On the 5th October 1962, two cultural icons made their first appearance when Dr No – the first of the James Bond series of films – hit cinema screens on the same day as the Beatles released their debut single Love Me Do. Both James Bond and the Beatles went on to be huge worldwide successes from their humble low-budget beginnings in Britain, and their legacy as dominant forces in film and music continues to this day.
It may seem ironic now, but most Hollywood studios at the time were not interested in making the James Bond films because they were seen as being ‘too British’. Eventually United Artists agreed to provide $1 million dollars to fund the film, which was jointly produced by two expatriate Americans in Britain – Harry Saltzman and Albert R. ‘Cubby’ Broccoli – but this only covered the most basic production. Only one sound editor was employed, for example, and sets were built on a shoestring budget.
The Beatles’ debut single, meanwhile, was recorded on three separate occasions due to problems with the drums. More precisely, the problem was the drummer – producer George Martin was unhappy with the loose R&B drum of the band’s first drummer, Pete Best, when they had first done an artist test in June. By the time the band arrived for their first official recording session Ringo Starr had replaced Best in the band, but a further session with professional session drummer Andy White was arranged because Martin didn’t like Ringo’s drum sound. Very early pressings of the single featured Ringo’s drumming, but later ones used the White recordings instead.