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 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


Help YourselfHelp Yourself
Music on Vinyl 2017
$20.08
$24.01 (used)
Reaffirmation: An Anthology 1971-1973 /  Help YourselfReaffirmation: An Anthology 1971-1973 / Help Yourself
ESOTERIC 2018
$13.12
$13.11 (used)
55
Hux Records 2004
$195.97
$180.73 (used)
Help Yourself/Beware The Shadow /  Help YourselfHelp Yourself/Beware The Shadow / Help Yourself
Remastered
Bgo 2017
$28.00
$67.29 (used)
The Return Of Ken Whaley/Happy Days /  Help YourselfThe Return Of Ken Whaley/Happy Days / Help Yourself
Remastered
Bgo 2017
$14.09
$9.00 (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
$33.88
Reaffirmation: An Anthology 1971-73 by HELP YOURSELF (2013-05-04)Reaffirmation: An Anthology 1971-73 by HELP YOURSELF (2013-05-04)
Imports
$42.41
Strange AffairStrange Affair
United Artists Records
$45.99
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Help Yourself - Strange Affair/The Return Of Ken Whaley/Happy Days (DBL CD) USD $14.02 [0 bids]
JULIAN LENNON Help Yourself CD Single / Card Sleeve USD $7.64 Buy It Now 53m 23s
Tom Jones ?- Help Yourself LP - PAS 71025 US Press - VG USD $11.57 Buy It Now 1h
Julian Lennon ?- Help Yourself JAPAN CD OBI (VJCP-28075) USD $11.20 Buy It Now 2h 33m
UNDISPUTED TRUTH - HELP YOURSELF 7" VINYL USD $10.50 Buy It Now 2h 44m
TOM JONES Help Yourself Danish 45PS 1968. USD $4.72 Buy It Now 2h 47m
Julian Lennon - Help Yourself (Vinyl) USD $11.20 Buy It Now 3h 46m
TOM JONES - HELP YOURSELF 7" SINGLE AUSTRALIA USD $3.45 Buy It Now 4h 16m
Help Yourself by Peggy Scott-Adams (CD, Oct-1996, Miss Butch Records) USD $8.00 Buy It Now 4h 32m
JAMES & BOBBY PURIFY HELP YOURSELF USA 1968 ORIGINAL DEMO EX COPY USD $28.03 Buy It Now 4h 38m
Eddy Clearwater - Help Yourself [CD New] USD $14.79 Buy It Now 4h 41m
Help Yourself - Eddy Clearwater (CD New) USD $15.21 Buy It Now 4h 57m
JIMMY REED DJ 45 "HELP YOURSELF" / "HEADING FOR A FALL" USD $5.00 Buy It Now 7h 5m
AL AND JET LORING-SWAN 4052 ROCK 45RPM NO ONE LIKE YOU/HELP YOURSELF, BABY VG+ USD $9.95 Buy It Now 7h 30m
JULIAN LENNON - Help Yourself - CD - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $39.75 Buy It Now 7h 48m
Sanchez ?- Help Yourself To Your Love 12" USD $7.00 [0 bids]
8h 15m
TOM JONES Help Yourself 7" VINYL UK Decca 1968 Four Prong Label Design B/W Day USD $2.93 Buy It Now 9h 2m
TOM JONES Delilah 7" VINYL UK Old Gold 1983 B/W Help Yourself (Og9352) USD $5.88 Buy It Now 9h 3m
TOM JONES Help Yourself 7" VINYL US Parrot Great Hits Issue B/W Love Me Tonight USD $5.88 Buy It Now 9h 28m
Reaffirmation: An Anthology 1971-1973 by Help Yourself (CD, Jul-2014, 2... USD $14.72 Buy It Now 10h 47m
Cochise?- Swallow Tales vinyl, sealed, U.K. rural rock, Help Yourself, cc USD $20.00 Buy It Now 16h 15m
Julian Lennon CD Help Yourself ? Keep The People Working ? 1991 Atlantic USD $8.00 Buy It Now 20h 50m
TOM JONES - 60's Sheet Music - HELP YOURSELF (GLI OCCHI MIEI) USD $16.83 Buy It Now 21h 59m
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer - Help Yourself - Album Cassette Tape, Used very good USD $3.51 Buy It Now 1 day
45" Tom Jones: Help Yourself / Day By Day / 1968 / Parrot 40029 / EX (Oldies) USD $9.20 Buy It Now 1 day
Help Yourself Strange Affair First Press EX Vinyl Record LP USD $392.64 Buy It Now 1 day
Tony Ferrino - Help Yourself / Bigamy At Christmas (2 Track CD Single 1996) USD $4.19 Buy It Now 1 day
TOM JONES HELP YOURSELF 7" Vinyl Record Near Mint USD $1.39 Buy It Now 1 day
JAY & TECHNIQUES "BABY MAKE YOUR OWN SWEET MUSIC / HELP YOURSELF TO ALL MY" 45 USD $2.00 Buy It Now 1 day
FIRST CONGRESS Help Yourself Rare 1 Track CD! New! USD $2.79 Buy It Now 1 day
Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers ?- Help Yourself K7 Cassette 1980 CBS Canada USD $5.11 Buy It Now 1 day
TOM JONES - HELP YOURSELF 7" VINYL PS (FRENCH PRESSING) USD $6.30 Buy It Now 1 day
Larry Gatlin and Brothers Help Yourself LP USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
BARBER, Debra (Help Yourself To Me) RCA JA-10190 (PB-10190) = PROMO record USD $4.20 Buy It Now 1 day
Julian Lennon Help Yourself 7" Virgin VS1379 EX/EX 1991 picture sleeve, Help You USD $9.10 Buy It Now 1 day
Lenny Dee - Try A Little Tenderness / Help Yourself 45 VG+ 1969 USD $0.99 Buy It Now 1 day
JULIAN LENNON John Japan 1991 NM CD+Obi HELP YOURSELF USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
KASHIF Help Yourself To My Love DJ Promo 12" Arista 9064 1983 Funk Soul NM RARE USD $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
GREG KROLL Record Album Rock Music " Two Sides " New Sealed Help Yourself Love USD $8.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Help Yourself by Julian Lennon (Singer/Songerwriter) (CD, Aug-1991, Atlantic (L. USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Greg Kroll Two Sides Vinyl LP Record help yourself to my love NEW USD $17.39 Buy It Now 1 day
HELP YOURSELF - TOM JONES **FREE P&P** USD $3.21 Buy It Now 1 day
TOM JONES: Pop 45rpm "Help Yourself/Day By Day" Parrot 40029 7"vinyl PLAYED VG USD $2.39 Buy It Now 2 days
LARRY GATLIN & THE GATLIN BROTHERS BAND-HELP YOURSELF VINYL RECORD 1980 USD $1.99 Buy It Now 2 days
TOM JONES "HELP YOURSELF" DECCA-12812-1968 ref 56 USD $1.39 Buy It Now 2 days
HELP YOURSELF Return Of Ken Whaley LP VINYL 8 Track With Extra 8 Track Happy D USD $220.86 Buy It Now 2 days
EDDY CLEARWATER CD Help Yourself NEW SEALED UNOPENED Chicago Blues Blind Pig USD $16.95 Buy It Now 2 days
NEW Help Yourself (Audio CD) USD $19.92 Buy It Now 2 days
TOM JONES-HELP YOURSELF-LP-PARROT-PAS 71025-VG+ USD $2.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Hugh X Lewis Blues Sells A Lot Of/Help Yourself 45 RPM USD $7.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Tom Jones "Help Yourself" Vintage Vinyl Record Album, LP 33 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
TOM JONES (HELP YOURSELF) VINYL LP USD $2.99 [0 bids]
USD $3.90 Buy It Now
2 days
Help Yourself - Help Yourself [New Vinyl LP] Holland - Import USD $24.03 Buy It Now 2 days
Help Yourself by Julian Lennon (Singer/Songerwriter) (CD, Aug-1991, Atlantic) USD $7.85 Buy It Now 2 days
Help Yourself by Julian Lennon (CD, Aug-1991, Atlantic (Label)) USD $4.34 Buy It Now 2 days
JIMMY REED Help Yourself/Heading For A Fall 7" 1964 Vee Jay EX USD $5.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Help Yourself - Help Yourself [New Vinyl LP] Holland - Import USD $25.57 Buy It Now 2 days
TOM JONES - Help Yourself - LP Record vinyl album USD $4.89 Buy It Now 2 days
Jay & The Techniques 45 BABY MAKE YOUR OWN SWEET MUSIC / HELP YOURSELF ~VG+ r+b USD $3.50 Buy It Now 2 days
HUGH X. LEWIS Blues Sells a Lot of Booze/Help Yourself to Me 45 GRT title strips USD $3.00 Buy It Now 2 days
TOM JONES, LOT OF 2 LP'S, "HELP YOURSELF" & "FUNNY FAMILIAR FORGOTTEN FEELINGS" USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2 days
THE GATLIN BROTHERS HELP YOURSELF ,8 Track Tape,TESTED GOOD ORIG FOIL AND PADS USD $1.99 Buy It Now 2 days
HELP YOURSELF JAPAN CD WPCR-15472 2014 NEW USD $69.70 Buy It Now 2 days
Julian Lennon - Help Yourself [LIMITED EDITION CD SIN... - Julian Lennon CD SEVG USD $74.48 Buy It Now 2 days
1969 Tom Jones Help Yourself Parrot LP 33 Vinyl Record PAS 71025 USD $10.67 Buy It Now 3 days
Ferrino(CD Single)Help Yourself--New USD $10.08 Buy It Now 3 days
Mills Brothers 45 It Ain't No Big Thing / Help Yourself To Some Tomorrow EX DOT USD $1.50 Buy It Now 3 days
Djalma (Ferreira) - Help Yourself to the Brazilliance of Djalma (Dot 25905) sexy USD $19.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Help Yourself by Julian Lennon (CD, Aug-1991, Atlantic Recordsl) Brand New USD $43.50 Buy It Now 3 days
LARRY GATLIN Greatest Hits HELP YOURSELF Oh! Brother THE PILGRIM VINYL 4 LP Lot USD $8.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Promo 45 Marc Allen Trujillo - Help Yourself To All You Need (Stereo Mono) NM USD $7.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Mills Brothers It Aint No Big/Help Yourself To 45 RPM USD $8.00 Buy It Now 3 days
NEW - Help Yourself by Walk Away USD $39.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Roy Head Help Yourself To Me/Same(DJ Copy) 45 RPM Shannon Records USD $7.00 Buy It Now 3 days
lot if 2 Zodiac 45s by RUBY ANDREWS Casonova & Help Yourself ? USD $49.95 Buy It Now 3 days
TOM JONES - HELP YOURSELF - 1968 - VINYL LP - PARROT RECORDS USD $1.61 Buy It Now 3 days
RUBY ANDREWS "ALL THE WAY c/w HELP YOURSELF (LOVER)" NORTHERN SOUL LISTEN! USD $56.08 Buy It Now 3 days
THE GATLIN BROTHERS HELP YOURSELF ,8 Track Tape,TESTED GOOD ORIG FOIL AND PADS USD $1.99 [0 bids]
3 days
Help Yourself to My Heart USD $5.42 Buy It Now 3 days
Help Yourself by Disa Wallander USD $20.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Eddy Clearwater, HELP YOURSELF blues cd, SIGNED with ticket stub USD $12.99 Buy It Now 4 days
VINYL 7" SINGLE - HELP YOURSELF - TOM JONES - F 12812 USD $9.80 Buy It Now 4 days
THE MILLS BROTHERS It Aint No Big Thing/Help Yourself To Promo 45 Rpm Record USD $6.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Tom Jones - Help Yourself 7" single EX/VG USD $3.51 Buy It Now 4 days
LP~HELP YOURSELF-HELP YOURSELF-LP NEW VINYL USD $24.02 Buy It Now 4 days
TOM JONES 'Help Yourself' 1968 Spanish 7"/45 vinyl single USD $7.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Julian Lennon - Help Yourself (CD 1991) (Saltwater) USD $1.40 [0 bids]
4 days
TOM JONES LOT OF 3 ALBUMS: HELP YOURSELF, LIVE CAESARS PALACE, BODY USD $1.99 [0 bids]
4 days
TOM JONES - HELP YOURSELF - 7" 45 - FRANCE 1968 ---------- K @ @ L USD $9.99 Buy It Now 4 days
PEGGY SCOTT-ADAMS - HELP YOURSELF USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $13.94 Buy It Now 4 days
Tom Jones Delilah inc Riders in The Sky & Help Yourself + Cassette Tape - TESTED USD $5.61 Buy It Now 4 days
Julian Lennon Help Yourself 7" vinyl single record UK VS1379 Beatles USD $2.73 Buy It Now 4 days
Julian Lennon - Help Yourself Kct USD $5.99 Buy It Now 4 days
julian lennon cassette help yourself USD $4.21 [0 bids]
4 days
HELP YOURSELF - STRANGE AFFAIR/THE RETURN OF KEN WHALEY PLUS HAPPY DAYS USED - V USD $17.03 Buy It Now 4 days
YES NO PEOPLE Mr Johnson 7" VINYL UK London 1987 B/W Help Yourself (Lon150) Pic USD $5.88 Buy It Now 4 days
Tom Jones HELP YOURSELF W/"Laura" Parrot PAS71025 Near Mint USD $6.99 Buy It Now 4 days
TOM JONES HELP YOURSELF LP (BONUS FEVER ZONE LP) USD $3.00 Buy It Now 4 days
"FANTASTIC" JOE HENDERSON - Help Yourself - DJ 45 VG+ USD $3.00 Buy It Now 4 days
BRASS CONSTRUCTION Help Yourself 12" VINYL UK United Artists 1978 2 Track USD $4.40 Buy It Now 4 days

More places to buy HELP YOURSELF music online Buy HELP YOURSELF & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

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