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The Beatles Help! album cover
3.46 | 612 ratings | 35 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1965

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Help (2:20)
2. Night Before (2:36)
3. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away (2:11)
4. I Need You (2:31)
5. Another Girl (2:07)
6. You're Going to Lose That Girl (2:20)
7. Ticket to Ride (3:12)
8. Act Naturally (2:32)
9. It's Only Love (1:58)
10. You Like Me Too Much (2:38)
11. Tell Me What You See (2:39)
12. I've Just Seen a Face (2:07)
13. Yesterday (2:07)
14. Dizzy Miss Lizzy (2:53)

Total Time 34:11

Line-up / Musicians

- George Harrison / lead & rhythm guitars, guiro (11), lead (4,10), harmony & backing vocals
- John Lennon / rhythm guitar, electric piano (2,10), tambourine (11), lead (1,3,6,7,9,11,14), harmony & backing vocals
- Paul McCartney / bass, guitar (5,7,13), electric & Steinway (10) pianos, strings arrangements (13), lead (2,5,11-13), harmony (1,7) & backing vocals
- Ringo Starr / drums, percussion, claves (11), lead vocals (8)

- George Martin / Steinway piano (10), strings arrangements (13), producer
- John Scott / tenor & alto flutes (3)
- String quartet (13)

Releases information

Songs from the film "Help"

Artwork: Robert Freeman (photo)

LP Parlophone - PMC 1255 (1965, UK) Mono version
LP Parlophone - PCS 3071 (1965, UK) Stereo version

CD Parlophone - CDP 7 46439 2 (1987, Europe) New Stereo mix by George Martin
CD Parlophone - 0946 3 82415 2 2 (2009, Europe) Stereo remaster by Guy Massey & Steve Rooke; CD-ROM section includes Mini-Documentary video

Thanks to Certif1ed for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy THE BEATLES Help! Music

THE BEATLES Help! ratings distribution

(612 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

THE BEATLES Help! reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the successful Hard Day's Night film, The Beatles used their next film as an excuse to jet off to various exotic locations around the world and do a bit of skiing, sunbathing and generally larking about. With a "hilarious" plot concerning Ringo and a ring, it was not the greatest film ever made and certainly not up to the standards of its innovative predecessor, however some of the music is pretty good.

They began a slightly "folky" phase with this album with the use of acoustic guitars and electric piano, and this continued to the next album, Rubber Soul.

The standout tracks are the title track, which most people probably took to be about the film but was a real cry for help from Lennon in his "fat Elvis"period, "Ticket To Ride" (or was it Ryde?), with its powerful guitar riff and some excellent drumming from Ringo, and of course "Yesterday", which came to McCartney in a dream and is the most covered song of all time.

There are some lesser known gems here as well, including their first real acoustic number, the wonderful "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" (influenced by Dylan), McCartney's rocker "The Night Before", a couple of good Harrison numbers ("I Need You" and "You Like Me Too Much") and Lennon's "It's Only Love", which he considered to be not very good but was later covered to great effect by Gary "US" Bonds.

There are a couple of duffers, the obligatory Ringo number "Act Naturally" and the rock'n'roll cover "Dizzy Miss Lizzy", which fails to display much energy.

After this album, The Beatles entered their real golden era with "Rubber Soul", but this is a pretty good effort, an improvement on its rather rushed predecessor "Beatles For Sale".

Review by Guillermo
3 stars Like their "A Hard Day`s Night" album, this album is divided between the songs included in the film ("Help!), tracks 1-7, in the Side One of the original L.P., and the songs not inluded in the film, tracks 8-14, in the Side Two of the original L.P.

For the last time in their albums they included covers, "Act Naturally" (sung by Ringo) and "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" (sung by John). Both are good songs, IMO.

They also recorded two of George Harrison`s compositions, "I Need You" (with the use of a wah-wah pedal switched to the "volume controller position", making the guitar to sound a bit like a pedal steel guitar, IMO), and "You Like Me Too Much" (with humourous lyrics and good piano arrangements).

The other songs were composed by Lennon and McCartney. The song "Help!" has very good lyrics. "The Night Before" has a good melody. "You`ve Got to Hide Your Love Away" has lead vocals sung a la Bob Dylan by Lennon and good flutes arrangements. "Another Girl" is one of the weak songs in the album. "Ticket To Ride" has good drums by Ringo and good lyrics too. "It`s Only Love" is one of the best ballads that Lennon composed during his time with The Beatles, and it has a good guitar part played by Harrison. "Tell Me What You See" has a very "Latin American ballad" piano arrangement played by Paul. "I`ve Just Seen a Face" is an acoustic guitar balllad with good guitar melodies, but with a very "Country and Western Music " arrangement. "Yesterday" is a beautiful ballad, the most recorded song in the world and one of the best songs that Paul included in a Beatles´album, recorded with him on acoustic guitar and vocals plus a strings arrangement done by George Martin.

In this album, McCartney played some lead guitar parts (in "Antoher Girl" and "Ticket to Ride"). Both lead guitar parts are good, but IMO Harrison was a better lead guitarist than him, and I can`t see the reason why McCartney played these parts.

This album is more a "transitional album", IMO, showing some indications that the best of their work was going to come in their following albums, starting with their "Rubber Soul" album, which was also released in 1965.

Review by Chicapah
3 stars It's easy to overlook this album as nothing more than a pop soundtrack but it truly demonstrates a pivotal transition in the evolution of the group's music. Half of the album has one foot in the "Beatlemania" era with cute ditties like "Another Girl," "Act Naturally," "You like me too much," "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" and "Tell me what you see." But, starting with the title tune, there are various songs that go deeper lyrically and musically than they had ever gone before. Perhaps disillusioned with what fame and fortune was bringing them by the truckloads, a mood of introspect and isolation was beginning to appear in their work that had not been present in the LPs that preceded this one. Just listen to the words of "Help," "You've got to hide your love away," "It's only love," "I need you" and, of course, the magnificently melancholy "Yesterday." Compositionally "Ticket to Ride," based on an unconventional guitar riff, indicated to us all that a new and unshackled spirit of production and arrangements were just around the corner. All of this leading us up to the breakthrough that was to be "Rubber Soul." That's what makes this album so nostalgic. The Fab Four were crossing a bridge, bound for greener fields and they would never go back to the safe and formulated rock and roll pastures they left behind ever again.
Review by bhikkhu
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Here we are with another movie, and another album, but there is more going on here. They sound different. There seems to be a more sophisticated sensibility. Sure, this is still mainly a collection of pop tunes, but you get the feeling that they are striving for more.

"Help" seems like a typical Beatles song on the surface, but what is that? I can hear the bass clearly. Harrison is getting more daring with the guitar, and the harmonies have never been so well applied. "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" is heavily folk influenced, and beautiful in its simplicity. "I Need You" is another step forward toward sounds that would be much more familiar on "Rubber Soul." "Ticket to Ride" should be familiar to most people (if not this version, then one of the many covers). But, compare it to earlier work, and other music of the time. The time signature is very unique. Ringo does a superb job with this one (not a good drummer, ha!). Then we have "Act Naturally." Wait a minute ... country? ... and ... is that ... Ringo ... singing? His vocals give this tune just the right touch. "Tell Me What You See" showcases the vocal harmonies that would be heavily utilized on the next two albums, and the use of an organ. "I've Just Seen a Face" is another folky number, with a great lyrical delivery, and dual acoustic guitars (it also puts me in the mind of Simon and Garfunkel). "Yesterday," do I even need to say anything? I think not. Then, as if to remind us that they are, in reality, a rock and roll outfit, they close with the old school "Dizzy Miss Lizzy."

This is a very interesting album indeed. It is as if it is caught between two eras. "Rubber Soul" would begin something completely new, but the origins are here. I am close to giving this one four stars, because their prog leanings were beginning to show. However, I won't, because I don't see this as essential for a prog collection. Don't let that stop you from getting it though.

H.T. Riekels

P.S. If you come across the Capitol edition, don't bother. Half of it is music from the soundtrack. There are only eight Beatles songs. After you have the U.K. edition, you may want it for a complete collection.

Review by 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.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars There is not a lot to choose between "Help !" and "A Hard Day's Night". The first seven songs on both albums were used in the movies the records were named after. I do like "Help!" a little better though, and the "sound" on this record really paved the way for the next one "Rubber Soul". This would be the last BEATLES record to have a cover song on it. Actually the last song "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" was a cover tune that was apparently added on the end of the record to reach the U.S. market, and it does seem out of place even though it's a fun, uptempo song.

The song "Help!" was a favourite of mine as a kid, I really like the vocals but the song is way too short. I like the harmonies on "The Night Before" while "Youv'e Got To Hide Your Love" is a Dylan influenced tune with flute. The next three songs are all good quality songs in their own ways. "Ticket To Ride" is a huge song from the band and a major hit. "Act Naturally" is a Ringo song that has a country feel to it. "It's Only Love" is a slower paced song with Lennon singing. Nice. "Iv'e Just Seen A Face" is an uptempo song I like a lot. "Yesterday" is a classic ballad with a string quartet.

I definetly recommend this album to any who want to check out some BEATLES material.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Help" is another classic from the Beatles, containing more sophisticated arrangements and American folk rock influences (Dylan for sure, but in turn they were also to influence the Byrds, for instance, with this album). Again, they shot a film to accompany this LP, this time fictitious one with Ringo "starring".
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Another soundtrack for the Fab Four. Since their first experience was successful, why not add another one of the same type to their work?

"Help!" shows Lennon phobia of lack of confidence. He was rather stressed with the huge and fast success of the band. It is one of their greatest songs (but I admit that there are so many to choose from). The whole of side one from this album is comprised of songs featured in the movie.

Even if some will be melodic jewels like "I Need You" written by Georges and including some interesting guitar effects as well as "You're Going to Lose that Girl" with good percussions while you pay attention on this. "It's Only Love" is just behind but is an example of a good song from the Fab Four repertoire.

My sthird favourite song from "Help!" is "Ticket To Ride". According to Paul, it was recorded in three hours!

Still this album holds more average to good tracks than really great ones. "Another Girl" for instance but compared to "Act Naturally" (which is a cover) it stands out as a masterpiece. The latter is sung by Ringo and will be their last cover song until much later (1969).

B-side of the original album holds the weakest songs of the whole. In this respect, I guess that "You Like Me Too Much" which is the second song from Georges here won't be remembered for the decades to come. Nor will "Tell Me What You See". According Paul himself "I seem to remember it as mine but it was not awfully memorable". That's really great to recognize this (and I fully agree with his analysis of course).

This album is saved by three or four fantastic songs of which "Yesterday" does belong. It sits in my top five from the band. A few records for this song : there are some three thousands covers, it was voted the song of the century in a BBC poll, and it has been played over seven MILLION times in the previous century.What else to say about this marvel of harmony ??? Nothing I guess. Just the deepest respect.

Three stars thanks to some songs, but this rating is seen on the higher end.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This fifth album by The Beatles remarked the band's departure - or you might say it "revolution" - in terms of sounds, not the music. Later the band would find themselves in music revolution but for this time it's just the sound which I can summarize it as being matured. It laid the foundation on future albums of the band. Musically, this album still revolves around the band's competence in songwriting especially in making pop music so much cheerful and it looks like rock music. You can taste right away right in the beginning of the album which starts with album title track "Help" (2:20). This indicates the situation that arose when the album was released in political and social turmoil. Through this opening track John Lennon made it clear how he contributed to the song with Paul McCartney backed him up, George Harrison and Ringo Star made it happen.

From this album, it came out great track like "Ticket To Ride" with its pondering chorus and stunning guitar work. And as usual, the arrangement has been made simple enriched with tasteful vocal harmonies which have become The Beatles music characteristics. Everyone knows that "Yesterday" was something that made this album experienced tremendous success as "A Hard Day's Night" album as well.

As an album, this one is cohesive in terms of music presentation as well as sound recording. The band embarked into new era of their sound and this album as foundation for them to move forward.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars SOCORRO! Yes, that was the movie title in Brazilian lands... well, at least some imaginative white-collar at local EMI realized that the album title had to keep the 4 letters to be in accordance with the Four Knights and so finally we had here an album titled just like its equivalents in other shores. Needless to say that the track listing was quite different, being preserved at least the core of 7 songs included as the soundtrack.

Nevermind, 'Help', the title track is a great rock that sounds like a continuation of 'I'm a loser' from their previous album. 'I need you' is soft and warm, with Harrison starting to show his claws although still in a proper silent manner. 'Ticket to ride', included in the movie but issued before it, is shaking and enjoyable. 'The night before' is powerful and 'Another girl', a bit cynical maintains the amusing atmosphere, more or less in accordance with the non-senseless and panache of the movie.

Other songs work as bonus tracks and include, the UK version: the over-used 'Yesterday', the danceable 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy' and the exquisite 'Tell me what you see'. By the way, I never understood why they didn't add 'She's a woman' in the soundtrack, since this song is played in a radio during one scene there in the movie.

Help!, the album, is rocky and balladesque, and one will not find a minimum scent of proto-prog here, but hey... it's fine! The four Liverpudlians were improving greatly in the musical department and you can listen to it without skipping a single track. Ah, and there's also the sentimental part (for me) since it was the first Beatles album I heard consciously. Good, very good indeed.

Review by J-Man
3 stars This is kind of a transitional album. It sort of transformed them from their rock n' roll period into their folk rock period, with songs of both eras on here. There are a couple old rock covers, done well but not great songs or anything. Basically what started here was finished on Rubber Soul. Nothing here is really progressive, but is just good early 60's rock. The highlights of the album here are HELP, IT'S ONLY LOVE, and YESTERDAY. Not everything is great but nothing is awful either. You can start to see the true talent of the band starting to show here, but it's not clearly shining like on their later albums either. Good album, it's not progressive, it's not superb, but isn't awful either. Don't come expecting early, middle, or late Beatles. It's really a mix of folk and rock n' roll. If you want really folky Beatles go to Rubber Soul, and if you want early Beatles go to A Hard Day's Night. But there's not a whole reason to go to Help.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Help" is the 5th full-length studio album by UK pop/rock act The Beatles. The album was released through Parlophone Records in August 1965. It´s the successor to "Beatles for Sale (1964)" from December 1964. "Help" was produced by George Martin and recorded at the Abbey Road Studios in London. The album features fourteen tracks. Seven of those tracks (the seven tracks on the A-side of the original vinyl version of the album) appear in the "Help" movie. The exact same model which was used for the "A Hard Day´s Night (1964)" album/movie.

The material on on the album is predominantly rather simple pop/rock greatly influenced by the American rhythm´n´blues and rock´n´roll tradition that The Beatles loved so much but new influences were beginning to sneak into the music too. Some of the tracks are as a result much more sophisticated than on earlier releases by the band. A song like "Ticket to Ride" for example features some pretty advanced harmony vocals and the beautiful ballad "Yesterday" features a new level of sophistication in the song writing department and in the way the song is arranged.

The Beatles increasingly got better at playing their instruments and honed their craft with each release, and "Help" is just another example of that. They always wrote instantly catchy melodies and easy to sing along to choruses, but the development of their harmonies and choirs is still impressive on "Help". Considering that "Help" was their fifth album released in only little over two years the band´s development is pretty amazing.

"Help" features a well sounding production job and enough highlights to be a strong album release by The Beatles. Not all tracks are equally interesting though, and it´s still an album released just before The Beatles dedicated themselves to producing nothing but top notch songs for their albums, which means that the hits/the standout tracks on "Help" stand out so much, that some of the other tracks simply come of a bit unremarkable. Still a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One of the most craziest films I've ever saw (thank you father, for keeping VHS of it for my more adult age, so I could fully appreciate it). There it makes me say: no, of course this will not be track-to-track review. If talking about music, then this is some kind of transition from pop-rock beginnings (maybe rock'n'roll) to more mature state of mind (Abbey Road). But for 14 tracks, length is still very short, no space to maneuvers, even some songs are trying to be more progressive.

The movie itself is, as I said, very good example of British humour. It reminds me Monty Python in some way, nonsense way of doing things. But there's a story about Ringo's bloody red ring which some crazy sect fanatics are trying to steal. Because they're The Beatles, then music corresponds to movie perfectly. Is playful ("Another Girl", Paul McCartney holding girl as it was a guitar, scratching strings, or ... well, those things). When I was little child, in elementary school, we used to sing during musical education lessons. One of songs was "Yesterday" (from hymn-books), quite well known song, nice one also. In Help!, Richard S. is of course the weird looking Beatle (did somebody mention his nose?), Paul was this with eyes (and eyebrows) and others for sure funny in something, They

As I said once (or twice, maybe even three times), it's listenable album, but not prog. "Act Naturally" is country song ? Or at least sounds like one. There are also clearly to hear (not hear, because as movie, it's fantastic) traits of prog, but not yet completed. But as we all know, they will improve their style very soon, in matter of years.

Three stars, but here we're talking about pop prog. But they were (for f sake) pioneers of more things that I can remember. What band do what they have done, in evolving style, they released maybe 6 pop prog albums (r'n'r) and then turned to prog.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Doesn't sound like they need help

HELP! was recorded in the winter and spring of 1965 while at the same time filming had begun for the second Beatles movie. Films, sessions, photo-shoots, interviews, concert tours, et al. When did these guys ever have time to sit down and write songs? Another reason the quality of the work is so impressive is the time strain these guys were constantly under. HELP! was a transition to their seminal album "Rubber Soul" and is the best work since their excellent debut album. It's also their last work that feels like Beatlemania to me. After this, the bar would be substantially raised.

While the filming of HELP! may have been something of a vacation for the boys, you can see the weariness beginning to creep into some of the photographs. The album was released in August of 1965 and the band did a major tour of the US and Canada that summer. Musically the album was more upbeat and smooth than "Beatles for Sale." It had a richer, fuller sound quality and more effective layering of harmonies and guitar parts. Side one was the material used in the film and it contained four stunning tracks. There is the title track of course, but also the lush "The Night Before," the Dylan inspired "You've got to hide your love away," and the killer single "Ticket to Ride." John always took heat for borrowing the Dylan style on "hide your love" but once pointed out that it was a two way street. When Dylan finally "went electric" John felt that Dylan was looking to them, though I'm not sure Dylan ever admitted that. "Ticket to Ride" has some interesting feeling in both the guitar lick and Ringo's drumming, signaling a bit more sophistication than previous singles. George even throws a nice touch on "I need you" by playing with a volume pedal I believe.

Side two is far less impressive but the album does close with magic. "Yesterday" was Paul taking things to their highest level yet, with a classic so timeless and beautiful that it would become one of the most covered songs of all time. It is a song that I admit really moves me on an emotional level, I can get choked up when I listen to it. With nothing but his comforting voice, simple acoustic accompaniment, and some strings on the side, "Yesterday" finds the sound that transcends song and draws right into your personal life experience, kind of toys with your process of memory. For me at least, some songs attach themselves to feelings in my life but this effect comes from something very simple within the melody, never from grandiose instrumental wailing. Such "moments of clarity" touching the human condition can come from any era (think even "Somewhere Over the Rainbow), but they always seem to have simplicity and longing. McCartney would find this magic many times in the coming years, rivaling Lennon's role as the leader of the group without ever quite eclipsing it. The simple fact is that neither would have been as good without the other's persona and talent to play off of. A true musical marriage of the ages.

While still a 3 star rating for me it is a better 3 stars than the previous album. Beatles for Sale was about 2.75 rounded up, Help is like 3.25 rounded down. The Beatles were now in full charge of their power and about to unleash a string of extra base hits.

Review by Matthew T
5 stars The first long playing record I ever bought and it was in Mono the year would have been around 1968. I paid $5.50 Aust.which is a considerable amount if you compare to todays prices. Singles were $1.00 so at 9 years old finances are not flash and with the release of the The Beatles ( double) at the time which was $11.00. I made the choice for Help.

Also released as a movie the album was released in August 1965 and of course went to number 1 with a bullet. The first single was Ticket to Ride which was followed by Help and both were released before the album and both of these singles also went to number 1 with a bullet as nearly all releases that this band recorded did.Only the songs from side 1 of the record were used in the film and the flip of the album contains 2 covers Act Naturally and Dizzy Miss Lizzy and this would be the last Beatle album with covers as every album hence would only contain compositions from the band only with the exception being Yellow Submarine where George Martin contributes with the 2nd side of the record.

Things get underway with the smash hit Help which to describe is one rocker but if you have never heard this song at sometime and you are aged 10 years or more you must not be living on Earth. The Night Before is up 2nd which is a Paul McCartney vehicle and really is quite a catchy tune with that hook at the end of the chorus.The next one is John Lennons turn with You've Got To Hide You Love Away, Dylan influenced is the claim that maybe but it really is John Lennon as he knows how. Now George is getting his 2nd song to be put on a Beatles album and that is I Need You and although we all still look at him like the poor cousin he really is a great songwriter but I suppose when you had the other two,Lennon/McCartney what could you do. George would really put his credentials down as a songwriter on the doulble The Beatles and the magnificent song Something off Abbey Road but back to I Need you and yes it is a great song and one you will definitely be rocking along with. George also contributes with the track You Like me to Much which is on side two of the record. Ticket to Ride is the seventh and the last song on the Side 1 and this is where we start to see the change starting in the bands music with a heavier style used and John Lennon does the lead vocals and this is one of the standouts on this album.

Side 2 has the two covers which are the first and last tracks. Act Naturally starts things off with Ringo singing lead to the song which was a big hit for the Bakersville Country Music star Buck Owens. Next up is another Lennon song and that being Its Only Love which although running at under 2 minutes is one great tune. On his 1981 comeback Gary US Bonds put his stamp on it as well and the song is quite a lovely up tempo ballad. The masterpiece written by Paul McCartney and by many regarded as his best composition is Yesterday with only Paul McCartney being present from the band and a String Quartet. It has been covered that many times by various artists from all genres of music and is considered one of the most played songs of all time in all its forms but for the reviewer Hey Jude beats it by a nose. There are three other tracks on this side of the album that I have not mentioned bar the Harrison composition but I've Just Seen a Face by John is my favourite. The album finishes with the last Beatles cover and that being the Rock romper Dizzy Miss Lizzy written by Larry Williams who's record company was hoping he would be the next Little Richard. Brian Epstein and Ringo were the driving force behind getting the song on the album and with John's vocals and George's lead guitar it is a great cover and a great finisher for the album. Also on the same day as Dizzy Miss Lizzy another cover Bad Boys was recorded which is another Larry Williams tune but would not appear on various releases till later.

With Help we start to see the very beginings of the change about to occur in the bands sound with Ticket To Ride, Yesterday and You've Got To Hide Your Love Away and even in Help there is a polish that was not there previously and with the next album to come Rubber Soul this would be more evident.

Essential Beatles Music and one album that to me is so special as it being my first LP and even if I say it myself it was a good way to cement my musical tastes for the rest of my life.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Beatles album "Help!" is the tie in to the silly movie where Ringo meets a soothsayer or fortune teller and weird things happen, I think. It's as memorable as that really. The snow sequence was the highlight and the songs of course are here in all their glory. The title track has been covered ad infinitum for good reason as it captured a generation, the paranoia of the war, the loneliness and alienation of a technologically advancing society, the terror of the 60s. Or it could just be asking for help, go figure. In any case these tracks are wonderful and memorable.

Best tracks are The Night Before, Lennon's soulful You've got to hide your love away, and the boppy tuneful Another Girl. Also I am a fan of Ticket to Ride, the huge single with catchy riff, and Tell Me what you see is a definitive harmonious track. Dizzy Miss Lizzy ends the album on a raucous note and seals the deal, although I have not mentioned perhaps the most covered, most influential track in Beatles history ? I speak of none other than the monster hit Yesterday. With all these hits this album must deserve 5 stars. In fact, at least in this reviewer's opinion, it does! But as far as prog material, I have to settle for 4 because the best was yet to come.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Being a huge fan of the later Beatles era I happen to disagree with most of the fans who think that Revolver was the first mature Beatles album. Personally I think that Help shows the first signs of this transition, even thought those moments are few and far between.

With the release of A Hard Day's Night the Beatles reached the peak of, what I call, their 2-minute song era and so a new approach was definitely in order for their followup album. It seems to me that the band was well aware of this but it always takes a few transitional albums to reach that goal. Help does indeed have its share of the band's early sounds, but why improve the formula when you've got a good thing going for you? I realize that my two previous statements might seem contradictory but what I'm going for is a sense of balance where the artist/band improves just enough of their style without alienating their core fan base. It's this balance that definitely exist on Help, even if I personally would have liked the progress to be more prominent.

The highlights here begin with the first sounds of the title track, proceed with the subtle ballad I Need You, the sharp lyrical and musical themes of I've Just Seen A Face and let's not forget the crown jewel simply known as Yesterday. All these compositions have the developing qualities that show the Beatles adding a few new ideas to their already established sound roster. It's true that none of these tracks can actually be labeled as progressive or even Proto-Prog. Instead, Help works almost like Talk Talk's album It's My Life that might not have seemed all that transitional at the time of it's release but now that we have a complete picture it's much easier to trace bits and pieces of the band's later style to that relativity early release.

Help was among the first the Beatles albums that I've heard and my interest definitely took me on an interesting journey from there on. Unfortunately this album has aged quite a bit since the first time I experienced it, more than 15 years ago, and today I mainly listen to it out of pure nostalgia that it invokes in me. Simply a good but non-essential piece of rock music that I can recommend to anyone who wants to see the complete development pattern in the Beatles' sound.

***** star songs: Help (2:20) Yesterday (2:07)

**** star songs: Night Before (2:36) You've Got To Hide Your Love Away (2:11) I Need You (2:31) Another Girl (2:07) You're Going To Lose That Girl (2:20) Ticket To Ride (3:12) Act Naturally (2:32) It's Only Love (1:58) I've Just Seen A Face (2:07)

*** star songs: You Like Me Too Much (2:38) Tell Me What You See (2:39) Dizzy Miss Lizzy (2:53)

Review by baz91
4 stars There is a problem with keeping entire discographies on this website, and the problem is that albums like 'Help!' are on here, when in fact they have very little to do with prog at all.

The first time I remember actually seeing the Beatles as a band was when I watched a DVD of the film Help! which was the tie-in to this album. I was quite young, and I thought it was hilarious! The film is some sort of farce where Ringo is in possession of a sacrificial ring which he cannot take off, and the Beatles are chased around the world by the people that need it back. In fact it is a truly bizarre film where the Beatles were more often than not completely high on cannabis. The music, however, is awesome. Classic after classic was played in the film, and I decided I dearly wanted the album, so it was one of the first albums I ever owned. The songs briefly:

-Help!- Unforgettable, a true classic.

-The Night Before- When watching the film for the first time, I enjoyed this one the most.

-You've Got To Hide Your Love Away- A really sad track, apparently a ballad for Brian Epstein, the Beatles' manager who was a closet homosexual. The 'two foot small' line is a highlight.

-I Need You- Although this song is also a classic, I have no particular affection for it. At times in my life, however, the lyrics have meant a lot to me.

-Another Girl- I love the concept of this song. Basically a guy gets a new girlfriend and tells his old one to go away. Lines like 'I don't want to say that I've been unhappy with you.' give Paul lad points.

-You're Going To Lose That Girl- Again, the concept of this song is hilarious. A guy who wants to take another persons girlfriend away from him. Me and my friend spent a whole night laughing about the hilarious insertion of the word 'yeah' in the bridge.

-TICKET TO RIDE- At 3:10 this is amazingly the longest song on the album. Another real classic, I love everything about this song, Ringos drum rolls are particularly awesome. The melody is really good too, and this is probably my favourite song on the album.

-Act Naturally- Ringo's song. A simple country song, I was surprised to find that this song is actually a cover. Ringo doesn't do particularly well here, and this song goes in the 'Ringo's bad songs' bin.

-It's Only Love- A philosophical song, I really quite like this song. I particularly like John's singing of 'Loving you' right at the end.

-You Like Me Too Much- This song is a bit arrogant and quite creepy. It describes a guy saying to his girlfriend that even if she tries she'll never be able to leave him, because 'he wouldn't let her' and 'she likes him too much'. The Beatles sometimes had the wrong attitude to love (see Run For Your Life off Rubber Soul).

-Tell Me What You See- Ugh, this song is really unmemorable, and the lyrics are just dire. I don't like the percussive sounds either.

-I've Just Seen A Face- Maybe the most clever song on the album, the fast paced guitar and singing really contributes to this song. The lyrics are really moving too.

-Yesterday- If you don't know this song, then you should really get out of the hole you've been living in. This is one of the best known songs ever, and is in fact the most covered song by any artist. The lyrics actually came to Paul in a dream. Interestingly enough, in an interview with Ian McDonald (the flute and mellotron in the first line up of King Crimson) he felt that this very song was the beginning of progressive rock, due to interesting use of a string quartet in here. I don't really agree with this view, but I felt I should include it as this is after all a prog rock website.

-Dizzy Miss Lizzy- Another cover, this is a really dreadful track. The sound quality is quite trashy, and it sounds like the Beatles were trying to repeat the success of Twist and Shout. This song is just tiring to listen to.

It's hard to know how to rate this album on the website, but I think it's a really good album that anybody should listen to, but it has almost no music of any value to prog rock. Some of the Beatles' most classic songs are on here, and some of the other tracks are definitely worth hearing!

Review by Warthur
3 stars The most diverse and wide-ranging Beatles album of their early career, Help! has just enough focus to save it from being a sprawling, schizophrenic mess on the order of the White Album. (It also helps that it's only a single album). To give you an idea of how broad a territory the album spans, Ticket to Ride and You're Going to Lose That Girl are polished pop numbers of the sort the Beatles could do in their sleep by this point, the title track takes pop in a splendidly odd direction with its mismatch between the music's upbeat tone and the desperation shown in the lyrics, and "Yesterday" is a quasi-classical dirge which was archetypal and groundbreaking for this time (though increasingly I find myself impatient with the syrupiness of it).

Which isn't to say that the album is without any missteps; Ringo's cover of Act Naturally is somewhat forgettable, but at least it's followed up by the super-brief and perfectly crafted slice of proto-psychedelia that is It's Only Love. More troubling is the lyrics to You Like Me Too Much, which seem to document the inside of a dysfunctional relationship from the viewpoint of a controlling husband or boyfriend - subject matter worth highlighting, but the disturbing extent to which the song seems to follow the pattern of other Beatles love songs makes it worryingly ambiguous as to whether the Beatles are condoning the viewpoint character's behaviour or not.

On balance, however, Help! is an adept recovery after the missteps of Beatles For Sale - and after this album, those pesky cover versions would be banished until Let It Be. In Help! the transition from pop idols to rock innovators begins; prog fans should pay particular attention to Tell Me What You See, one of the most psychedelic songs the Beatles had released to date. The closing clover of Dizzy Miss Lizzy is a final farewell to rock and roll from the Fab Four; from here on in, it would be experimentation all the way.

That said, as a transitional album it does tend to fall between two stools a bit, and it's still loaded with pop numbers - pop which the band seem to be audibly tired of. Therein lies the album's downfall: despite being a major departure at its time of release, the passage of later releases has left it in the shade, and in terms of its experimentation it isn't doing anything that Revolver doesn't blow out of the water.

Review by thehallway
3 stars Help! is the best early Beatles album, marking the finale of their first period, before things get decidedly more experimental. This period is characterised by fun rock and roll covers, short Paul ballads, ballsy Lennon rockers, and the occasional tune from Harrison. This album is no exception. There are less throwaways here, although still a few.

The title track is a brilliant song, of course, everybody is familiar with it. 'The Night Before' is pretty good too, and one of Paul's better "upbeat" songs. The cover 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away' is a bit country for me, I don't care much for it. George's 'I Need You' is pretty much his only good song before the Revolver album, where he really matures, but this one has a lovely tune to it and stands the test of time. Interesting volume-swelled guitar too. 'Another Girl' is just okay, while 'You're Gonna Lose That Girl' seems annoying at first, but is catchy enough to grow on you. There are some very unconventional key changes in this song. Side one closes with the deserved number one 'Ticket to Ride', with it's offbeat drumming, contrasting verse and chorus, and great riffs. Along with 'Day Tripper', this song is my favourite Beatles single from 1965.

So those were the songs featured in the film 'Help!'. I'm puzzled as to why the Ringo-sung 'Act Naturally' wasn't in the film, given that it is a song about a foolish actor (and he was the main star in 'Help!'). Anyway, it's quite a good song. 'It's Only Love' is an unmemorable ditty from John, and then we have George's other offering on the album, 'You Like Me Too Much', which has a melody that doesn't always work, but is otherwise okay. 'Tell Me What You See' is a very simple song, but I love it. Great melody, and a cool electric piano turn at the end of each middle eight. Then there are two Paul acoustics in a row; 'I've Just Seen A Face', a surprisingly good country-skiffle number, and of course, the legendary ballad 'Yesterday', which is the most covered song of all time, probably because of it's masterful handling of melody and chords. The closer is yet another rock and roll cover, Little Richard's 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy' (I wonder if she's related to Long Tall Sally?). Hardly an essential Beatles song, but good fun.

So that is Help! A more consistent effort than the preceding Beatles For Sale, with less filler than A Hard Day's Night, and it doesn't rely on covers as much as the first two albums. I'm toying somewhere between three and four stars, but three is probably better in proportion with what is to come in the rest of The Beatles discography.....

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars By the mid-60s BEATLEmania had taken hold of the entire planet after the British Invasion of the Americas was complete and the Fab Four couldn't pump out enough product fast enough to satisfy a rabid public obsessed with their favorite mop top rock icons. After the film "A Hard Day's Night" proved to be a smashing success, there was little doubt that THE BEATLES would continue their musical comedy-adventures in cinematic form for as long as they could get away with it. The band wasted no time at all conceiving a sequel in the form of HELP! which saw THE BEATLES moving away from the lo-fi antics of their first film into a multi-color high budget blockbuster type of production that was shot in a variety of exotic foreign locations. While "A Hard Day's Night" was based on the BEATLEmania craze that was unfolding around the Fab Four and their reactions around it, HELP! on the other hand took liberties in setting up a contrived plot about an Eastern cult that needed to sacrifice a woman to the goddess Kaili but realized that she was not wearing the sacrificial ring which somehow got sent to Ringo Starr in a fan letter.

The movie unfolds by a series of cartoonish antics revolving around the evil cult following THE BEATLES in order to regain the lost ring so that they can carry out their ritualistic practices. While i could go on about the movie in great length, the subject of this review is the accompanying musical soundtrack which in accord with the year of 1965 varied depending upon which side of the Atlantic you resided, not to mention that the film soundtrack is quite different than the album of the same name. One quick mention about the movie itself is the fact that the film HELP! seems to be the first taste of exotic Eastern musical influences for THE BEATLES and not (as commonly believed) with George Harrison's sitar playing on "Norwegian Wood" on the "Rubber Soul" album. The film goes as far as to include an instrumental version of the song "A Hard Day's Night" played by an Indian band with an exotic Eastern flair and the film itself is peppered with sounds and fashion styles from the Indian subcontinent that obviously permeated George Harrison's senses enough for him to delve deeply into the music and philosophy.

While this review is primarily concerned with the UK version of the album that took only seven songs from the film score and added seven more tracks for a total of fourteen, the differences between the UK album that is seemingly just another BEATLES release and the official soundtrack score that appeared in the US is worth mentioning. Firstly, the US version only included the tracks "Help!," "You're Going To Lose That Girl," "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away," "Ticket To Ride," "I Need You," "The Night Before" and "Another Girl" also from the UK album. The remaining tracks are from the George Martin Orchestra which were primarily used as background music for various events in the movie such as "The Chase," "The Bike Riding Scene" and so on. The UK album (which has rightfully become the official version) contains the aforementioned BEATLES tracks with seven more BEATLES tracks including the huge hit "Yesterday." While the tracks shared between the UK and US versions showcase the powerhouse songwriting skills of the McCartney / Lennon machine (with a Harrison track in the mix), the second set of songs show off lead vocal spots of each member. While the weakest of the bunch (as is usually the case) is Ringo Starr's "Act Naturally," all the other members strut their styles ranging from Lennon's skiffle origins showing in the Larry Williams cover "Dizzy Miss Lizzy," McCartney steals the show with his solo guitar and vocal performance on "Yesterday" that added a symphonic string section.

HELP! was very much a step forward for THE BEATLES by not only cementing their status as film stars but by expanding the band's sound significantly by adding new instruments, richer textures and a more diverse palette of songwriting styles with an extra emphasis on keyboards and acoustic guitar. George Harrison was also allowed to shine again after a two record absence with his tender ballad "I Need You" as well as "Tell Me What You See." As far as commercial success was concerned, HELP! continued to keep THE BEATLES in the number one spot across the globe with a stream of hit singles and a firm declaration of true artistic development. The album cover has an interesting story as well with the Fab Four donning oversized button-up shirts with their arms pointing in various directions. The idea was to spell the world HELP in flag semaphore but because the actual results weren't visually pleasing, the design created a random set of letters that spells out "NUJV" with McCartney's left hand pointing to the Capitol logo. The effort into the music of the days at every angle is quite amazing sitting here in the 21st century.

HELP! possibly may not rank at the top of anybody's favorite BEATLES album simply for the fact that they would only continue to better themselves in every aspect of creativity but HELP! is a vital transitional stage in the Fab Four's career as it proved without a doubt that the band could expand their creative edge beyond the simple pop rock and cover tunes that they had been churning out since their formation. While HELP! also showed the band reaching out into new arenas in the world of cinema, it more importantly created the moment when the East / West cross-pollination ideas were implanted in the band's psyche and would only continue to gestate until the classics that would follow. Standing alone, HELP! is a beautiful assortment of cleverly written pop rock performances with each member shining like never before. While the film itself was a little goofy in its premise, the music that revolved around the film more than stands on its own two feet well over 50 years from its initial release. After the lackluster rush job of "Beatles For Sale" that seemed to show a band having peaked and ready to fizzle into obscurity, the cry for HELP! was answered with this showcase of BEATLES powerhouse melodies and creative prowess. HELP! is a resoundingly excellent batch of classic BEATLES tracks that have aged quite well.

Review by jamesbaldwin
3 stars "Help!" is a transition album with highs and lows, which has some innovations that will develop better in the major albums. Compared to three previous Lp, "Help!" has a good number (five) of quality peaks (like "A Hard..."), but it is less homogeneous, having also several weak songs, and in general the Beatles musical style is halfway between the art-rock of the following years and the melodic vocal rock, the exuberant "Mersey beat" that dominated their music until 1964.

In "Help!" McCartney begins to have an importance close to that of Lennon (they write respectively 5 songs, but Lennon sings even in a classic rock and roll and in the film Lennon has 4 songs against 2 of Macca), and Harrison appears with two songs, one on each side, frequency that he will keep, more or less unchanged, for the rest of the Beatles discography.

The first side contains the songs of the film "Help!", which are (if we exclude "I Need you") clearly better for arrangement of those of the second side (while similar is the qualitative level), which also include two covers. The song "Help!" (vote 8) inaugurates the album making us immediately understand that the mood of the disc is much more cheerful than the previous one, and returns to be the exuberant of the debut. The lyrics of the song stride with the mood of the music, in fact, originally, "Help" was a slow song, but Lennon, in order to make a single, accelerated it. Anyway, it's a great melodic rock song in perfect Beatles style, plus a reflective text.

"The Night Before" (vote 7,5) is a beautiful song by Paul in the style of Mersey Beat, with long strophes and bridges, with the choruses in response, without a real catchy refrain. Nothing innovative but it remains a pleasant song, full of enthusiasm, which continues the rhythm and the mood of the previous (also in this case the exuberant music does not go hand in hand with the text). "You've Got To Hide your Love Away" (vote 7,5/8) is a folk song that shows Dylan's influence on Lennon, here even more evident than in some ballads of "Beatles for Sale". The song has a beautiful melody and a great sung, and it does not reach excellence only because it is too short (Dylan would have put at least 5 stanzas and would have expanded the refrain); in the final, for the first and only time in their career, a flute solo appears. "I Need You" (vote 5,5) is a song that suffers from an inappropriate arrangement. The melody does not take off, the song of Harrison is stunted and all combined with the skinny arrangement makes the track at times (in verse) unpleasant and embarrassing: it seems almost miss the music, the melody. The sound is strange: the guitar with the pedal looks like a distorted keyboard, and there is nothing left to the song, like sound, that the voice and the percussions are very much in the background. The piece recovers a bit 'in the bridge, as for rhythm, but the arrangement does not improve. It is definitely one of the least successful songs in the entire discography. "Another Girl" (vote 6,5/7) is a minor, carefree and very light song by McCartney, which brings up the rhythm of the first side but does not add anything to the beat music of the album; it highlights the Macca solo guitar, which added it by removing that of Harrison. Lennon closes the A side with two songs that raise the quality of the album. "You're Gonna Lose that Girl" (vote 7,5) is a beautiful song enthusiast with the choirs in response to the singing, a great bridge and a beautiful guitar solo. Perfect Mersey beat style but with a medium rhythm, supported by the percussions added to the drums. "Ticket to Ride" (vote 8,5), the last song of the first side, is a masterpiece rock ballad. Dry sound, great Ringo work, delicious harmonic rounds, beautiful chord sequence, excellent vocal interpretation.

The second side, quickly cohered to complete the album, presents mostly minor songs with arrangement holes but also two large pieces by McCartney. It starts with the cover country of Ringo (Act Naturally, vote 6,5/7), which all in all is pleasant in its freshness; good guitar work by Harrison, to support the rhythm. It continues with a slow song by Lennon (It's Only Love, vote 7), good melody and singing, but it is a decidedly minor piece, arranged in a discreet manner. "You Like Me Too Much" (vote 7+) is a sliding piano song by Harrison, with poor arrangement (vocals, drums, piano) and a good rhythm, but you miss the guitars, audible in the instrumental interlude, which in fact is with the bridge the best part. At this point follow, something completely unpublished so far in the discography of the Beatles, but destined to be repeated by Sgt Pepper on: three consecutive songs signed by McCartney. The first, "Tell Me What You See" (vote 6) is after "I Need You" the weakest song on the album. Blurred melody, choruses in response, poor arrangement, remember only for the instrumental piece of piano and drums that closes the verses. Just sufficient. "I've just Seen a Face" (vote 8) is an anomalous acoustic song in the Beatles production, with an intro of three guitars, a frenzied rhythm, a bluegrass style arrangement. McCartney is starting his revival work to actualize every musical style according to the Beatles pop, and here he does it with great inspiration and attitude.

"Yesterday" (vote 8,5/9) is the masterpiece of the album. For the first time the Beatles record an acoustic melodic song with accompaniment of string quartet (thanks to George Martin): sings and plays only McCartney. For the time, Yesterday is an exception, because the Beatles were a rock band, as organic, and arranged the songs as a rock band. Yesterday creates a precedent that will have great impact for the future of the group, in fact Macca since Revolver will write often retrò songs with symphonic arrangement that does not need drums, bass and guitar, thus creating musical sessions where he performs alone or with external musicians. This, along with the fact that the Beatles since 1966 will no longer play live, will help to create division in the group. Harrison and Lennon, on the contrary, with a few exceptions, will continue to compose music for a typical rock complex, drums, bass, two guitars, as were the Beatles in the beginning. Only in 1969, with "Let It Be" and "Abbey Road" McCartney will return to composing music, however melodic, suitable to play for a rock band.

"Dizzy Missy Lizzy" (vote 7) is a rock and roll divertissement, very exuberant for singing and guitar, but also quite repetitive. Concludes the album with energy, in crescendo. "Help" on the whole is not a homogeneous album, having many songs that repeat the worn-out Mersy beat of the beginnings, all minor or discreet, except for "Help" and the masterpiece "Ticket To Ride"; other songs are very good and add new styles or arrangements to the Beatles pieces ("You've Got ...", I've Seen ....", Yesterday), while the two covers are insignificant, placed only to add material to the album. The artistic value of the LP is affected by this lack of homogeneity, and for what counts two Beatles absolute masterpieces like "Ticket To Ride" and "Yesterday", the overall level of the album is comparable to the rock and roll of the LP of debut (average quality slightly higher) . Compared to "A Hard Day's Night", instead, I consider the album for its heterogeneity and abundance of weakest pieces, inferior in a visible way (although it has more originality of musical styles and arrangements).

Medium quality of the songs: 7,30. Vote album: 7+. Rating: Three stars.

Review by patrickq
3 stars Paul McCartney hit a low point on Help!. True, "Yesterday" is regarded by many as a classic, and "I'm Down" is a good tune which should've made the album. But his contributions to this album seem formulaic compared, for example, to "Every Little Thing" or "Can't Buy Me Love" from the prior year. And although the original songwriting here is about average for the first five Beatles albums, the strongest two songs here - - "Ticket to Ride" and "Help" - - were written by John Lennon.*

Help! was the soundtrack album of the Beatles' second film, and two conditions surrounding the album's composition may explain some of the disparity in the quality of the material produced by the group's two principal songwriters. First, I've read that the group was under more pressure than usual when writing the album; they continued to tour, while continuing to increasingly despise touring. More importantly, the impending release of the film established a deadline by which songs had to be completed. In a few cases, new compositions were required because not all of the songs submitted by the band were acceptable. Perhaps McCartney didn't respond as well to these pressures as did Lennon.** A related circumstance was that Lennon was in the midst of a difficult time, which he later referred to as "my fat Elvis period." Lennon might have handled such an experience partly though cathartic songwriting.

Help! was also the last merely good album the Beatles would release for several years. Among its songs is "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," which was probably the clearest indication of the band's continued embrace of folk-rock music. With "Ticket to Ride," "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" would've fit perfectly on Rubber Soul, released just four months after Help!.

The best songs here are also on compilations like 1962-1966 ("The Red Album"), so even if you're only casually acquainted with the Beatles, you might already have them. For those interested in the band's pre-psychedelic music, I'd first recommend A Hard Day's Night, the band's prior soundtrack album, and Rubber Soul. After that, perhaps you need Help!.


*Two songs on Help! were written by George Harrison, and there are two cover songs on Side Two. The remaining ten are credited to "Lennon-McCartney," and while these were apparently mostly the work of either Lennon or McCartney, "Help" is an example of a Lennon original with some meaningful input from McCartney. After the title song and "Ticket to Ride," the next best song is probably "You're Going to Lose That Girl," believed to have been written jointly by Lennon and McCartney.

**McCartney's "Wait," as strong a composition as any of his Help! songs, was written during this period but included on Rubber Soul instead.

Latest members reviews

3 stars After making a step step with "Beatles for Sale", the band stepped 2 steps forward on "Help!". The last traditional early Beatles album and the last one without drugs/alcohol I suppose. The band is not willing to rest on their laurels and open themselves up to folk/country. There's actually only ... (read more)

Report this review (#2847061) | Posted by sgtpepper | Friday, October 21, 2022 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Won't you please please help me come up with a meaningful rating for this album. Help! has got to be the hardest Beatles album to review; it is one of their most inconsistent LP's. On one hand there are a lot of mediocre fillers that could as well have been on Beatles For Sale. On the other hand ... (read more)

Report this review (#2496960) | Posted by The Anders | Monday, January 25, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Classic early Beatles. Often overlooked due to the novelty and celebrity attached to the movie of the same name, this album is one of the more musical and lyrical of the early Beatles albums. Of course, the original (UK) album contains "Yesterday", one of the most covered songs in history, for a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1698698) | Posted by Walkscore | Saturday, March 4, 2017 | Review Permanlink

2 stars In my opinion, Help is just a second version of A Hard Day's Night. The sound and style is literally the same, except for the inclusion of two covers, which are actually well done. I would say it is overall a stronger effort than anything they've done so far. Song's like 'Help,' 'Ticket to Ride,' an ... (read more)

Report this review (#771426) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Rating: 8/10 This is a very important release in Beatles' career. It's a transition album in which their maturity in songwriting is huge. In this issue, Mc Cartney is a step forward from the rest and shows it writing perhaps the greatest song of all time, "Yesterday" (no need at this point ... (read more)

Report this review (#458483) | Posted by Mattiias | Thursday, June 9, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I find "Help" the most charming Beatles album. It's a transition between the exuberance of 'A Hard Day's Night' and the following psychedelia. I heard someone once mention that the boys were tired here and such like. Well, I wouldn't mind being tired if it meant I could churn out songs like 'Ticket ... (read more)

Report this review (#437967) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Saturday, April 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Beatles album 'Help!' is one I like very much. It is a very enjoyable album, and was a lot more sprightly and upbeat than 'Beatles for Sale' and the second half of 'A Hard Day's Night', and more consistent that 'With the Beatles'. The style hasn't really changed since the first album; Be ... (read more)

Report this review (#343653) | Posted by Brendan | Sunday, December 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Now here things are starting to get serious. At first glance (or audition), Help not only keeps up with the aesthetics of the previous albums, but also is, in retrospect, still far from any relation with prog rock. Both statements couldn't be farthest from the truth. At this time the suscetibil ... (read more)

Report this review (#250433) | Posted by bfmuller | Saturday, November 14, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars You know Lennon writes his emotions then condenses them to a single emotive phrase if possible. HELP! is the perfect writing lesson here: Won't you please help me, help me, help ME All throughout the album John, George and Ringo are signing Down Songs for example JOHN 'I think i'm gonna be sad' ... (read more)

Report this review (#250267) | Posted by halabalushindigus | Friday, November 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A bit of a mixed bag, this album. Some of the songs are cringe-worthy. Others are pieces of genious art. To start with the latter; we cannot talk about The Beatles without talking about their most played song ever; Yesterday. Although this is more a Paul McCartney solo effort. John Lennon hate ... (read more)

Report this review (#244017) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, October 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The original UK version, with the 7 movie songs on the side A and 7 songs which aren't in the Richard lester movie on the side B. Among them, Yesterday is magnificent (one of the Beatles' finest songs ever), and Act Naturally and Dizzy Miss Lizzie are good. The remainder too, but not as them. S ... (read more)

Report this review (#163919) | Posted by Zardoz | Friday, March 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This was the first album I ever owned. It was given to me by an uncle even before our house had a record player. Consequently I feel rather nostalgic towards it, and think it does contain some great songs. But whatever anyone says it is a pop record, ticket to ride being my favourite pop song ... (read more)

Report this review (#100463) | Posted by laghtnans | Sunday, November 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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