The Bodhisattva Beat
Music and Life

The Beatles: Help!

Help!: 1965

Help!: 1965

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 calling this one essential, because their artistic leanings were beginning to show. However, I won’t, because I honestly don’t believe your collection would be lacking without it. Don’t let that stop you from getting it though.

Once again, you know the lineup. If you don’t, then you’ve probably got bigger problems.

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.


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