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The Beatles - Help! CD (album) cover


The Beatles



3.45 | 593 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Beatles early albums were always very rocky in my opinion, they released two very good albums in Please Please Me and A Hard Day's Night and two more underwhelming relases in between those with With the Beatles and Beatles For Sale. Help! is, like A Hard Day's Night, is half soundtrack for the film of the same name (which is a hilarious film) and half non-film tracks that leave something to desire (although there are a few there that are pretty fun). Now, one could already see a progression in the Beatles style with each passing album, and this one marks more firsts for the Beatles. First, George Harrison wrote two songs for the album (both of which are very good and the first is my favorite track on the album). Secondly, you could see the group using outside musicians in their music (although that was the case with Love Me Do back in 1962) in songs like You've Got to Hide Your Love Away and Yesterday. In any case, this is a great pop album with little progressive tendencies. You'll find a true progression and sophistication, though, with their next album, Rubber Soul.

Side one of the album is comprised of tracks used in the film Help!, and surprisingly all of them are reasonably strong. Help! begins with some harmony vocals and some interesting progressions that alternate major and minor keys. The Night Before is a Paul McCartney with some great backing vocals from Lennon and Harrison as well as a great guitar solo from Harrison. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away is a nice acoustic piece with some great chord progressions and a snappy chorus. There's also a really fitting flute solo at the end giving it a gentle ending. I Need You is the first Harrison song on the album and it is in my opinion one of the best he wrote. With nice guitar fills from Lennon (using a volume pedal) and some nice lyrics from Harrison, this track stands strong even when put against the strongest early Lennon/McCartney material. Another Girl is another McCartney led tune, but I fel it's the weakest of the film material. You're Going to Lose that Girl has some nice flirtations with the piano on McCartney's part and Harrison's guitar solo is rather bold when compared to his usually subdued affairs. Ticket to Ride is another great piece with some great riffing and some incredibly fun vocals and harmonies from Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison.

Side two is comprised of songs not featured on the film, and there are only a few actually worth mentioning. Act Naturally is Ringo's vocal track of the album, and it has him delving into more country/rockabilly territories. It's a very fun track, though, with some rollicking guitar licks and a nice underlying bass line. You Like Me Too Much is the second Harrison track on the album, and it shows his going into territory that he would go into later in his career. Where McCartney and Lennon were singing about love, Harrison was singing about liking someone too much and wanting people not to bother him, very interesting counterparts. Anyway, the final track worth mentioning is Yesterday, the most covered song of all time, the song Ray Charles sued Paul McCartney on over the melody. Sure this song has a lot of history to it, and for good reason. The backing violins are very well conceived and the sad piece only gets sadder as the bows move across the strings and McCartney pours his heart out to the listener.

In the end, Help! would mark the end of the Beatles early era, and with the next album Rubber Soul a whole new style of Beatle would be seen, a more concise and sophisticated Beatles, trying to sing about more than love, but risque situations and things having no real connection with love at all. What's for sure, though, is that there was a lot more good to come from the Beatles. 3.5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 3/5 |


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