Readers may take issue with some of Rodgers' points; he could have prefaced some of his assertions with "in my opinion" rather than stating them as fact. Can "Ask Me Why" be considered "obscure"? Can parallels really be drawn between Please Please Me's release and the Cuban Missile Crisis, or even Britain suffering from a bitter winter that year? He also analyzes The Beatles' performance on "A Taste of Honey" as suffering from "the slightly stiff backing vocals from Lennon and Harrison who betray a dull disinterest in their delivery, as if they are merely going through the motions." Did Lennon or Harrison ever label their performance as perfunctory, or is this the author's own view?
Some chapters and songs suffer from lack of new detail, such as those dedicated to "Anna (Go to Him)" and "Chains." Photographs from the sessions would have created more of a "fly on the wall" experience, although there are a few photos included in the app. An extensive bibliography would have also proved useful. Finally, no concluding chapter exists--a general wrap-up giving the reader a sense of the album's lasting impact would have provided a sense of closure.
Other than these issues, Please Please Me - The Beatles: The Definitive Guide serves as a handy reference tool which should satisfy casual and hardcore enthusiasts. Subsequent editions will correct any errors present in the first version. Although this review concerns the iPad app version, the guide is also available for the Kindle. To download the app via iTunes, search under the term “Dinosaur Album Guides.”