The lyrical inspiration for sending love ‘From Me To You' was apparently lifted from the mail-bag section of the music publication NME, titled From You To Us, a copy of which was present on the tour bus.
The title evolved a second time to become ‘From Us To You’; a lyrical variation of the original song which the group performed on four holiday specials at the BBC during 1964.
'On Tuesday 5 [of] March we all got it absolutely spot-on in Studio Two […] the recording of ‘From Me To You’ was pure magic', according to Norman Smith, an EMI engineer.
The Beatles entered Studio Two on Tuesday March 5 and participated in two sessions, which lasted from 2:30-5:00 p.m. and 7:00-10:00 p.m., respectively.
The instrumental setup for the recording session was similar to the Please Please Me LP session on February 11. Lennon played his Gibson J-160E acoustic-electric plugged into his Vox AC-30 amplifier and McCartney his 1961 Höfner 500/1 mic’d through his Tannoy/Leak rig. Harrison played his Gibson J-160E acoustic-electric, also plugged into a Vox AC-30, while Starr was still using his Premier drums.
The backline setup is confirmed by the presence of EMI staff photographer John Dove who snapped several iconic shots of the day. These early black and white photographs are instantly recognisable with Lennon, Harrison and Starr wearing uniform black waist coats over a shirt and tie.
It seems that as the session began, Lennon and McCartney favoured ‘Thank You Little Girl’ as the next a-side with ‘From Me To You’ pencilled as its flip-side partner. However, George Martin suggested a few changes to the latter and convinced the group of its commercial qualities over the former, and as with ‘Please Please Me’ previously, his intervention and advice brought the Beatles another number one record.
Despite ‘From Me To You’ being a rather straightforward pop song, the reality of composing songs on the road, and the difficulty of trying to record them during a studio-dash, before they had become familiar to the group, was demonstrated with the messy and complex recording of this particular track. The finished version is constructed from four separate takes, edited together to form the final master. In all, there were seven takes at capturing the song, then a further six edit pieces featuring various harmonica and vocal overdubs.
The studio tapes reveal that between Takes 1-5, the structure of the song was different from the familiar released version, being shorter, and lacking the call-and-response middle eight which was suggested by George Martin.
Martin showcased his keen senses as an on-the-fly producer by suggesting this addition as well as a vocalised harmony and harmonica part to match Harrison’s guitar riff on the intro. The first order of business was to run through the track and find a satisfactory foundation take; this was to be Take 7. Moving to edit pieces, twin-track to twin-track overdubbing was used to add the additional parts required. Effectively, this meant playing the recorded take from one machine directly onto another, while adding an overdub at the same time.