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Help!

The history of this classic Beatles album

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The original cover of the Beatles' UK

The original cover of the Beatles' UK "Help!" LP

source: pricegrabber.com

Help!

Recorded: February 15-20, March 30, April 13, May 10, June 14-15 and 17, 1965 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Mixed: February 18-20 and 23, May 10, June 14, August 14, 1965
Length: 34:20
Credits:
Produced by George Martin
Engineered and Mixed by Norman Smith
Photography by Robert Freeman
First released: August 8, 1965
Versions:
  • Help! UK: Parlophone PMC 1255, August 8, 1965 (mono)
  • Help! UK: Parlophone PCS 3071, August 8, 1965 (stereo)
  • Help! US: Capitol MAS 2386, August 13, 1965 (mono)
  • Help! US: Capitol SMAS 2386, August 13, 1965 (stereo)
  • Beatles VI Capitol T 2358, June 14, 1965 (mono)
  • Beatles VI Capitol ST 2358, June 14, 1965 (stereo)
  • Help! (CD) UK: Parlophone CDP 7 46439 2, April 30, 1987
  • Help! (CD) US: Capitol CDP 0946 3 57500 2 7, November 16, 2004
  • Beatles VI (CD) Capitol CDP 0946 3 57499 2 2, November 16, 2004
Highest chart position: UK: 1 (9 weeks beginning August 14, 1965)
History:
  • After the constant touring and recording of their two-year Beatlemania era began to show, physically and musically, on their fourth album Beatles For Sale, the Fab Four decided to take a vacation to the Bahamas -- where they began filming their next project. Help!, both movie and album, largely repeated the same formula as their first multimedia project, A Hard Day's Night, but the new album simultaneously looked backward and forward, closing with a Cavern-style raveup that was wildly out of place (Larry Williams' "Dizzy Miss Lizzy"), and preceding that with the first song performed by only one Beatle (Paul's deathless instant standard "Yesterday").
  • John again led the way, as he had on the earlier albums, triumphing with the deeply confessional title track, the possibly also-confessional "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away," and the smash "Ticket To Ride." Paul's big moments included the aforementioned "Yesterday" -- so complete an individual success it made the other Fabs a little nervous -- and the lovely upbeat folk of "I've Just Seen A Face." George, also, began making his first real inroads as a songwriting equal with "I Need You." And all of the above songs pointed the way to the band's famed "middle period," in which teh group would form a mutual admiration society of sorts, stylistically and otherwise, with Dylan, the Byrds, and the Beach Boys.
  • In keeping with its standard US practice, Capitol removed seven of the album's songs -- in effect, side 2, featuring the non-soundtrack material -- and replaced the missing tracks with actual snippets from the film's score, done by Ken Thorne, including instrumental "themes" of "You Can't Do That," "From Me To You," and even "A Hard Day's Night"! The remaining tracks made their way to the US compilation album Beatles VI, the US version of Rubber Soul, and the "Yesterday / Act Naturally" single.
Trivia:
  • As with the previous two Beatles albums, photographer Robert Freeman was called on to do the cover shot. Having liked the shots of the boys dressed in black while filming sections of the movie in the Alps, Freeman constructed a white background at London's Twickenham Film Studios and had them spell out the semaphore for "HELP" (without the flags, however). The results were far from aesthetically pleasing, so Freeman worked with the group until he got the layout he wanted, going so far as to reverse the final images of John, George, and Ringo. As a result, the group is actually spelling out a nonsense word: NUJV. (Capitol actually moved the members around in the US photo further, so that it spells out the equally nonsensical NVUJ.)
  • The 15-second clip of "James Bond" chase music appended to the US version of the song "Help!" was replicated by Capitol when issuing the 1972 greatest hits compilation The Beatles 1962-1966, a/k/a the "Red Album," with the result that an entire generation learned the song with the intro attached.
Tracklisting:

Side One:

  1. Help! (2:18)
  2. The Night Before (2:33)
  3. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away (2:08)
  4. I Need You (2:28)
  5. Another Girl (2:05)
  6. You're Gonna Lose That Girl (2:17)
  7. Ticket To Ride (3:10)

Side Two:

  1. Act Naturally (2:29)
  2. It's Only Love (1:54)
  3. You Like Me Too Much (2:35)
  4. Tell Me What You See (2:36)
  5. I've Just Seen A Face (2:04)
  6. Yesterday (2:03)
  7. Dizzy Miss Lizzy (2:53)

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