Ian MacDonald, the late chronicler of Beatles recordings, wrote: "Trying for a second take, Lennon found he had nothing left and the session stopped there and then - but the atmosphere was still crackling.
"Nothing of that intensity had ever been recorded in a British pop studio."
Initially, the band's producer George Martin had considered trying to capture the band's stage show by making a live album at the Cavern Club, but the plan was dropped.
Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr already had four tracks they could put on the album - the singles Love Me Do and Please Please Me, plus the B-sides.
They needed 10 more to complete the album and were booked at Abbey Road amidst a hectic live schedule.
They had 30 gigs to perform in February including a tour with Helen Shapiro, plus a radio and TV show.
Lennon had a cold and was drinking tea, milk and smoking while sucking lozenges for his throat.
They started recording at 10am and their first song was There's A Place, which they managed in 13 takes.
Next was I Saw Her Standing There and several other followed in quick succession. Hold Me Tight also took 13 takes but it was dumped from the album, only to revived for their second album With The Beatles.
Although just two three-hour periods were booked for the recording, the band added a third which ended at 10.45pm.
Mark Lewisohn, in his book The Complete Beatles Chronicle, wrote: "There can scarcely have been 585 more productive minutes in the history of recorded music."