UK album release: Help!

The Beatles' fifth UK album, Help!, was released on this day as Parlophone PMC 1255 (mono) and PCS 3071 (stereo).

Help! - The Beatles

Following the structure of the previous year's A Hard Day's Night the previous year, the first side of Help! featured seven songs from The Beatles' second feature film. The flip side contained another seven songs - including Paul McCartney's instant classic Yesterday - recorded over the same period.

Help! entered the UK charts on 14 August, and was an immediate chart-topper on pre-orders alone. It spent nine weeks at number one, and remained on the chart for 37 consecutive weeks.

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One response on “UK album release: Help!

  1. kenlacouture

    I think it’s possible that Help! is the first Beatles album where the stereo mixes are, on the whole, preferable to the mono. Norman Smith seems to have had a small breakthrough in figuring out how to make stereo mixes that sound full and punchy, without the “vacant” effect that the three-point (L,C,R) stereo mixes of the time frequently suffered from. I can’t imagine why George Martin felt the need to “fix” them in 1987.

    The one exception, at least in regard to the 1965 stereo mixes, is “Ticket To Ride” Here the stereo lacks impact and feels a bit distant, possibly because the interplay of the rhythm section and the lead guitar is split between the left and right channels, the bass part is M.I.A. (the bass is like a drone in the mono), and the vocals are a bit too loud, reducing the presence of the (most excellent) drum part. Martin’s 1987 stereo re-do is vastly superior to the original stereo.

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