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The Beatles - Help! (1965)

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The Beatles - Help! (1965) Empty The Beatles - Help! (1965)

Post  Mr007 Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:23 am

[QUOTE=The Ice Plant;846661](I can't post links yet, so no album cover)
[SIZE="4"]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)[/SIZE]

[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.

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.[/SIZE]

[SIZE="3"]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.[/SIZE]


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