Written by: Paul McCartney & John Lennon
Released: March 22nd, 1963
Appears on: Please Please Me
Lead vocal: John & Paul
There are very few similarities between The Beach Boys and The Beatles in the early going. The Beach Boys were born and raised in a Los Angeles suburb, getting their start as a group of teenagers in 1961. By 1963, they were obviously the biggest group in the United States and were forced to push out four albums by year's end by Capitol. On the other hand, The Beatles were born and raised in the tough neighborhoods of Liverpool, not getting signed by a major record label until a year after the Beach Boys. By 1963, though, they too became the biggest group in their country of origin - but their fates wouldn't collide until 1965.
Anyway, why am I bringing this up now? Well, "There's A Place" is strikingly similar to a Beach Boys track that I'm sure we're all familiar with: "In My Room". Capitol does not release "In My Room" until late 1963, and considering that "There's A Place" does not see release in the US until VeeJay's Introducing...The Beatles in February, 1964, there is no way that Brian Wilson could possibly have been influenced by The Beatles. The Beatles, obviously, as you can see by the release date above, could not have heard The Beach Boys' song at all, since it hadn't even been written yet. (Plus, The Beatles probably hadn't even heard of The Beach Boys, since they didn't break through in the UK until 1965...and any copy of "Surfin' USA" in the UK probably resided in Keith Moon's possession anyway.)
Aside from the theme of withdrawing yourself into your own special place, though, the songs are nothing alike. "There's A Place" is a quick, rocking track, featuring John & Paul harmonizing together. "In My Room", though, features a heartbreaking falsetto performance from Brian and the structure is slow, allowing us to appreciate every little iota of vocal perfection. In "There's A Place" the vocals are hardly perfect. I've always thought John's vocal was off, almost as if you can feel his vocal chords were already about to explode (considering how he was ill).
"There's A Place" is still a song about love though, because the "place" is the girl in this situation. Yet, the song still reveals insecurity and fear - all in a minute and fifty seconds.