Sunday, November 25, 2012


YEAR:  1965
LABEL:  Capitol/Parlophone
TRACK LISTING:  Help!,  The Night Before,  You've Got To Hide Your Love Away,  I Need You,  Another Girl,  You're Going To Lose That Girl,  Ticket To Ride,  Act Naturally,  It's Only Love,  You Like Me Too Much,  Tell Me What You See,  I've Just Seen A Face,  Yesterday,  Dizzy Miss Lizzy
IMPRESSIONS:  This is not the HELP! album I grew up with; that was the US version which was truly a soundtrack album featuring instrumental pieces from the movie on half the album.  However, this is the "real" HELP! album and what's to be said about it that hasn't been said before.  Obviously it's got some solid mid-period Beatles numbers in it.  There's John Lennon's favourite Beatles song "Help!" which he preferred in its original slow-tempo, piano-driven ballad format instead of the commercial rocker it became; the song was Lennon's self-described "fat Elvis" song which was an unconscious cry for help by Lennon at the time.  Then there's apparently everybody ELSE'S favourite Beatles song "Yesterday" which is actually a solo track by Paul McCartney with no other Beatles present; the song was thought by its author to be somebody else's so he constantly went around humming the tune to everyone he met asking "What's this song?"  After everyone assured him that it was indeed a newly-written song and not someone else's, Paul assigned it the temporary title "Scrambled Eggs" before the lyrics were finalized.  Also featuring two George Harrison songs (of varying degrees of success) for the first time on a Beatles album since 1963's "WITH THE BEATLES".  A good, solid Beatles album.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS:  Help!,  The Night Before,  You've Got To Hide Your Love Away,  I Need You,  Another Girl,  You're Going To Lose That Girl,  Ticket To Ride,  I've Just Seen A Face,  Yesterday
GUEST ARTISTS:  John Scott (flute on "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away)
FACT SHEET:  HELP! is the Beatles' fifth album and the "somewhat" soundtrack to their second movie; seven songs appear in the film.  The iconic cover photo is by Robert Freeman and DOES NOT feature the Beatles spelling out H-E-L-P in semaphore; they were supposed to originally but the correct letters did not look aesthetically pleasing so the fabs are in fact spelling out the letters N-U-J-V.  Of course, the Beatles being the Beatles, the original UK cover photo was reverse-printed so, if you hold it up to a mirror, the boys are spelling out L-P-U-S (i.e. "Help us").  "Act Naturally" was written by Johnny Russell and Voni Morrison.  "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" was written by Larry Williams.  "I Need You" and "You Like Me Too Much" were written by George Harrison; all the other songs are by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.  This is the last Beatles album to feature cover songs until "LET IT BE" in 1970 included folk song "Maggie Mae".  The song "Wait" was originally recorded for this album but instead ended up going on "RUBBER SOUL" when it was one song short.       

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