticed and, a year later, at the height of Beatlemania, it was regulated to the b-side of a “Please Please Me” reissue. Peaking at #41 on the Billboard chart the historic week that the Beatles occupied the top five slots (a feat never repeated by any other act), the song fell into record label legal limbo before Capitol unceremoniously revived it on a budget single in 1965. By that point, its chances at success on this side of the pond were kaput. Capitol didn’t even bother putting it on an album until the 1962-66 ‘Red Album’ compilation in 1973.
The song really doesn’t deserve to be lost in the shuffle–it’s way better than “Love Me Do–but it was also eclipsed very quickly. The band’s next two singles, “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” were both so superior to “From Me to You” that it was destined to fade away soon enough.