Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Help! is the fifth UK album and tenth U.S. album by The Beatles, and the soundtrack album from their film of the same name. Produced by George Martin for EMI's Parlophone Records, the album (in its original British form) contains seven songs that appeared in the film Help! (including the singles "Help!" and "Ticket to Ride"), and seven that did not.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 332 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.


The album features the Paul McCartney ballad "Yesterday". Tracks like Lennon's "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" indicate the influence of Bob Dylan and folk music. Also tracks like "I've Just Seen a Face" the Beatles' sound truly matured into an eclecticism that started to reach beyond the bounds of what had previously been considered rock music. Several songs 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. But "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. In later years, Lennon said that the title track of the album was a sincere cry for help, as the pressures of the Beatles' fame and his own unhappiness (what he later called his "fat Elvis" period) began to build, and that he regretted turning it from a downbeat song in the style of Roy Orbison's "Only the Lonely" to an upbeat pop song as a result of commercial pressures.

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

Rejected songs

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 he hated it. McCartney's "That Means a Lot" was not used because he thought it was not recorded perfectly. Lennon had the same opinion about his "Yes It Is", but the song ended up as the B-side of "Ticket to Ride". "You Like Me Too Much" and "Tell Me What You See" were rejected for use in the film by Richard Lester, though they did appear on the album.

Much later, in June 1965, the song "Wait" was recorded for the album. However, all four Beatles thought the song was rather dull. "Wait" ended up on the album Rubber Soul when an extra song was needed to fill out the album.

Album cover

The album cover features the group 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."

On the British Parlophone release, the letters formed by The Beatles appear to be 'NUJV', whilst the slightly re-arranged U. S. release on Capitol Records appeared to feature the letters 'NVUJ'.

Compact Disc release

The album was released on Compact Disc in 1987, using the 14-song UK track lineup. Having been available only as an import in the US in the past, the 14 track UK version of the album was also issued domestically in the US on LP and cassette 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 George Martin. 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. A few Canadian-origin CD editions of Rubber Soul and Help! use the original mix of the album, presumably by error.

The 2009 remastered CDs will feature the 1987 George Martin mix on the stereo disc, while the mono disc with contain the 1965 mono mix as well as the 1965 stereo mix.

Track listing

All songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, except where noted.

Side one

All songs on side one appear in the movie.

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" (George Harrison) – 2:28
5. "Another Girl" – 2:05
6. "You're Going to Lose That Girl" – 2:17
7. "Ticket to Ride" – 3:10

Side two

8. "Act Naturally" (Johnny Russell, Voni Morrison) – 2:29
9. "It's Only Love" – 1:54
10. "You Like Me Too Much" (Harrison) – 2:35
11. "Tell Me What You See" – 2:36
12. "I've Just Seen a Face" – 2:04
13. "Yesterday" – 2:03
14. "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" (Larry Williams) – 2:53

Released: 6 August 1965
Recorded: 15–19 February, 13 April, 10 May 1965, 14–17 June 1965, Abbey Road Studios, London, United Kingdom
Genre: Rock, Folk rock, rock and roll, Pop
Length: 34:20
Language: English
Label: Parlophone, Capitol, EMI
Producer: George Martin

Singles from Help!

1. "Ticket to Ride"
Released: 9 April 1965
2. "Help!"
Released: 19 July 1965
3. "Yesterday"
Released: 13 September 1965

United States release

Released: 13 August 1965
Recorded: 15–19 and 23 February; 15 March; 2, 13, and 18 April; 18 June 1965, 14–17 June 1965, Abbey Road Studios, London, United Kingdom
Genre: Rock and roll
Length: 28:43
Language: English
Label: Capitol
Producer: George Martin

Singles from Help!

1. "Ticket to Ride"
Released: 19 July 1965

The U. S. version, the band's eighth Capitol Records's release and tenth overall, includes the songs in the film plus selections from the orchestral score composed by Ken Thorne and performed by the George Martin Orchestra, which contains one of the first uses of the Indian sitar on a pop album. Ticket To Ride is the only song on the US 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.

Revised track listing

All tracks written by Lennon/McCartney, except where noted.

Side one

1. "Help!" (preceded by Ken Thorne's James Bond Theme instrumental arrangement) – 2:39
2. "The Night Before" – 2:36
3. "From Me to You Fantasy" (instrumental) (Lennon/McCartney; arranged by Thorne) – 2:08
4. "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" – 2:12
5. "I Need You" (Harrison) – 2:31
6. "In the Tyrol" (instrumental) (Ken Thorne) – 2:26

Side two

7. "Another Girl" – 2:08
8. "Another Hard Day's Night" (instrumental) (Lennon/McCartney; arranged by Thorne) – 2:31
9. "Ticket to Ride" – 3:07
10. Medley: "The Bitter End" (Ken Thorne)/"You Can't Do That" (instrumental) (Lennon/McCartney; arranged by Thorne) – 2:26
11. "You're Gonna Lose That Girl" – 2:19
12. "The Chase" (instrumental) (Ken Thorne) – 2:31


* George Harrison – lead and background vocals; lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars; percussion
* John Lennon – lead, harmony and background vocals; rhythm and acoustic guitars; electric piano and Hammond organ; percussion.
* Paul McCartney – lead, harmony and background vocals; lead, acoustic and bass guitars; electric and acoustic piano and guiro
* Ringo Starr – drums, percussion, lead vocals and backing vocals

Additional musicians

* George Martin – piano and production
* John Scott – flutes on "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"
* string quartet on "Yesterday", as arranged and conducted by George Martin with Paul McCartney

Release history

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
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 U.S. LP CDP 0946 3 57500 2 7


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