Help! is the fifth 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!, and seven that did not, including the most covered song in history, the Paul McCartney ballad "Yesterday".
The album also features two transatlantic number one singles: "Ticket to Ride" and the title track. Tracks like Lennon's "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" indicate the influence of Bob Dylan and folk music. 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.
McCartney contributed "Yesterday", "Another Girl", "The Night Before", and "I've Just Seen a Face" (which appeared with "It's Only Love" on the U.S. version of Rubber Soul). McCartney's versatility was demonstrated in one extraordinary recording session of this period, on 14 June 1965, which yielded, "I'm Down", "I've Just Seen a Face", and "Yesterday"
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.
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'.
The following semaphore characters show the correct spelling of 'HELP'.
The album was released on CD 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 July 21
. 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. A few Canadian-origin CD editions of Rubber Soul
use the original mix of the album, presumably by error.
All songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
, except where noted.
All songs on side one appear in the movie.
- "Help!" – 2:18
- "The Night Before" – 2:33
- "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" – 2:08
- "I Need You" (Harrison) – 2:28
- "Another Girl" – 2:05
- "You're Going to Lose That Girl" – 2:17
- "Ticket to Ride" – 3:10
- "Act Naturally" (Johnny Russell, Voni Morrison) – 2:29
- "It's Only Love" – 1:54
- "You Like Me Too Much" (Harrison) – 2:35
- "Tell Me What You See" – 2:36
- "I've Just Seen a Face" – 2:04
- "Yesterday" – 2:03
- "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" (Larry Williams) – 2:53
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 there were not enough songs to be put on the album for a Christmas release.
Help! (US release)
The U. S. version of the album 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.
All tracks written by Lennon-McCartney
, except where noted.
- "Help!" (preceded by Ken Thorne's James Bond Theme instrumental arrangement)
- "The Night Before"
- "From Me to You Fantasy" (instrumental) (Lennon-McCartney; arranged by Ken Thorne)
- "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"
- "I Need You" (Harrison)
- "In the Tyrol" (instrumental) (Ken Thorne)
- "Another Girl"
- "Another Hard Day's Night" (instrumental) (Lennon-McCartney; arranged by Ken Thorne)
- "Ticket to Ride"
- Medley: "The Bitter End" (Ken Thorne)/"You Can't Do That" (instrumental) (Lennon-McCartney; arranged by Ken Thorne)
- "You're Gonna Lose That Girl" (as titled by Capitol Records)
- "The Chase" (instrumental) (Ken Thorne)
According to Mark Lewisohn and Allan W. Pollack.
- 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.
- George Harrison: lead and background vocals; lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars; percussion.
- Ringo Starr: drums, percussion, lead vocals and backing vocals.
- 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.