Help! (album)

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This article is about the Beatles album. For the 1995 War Child charity album, see The Help Album. For other albums, see Help.
Help!
The Beatles, standing in a row and wearing blue jackets, with their arms positioned to spell out a word in flag semaphore
Studio album / soundtrack by The Beatles
Released 6 August 1965
Recorded 15–19 February, 13 April, 10 May & 14–17 June 1965,
EMI Studios, London
Genre
Length 34:20
Label Parlophone
Producer George Martin
The Beatles chronology
Beatles for Sale
(1964)
Help!
(1965)
Rubber Soul
(1965)
Singles from Help!
  1. "Ticket to Ride"
    Released: 9 April 1965
  2. "Help!"
    Released: 19 July 1965
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[4]
The A.V. Club A[5]
Blender 4/5 stars[6]
The Daily Telegraph 4/5 stars[7]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 5/5 stars[8]
Paste 100/100[9]
Pitchfork Media 9.2/10[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004) 5/5 stars[11]
The Rolling Stone Record Guide (1979) 5/5 stars[12]

Help! is the fifth British and tenth North American album by English rock group the Beatles, and the soundtrack from their film Help!. Produced by George Martin for EMI's Parlophone Records, it contains fourteen songs in its original British form, of which seven appeared in the film. These songs took up the first side of the vinyl album and included the singles "Help!" and "Ticket to Ride". The second side contained seven other releases including the most-covered song ever written, "Yesterday".[13]

The American release was a true soundtrack album, mixing the first seven songs with orchestral material from the film. Of the other seven songs that were on the British release, two were released on the US version of the next Beatles album, Rubber Soul, two were back-to-back on the next US single and then appeared on Yesterday and Today, and three had already been on Beatles VI.

In 2012, Help! was voted 331st on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time".[14] In September 2013, after the British Phonographic Industry changed their sales award rules, the album was declared as having gone platinum.[15]

Music[edit]

The album features Paul McCartney's "Yesterday", arranged for guitar and string quartet and recorded without the other group members. John Lennon's "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" indicates the influence of Bob Dylan and includes classical flutes. While several compositions on 1964's Beatles for Sale, as well as "I'll Cry Instead" from A Hard Day's Night, had leaned in a country and western direction, McCartney's "I've Just Seen a Face" was almost pure country, taken at such a fast tempo that it might have been bluegrass if not for the absence of banjo and fiddle.[16]

"Ticket to Ride", also released as a single, was felt by Lennon to be "heavy" in its sound compared to the group's previous output[17] and daring in its reference to a boy and girl living together. McCartney called the arrangement "quite radical".

George Harrison contributed "I Need You" and "You Like Me Too Much", his first compositions to be included on a Beatles album since "Don't Bother Me" on 1963's With the Beatles.

The record contained two cover versions and a few tracks more closely related to the group's previous pop output, yet still marked a decisive step forward. The record sleeve-note shows that Lennon and McCartney made more extensive and prominent use of keyboards, previously played unobtrusively by Martin. Four-track overdubbing technology encouraged this. Lennon, for his part, made much greater use of acoustic guitar, forsaking his famous Rickenbacker. All these developments can be traced to the previous Beatles for Sale, where they were less obvious because that album had been recorded more hastily, lacked chart hits and contained many cover versions.[citation needed]

The original LP's format of featuring songs from the soundtrack on side one and non-soundtrack songs on side two follows the format of A Hard Day's Night.

When "Help!" came out in '65, I was actually crying out for help. Most people think it's just a fast rock-'n'-roll song. I didn't realize it at the time; I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie. But later, I knew I really was crying out for help. It was my fat Elvis period. You see the movie: He — I — is very fat, very insecure, and he's completely lost himself. And I am singing about when I was so much younger and all the rest, looking back at how easy it was. Now I may be very positive — yes, yes — but I also go through deep depressions where I would like to jump out the window, you know. It becomes easier to deal with as I get older; I don't know whether you learn control or, when you grow up, you calm down a little. Anyway, I was fat and depressed and I was crying out for help.

John Lennon[18]

In later years, Lennon stated that the album's title track was a sincere cry for help; he regretted changing it from a downbeat, piano-driven ballad to an uptempo pop song, which was done only as a result of commercial pressures.[19][20]

Help! was the band's final British album (aside from the late 1966 compilation A Collection of Beatles Oldies) to feature any cover songs until 1970's Let It Be (which included a performance of the traditional folk song "Maggie Mae"). In 1966, Capitol would release "Act Naturally", already on the British Help! album, on Yesterday and Today. "Bad Boy" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" (both written by Larry Williams and recorded on May 10, 1965, Williams' birthday) were both aimed at the American market and originally not intended to appear on Help!, but "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" ultimately did.[21] Both songs appeared on Beatles VI, released in the US in June 1965. "Bad Boy" was not released in the UK until A Collection of Beatles Oldies, and was that album's only cover song.[22]

Rejected songs[edit]

A few songs that were intended for the film were not used because of the Beatles' suggestions. Lennon and McCartney wrote "If You've Got Trouble" for Ringo Starr to sing, but the song was rejected and Starr sang "Act Naturally" (which is not in the film but is about being in the movies) instead.[23] "That Means a Lot" was written for the film, but the Beatles were not satisfied with their performance of the song and they gave it to P.J. Proby, who released it as a single.[24] Lennon said "Yes It Is" was "me trying a rewrite of 'This Boy', but it didn't work";[25] it was released as the B-side of "Ticket to Ride" and was also on Beatles VI. "You Like Me Too Much" and "Tell Me What You See" were rejected for use in the film by its director, Richard Lester, though they did appear on the album (and also on Beatles VI).[citation needed]

Much later, in June 1965, the song "Wait" was recorded for the album. However, "Wait" (with some newly added overdubs) ended up on Rubber Soul when another song was needed to complete that album.

Album cover[edit]

Semaphore Hotel.svg
H
Semaphore Echo.svg
E
Semaphore Lima.svg
L
Semaphore Papa.svg
P
Semaphore November.svg
N
Semaphore Uniform.svg
U
Semaphore Juliet.svg
J
Semaphore Victor.svg
V
Semaphore November.svg
N
Semaphore Victor.svg
V
Semaphore Uniform.svg
U
Semaphore Juliet.svg
J

The album cover features the Beatles with their arms positioned to spell out a word in flag semaphore. According to cover photographer Robert Freeman, "I had the idea of semaphore spelling out the letters "HELP". But when we came to do the shot, the arrangement of the arms with those letters didn't look good. So we decided to improvise and ended up with the best graphic positioning of the arms."[26]

On the UK Parlophone release, the letters formed by the Beatles appear to be "NUJV", whilst the slightly re-arranged US release on Capitol Records appeared to feature the letters "NVUJ", with McCartney's left hand pointing to the Capitol logo.[27] The Capitol LP was issued in a "deluxe" gatefold sleeve with several photos from the film and was priced $1 more than standard Capitol releases at the time.

Compact disc release[edit]

There have been three CD releases of Help! The first was on 30 April 1987, using the 14-song UK track line-up. Having been available only as an import in the US in the past, the original 14-track UK version replaced the original US version with its release on LP and cassette as well on 21 July 1987. As with the CD release of the 1965 Rubber Soul album, the Help! CD featured a contemporary stereo digital remix of the album prepared by Martin in 1986. Martin had expressed concern to EMI over the original 1965 stereo remix, claiming it sounded "very woolly, and not at all what I thought should be a good issue". Martin went back to the original four-tracks tapes and remixed them for stereo.[28] One of the most notable changes is the echo added to "Dizzy Miss Lizzy", something that was not evident on the original mix of the LP.

When the album was originally released on CD in Canada, pressings were imported from other countries, and used the 1987 remix. However, when the Disque Améric and Cinram plants in Canada started pressing the album, the original 1965 stereo mix was used by mistake. This was the only source for the 1965 stereo mix in its entirety until the release of the mono box set in 2009.[29]

The 2009 remastered stereo CD was released on 9 September. It was "created from the original stereo digital master tapes from Martin's CD mixes made in 1986".[30] The disc in the mono box set contains the 1965 mono mix as well as the 1965 stereo mix.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Lennon–McCartney, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Lead Vocals Length
1. "Help!"   Lennon 2:18
2. "The Night Before"   McCartney 2:33
3. "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"   Lennon 2:08
4. "I Need You" (George Harrison) Harrison 2:28
5. "Another Girl"   McCartney 2:05
6. "You're Going to Lose That Girl"   Lennon 2:17
7. "Ticket to Ride"   Lennon with McCartney 3:10
Side two
No. Title Lead Vocals Length
1. "Act Naturally" (Johnny Russell, Voni Morrison) Starr 2:29
2. "It's Only Love"   Lennon 1:54
3. "You Like Me Too Much" (George Harrison) Harrison 2:35
4. "Tell Me What You See"   McCartney and Lennon 2:36
5. "I've Just Seen a Face"   McCartney 2:04
6. "Yesterday"   McCartney 2:03
7. "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" (Larry Williams) Lennon 2:53

North American Capitol release[edit]

Help!
Soundtrack album by The Beatles and Ken Thorne
Released 13 August 1965[31]
Recorded 15–19 February, 13 April, 10 May & 14–17 June 1965,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock, instrumental
Length 28:43
Label Capitol
Producer George Martin, Dave Dexter, Jr.[32]
The Beatles North American chronology
Beatles VI
(1965)
Help!
(1965)
Rubber Soul
(1965)
Singles from Help!
  1. "Ticket to Ride"
    Released: 19 April 1965
  2. "Help!"
    Released: 19 July 1965[31]

The North American version, the band's eighth Capitol Records album and tenth overall, includes the songs in the film plus selections from the orchestral score composed and conducted by Ken Thorne, which contains one of the first uses of the Indian sitar on a rock/pop album. "Ticket to Ride" is the only song on the American release in duophonic stereo (also known as "fake stereo") reprocessed from the mono mix. This album is available on CD as part of The Capitol Albums, Volume 2 box set. This set also includes the mono version of the American release, which is purely a stereo-to-mono fold-down mix, including the "fake stereo" duophonic "Ticket To Ride" folded down to mono, despite Capitol already having the mono mixes for the single releases of both that song and "Help!". A second CD release of this album, which contained the seven songs in true mono was issued in 2014 individually and part of the Beatles The U.S. Albums boxed set.

The American version of "Help!" reached the number one spot on the Billboard album charts for nine weeks starting on 11 September 1965.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Lennon–McCartney, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Lead Vocals Length
1. "Help!" (preceded by an uncredited instrumental intro based on "The James Bond Theme") Lennon 2:39
2. "The Night Before"   McCartney 2:36
3. "From Me to You Fantasy" (Lennon–McCartney; arranged by Thorne) instrumental 2:08
4. "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"   Lennon 2:12
5. "I Need You" (Harrison) Harrison 2:31
6. "In the Tyrol" (Ken Thorne) instrumental 2:26
Side two
No. Title Lead Vocals Length
1. "Another Girl"   McCartney 2:08
2. "Another Hard Day's Night" (Lennon–McCartney; arranged by Thorne) instrumental 2:31
3. "Ticket to Ride"   Lennon with McCartney 3:07
4. "Medley: The Bitter End (Ken Thorne)/You Can't Do That" (Lennon–McCartney; arranged by Thorne) instrumental 2:26
5. "You're Going to Lose That Girl"   Lennon 2:19
6. "The Chase" (Ken Thorne) instrumental 2:31

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Year Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[33] 1965 1
Billboard 200 Pop Albums
Australian Albums Chart
Australian Albums Chart 1966

Certifications[edit]

Personnel[edit]

According to Mark Lewisohn[39][40] and Alan W. Pollack.[41]

Additional musicians

Surround versions[edit]

The songs included in the soundtrack of the film Help! were mixed into 5.1 surround sound for the film's 2007 DVD release, that is, tracks 1—7, accounting for half of the original album's songs.

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalog
United Kingdom 6 August 1965 Parlophone mono LP PMC 1255
stereo LP PCS 3071
United States 13 August 1965 Capitol mono LP MAS 2386
stereo LP SMAS 2386
Worldwide reissue 15 April 1987 Apple, Parlophone, EMI Compact Disc CDP 7 46439 2
United States 21 July 1987 Capitol stereo LP CLJ 46439
Japan 11 March 1998 Toshiba-EMI CD TOCP 51115
Japan 21 January 2004 Toshiba-EMI Remastered LP TOJP 60135
Worldwide reissue 11 April 2006 Apple/Capitol/EMI CD reissue of US LP CDP 0946 3 57500 2 7
Worldwide reissue 9 September 2009 Apple/Capitol/EMI CD stereo remaster CDP 0946 3 82415 2 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ World - Volume 2 - Page 61, 1973. "[on Help! and A Hard Day's Night], the soundtrack-gone-rock album is a marketing ideal that is passed off on the buying public with objectionable regularity and has already begun to backfire."
  2. ^ Spignesi, Stephen J.; Lewis, Michael (2004). Here, There, and Everywhere: The 100 Best Beatles Songs. New York: Black Dog. ISBN 978-1-57912-369-7. "...after the unabashed more-or-less traditional pop rock of A Hard Day's Night and Help!..." 
  3. ^ Unterberger, Richie (2002). Turn! Turn! Turn!: The '60s Folk-Rock Revolution. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. p. 272. ISBN 0-87930-703-X. 
  4. ^ Allmusic review
  5. ^ Klosterman, Chuck (8 September 2009). "Chuck Klosterman Repeats The Beatles". The A.V. Club (Chicago). Archived from the original on 26 May 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Blender review[dead link]
  7. ^ McCormick, Neil (7 September 2009). "The Beatles - Help!, review". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). Encyclopedia of Popular Music 1. Muze. p. 489. ISBN 0-19-531373-9. 
  9. ^ "The Beatles: The Long and Winding Repertiore". Paste. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Pitchfork Media review". Pitchfork Media. 8 September 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "The Beatles | Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  12. ^ Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (Editors). The Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1st edition, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979, p. 27.
  13. ^ "Most Recorded Song". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on 10 September 2006. 
  14. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time: the Beatles, 'Help'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "Beatles albums finally go platinum". BBC News. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  16. ^ Unterberger 2009.
  17. ^ Beatles Interview Database 2009.
  18. ^ "Playboy Interview: John Lennon And Yoko Ono". Recmusicbeatles.com. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  19. ^ "Help! by The Beatles". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  20. ^ "John Lennon- Help! (Piano Demo)". YouTube. 9 December 2007. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  21. ^ Keith Badman and Barry Miles, The Beatles Diary: The Beatles Years (Omnibus Press, 2001), 248.
  22. ^ Liner notes, Past Masters vol.1
  23. ^ Lewisohn 1988, pp. 55,60.
  24. ^ Lewisohn 1988, pp. 56-57.
  25. ^ Sheff 2000, p. 196.
  26. ^ Freeman, p. 62.
  27. ^ Spizer, Bruce (2000). The Beatles' Story on Capitol Records - Part Two: The Albums. 498 Productions. pp. 88, 93. 
  28. ^ Kozinn 1987.
  29. ^ "Rubber Soul CD - Canadian Pressing Featuring Original UK Mixes?". Steve Hoffman Music Forums. 9 April 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  30. ^ Apple Records 2009.
  31. ^ a b Stannard 1982, p. 141.
  32. ^ Ruhlmann 2009.
  33. ^ "Chart Stats - The Beatles - Help!". chartstats.com. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  34. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2009 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  35. ^ "British album certifications – The Beatles – Help". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 15 September 2013.  Enter Help in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  36. ^ "Beatles albums finally go platinum". British Phonographic Industry (BBC News). 2 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  37. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Beatles – Help". Music Canada. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  38. ^ "American album certifications – Beatles, The – Help!". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 15 September 2013.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  39. ^ Lewisohn 1988.
  40. ^ Lewisohn 1996.
  41. ^ Pollack 2009.
Sources

External links[edit]