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Where's the love for the "Help!"?
7 March 2011
6.17pm
Von Bontee
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Very, very good album that, oddly for myself seems less than the sum of its parts. It's got a schizo feel that always makes it feel like two albums - not only does it clearly have one foot in the past and one in the future, it's also the first album on which John's and Paul's songs really begin the diverge. (George's songs aren't there yet, but he's certainly improving). And it's possible that when I finally get around to seeing the movie, I'll start mentally dividing it into soundtrack/non-soundtrack halves, making it even more schizo. But it's all about the songs, and the 4 or 5 absolute gems are clearly their best yet, and the second-tier ones all have something new to offer in terms of instrumental innovations, and they'd be highlights of anybody else's album.

As for the two I don't like too much, one is (haha) "You Like Me Too Much" is unique for its throwaway bluesy intro unrelated to the rest of the song. And if "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" always felt a bit dreary to me, at least I can find some poignance in the way it seems like the end of an era, the severing of their last ties to the '50s rock and roll that inspired them.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
7 March 2011
8.00pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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Von Bontee said:

And if "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" always felt a bit dreary to me, at least I can find some poignance in the way it seems like the end of an era, the severing of their last ties to the '50s rock and roll that inspired them.

That's a cool way to look at it.


I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
8 March 2011
3.33am
GniknuS
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I'd just echo what everyone else has said, it has some incredible moments, Hide Your Love Away, Ticket To Ride, I've Just Seen A Face, the title track. I like most of the other songs, seeing You're Gonna Lose that Girl in the movie made me like the song better for some reason, John's voice is killer on it and the harmony is great. I think the anthology version of It's Only Love is miles better...Act Naturally is probably my favorite cover of Ringo's, The Night Before is alright...what am I missing? Oh Yesterday, that little song, yeah it's not bad. But I think the two Harrisongs are dismal, well I Need You is okay but You Like Me Too Much is pretty bad. Tell Me What You See is one of my least favorite songs of Paul's and Dizzy Miss Lizzy isn't too great either.
So overall, when it's good it's really good but when it's bad it's pretty bad so I don't think Help is in the same class as the following few albums.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
8 March 2011
4.15am
Celebrated_Mr_K
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I love Help!, but then again, I love all Beatles albums.  I rank it middle of the pack, behind Sgt. Pepper, Abbey Road, White, Rubber Soul, Revolver, and Magical Mystery Tour.  It's in there with Let it Be.

Being ancient, the Help! I grew up with was the Capitol vinyl release, with far fewer songs, and a lot of soundtrack.  "I've Just Seen a Face" and "It's Only Love" were shifted onto Rubber Soul ("Nowhere Man" was dropped from Rubber Soul, so the album had an even warmer, smokier feel to it than the British release).

My favorite songs from Help!: "Help!", "Hide Your Love Away", "I've Just Seen a Face", "Ticket To Ride", and "It's Only Love."  I've never been a big fan of "Yesterday".  I like it okay, I just don't love it, and I can't for the life of me see why it's the most-covered song in history.  Of some 200+ Beatle songs, "Yesterday" is for me in the bottom twenty-five.

For those that don't like "Dizzy Miss Lizzie"...all I can say is, give it time.  I didn't really like it that much at first.  Then one day, years after I began listening to it, I was enthralled by John's singing and George's relentless, ringing guitar riff.  I've loved it ever since.

8 March 2011
12.29pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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The riff bores me

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
8 March 2011
12.58pm
minime
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Got to hide your love is one of my favorite songs... I can't stop wondering what the lyrics actually mean. On the other hand, that album contains one of the few Beatles songs that I actually dislike-Help. I'm glad someone helped John in the end.

8 March 2011
2.18pm
Joe
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I think, along with Beatles For Sale and Yellow Submarine, it's in my bottom-three. Which isn't to say it's a bad album at all; it's just not a brilliant one. It has its moments, but which Beatles album doesn't?

It's one of those ones they did on the touring/filming treadmill. Oddly, though, Rubber Soul was done even more quickly and that's a better album all round. Perhaps LSD really did show them the way.

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8 March 2011
4.01pm
Inner Light
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Joe said:

I think, along with Beatles For Sale and Yellow Submarine, it's in my bottom-three. Which isn't to say it's a bad album at all; it's just not a brilliant one. It has its moments, but which Beatles album doesn't?

It's one of those ones they did on the touring/filming treadmill. Oddly, though, Rubber Soul was done even more quickly and that's a better album all round. Perhaps LSD really did show them the way.


Joe, you are correct. Rubber Soul was diffently the turning point.  A lot has been written about John and George being introduced to LSD in 1966 but it was actually in April of 1965. I found an article below. 

Few of those many momentous nights enjoyed by the Beatles at the height of their fame were to have more profound consequences than one spent at an unprepossessing two-bedroom flat near London's Bayswater Place in April 1965. It had been an inconsequential evening of socialising shared byGeorge Harrison, John Lennon, their wives Cynthia Lennon and Patti Boyd and George's dentist, who had just drifted over their social horizon. Then the five, accompanied by the dentist'swife, adjourned from the small dining room to the lounge, where the dentist slipped LSD - a substance then as little known to the Beatles as to most in Britain - into their coffees.

 

The further one travels, the less one knows
8 March 2011
4.10pm
Joe
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The second time for Lennon and Harrison (and Starr's first) was in August 1965: http://www.beatlesbible.com/19.....ter-fonda/

That's the occasion that inspired She Said She Said. I'd suggest that that's when the doors were kicked open and they moved from being a quartet of stoners who were losing their way to being hugely creative - if they'd split up after Help! I doubt we'd be here talking about them now.

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8 March 2011
4.50pm
Von Bontee
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Definitely not – no Beatles, no internet!

OK, that's going too far – there'd certainly be a Beatles fan page or two, though definitely not one with such an active forum. Maybe "Yesterday" would only be the 37th most-covered song of all time if the band hadn't existed for another five years.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
8 March 2011
4.53pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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I disagree on the last point. It still is a great song, Yesterday, and the recording still existed

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
8 March 2011
5.04pm
Zig
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Von Bontee said:

Maybe "Yesterday" would only be the 37th most-covered song of all time if the band hadn't existed for another five years.


Have I mentioned in the past 5 minutes how much I enjoy your sense of humor?

BOT:

Joe said:

I'd suggest that that's when the doors were kicked open and they moved from being a quartet of stoners who were losing their way to being hugely creative - if they'd split up after Help! I doubt we'd be here talking about them now.


I really never though of that before, Joe. I truly enjoy Beatles for Sale and HELP! but must admit (as painful as it is to write) that those two albums were probably the worst (God I hate that word) 2 of the first 5.

One could make a very strong case for LSD being one of the catalysts for their creativity on RS and beyond.

 

*9*

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8 March 2011
6.44pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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So, LSD=Greater Music

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
8 March 2011
6.50pm
GniknuS
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No way is Beatles for Sale worse than With the Beatles, No Reply and I'm a Loser are far better than anything With the Beatles has to offer. Sorry, I'll give this to myself. stay-on-topic

I think we all know that drugs had a large effect on the Beatles creativity, the question is, was it THE catalyst or was it a combination of things? I like what John said in his Rolling Stone interview that they just kind of "floated" on the wave of their success, so I like to attribute the clear difference between Help and Rubber Soul to drugs plus the "good vibes" or whatever you want to call it of being the most loved band in the world. Plus the band taking full control in the studio, that obviously marked a huge difference.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
8 March 2011
7.25pm
Zig
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Gnik – I should have worded that better. I should have said "I truly enjoy Beatles For Sale and HELP! but not as much as the first 3." After all, not everyone has the same taste. To say something like "this is the best" or to say "that sucks" is just careless and I should have known better.

Also, I agree about LSD being one of the catalysts (as I did write above) but not the only one. Antother catalyst would be what they mentioned in Anthology that they were always trying to compete with all the other music out there (Beach Boys, Orbison, Dylan, etc…) and write something better. Your thought of the "good vibes" contribution works as well.

apple01

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

8 March 2011
7.54pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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I think the true catalyst is the need to always improve.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
8 March 2011
9.30pm
mithveaen
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But I have a question.. wasn't Help! album a .. how to say it? Something they needed to do for the soundtrack? Like an obligation or something like this?

 

Ok let's think about it.

 

First : Help!. A Beatle movie. A silly one (but a goodie), so they had to "do"  it.

 

Second : The Beatles starting to feel tired of Beatlemania. They say "Ok, we're big. We're good. We don't need to get stardom"

 

Later : Beatles discover drugs and other musicians.. "Mh. This is interesting. There are interesting things out there. The hell with the expectatives.  Let's try something different. After all, we are the Beatles"

 

Next : Rubber Soul.

 

Does this make sense? a-hard-days-night-ringo-7

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
8 March 2011
9.31pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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mithveaen said:

But I have a question.. wasn't Help! album a .. how to say it? Something they needed to do for the soundtrack? Like an obligation or something like this?

I Think Yellow Submarine was simply contractual.

And Yes, The rest of your post made sense.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
9 March 2011
2.04am
vonbontee
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mr. Sun king coming together said:

I Think Yellow Submarine was simply contractual..

Absolutely - contributing 3 songs that had been recorded a year previous and had nothing to do with the film in question (ignoring the fact that they were still pretty good songs nonetheless) is pretty much the definition of "phoning it in".

 

Did I already mention how much I appreciated the new instrumental elements added on Help!, even on the songs that I don't like too much? The electric piano, George's volume pedal, the call-&-response backing vocals of "You're Gonna Lose That Girl"?

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
9 March 2011
5.02am
GniknuS
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I think you all make great points, the competition, making an album rather than a soundtrack and the drive to get better. I may be off base here, but maybe the difference between Rubber Soul and the earlier stuff is that Paul and George were catching up to John as songwriters. That almost sounds silly when you look at the magnitude of Yesterday and the brilliance of I've Just Seen A Face and Macca's other great early compositions, but he for sure had some forgettable songs pre-Rubber Soul. That's not to say that John didn't as well, but he had some pretty high peaks that stand out on most of those early albums. I think that's why Revolver is so brilliant, it's really the first album that it's debatable who was the better songwriter plus you add in the fantastic and completely unique Harrisongs in there as well.

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