Following the crazy year of 1964 and Beatles For Sale, an album which brought out a bleaker side of the band, the group returned the next year with a new album and film, Help! 1965 would be another big year for the band, not only performing their most legendary concert at Shea Stadium, but also for their music. Let’s look at Help.
Track By Track
- I hate to say the word classic all the time but God damn. Carrying on from “I’m A Loser”, John returns with another introspective song, a literally cry for help hidden under pristine and polished production. The band sounds energized again and delivers one of their most well known songs to kick off the record. Things where changing, in The Beatles and in the music world. One amazing week in Billboard history “Help!’ took number 1 while Bob Dylan’s career defining masterpiece “Like a Rolling Stone” was bubbling right underneath it at number 2. Can you even imagine a song like that riding up the charts again?
The Night Before
- Following up strong McCartney appears with a damn catchy rocking number with some jamming keyboard. Great tune!
You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
- I think it’s funny that the back of the album says “John with flutes”. Like not even the names of any of the players just John with flutes. This folky acoustic song sees the darker side of John again with a weary vocal and mighty choruses pickup. Defiantly a highlight!
I Need You
- George, still lagging under Lennon and McCartney, comes in with his first composition since “Don’t Bother Me”. I like the guitar effect and the melody is strong, especially the cowbell part, but George was still a bit behind lyric wise. It’s a nice little song though, John’s acoustic playing is great on this record, his guitar sounds bright and really sticks out on every song.
- A fun song, especially in the movie when Paul playing a girl like a guitar. It’s a bit like “Can’t Buy Me Love” a tiny bit in the verses. The chorus is pretty strong and George is playing leads all over this song. It’s a bit unremarkable but fun regardless.
You’re Going To Lose That Girl
- I like the arrangement in this song with the backing vocals. Oh my…I listen to the mono record but listening to the stereo recording with headphones you can hear some kind of hand drums going crazy…wow I never noticed that! There are a lot of little bits, especially guitar wise that you miss unless you pay attention and listen with headphones. There’s even a piano on this song! You can’t hear it that well but it’s buried under the loud rhythm guitar and vocal line. This song is decent, John does some higher singing.
Ticket To Ride
- One of the Beatles greatest songs of all time.A masterpiece of a song with a great memorable melody and most of all a great drum pattern. Ringo plays a good beat. Starting with a looser beat then becoming tighter after the first bridge. Listen closer to hear all the goodess of John and George on this song, George with his 12 string and John with a Strat. Paul plays a memorable solo as well. Just one of the band’s greatest songs, the skiing bit in the movie is amusing.
- The weakest song on the album. I feel Ringo’s vocals work alright for this song but it’s still just a goofy Ringo song. Slamming acoustic on this song as well. Overall it’s good fun but not something I’d listen to outside the album.
It’s Only Love
- John hated this song, I feel it’s not too bad though. It’s a short song and the guitar bit is kinda corny but I think it’s a strong tune, a sweeter love song from John after so many bleak ones. Maybe that’s why John didn’t like it? Whatever, I like it.
You Like Me Too Much
- YOU’LL NEVER LEAVE ME!!!! NEVER!!! This song is good fun, nothing outstanding but a decent album tune, the bridge is especially good “if you leave me” good melody from Georgey. He was getting better, even if it’s not especially clear yet. The song writing though is a little…unpleasant.”I would follow you and bring you back where you belong” George is never going to let this girl leave him!
Tell Me What You See
- A tad bit corny and like the first 4 songs on the second side it’s nothing all that special but I still feel it’s an enjoyable song with a good vocal and crazy bridge pick up. TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE! *Keyboard* *Slamming Ringo beat*. It’s a fun song to sing that’s for sure. But it’s quickly pushed to the wayside by…
I’ve Just Seen a Face
- Paul comes on the scene with this wonderful song about love at first sight. It’s a fun dorky upbeat acoustic song. One of the best songs on the album! I wish I had more to say but it’s just a damn good song, that’s all.
- Paul McCartney writes one of the most loved and remembered songs of the 20th century with “Yesterday”. His songwritting was levelling up album after album but he really knocked it out of the park and beyond with this song. Coupled with strings to add a new dynamic to the Beatles’ music, “Yesterday” is truly extraordinary and sticks out on this album like a sore thumb because of how damn good it is. I don’t need to puff this song up, it’s “Yesterday” and that alone says it all.
Dizzy Miss Lizzie
- OW! This is a jam! Following up “Yesterday” in a quick and immediate manner this upbeat cover song rocks the house down! John tries to do the “Twist And Shout” thing again and lets out some intense yells on this song. There is also a keyboard slamming along on this one. Ringo’s playing is hot and it’s an overall smashing finale to the album. Following “Yesterday” is not easy task but this song is fun enough to cap this record off, even if it’s like nothing else on the album. I like this song a lot.
Help! takes elements of Beatles For Sale, shaves off the bleakness and amps it up. Lennon and McCartney write some absolute masterpieces on this record and it’s overall a strong group of songs. Not every song is equal to the last and this is a bit of what could be called filler as also with A Hard Day’s Night, but overall it’s still a good listen. It’s the last Beatles album of it’s kind, the band was making small jumps up to this point and in a way Help would be the climax for Paul McCartney would had been building up to “Yesterday” for 4 albums before this one. It would be if not for what came next. From this point on every step the Beatles took would be to something new, exciting and crazy. Beatlemania had it’s last blast on “Dizzie Miss Lizzy”, the last real cover song of the bands discography (“Maggie May” doesn’t count). Things where changing and in a way Help (and the Shea Stadium show) signal the end of an era.
- Ticket To Ride
- I’ve Just Seen A Face
- You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
- Dizzie Miss Lizzie
- The Night Before
- You’re Going To Lose That Girl
- It’s Only Love
- Act Naturally