MENU
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

HELP YOURSELF

Prog Related • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Help Yourself picture
Help Yourself biography
HELP YOURSELF were formed in 1970 near London, and initially consisted of guitarist Richard Treece, drummer Dave Charles, bassist Ken Whaley and guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Malcolm Morley. The band recorded their first studio album in 1971 and would release three others before disbanding in late 1973, their career marked by financial and personal issues. Bassist Whaley briefly left the band to help form DUCKS DELUXE and was replaced by guitarist Ernie Graham. For a time in the early seventies the band roomed at the Grange (home of Led Zeppelin's Symbols record) with fellow British act Brinsley Schwarz, where they also recorded their second album. They also performed on the All Good Clean Fun tour in 1972 along with MAN and other British acts.

Amid a number of lineup changes Ken Whaley returned to the band in 1973, and his return was marked by the band's fourth and final seventies release 'The Return of Ken Whaley', after which the group quickly disintegrated, but not before recording several tracks which would become the 2004-issued compilation known simply as '5'.

Morley and Whaley would join MAN, a band to which HELP YOURSELF had been associated for most of their existence. Morley would also do a stint with BEES MAKE HONEY. Treece recorded with ICEBERG as well as forming the short-lived HEALY TREECE BAND in the late seventies with GRATEFUL DEAD drummer Bill Kreutzmann and soundman Dan Healy. He would also record with MAN, as well as THE FLYING ACES, THE ARCHERS, THE NEUTRONS, SPLENDID HUMANS, and THE TYLA GANG before joining GREEN RAY in 1988.

HELP YOURSELF's rather brief and rocky career left us a collection of decidedly American-sounding folksy, blues and psychedelic recordings. Most of the band members would pursue full-time music careers, and while none managed to find significant commercial success, their discography of Helps albums are widely admired by progressive and psych fans the world over.

"We were also incredibly stoned all the time."
- Richard Treece

Help Yourself official website

HELP YOURSELF MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s
No MP3/Stream available for this artist.
Collaborate with Progarchives.com, learn how to submit new MP3s.

HELP YOURSELF forum topics / tours, shows & news


HELP YOURSELF forum topics
No topics found for : "help yourself"
Create a topic now
HELP YOURSELF tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "help yourself"
Post an entries now

HELP YOURSELF Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to HELP YOURSELF

Buy HELP YOURSELF Music


Reaffirmation: An Anthology 1971-73Reaffirmation: An Anthology 1971-73
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$11.86
$11.92 (used)
The Return Of Ken Whaley/Happy Days / Help YourselfThe Return Of Ken Whaley/Happy Days / Help Yourself
Remastered · Import
Bgo 2017
Audio CD$9.19
$9.18 (used)
Help Yourself/Beware The Shadow / Help YourselfHelp Yourself/Beware The Shadow / Help Yourself
Import · Remastered
Bgo 2017
Audio CD$11.55
$8.09 (used)
55
Import
Hux Records 2004
Audio CD$199.98
$25.32 (used)
Strange Affair / Return of Ken Whaley Plus Happy by HELP YOURSELF (1999-08-25)Strange Affair / Return of Ken Whaley Plus Happy by HELP YOURSELF (1999-08-25)
Bgo - Beat Goes on
Audio CD$36.20
Help Yourself / Beware the Shadow by HELP YOURSELF (2002-03-13)Help Yourself / Beware the Shadow by HELP YOURSELF (2002-03-13)
Bgo - Beat Goes on
Audio CD$38.61
Reaffirmation: An Anthology 1971-73 by HELP YOURSELF (2013-05-04)Reaffirmation: An Anthology 1971-73 by HELP YOURSELF (2013-05-04)
Imports
Audio CD$39.08
Strange AffairStrange Affair
United Artists Records
Vinyl$45.99
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
TOM JONES Delilah & Help Yourself 7" 45 rpm record + juke box title strip USD $5.58 Buy It Now 2h 53m
JIMMY REED HELP YOURSELF/HEADING FOR A FALL VEE JAY 593 M- USD $12.99 Buy It Now 4h 44m
Sealed Help Yourself to the Brazilliance of Djalma LP DOT OLP 25905 USD $10.00 Buy It Now 7h 17m
Help Yourself by Julian Lennon (CD, 1991) 4 TRACK SINGLE BOX SET LIMITED EDITION USD $67.50 Buy It Now 7h 52m
Help Yourself-Reaffirmation CD NEW USD $22.72 Buy It Now 11h 58m
TOM JONES Help Yourself 7" vinyl USD $2.03 Buy It Now 14h 27m
Julian Lennon - Help Yourself - Selected Tracks "Virgin HELP 6" Promo UK 7" 45 USD $24.64 Buy It Now 15h 23m
TOM JONES HELP YOURSELF - 8-TRACK - PEM 79825 USD $3.95 Buy It Now 18h 6m
Gatlin Brothers Larry 45 Wind Is Bound To Change / Help Yourself To Me w/ts USD $1.00 Buy It Now 22h 43m
ROSE ROYCE - FUNKIN' AROUND / HELP YOURSELF -1981 WARNER BROS BELGIAN ISSUE USD $2.03 [0 bids]
23h 8m
Julian Lennon - Help Yourself 3 Track CD Single USD $6.34 Buy It Now 23h 32m
KASHIF: Help Yourself To My Love / Mono 45 (dj) Soul USD $8.00 Buy It Now 1 day
THE STANDELLS - HELP YOURSELF & OOH POO PAH DOO - GARAGE FRAT 45 - HEAR USD $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
TOM JONES - HELP YOURSELF - 60'S VINTAGE SHEET MUSIC AUSTRALIA USD $10.33 Buy It Now 1 day
Jay And Techniques - Baby Make Your Own Sweet Music / Help Yourself To All My Lo USD $16.23 Buy It Now 1 day
JULIAN LENNON Help Yourself CD Single / Card Sleeve USD $7.94 Buy It Now 1 day
UNDISPUTED TRUTH - HELP YOURSELF 7" VINYL USD $10.13 Buy It Now 1 day
60's Garage Rock/The Standells/"Help Yourself"/"I'll Go Crazy"/Liberty USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
JAMES & BOBBY PURIFY HELP YOURSELF USA 1968 ORIGINAL DEMO EX COPY USD $27.04 Buy It Now 1 day
Djalma Ferreira ?- Help Yourself To The Brazilliance Of Djalma - LP -1968 USD $7.43 Buy It Now 1 day
AL AND JET LORING-SWAN 4052 ROCK 45RPM NO ONE LIKE YOU/HELP YOURSELF, BABY VG+ USD $9.95 Buy It Now 1 day
JIMMY REED DJ 45 "HELP YOURSELF" / "HEADING FOR A FALL" USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
HELP YOURSELF ~ BEWARE THE SHADOW ** 1972 UK 1st UNITED ARTISTS LP USD $11.50 [7 bids]
1 day
TOM JONES-DAY BY DAY/HELP YOURSELF-RARE ORIGINAL INDIAN 7" 45rpm 1968-DECCA USD $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
JULIAN LENNON Help Yourself (CD, 2009) DIGIPAK **COLLECTIBLE** USD $79.99 Buy It Now 1 day
PEGGY SCOTT-ADAMS - Help Yourself - CD ** Like New - Mint ** USD $13.75 Buy It Now 2 days
Julian Lennon Help Yourself inc Saltwater + Cassette Tape USD $8.12 Buy It Now 2 days
Tom Jones - Help Yourself vinyl LP original Decca ffrr Mono USD $1.34 [0 bids]
2 days
JULIAN LENNON - HELP YOURSELF -3 TRACK CD- (CARD SLEEVE) USD $3.59 Buy It Now 2 days
Help Yourself Man Ken Whaley Sheffield Polytechnic MM3 LP/Tour advert 1973 USD $13.53 Buy It Now 2 days
Tom Jones Help Yourself UK LP Advert 1968 USD $13.53 Buy It Now 2 days
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer - Help Yourself - Album Cassette Tape, Used very good USD $3.38 Buy It Now 2 days
soul, ruby andrews, help yourself USD $6.76 [0 bids]
2 days
Help Yourself Man Roger Ruskin Spear & His Kinetic Wardrobe Advert 28/4/73 USD $13.53 Buy It Now 2 days
Help Yourself Happy Days UK Tour Advert MM-REIP USD $13.53 Buy It Now 2 days
Strange Affair/Return Of Ken Whaley - Help Yourself (CD Used Very Good) USD $9.81 Buy It Now 2 days
Help Yourself Keef Hartley Brinsley Schwarz show advert Time Out cutting 1971 USD $13.53 Buy It Now 2 days
Mighty Baby Help Yourself Man concert advert Time Out cutting 1971 USD $13.53 Buy It Now 2 days
Help Yourself Strange Affair LP advert Time Out cutting 1972 USD $13.53 Buy It Now 2 days
Renaissance Help Yourself Solid Gold Cadillac show advert Time Out cutting 1972 USD $13.53 Buy It Now 2 days
JAY & TECHNIQUES "BABY MAKE YOUR OWN SWEET MUSIC / HELP YOURSELF TO ALL MY" 45 USD $2.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Help Yourself Man Ernie Graham Press Kit X 2 USD $13.53 Buy It Now 2 days
Lp Tom Jones Help Yourself USD $2.71 [0 bids]
2 days
Tom Jones / Help Yourself / London/Parrot Records 12"LP USD $6.99 Buy It Now 2 days
BARBER, Debra (Help Yourself To Me) RCA JA-10190 (PB-10190) = PROMO record USD $4.20 Buy It Now 2 days
Reaffirmation: An Anthology 1971-1973 by Help Yourself (CD, Jul-2014, 2... USD $12.86 Buy It Now 2 days
Julian Lennon Help Yourself 7" Virgin VS1379 EX/EX 1991 picture sleeve, Help You USD $8.78 Buy It Now 2 days
Tom Jones - Help Yourself - 12" vinyl LP album USD $2.03 [0 bids]
2 days
lot if 2 Zodiac 45s by RUBY ANDREWS Casonova & Help Yourself ? USD $49.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Lenny Dee - Try A Little Tenderness / Help Yourself 45 VG+ 1969 USD $0.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Tom Jones ?- Help Yourself LP - PAS 71025 US Press - VG USD $11.16 Buy It Now 3 days
Help Yourself CD (2004) USD $4.47 Buy It Now 3 days
JULIAN LENNON John Japan 1991 NM CD+Obi HELP YOURSELF USD $39.99 Buy It Now 3 days
LARRY GATLIN -GATLIN BROTHERS BAND- "HELP YOURSELF" USD $3.00 Buy It Now 3 days
EDDY CLEARWATER CD Help Yourself NEW SEALED UNOPENED Chicago Blues Blind Pig USD $12.71 Buy It Now 3 days
Herbie Hancock - Everybody's Broke / Help Yourself, CBS Test Pressing Soul 45 USD $20.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Greg Kroll Two Sides Vinyl LP Record help yourself to my love NEW USD $17.39 Buy It Now 3 days
12" Vinyl LP Record *LOT OF 2* Tom Jones, Help Yourself & What's New Pussycat? USD $7.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Tom Jones - Help Yourself & Day By Day Record 1968 USD $0.66 [0 bids]
3 days
TOM JONES "help yourself" lp vinyl USD $2.25 [0 bids]
USD $6.75 Buy It Now
3 days
EDDY CLEARWATER, HELP YOURSELF, BLUES CD, 1992, FREE SHIPPING! USD $5.99 Buy It Now 3 days
NEW Help Yourself (Audio CD) USD $19.11 Buy It Now 3 days
TOM JONES-HELP YOURSELF-LP-PARROT-PAS 71025-VG+ USD $4.99 Buy It Now 3 days
TOM JONES - RARE - NEW ZEALAND DECCA RECORDS- HELP YOURSELF - DEC.459 USD $1.01 [0 bids]
3 days
Hugh X Lewis Blues Sells A Lot Of/Help Yourself 45 RPM USD $7.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Help Yourself by Julian Lennon (Singer/Songerwriter) (CD, Aug-1991, Atlantic) USD $8.12 Buy It Now 4 days
Tom Jones: "Help Yourself"/"Day By Day" - his '68 Pop hit - nice - plays Nr Mt! USD $2.62 Buy It Now 4 days
Jay & The Techniques 45 BABY MAKE YOUR OWN SWEET MUSIC / HELP YOURSELF ~VG+ r+b USD $3.75 Buy It Now 4 days
HUGH X. LEWIS Blues Sells a Lot of Booze/Help Yourself to Me 45 GRT title strips USD $3.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Help Yourself by Julian Lennon (Singer/Songerwriter) (CD, Aug-1991, Atlantic (L. USD $10.00 Buy It Now 4 days
TOM JONES--HELP YOURSELF 33-1/3 JUKEBOX 7" ALBUM-TITLE STRIPS & MINI PHOTO-RARE USD $14.99 [0 bids]
4 days
JULIAN LENNON UK 1991 LIMITED BOXED CD Single Help Yourself VSCDG1379 DISC=MINT USD $8.10 Buy It Now 4 days
Tom Jones HELP YOURSELF W/"Laura" Parrot PAS71025 Near Mint USD $9.95 Buy It Now 4 days
Help Yourself by Peggy Scott-Adams (CD, Oct-1996, Miss Butch Records) USD $11.07 Buy It Now 4 days
JULIAN LENNON HELP YOURSELF 7" SINGLE 1991 N/MINT USD $2.08 Buy It Now 4 days
Tom-Jones-Delilah-inc-Riders-in-The-Sky-amp-Help-Yourself-Cassette-Tape USD $4.40 Buy It Now 4 days
Mills Brothers 45 It Ain't No Big Thing / Help Yourself To Some Tomorrow EX DOT USD $1.50 Buy It Now 4 days
Djalma (Ferreira) - Help Yourself to the Brazilliance of Djalma (Dot 25905) sexy USD $19.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Help Yourself by Julian Lennon (CD, Aug-1991, Atlantic Recordsl) Brand New USD $43.50 Buy It Now 4 days
The Undisputed Truth - Help Yourself / What's Going On Vinyl 7" 45 - Gordy - G USD $3.35 Buy It Now 4 days
The Undisputed Truth - Help Yourself / What's Going On Vinyl 7" 45 - Gordy - G USD $3.35 Buy It Now 4 days
The Undisputed Truth - Help Yourself / What's Going On Vinyl 7" 45 - Gordy - G USD $2.01 Buy It Now 4 days
The Undisputed Truth - Help Yourself / What's Going On Vinyl 7" 45 - Gordy - G USD $2.01 Buy It Now 4 days
The Undisputed Truth - Help Yourself / What's Going On Vinyl 7" 45 - Gordy - G USD $3.35 Buy It Now 4 days
The Undisputed Truth - Help Yourself / What's Going On Vinyl 7" 45 - Gordy - G USD $1.95 Buy It Now 4 days
Roy Head - Help Yourself To Me / To Make A Big Man Cry Vinyl 7" 45 - Shannon - S USD $1.95 Buy It Now 4 days
E Troneek Funk & Chris Carrier - Help Yourself - Etroneek Music 3 - 2005 #153566 USD $4.05 Buy It Now 4 days
Demon Presents Smiley - Happy Therapy - Help Yourself - 2007 #218512 USD $4.05 Buy It Now 4 days
The Standells - Ooh Poo Pah Doo / Help Yourself - Rare Garage Rock Soul 45 VG+ USD $19.99 [0 bids]
4 days
LARRY GATLIN Greatest Hits HELP YOURSELF Oh! Brother THE PILGRIM VINYL 4 LP Lot USD $8.00 Buy It Now 4 days
HELP YOURSELF S/T LP 1971 UK LIBERTY 1ST A1B1 RARE PSYCH/PROG LOOKS PLAYED ONCE USD $236.75 [0 bids]
4 days
Mills Brothers It Aint No Big/Help Yourself To 45 RPM USD $12.00 Buy It Now 5 days
NEW - Help Yourself by Walk Away USD $39.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Roy Head Help Yourself To Me/Same(DJ Copy) 45 RPM Shannon Records USD $7.00 Buy It Now 5 days
JULIAN LENNON HELP YOURSELF VJCP-28057 JAPAN CD Q-3866 USD $0.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer ?- Help Yourself! CD *RARE* USD $2.09 Buy It Now 5 days
RUBY ANDREWS "ALL THE WAY c/w HELP YOURSELF (LOVER)" NORTHERN SOUL LISTEN! USD $54.10 Buy It Now 5 days
TOM JONES, LOT OF 2 LP'S, "HELP YOURSELF" & "FUNNY FAMILIAR FORGOTTEN FEELINGS" USD $9.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Tom Jones Help Yourself 7" vinyl single record UK F.12812 DECCA 1968 USD $14.81 Buy It Now 5 days
TOM JONES - HELP YOURSELF - 1968 - VINYL LP - PARROT RECORDS USD $1.89 Buy It Now 5 days

More places to buy HELP YOURSELF music online Buy HELP YOURSELF & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
HELP YOURSELF has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

HELP YOURSELF discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

HELP YOURSELF top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.31 | 10 ratings
Help Yourself
1971
3.38 | 10 ratings
Strange Affair
1972
3.90 | 10 ratings
Beware the Shadow
1972
3.71 | 7 ratings
Return of Ken Whaley
1973

HELP YOURSELF Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HELP YOURSELF Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

HELP YOURSELF Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 4 ratings
Help Yourself/Beware the Shadow
2002
3.09 | 3 ratings
Reaffirmation - An Anthology 1971-1973
2014

HELP YOURSELF Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.33 | 5 ratings
5
2004

HELP YOURSELF Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Reaffirmation - An Anthology 1971-1973 by HELP YOURSELF album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2014
3.09 | 3 ratings

BUY
Reaffirmation - An Anthology 1971-1973
Help Yourself Prog Related

Review by oliverstoned
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars 3,5 stars really!

At the time I'm writing these lines, this compilation is the first record I discover from the band. It's a mixed bag, to say the least. I was very sceptical at first listening cause hardly half of this compilation is worth. But what an half! This English band shows varied influences without sounding as a copycat. The influences range from the USA west coast: "Running down deep" is an excellent tune reminiscent of QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE, "Old man", as the title suggests, reminds of NEIL YOUNG's HARVEST period and also a tad of FAITPORT CONVENTION UNHALFBRICKING for the delicate guitar parts, a delight! "Street songs", another solid number, may remind of the ALLMAN BROTHERS. "Brown lady" is a nice acoustic piece in the CROSBY STILLS & NASH vein.

"The all electric fur trapper" begins as a heavy psyche-rock until a floaty, spacey "hawaian Gilmourian" guitar part show the influence of PINK FLOYD's MEDDLE.

"Reaffirmation", a long tune, has some similarities with CARAVAN IN THE LAND period. There's not much to save from the second disc of this compilation, only "It has to be" hold its own, another spacey piece somewhat reminiscent of PINK FLOYD. The rest of the compilation is made of dubious tunes, some are awful, far from progressive musical territories. Indeed, the band was hesitating between several musical directions, including "pub rock" (!).

This CD release sounds good and well balanced. Only 3.5 stars for the whole, but it's a easy 4 stars if you only keep the good ones.

 5 by HELP YOURSELF album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2004
2.33 | 5 ratings

BUY
5
Help Yourself Prog Related

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars This is one of those throwback albums like Proto-Kaw’s ‘Early Recordings of Kansas’ or Midwinter’s ‘The Waters of Sweet Sorrow’. Like those records this was originally a series of preliminary studio tracks that were never released as an album when they were first recorded (in this case, in 1973). Help Yourself fractured around that time with several tracks on studio tapes but not released. Some of them were included on a Malcolm Morley solo project, but that also was never released (to the best of my knowledge).

Most of the original members of the band got together in 2002 and finished production on these tracks though, leading to its release in 2004. I’m not sure exactly what the point of Rick Griffin’s ‘Wrench Boy’ painting is on the cover, but it’s kind of cool – maybe intended to reflect the working-class nature of the original Helps lineup.

The sound here is more even than their seventies studio albums, with no meandering psych hippie excursions like ‘Excerpts from “The All Electric Fur Trapper”’ or “Reaffirmation”, so in that respect it shows some maturity and polish to a band that was otherwise kind of charmingly out-of-control when it came to studio work back in their heyday.

But on the other hand any suggestion of a progressive sound is also absent. The Helps were never more than a marginally progressive band anyway; they could be described as experimental, but could just as easily have been called noncommittal, so its hard to say if they were looking to expand their sound or just to find one that would get people to listen to them.

Their ‘Strange Affair’ album from 1972 had a couple of tracks that bordered on a west-coast country sound ala Firefall, and on this album that sound is out in full force. The opening track would easily have fit on a Firefall album, or maybe Ambrosia. The band also continues their penchant for sounding more like an American country-inspired band than like the British rockers that they actually were. This is quite evident on “Cowboy Song” and the de facto title track “Monkey Wrench”.

For “Romance in a Tin” the boys brought in Ian Hunter and asked him to pen a sequel to “Irene Wilde”, which is exactly what he did.

Okay, just kidding there, but the vocals, tempo and lyrical message on that tune seems like it was meant to be just what I described. A little borderline fuzz guitar for effect, but this is almost a ballad really.

These are followed by the Keith Carradine-sounding love song “Grace” and the Jimmy Buffet calypso love song “Martha”, both of which are interesting sounds for the group but largely forgettable in the overall framework of this album (and of their career).

The one track on the album that I would say is an attempt to recapture past psychedelic experiences is the six-minute “The Rock”. But I get the impression these guys had cleaned up their acts long ago visa vie recreational stimulants, so this one comes off feeling a bit forced and awkward. Very nice guitar work though, and pretty heavy for a band like this which tended toward a more mellow sound. “Alley Cat” later on the album is similar but on that one the tempo is a bit looser and seems less strained.

And speaking of mellow, “Willow” is a seriously authentic-sounding throwback to the CSN acoustic-n-harmonies days of the very early seventies. Nice.

Finally “Duneburgers” I believe is a reworking of a 1973 tune the band recorded around the time of “The Return of Ken Whaley” titled “Eating Duneburgers”. This is the other psych-inspired tune on the album, but it is toned down considerably from the laid- back fuzz and patchouli sound the band worked into their psych tunes back then. A natural-sounding ending to the album, and likely and end to any new material from the band.

This is a nice flashback to the late days of the Help Yourself experience, and its always cool to get a chance to listen to music that has essentially sat in a time capsule for a couple of decades. But unless you are a Helps fan, or at least a pretty big fan of Wishbone Ash / Home / Allman Brothers / Ambrosia music from the early seventies, you probably won’t find much here to get excited about. So that makes this a ‘fans-only’ recording, although I certainly don’t find anything particularly wrong with any of the tracks here. And since I fit the above description, it has a place in my collection.

peace

 Strange Affair by HELP YOURSELF album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.38 | 10 ratings

BUY
Strange Affair
Help Yourself Prog Related

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars More of the same for Help Yourself on their second album, for the most part. Bassist Ken Whaley had taken his leave, replaced by former band roadie Ernie Graham on guitars and vocals (although Whaley would return a couple years later with the band naming their fourth album in his honor). Graham penned the only non-Malcolm Morley track on the first two albums, the strumming and west coast-flavored “Movie Star”.

Otherwise most of these tracks are quite similar to the debut, at least most of them. The band would put together their first full- length psych jam here with the ten minute rambling “Excerpts from the ‘All Electric Fur Trapper’”, which would only be topped during their career by the even longer and more improvisational “Reaffirmation” on the ‘Beware the Shadow’ release.

The instrumentation is the same: a couple of guitars, piano, bass and drums. Pub band fare for the most part, but Help Yourself had a knack for coming off as just vaguely enough like several ‘A’ list bands to sound like they were a bit more accomplished than what they probably were. The title track for example has a jaunty piano intro and lumbering tempo that bears a striking resemblance to a fair amount of Joe Walsh’s solo stuff; even the theme, something about a classy chick picking up a bum in a bar, sounds like something Walsh would have penned.

“Brown Lady” leans quite heavily into Ambrosia or Firefall territory with its strumming acoustic guitar, almost invisible bass line, and disjointed amorous lyrics. The Graham track “Movie Star” fits quite well in between the Morley tunes, but with harmonizing vocals that recall Buffalo Springfield or even CSN; while “Deanna Call and Scotty” has a Morley vocal track and piano accompaniment that could easily have been inspired by any number of tracks from ‘Abbey Road’, or maybe even some of the early seventies albums from the Beatles Lite (ELO).

The band moves back into pub rock with “Heaven Row”, even to the extent of including female harmonizing vocal backing. And the closing “Many Ways of Meeting” has a real “Let it Be” feel to it but without any kind of heavy lyrical undercurrent of meaning.

But the stand out track is the aforementioned “Excerpts from the ‘All Electric Fur Trapper’”, a lightly psychedelic and slow- developing instrumental that weaves in acoustic picking, electric strumming, fuzz, and some odd keyboard effects with a couple minutes of undisciplined jamming that sounds awfully acid-inspired. The result is one of those space-out songs that is best listened to in early dusk while lying on the hood of your car in a park somewhere. Peaceful, easy stuff, and probably brought the lighters out when it was played live at festivals back then (assuming it was played live at festivals, which I’m sure it was).

The next couple albums would be a bit heavier than this one, which is a bit heavier than the debut. But in reality these guys can be easily lumped with Man, pre-Laurie Wisefield Wishbone Ash, or Home. In other words British pub rock that aspires to be a bit more, and is inexplicably very west coast leaning in its execution. Decent stuff, probably not progressive, but worth a listen unless you are a prog purist. Three stars.

peace

 Help Yourself by HELP YOURSELF album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.31 | 10 ratings

BUY
Help Yourself
Help Yourself Prog Related

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars "We were also incredibly stoned all the time." - Richard Treece

Help Yourself were probably one of the more American-sounding, country-tinged and guitar-driven bands to come out of the early seventies. The problem with this of course is that they weren’t American at all, but a rather working-class British act that existed for but a few short years before the members scattered to a host of other projects including Ducks Deluxe, Bees Makes Honey, Man, and the Flying Aces. This 1971 debut is the most laid-back of their five releases, and gives little hint of the more driving and psychedelic sounds they would graduate to on subsequent releases.

The comparisons are obvious and inevitable almost immediately into this album: Buffalo Springfield, the Eagles, Wishbone Ash, Man, Quicksilver Messenger Service. So you get the idea. The band for this first release consisted of Malcolm Morley who wrote pretty much all the tracks; Richard Treece who apparently owned the only decent guitar among the group; Ken Whaley, and drummer Dave Charles who had recorded a sole album with Morley in a late sixties group called Sam Apple Pie.

The music here ranges from almost country ala Neil Young or the Eagles (“Old Man”) to blues-rock (“Look at the View”) to an odd sort of vaguely folk sound with nebulous lyrics hinting at a bard-like tale from ‘days of yore’ (“To Katherine They Fell”). “Deborah” sounds remarkably like an early seventies Eagles tune, and “Street Songs” would not have been out of place on an Allman Brothers album.

The one real oddity is the opening “I Must See Jesus for Myself”, a sort of honky-tonk gospel-leaning romp that really throws off expectations for the rest of the album. The tongue-in-cheek faux serious mood of this one reminds me quite a bit of the old Violent Femmes tune “Jesus Walking on the Water”, although admittedly the guitar and piano work here is quite a bit more accomplished than the Femmes ever managed. But hey – the Femmes were an awesome live act, so there’s that at least…

It’s hard to know what to think of this album, and in some ways it’s hard to know how to assess this band. They can’t really be considered overly progressive, and other than “To Katherine They Fell” and “Old Man” I’m not sure I’d place them in the folk category either. But overall this is a quite agreeable sound, and it’s always nice to discover obscure bands from days gone by who still have the chops to keep one’s attention for forty minutes or so. “To Katherine They Fell” is the most impressive track here with its dreamy and relaxed guitars wandering behind Morley’s sad vocals. “Paper Leaves” is the other stand out track, even if I can’t get Michael Stipe out of my head when I hear it. I guess this is better than just for collectors, mostly because I think prog folk fans and those who find something to like in bands like Buffalo Springfield and Wishbone Ash will probably find something here as well. So three stars it is, and recommended to all those people I just mentioned.

peace

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives