|04-06-2010, 04:51 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: The Local Speakeasy
The Beatles - Help! (1965)
(I can't post links yet, so no album cover)
August 6, 1965
1. Help! (Lennon)
2. The Night Before (McCartney)
3. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away (Lennon)
4. I Need You (Harrison)
5. Another Girl (McCartney)
6. You're Going to Lose That Girl (Lennon)
7. Ticket to Ride (Lennon)
8. Act Naturally (Starr)
9. It's Only Love (Lennon)
10. You Like Me Too Much (Harrison)
11. Tell Me What You See (McCartney/Lennon)
12. I've Just Seen a Face (Falling) (McCartney)
13. Yesterday (McCartney)
14. Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Lennon)
One of the things that makes the Beatles the best is that each album they released represents a progression from the previous one. Please Please Me is generally not very good, but With the Beatles, despite maintaining the same basic sound, represents a huge step forward, paving the way for A Hard Day's Night, their first creative breakthrough. Beatles For Sale is to A Hard Day's Night what With the Beatles is to Please Please Me, a transitional album, and while the next three albums the Beatles released (Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper…) receive more attention historically, Help! could be considered the band's second creative breakthrough. It often is overlooked because the next five (!!) albums the band released (the three mentioned in the previous sentence, The White Album, Abbey Road) all could make a serious case to be considered the best album of all time.
The album's title track is not much of a progression in sound, but John Lennon's lyrics are much more mature. Because this song is a staple of "oldies" radio, I won't say any more about it. Not much needs to be said about The Night Before, either; it is fairly unremarkable but catchy. Typical album filler for the Beatles at the time (i.e. a standout track for nearly any other band in 1965). On the other hand, You've Got to Hide Your Love Away is amazing, featuring abrasive vocals from John Lennon and a sound heavily influenced by Bob Dylan. The first of three timeless songs on this album.
George Harrison's I Need You is awful; enough said. Another Girl, Paul McCartney's second song on Help!, sounds very similar to his first (The Night Before), but is even catchier. It's almost as though McCartney intended The Night Before and Another Girl to be "Part A" and "Part B." You're Going to Lose That Girl is a well-placed song, displaying the band's R&B influences, although it is little more than filler (see earlier comment on filler).
Ticket to Ride, the last song on side one, is the best song on the album so far. Featuring great vocals by Lennon; heavy bass, guitar, and drums; a memorable chorus; a cool bridge; etc., this song is absolutely brilliant. Apparently Lennon called it the first heavy metal song; while I have a hard time calling this "metal," it is light years ahead of anything else released in 1965.
Ringo Starr's contributions are usually of the "whatever" variety, and Act Naturally is no exception, although his lyrics are more amusing than normal. The laziness that is It's Only Love becomes catchy after a few listens, but it certainly is not a standout track. Harrison's second contribution, You Like Me Too Much, is nearly as cringe-worthy as his first. Tell Me What You See is not particularly memorable, either, but is a slight improvement over the previous three tracks.
I've Just Seen a Face, another McCartney song, is not very polished, but is catchy, conveying the excitement of falling in love effectively. Yesterday is beautiful, another song that receives so much airplay that not much else needs to be said. I should add, however, that when you listen to Help! straight through, Yesterday is the song that commands the most attention, and is the perfect album-closer, the conclusion to the Beatles' early period….
…Except there's another song! Very seldom does a song by the Beatles sound so out of place. Not that Lennon's Larry Williams cover, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, isn't a good song; it's a great song, showcasing Lennon's amazing vocal talents, but it belongs on Beatles For Sale. One way of justifying the placement of Dizzy Miss Lizzy is to consider it an encore, and doing so makes it work a little better.
This is what makes the Beatles the Beatles. They can release an album with three classics (You've Got to Hide Your Love Away, Ticket to Ride, Yesterday), a couple of standout tracks (Help!, Dizzy Miss Lizzy), and a bunch of filler, and it still will be amazing. While Help! contains some of the worst songs the Beatles ever recorded (I Need You, It's Only Love, You Like Me Too Much), they are more than balanced out by the classic tracks. Every other band wishes it were this good.
Last edited by The Ice Plant; 04-06-2010 at 05:15 PM.
|04-08-2010, 03:50 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2010
This album holds an interesting place in The Beatles' catalogue. While the writing (particularly on songs such as "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" and "Ticket to Ride") was maturing, the collection as a whole brings to mind their earlier efforts. HELP! would mark the last time (save for a snippet of "Maggie Mae" on LET IT BE) that a non-original song was included on a Beatles album. This one would be worth owning just for the historical perspective it gives.
But there is the music.
The Beatles' greatest asset was always the strength of their writing. This album shows it to be in fine form. The seven songs from the film are all standouts and one of them, "I Need You", marks the return of George Harrison as composer. Of the remaining songs, "You Like Me Too Much" and "Tell Me What You See" would be my favorites.
Good film. Great album. But things really got interesting after this.
m3 ds real
|04-09-2010, 11:09 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2009
Some of your comments seemed a little harsh to me, but either way Help! is a fantastic album. The folk influence really started with this album. I think it's kind of overlooked considering what it preceded. I actually prefer Please Please Me to With the Beatles. WTB sounds too much like a cash-in on the popularity of the group.
|04-10-2010, 01:25 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2010
[QUOTE=The Ice Plant;846661][FONT="Palatino Linotype"](I can't post links yet, so no album cover)
[SIZE="3"]One of the things that makes the Beatles the best is that each album they released represents a progression from the previous one. Please Please Me is generally not very good, but With the Beatles, despite maintaining the same basic sound, represents a huge step forward, paving the way for A Hard Day's Night, their first creative breakthrough. Beatles For Sale is to A Hard Day's Night what With the Beatles is to Please Please Me, a transitional album, and while the next three albums the Beatles released (Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper…) receive more attention historically, Help! could be considered the band's second creative breakthrough. It often is overlooked because the next five (!!) albums the band released (the three mentioned in the previous sentence, The White Album, Abbey Road) all could make a serious case to be considered the best album of all time.
I've got to take issue with some of that.
a-imo they didn't make any real progression for the first 5 U.K albums. I think any song that could have appeared on Help! could have been written for PPM. Musically, outside of the fact that all the songs were different, i don't think they moved forward musically and not very much lyrically.
b-The breakthroughs started with Norwegian wood (the first song recorded for RS) and came thick and fast, often from song to song rather than album to album from then on
c-I love the white album and Abbey rd. but they are both, imo, over-rated. They both great albums but i don't think any of them have the consistency of quality to put them in the greatest album ever made catagory.
|02-09-2011, 02:21 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Killed Laura Palmer
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Ashland, KY
Nice review, but I'll have to say that a 9/10 is a bit generous for an album that is at least half filler.
The album is enjoyable, but it's nowhere near as unique and praise-worthy as the later albums by the band; for all intents and purposes, The Beatles were still very much a pop act with this album, albeit a far above average pop act.
|02-10-2011, 08:55 AM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2010
The song Help! is good, imo. Apart from that, I don't know, I honestly thought it was a terrible album. Sort of the last album before Rubber Soul, and the Beatles were running low on ideas, and obviously needing to reinvent their sound(which they later did).
Problem is, the album is sort of the last in the era of their original sound, and showcases the extremities of the worst aspects of the band. Way too much "doody-loo-doo I love you-oo" stuff going on.
|02-10-2011, 11:36 AM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2009
Track Listing for the 1965 American Edition of Help!
1. Help – 2:39
2. The Night Before – 2:36
3. From Me to You Fantasy (Ken Thorne instrumental) – 2:08
4 You've Got to Hide Your Love Away – 2:12
5 I Need You (Harrison) – 2:31
6. In the Tyrol (Ken Thorne instrumental) – 2:26
1. Another Girl– 2:08
2. Another Hard Day's Night (Ken Thorne instrumental) – 2:31
3. Ticket to Ride – 3:07
4. You Can't Do That (Ken Thorne instrumental) – 2:26
5. You're Gonna Lose That Girl – 2:19
6. The Chase (Ken Thorne instrumental)– 2:31
More than half the content of the American edition of Help! was instrumental music from the soundtrack score of Help! composed by Ken Thorne. The songs were run-of-the-mill, mediocre orchestral soundtrack arrangements of mostly of older Beatles songs.
On the original American issue of Help!, fans only got 7 actual Beatles songs that clocked in at a miserable total of 19 minutes. The remaining 12 minutes of the American edition of Help! consisted of elevator music by Ken Thorne who wasn't even a very good soundtrack composer. By comparison UK buyers of Help! got the full content of 14 Beatles songs...twice as much content as the American edition of Help!. The "filler" content of the UK Parlophone release of Help! consisted of 7 orphan Beatles A or B side singles: Yesterday, Act Naturally, I've Just Seen A Face, It's Only Love, You Like Me Too Much, Tell Me What You See and Dizzy Miss Lizzy. The Brits made out well compared to their Yankee counterparts across the pond.
For years, American fans of the Beatles got short changed on American issues of Beatles albums by Capitol Records, the Beatles American label. The Beatles were unhappy with the Capitol's practice of releasing American editions with less content but couldn't do anything about it... it was a deal that Brian Epstein negotiated with Capitol in 1963, prior to the Beatles tremendous popularity in the United States.
Epstein had a paternalistic management relationship with the Beatles and Epstein secured the Capitol recording contract without any regard to the creative vision of the group he was managing. Music industry entertainment managers and recording labels had a "put up or shut up" attitude toward musicians in those days and called all of the creative shots on behalf their clients.
Elvis had it even worse under the management of Col. Tom Parker. Parker forced Elvis to sign off on a contract in which Parker retained 50% of all royalties (10% was the industry standard). By all accounts, Parker forced a reluctant Presley into a movie career he didn't need or want. As a final blow, Parker reshaped Elvis' career makeover as grotesque Vegas style cabaret clown that transformed him into a pathetic parody of his early persona as a rock and roll rebel. All of these decisions were made by Parker to keep the lucrative Elvis income stream flowing. It made no difference to Parker that Elvis was turning into a self hating, drug abusing Vegas clown-boy in XXXXL white jumpsuits.
By comparison, the Beatles managed keep Brian Epstein out of the loop, when his paternalism became an obstacle to their creative development. From the earliest days of the Beatles, John Lennon was keenly aware of Col. Tom Parker's ruthless exploitation of Elvis and vowed that Epstein would never have never have that kind of unconditional control over the creative vision or the career path of the Beatles. Lennon was fond of saying Elvis really died when he joined the Army. The "Elvis Joins the Army" campaign was yet another Col. Tom Parker publicity stunt to clean up Elvis' bad boy rock and roll image to Elvis palatable to a lucrative middle class audience. The Beatles never had to fire Brian Epstein because he died in 1967. At the time of Epstein's death a chilly relationship between the manager and his band had developed. Had Epstein lived another year, it's pretty certain the Beatles would have bought out Epstein's management contract or fired him.
One of Lennon's primary grievances with Epstein at the time of his death was the American recording contract Epstein signed on behalf of the band with Capitol Records. Lennon understood the long term creative interests of the Beatles were better served by having albums that had uniform content in the USA and the UK... especially since the Beatles were about to embark upon a career path where the concept album was about the become the central artistic statement of the band. For all his management talents, Epstein failed to understand creative end of the music business in the same intuitive manner of producer George Martin, the Beatles other primary career mentor.
The Beatles finally began issuing identical American and UK editions of their albums when their own company, Apple Corp., finally got creative control over album content in 1968. The so called "white album" was the first Beatles album in which the band had creative control of the content of both the UK and American editions of their albums.
The notable exception was Capitol's agreement to release the full content of Sargent Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band which was a concept album. It should be said that by 1967 the Beatles had enough artistic leverage over Capitol to get the full album content released of Sgt. Pepper's in the USA.
Since the Beatles didn't own the licensing rights to any of their American albums issued between 1963 and 1967, none of their American albums had the full content of their UK issued albums on the Parlophone label until 1987. If you wanted the full content of the British edition of a Beatles album you'd have to buy the imported UK edition at $20 per album.
The American buyer of Beatles albums was forced to buy 5 additional Capitol issued albums in order to get the full content of the 11 Beatles UK albums issued by their British record label, Parlophone, between 1963 and 1967.
American Beatles fans had to wait until 1987 for the first compact disc reissue of Beatles back catalog to get the full, unredacted content of the original Parlophone UK issues of the first 11 Beatles albums. To add insult to injury all of the Capitol albums had an inferior quality sound mix.
Most Americans didn't even realize they'd been short changed by Capitol Records wholesale butchery of the Beatles UK catalog, until the 1987 compact disc editions of the Beatles UK albums came out.
Capitol's Records' ongoing album release campaign for the American releases of the Beatles albums was based on pure corporate greed. The marketing strategy allowed Capitol Records to milk the Beatles catalog by chopping up the musical content of the Beatles UK albums to create a reservoir of recorded music, from which they pieced together an additional 5 additional Beatles albums to sell to unsuspecting American public.
There are two types of music: the first type is the blues and the second type is all the other stuff.
Townes Van Zandt
Last edited by Gavin B.; 02-11-2011 at 05:23 AM.