political

The Beatles Albums- Help

 

Song Lyrics:

Help, I need somebody
Help, not just anybody
Help, you know, I need someone
Help

(When)
When I was younger, so much younger than today (I never needed)
I never needed anybody’s help in any way (now)
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured (and now I find)
Now I find, I’ve changed my mind, I’ve opened up the doors

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you, please, please help me?

(Now)
And now my life has changed in, oh, so many ways (my independence)
My independence seems to vanish in the haze (but)
But every now and then I feel so insecure (I know that I)
I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you, please, please help me?

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way (now)
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured (and now I find)
Now I find, I’ve changed my mind, I’ve opened up the doors

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you, please, please help me?
Help me, help me

 

Written by: John Lennon (80%), Paul McCartney (20%) (credited as Lennon-McCartney)
Recorded: April 13, 1965 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Mixed: April 18, 1965; June 18, 1965
Length: 2:33
Takes: 12
Musicians: John Lennon: lead vocals, rhythm guitar (Framus 12-string acoustic “Hootenanny”)
Paul McCartney: backing vocals, bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1)
George Harrison: backing vocals, lead guitar (Gretsch 6119 “Tennessean”)
Ringo Starr: drums (Ludwig), tambourine
First released: August 6, 1965 (UK: Parlophone R5305), August 13, 1965 (US: Capitol 5476)
Available on: (CDs in bold)

  • Help!, (UK: Parlophone PMC 1255, US: Capitol (S)MAS 2386, Parlophone CDP 7 46439 2)
  • The Beatles 1962-1966, (UK: Apple PCSP 717, US: Apple SKBO 3403, Apple CDP 0777 7 97036 2 3)
  • The Beatles 1, (Apple CDP 7243 5 299702 2)

Highest chart position: 1 (US: three weeks beginning September 4, 1965); 1 (UK: August 5, 1965)
History:

  • A very personal song for John, or so he claimed years later: “When ‘Help!’ came out in 1965, I was actually crying out for help. I didn’t realize it at the time; I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie. But later, I knew I was really crying out for help. It was my fat Elvis period. You see the movie: He…I…is very fat, very insecure, and he’s completely lost himself.”
  • Perhaps subconsciously tuning in to the deeper meaning of what is, on the surface, a plea to a lover, John lobbied to get this song recorded slowly. But as the next single, it was decided to play it fast. Paul McCartney, as well as other artists, have played this song slowly live.
  • The original US album version of this song came with orchestral, non-Beatles soundtrack music from the Help! film in lieu of some of the UK album’s songs, resulting in a version of the song “Help!” featuring a James Bond-type music parody as a short intro (15 seconds). When the greatest hits Beatles 1962-1966 album came out in 1973, that intro was left on; it has been edited out of subsequent albums. Some fans, however, prefer the song with the intro, and several American radio stations have played it that way.

Live versions: August 14, 1965 (Ed Sullivan Show, CBS Theatre, New York, NY), August 15, 1965 (Shea Stadium, New York, NY), August 17, 1965 (Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada), August 18, 1965 (Atlanta Stadium, Atlanta, GA), August 19, 1965 (Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, TX), August 20, 1965 (White Sox Park, Chicago, IL), August 21, 1965 (Metropolitan Stadium, Minneapolis, MN), August 22, 1965 (Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR), August 28, 1965 (Balboa Stadium, San Diego, CA), August 29-30, 1965 (Cow Palace, San Francisco, CA) 

When played backwards, the line “I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before” comes out sounding something like “Now he uses marijuana.” Although not intended as such by the band, the audio anomaly is intriguing to fans who note that the band began using marijuana habitually during the recording of this film.
An episode of the ABC sitcom Full House from features two main characters locked in a recording studio and yelling for help, yet one other character assumes they’re just recording a cover of the song.
Covered by: Bananarama, Count Basie, The Carpenters, Tommy Castro, The Charles River Valley Boys, The Crusaders, The Damned, Howie Day, DC Talk, Deep Purple, Extreme, Jad Fair, John Farnham, Jose Feliciano, The Four Tops, Henry Gross, John’s Children, R. Stevie Moore, The Newbeats, Dolly Parton, David Porter, Isaac Scott, Peter Sellers, Michael Stanley, The Tremeloes, Tina Turner, U2, Caetano Veloso
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When recording With The Beatles, producer George Martin frequently bounced tracks from one two-track tape recorder to another in order to add additional overdubs.

The technique became less necessary when Abbey Road began making four-track recorders available to The Beatles around the time of A Hard Day’s Night.

Soon their appetite for more and more tracks increased, and the technique returned when it became a necessity while recording the song “Help!”

The Beatles might not have actually needed to apply this technique if George Harrison hadn’t had difficulty playing his descending guitar fills when the band was recording backing tracks. Instead of ruining an otherwise perfect take, he opted to stop playing when the riff was supposed to be played and decided to record the fills separately as an overdub.

However, as the recording session progressed, the remaining open tracks were filled with vocals and there wasn’t even room to punch in Harrison’s guitar part.

Martin realized that the only way to add Harrison’s guitar was by combining tracks while transferring them to another four-track recorder. He left track 1 (drums, bass) and track 2 (acoustic and electric guitars) the same but combined the lead and backing vocals and percussion parts on tracks 3 and 4 to a single track.

Although Harrison still struggled with the part for several takes, having an entirely free track to record on allowed him to work on each section separately until he perfected it, without having to worry about affecting or ruining the other performances.

While the technique of transferring tracks between two four-track machines offered the potential for freeing up one, two or even three additional tracks, The Beatles only used it one other time during 1965, while recording the Rubber Soul track “Michelle.”

 guitarworld.com

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Other Tidbits
John Lennon has described this time of his life as his “fat Elvis period.” In a 1971 interview with Rolling Stone, Lennon said this is one of his favorite Beatles records, because, “I meant it – it’s real.” The former Beatle added: “The lyric is as good now as it was then. It is no different, and it makes me feel secure to know that I was that aware of myself then. It was just me singing ‘Help’ and I meant it.”
McCartney helped Lennon write the song, but did not realize it was actually Lennon calling for help until years later.
The lyrics appears to be addressed to another person, but they could also be seen as being addressed to a mind altering substance. There are lots of clues in the lyrics but the major ones are, “I’ve changed my mind” and “I’ve opened up the doors” as in “The Doors Of Perception” which is the title of a book by Aldous Huxley about his mind altering experiences with mescaline. The title is taken from a quote of William Blake’s, “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” (thanks, Ed – Perth, Australia)

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