Quoted from Geoff Emerick, in Here, there, and everywhere:
SHE LOVES YOU was a fantastic song, with a powerhouse beat and a relentless hook - Norman and I immediately agreed that it was destined to be a hit, for sure - but there was also a level of intensity in the performance that I had not heard before ... and, frankly, rarely heard since. I still judge that single to be one of the most exciting recordings of The Beatles' entire career.
Of course, Norman Smith had a lot to do with the quality of the record, too. Clearly, he had been thinking about how he
wanted to improve the sound of Beatles records, and on this session he made two significant changes.
First, using an electronic device called a 'compressor' he decided to reduce the dynamic range - the difference between the loudest and softest signals - of the bass and drums independently of each other; in the past, they had been compressed together because they comprised the rhythm section.
Second, he specified that a different type of microphone be suspended over the drum kit - the 'overhead' mic, as it was known. The result was a more prominent, driving rhythm sound: both the bass and drums are brighter and more 'present' than in previous Beatles records. Combined with the group's new confidence and more intense playing (fueled, I am sure, by the adrenaline and testosterone rush they were feeling that afternoon), it was the icing on the cake.
As the group ran through their first few takes, I remember commenting to Norman on how great the drums sounded. He turned to me with a wink and said, "This old dog still has a few new tricks up his sleeve, mate." It was the kind of thing one would say to a peer, not a subordinate, and it stayed with me for a long time afterward. For the first time, I began to feel that we were operating as a team.
It didn't take the Beatles all that many takes to nail down the basic rhythm track, and John, Paul, and George Harrison overdubbed their vocals just as quickly. I was especially impressed with their tight harmony singing, and I loved the unusual Glenn Miller-like chord on the final "yeah," despite the fact that George Martin had some serious misgivings about it.
During the playback of the final recording up in the control room, all four Beatles were beaming, and Norman Smith was more hyped up and excited than I'd ever seen him before - he was actually dancing around the console in glee. From a chair in the back of the room George Martin looked on with quiet pride. "Nice job, lads" was all he said to us, but you could tell that he was elated. Everyone in the control room that afternoon was certain that SHE LOVES YOU would be an even bigger hit than PLEASE PLEASE ME had been, and we were proven to be right - it shot straight to the top of the charts when it was finally released in late summer, their fastest-selling hit record ever ... and, of course, it went on to sell millions when it finally reached the shores of America in 1964.