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60 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caught in the middle, but...
Beatles for Sale and Help! are considered "holding pattern" works and are less revered by critics because they didn't introduce any great innovations or ground-breaking ideas. But I don't think that does these albums justice. Sure, most of the lyrical concerns are still love-oriented, but many of the lyrics are becoming increasing complex. Even a song like...
Published on July 18, 2001 by

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Defective Vinyl
The vinyl pressing is defective and of a very poor quality. There are too many scuffs, scratches, clicks and pops! It's really sad, when you consider there are pressing plants, in the world today, devoted to producing superior quality vinyl records. Clearly, EMI/Apple, for reasons unknown to me, have chosen a pressing plant with quality control issues. I am very...
Published 24 months ago by Garrett Howard

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60 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caught in the middle, but..., July 18, 2001
This review is from: Help! [UK] (Audio CD)
Beatles for Sale and Help! are considered "holding pattern" works and are less revered by critics because they didn't introduce any great innovations or ground-breaking ideas. But I don't think that does these albums justice. Sure, most of the lyrical concerns are still love-oriented, but many of the lyrics are becoming increasing complex. Even a song like Yesterday shows a real maturity in the lyrics.
The songs offered here are the Beatles at the top of their game, in my opinion. Gorgeous melodies, catchy hooks, great harmony singing and sharp musicianship abound. The Beatles were becoming increasing facile in the studio, and it shows. The strength of songs like Help, Ticket to Ride and Yesterday are legend, but there are many other real gems on this album. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away, It's Only Love and Your Going to Lose That Girl are classic mid-period Lennon; McCartney answers with the rocking Another Girl and The Night Before, not to mention the beautiful, folky I've Just Seen a Face, all extremely underrated.
Harrison gets two songs on this album, and asserts himself well with the lovely pop of I Need You and You Like Me Too Much. Maybe not up to the dizzying heights of Lennon & McCartney songsmithing, but getter closer.
This leaves "filler" like Act Naturally, Tell Me What You See and Dizzy Miss Lizzy. Just listen to Lennon's vocal performance on Dizzy Miss Lizzy and try calling it filler...though admittedly, the guitar riff grates on one after a while. Ringo's "aw, shucks" reading of Act Naturally is PERFECT (and SO appropriate) and Lennon & McCartney's magical harmonies lift Tell Me What You See well above the pedestrian.
That's it. Overwhelming evidence, well presented, that this is not just a mediocre holding pattern album, but classic mid-period Beatles. It's now up to you, members of the juke-box jury.
I'll say no more.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Both the UK and - Hallelujah - US Versions on CD. Worth It to Own!, February 22, 2008
This review is from: Help!/Help! (Audio CD)
Greetings Beatles Fans ....

This CD is literally the best of both worlds. This has the complete Parlophone UK version of Help, which has tracks not on the US version. And it also has the complete Capitol US version of Help, which has tracks not on the UK version.

The US version of Help includes the short James Bond Theme lead-in to the title track "Help!", plus some instrumental music that is in the movie itself. The UK version doesn't have these, but it does have "Yesterday" and "Act Naturally" which US fans would get only on singles or on the Capitol US-release-only album "Yesterday ... and Today".

It's worth the investment. Thanx-A-Lot and Enjoy!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A favorite LP, June 11, 2008
This review is from: Help! (Vinyl)
A raison d'etre for "Help" the LP and resulting movie was to showcase the voices and faces of that Liverpool quartet, greatest rock-and-roll band of all time--the Beatles. The fact that it contains good music is just lagniappe.

For a group "more popular than Jesus" to live normally couldn't happen with this incredibly popular band. The movie shows that they need "Help!" Besides that, there is a plot line: Ringo has a ring that someone evil wants so he can rule the world. The story is just a facade to showcase the antics of this lively foursome.

Each song derives naturally out of the circumstances of the action of the movie. So Acting Naturally was one way to excite the fervor of rabid fans.

I well remember this movie. My friends and I didn't care if there was a story or not. We just wanted to see and hear the Beatles. That's what we got with fourteen songs performed in ways both serious and silly, rambunctious and quirky.

"You've got to hide your love away" is one of the serious songs. Others like "Ticket to Ride" are suggestive of things to come when the Beatles experimented with mind altering drugs, when they went to India to study Buddhism.

And "Yesterday," an ode to lost love and lack of understanding why it ended, is just that--lost love. Remember, the songs did not need to be in context, just feature the Beatles, together or individually.

"Help" the LP and movie definitely spotlight this Fab Four. The LP, or vinyl long-playing recording, is still available from Amazon sellers. For those with LP collections, buying a missing record like "Help" is a happy day! However, a less expensive way is CD.

Please note that this review was voluntarily updated to meet guidelines of Amazon reviewing.
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55 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh I believe, in Yesterday, January 30, 2003
This review is from: Help! [UK] (Audio CD)
Things got a little more upbeat following the downbeat For Sale. Also, the Beatles songcrafting improved and would set the pace for things to come. The title track has the same frantic quick-paced sound that made the title track to their first movie a hit. The theme of age reducing the cocksure assertive of one's younger years and the need for that helping hand is universal. And who can forget these lyrics: "Help me if you can--I'm feeling down/cause I do appreciate you being around/Help me get my feet back on the ground/Won't you pleeeeaaaase please help me?" John gets good backing vocal help from Paul and George.
"The Night Before" has a faint Chuck Berry influence. Paul sings here and it's a song of puzzlement, concerning a girl's nice and sincere behaviour and why she has done an about-face in attitude. That's John on electric piano.
John sports a strained and sometimes roughened voice in the acoustic ballad "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away". There's a flute solo by session musician Johnnie Scott in two places.
The distorted pedal guitar is cool in George Harrison's "I Need You". A similar effect was used in the song "Yes It Is", which is on Past Masters Volume 1. The theme of mistreatment explored in "The Night Before" is revisited here as well. He also sings the engaging "You Like Me Too Much", the first time he sings two songs on one album. This was a nominee for the movie, and understandbly so. He gets piano help from Paul, John, and producer George Martin.
The engaging "Another Girl" has Paul on lead vocals and lead guitar and might be a response to either of the two mistreatment songs: "I have got another girl who will love me to the end, through thick and thin/She will always be my friend." Well, that's a relief.
In the mid-paced "You're Going To Lose That Girl", John challenges another man that if he doesn't start treat her right, he himself will "make a point of taking her away from you. Watch what you do. The way you treat her, what else can I do?"
"Ticket To Ride" opens with a nice Rickenbacker guitar by Paul before John launches into another breakup song. "The girl's that'd driving me mad is going away. She's got a ticket to ride (X3) and she don't care." The first single from Help! and my second favourite here.
"Tell Me What You See" has John and Paul on lead vocals, and when they sing, "open up your eyes now" Paul's lower register voice is clearly discernible. "I Have just Seen A Face" has a racing guitar and sounds like something Simon and Garfunkel might do later, particular "The Boxer".
The reflective "Yesterday" is one of my all-time Beatles song and why Paul is my favourite vocalist of the quartet. It is the classic Paul McCartney ballad. Paul's use of a string quartet instead of what he called that "Mahavishnu rubbish" was a good move. Unforgettable lyrics: "Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away, now it looks as if they're here to stay. Oh I believe in yesterday."
This the last album where they do cover tunes. Ringo does Buck Owen's "Act Naturally", a nice country-flavoured track. I often compare this to the similarly-sounding but production-laced "Don't Pass Me By" from the White album. John rips into the frantic Larry Williams number "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" in the same way he did "Twist and Shout". Nice mean guitar from George.
If the Beatles needed help on this album, I'd be hard-pressed to find it, because it's another bang-on job for them.
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85 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 Star record (by Beatles standards), some great songwriting, February 8, 2001
This review is from: Help! [UK] (Audio CD)
With The Beatles' first five albums, we have them in the process of boy-girl "I love you" pop, whereas their only artistic contemporary Dylan is doing much more satisfying (to this listener) work during this time period. Of course, these five records, and especially HARD DAY'S NIGHT, are the best that early rock'n'roll has to offer. And this is the same period HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED is released. Tell me, do you want to listen to Like a Rolling Stone or Desolation Row or this pop with Ringo singing a Buck Owens song about "all you have to do is act naturally"? I think that's the worst Ringo song of all. They should have stuck with the song from Anthology II "If You Got Trouble", and maybe included "That Means a Lot" as well..

Not that this is a bad album, by any means. Its The Beatles, after all, and all of their albums (even BEATLES FOR SALE) is top rate stuff. This is the first album to point toward some new changes in The Beatles' repertoire. The best songs on here are the title cut, Ticket to Ride, Its Only Love (in my opinion), Tell Me What You See, and the best Dylan song that Dylan never wrote: Hey You Got To Hide Your Love Away. Oh yeah, I'm also leaving out another song.......what was it.......something about Yesterday. Of course, I'm sure no one remembers that, but I think its pretty good, very memorable melody. Its not like its the most covered Beatles song ever *cough cough*. Also, a funny factoid for you music buffs is Yesterday was originally Scrambled Eggs, and McCartney literally dreamt it. One thing Lennon resented McCartney for happened that this and Michelle, two of The Beatles' biggest song, is essentially McCartney solo, with Lennon not playing at all on eithet track.

Dizzy Ms. Lizzy's good for the rocking side of Lennon, reminiscent of Twist and Shout off Please Please Me, which, btw, was never released in America in the original format until much later (ooooh, that evil Capitol!).

So chalk it up as a holding pattern, one last boy-girl lyrical record before they moved on to the much more satisfying (to me) mid and late portion of their career. Remember, any criticism against The Beatles is realative -- it should go without saying any other band would give their front teeth for these songs.

Yesterday, all my troubles seem so far away........
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the Help you'll ever need!, March 4, 2007
This review is from: Help!/Help! (Audio CD)
This has got to be by far the best way to get classic Beatles on CD. Both versions of this classic on one CD, and a load of fun and interesting bonus tracks. Great recording quality too! Why can't American companies create a product like this?
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This CD Needs No More Help!, September 18, 2009
This review is from: Help! (Audio CD)
Help! [Remastered] may well turn out to be my favorite of the remasters (so far it is). IMO the sound is much cleaner and brighter on this disk than on many of the others. And, to me, they sustain the high levels of gain throughout this work.

As far as the material, the Beatles are really transitioning to a more mature level in their writing and arrangements: Help!, You've Got To Hide Your Love Away, and Yesterday are all examples of this. While some of the earlier, more youthful work is still evident, it is these more mature songs and arrangements that point the way to their next album Rubber Soul.

I highly recommend this remaster. 5 stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Musical Crossroads, November 14, 2005
This review is from: Help! [UK] (Audio CD)
'Help' recorded in 1965, represented the beginning of the musical transition from the Beatlemania period to the more sophisticated areas of songwriting that the Beatles were to begin exploring on their next album, Rubber Soul also recorded in 1965.

Except on the final track, the Beatles finally dispensed with the 'Merseybeat' sound that featured on all their past albums to a greater or lesser extent. There is a more mature approach with some of these songs and arrangements. 'Help' the excellent title track has unusual chord changes at the start, before John launches into the main verse. This is another of his introspective songs, about insecurity. That Dylan influenced the Lennon song 'You've got to hide your love away' is a fallacy. The Beatles were already featuring folk-like material from the off. Eg, 'Love me do', the Beatles first single recorded in 1962 was a self-penned acoustic blues number, featuring Lennon on harmonica, before Dylan had barely released his first album. This song deals with paranoia to a degree, as well as insecurity, eg...
'Everywhere people stare
Each and every day
I can see them laugh at me
And I hear them say...'
This was Lennon talking, hardly Dylan.
The short simple flute solo tacked on at the end is a nice little touch, and was completely novel at the time. To me this has to be the stand-out track.

Yet another first was the ever popular 'Yesterday', where the Beatles, or rather Paul McCartney recorded the song with a chamber music ensemble. This arrangement had never been done by any pop group before. It became one of the most famous of all Beatle songs, of course. It is precisely these unusual touches or arrangements to their songs that made the Beatles stand out against any other group of their time, apart from the originality of much of their material. The other well known track 'Ticket to ride' was a classic single hit released before the album, and has a powerful guitar laden sound behind it.

The remaining tracks range from good to ok. The best of the rest are, 'I've just seen a face' which is an acoustic number, played fast, very much in a folk-music vein. 'Another girl' has a bluesey feel, and has some nice guitar fills by George. 'You're going to lose that girl' is another strong Lennon song with a hook. In fact there is not really one bad song on here, unlike Rubber Soul, which gives Help a more consistent feel to it. However there is hardly one song on Help that matches the very best songs on RS either, 'YGTHYLA' and Help' being two possible exceptions. My only quibble with Help is that they finished the album with 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy', the last time the Beatles were to do a cover version of a song. It would have been that much better if they had chosen the B side of the 'Help single, 'I'm down' which is an all-out rocker by Lennon/McCartney, and far superior to the closing track they used instead.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Gem!, August 3, 2002
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This review is from: Help! [UK] (Audio CD)
Having read through a number of the reviews of this album, I have a few comments. I am an old guy who remembers when this album came out (in the US edition), so first I would like to address the younger reviewers. First, OF COURSE it sounds dated! The album is almost 40 years old. How could it NOT sound dated!!! If you expect it to compete head-to-head with your favorite new releases, it's bound to come up short. I have recently been listening to a number of my older albums that have been sitting on the shelf for many years, and I have come to the conclusion that virtually all Sixties music sounds very dated. I think that this has something to do with recording techniques and poorly produced early stereo, and that it also has to do with the sound of lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, and drums with only very primitive effects. You only find this sound on lo-fi/indie releases today, and even then it's rarely used to create accesible, melodic pop songs. (And when it is, the results are usually referred to as "Beatle-esque!) To digress a minute, only releases from the very late Sixties, such as "Music from Big Pink," "Abbey Road," and perhaps "Let It Bleed," escape the really dated sound. It is only in the Seventies that music starts to sound so similar to today's music that it can be enjoyed without considering the "dated" factor. (Led Zeppelin inventing heavy metal, the emergence of punk, the Eagles as the blueprint for much of today's country, etc.) Anyway, if you're a younger person without much experience of the Beatles but who thinks that he or she might like to explore them, I suggest that you buy "1" first and see if you respond to the first dozen or so tracks. If you do, by all means consider "Help!", I think it's one of their best.
Now, to address the older fans who recall the US editions of this music that they loved in their youth, I say, please get over it! Those versions are gone! I'm sure I share the amazement of many of the people of my generation with how extremely different these UK editions are. Sure, we knew that "Yesterday and Today" was a collection of songs that had been gathered together from UK tracks that had been left off our releases, but to think, for instance, that "I've Just Seen a Face," which seemed the perfect introduction to the more acoustic/folky sound of Rubber Soul, was "really" a filler track on the secound side of "Help!" is truly amazing. I find it necessary to remind the older folks of this, because many reviews appear to be addressing the old US editions. Like all the pre-Sergeant Pepper Beatles albums, the UK version of "Help!," which has long been the only version available, requires serious reconsideration.
Now then, to consider "Help!": the common take on this album seems to be that it is transitional between the simple pop songs of the early Beatles and the more "serious" musical explorations that began with "Rubber Soul." I think that this is true, but I consider this a great virtue of the album. "Help!" incorporates interesting effects (fuzz bass, volume pedal, string quartet, etc.), while still retaining the Beatles' ability to rock out. "Rubber Soul" is a very pleasant album that is mostly, as mentioned before, a quiet acoustic/folky sound. "Revolver" barely rocks at all, and appears to be an attempt at creating relatively "serious" music. "Sgt. Pepper" is an endlessly interesting artifact of its period, but it doesn't rock much either. Only with some of the songs on the White Album do the Beatles return to their roots enough to shake the house. But "Help!" is catchy and poppy. It rocks hard in places, and they perfected the medium-tempo pop/rock song in "Ticket to Ride." (I have to confess to a real weakness for "You're Gonna Lose That Girl," too. I can listen to the intertwining vocals on that cut over and over.)
The Beatles never stood still. In a sense, ALL of their albums are "transitional." Every album they made, at least until Sgt Pepper, shows evidence of their development and growth. In fact, I can not think of another band that is so interesting to listen to their albums in order and observe the continued growth. (But then I am, as I said, an old guy.) In any event, if you think of almost ALL the Beatles albums as transitional, then that status for "Help!" becomes irrelevant. Listen to it. If you have the ears to enjoy the sound of the mid-Sixties, you'll love it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last hint of Beatlemania, September 15, 2000
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This review is from: Help! [UK] (Audio CD)
If you want to hear the "Mop Tops" one last time, then listen to the first 7 songs from the "Help!" CD or in other words "Side one". Because then on "side 2" or the last 7 you have what is ahead of them, what I like to call the sweet side 1 and then "Side 2" the more intellectual side (except the covers), but even the sound track songs or not very simple, e.g. "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away". Btw, the first 7 were recorded between Feb,65 and April,65. The last 7 were recorded between May,65 and June,65. The song "Wait" was to be included on this "LP" but replaced with possibly one of the covers at the last minute, so it was held until "Rubber Soul".
The titled song is Johns way of asking for assistance, John felt no one understood him and he felt insecure, The first time John would sing about this was in "I'm A Loser" future ones would be "Nowhere Man", you could probably even include "I'll Cry Instead" in the mix too, because its probably actually about him singing the "chip on his shoulder", John has said he mostly sang about himself, and he said Paul sang about others most of the time, (but not always).
Pauls songs on the sound track are great, "The Night Before"(John on Electric Piano) and "Another Girl" (perhaps about Jane, was this Pauls Norwegian Wood? if it was its a little on the blunt side, or was it just filler)is some of Pauls excellent work from 65. Paul played lead guitar,plus Bass, (one of the two added later) on "Another girl", while John played acoustic and George played Rhythm guitar. "I've Just Seen A Face" Paul goes in his country mode, this style would not show up again until The "While Album" with "Rocky Raccoon" and much later on the solo LP "Ram" "Heart of the Country". And Paul does what is actually the first solo Beatle song, "Yesterday" what can be said about this classic that hasent already been said, even John was impressed.
"You"re Going To Lose That Girl" is one of Lennons finest, Just as in "She Loves You" he is singing to the guy, when in fact he loves her also. Another great one on here is "Its Only Love"(perhaps one of the few songs about Cynthia) first generation and maybe even some 2nd generation fans may remember it on the U.S. Rubber Soul" it fit so nicely on there and seems out of place on this CD, but a great song, another song John did not like, he felt it was too sweet with very simple words, to the fans its mostly a favorite.
You have the hits "Help!", "Ticket to Ride", and "Yesterday" on this CD, but actually any of these songs could have been a single.
George still in the style of John and Paul mixed with his own "style", shows up 2 times on this CD, "You like Me Too Much" (using the word "Like" for a fresh change, instead of Love). "I Need You" (Great song) (about missing Patty his future wife at the time), is one of Georges best from 65, "Think For Yourself" coming in a close second. George did not find what would resemble "his Style" until "Rubber Soul", before that George kept them simple and sweet to please the Beatle sound. Though he would not completely step away from the Beatle sound until "Revlover"
Ringo was going to sing "If You Got Troubles" (now on the Anthology 2) but they never could get it to their liking and tossed it for the cover "Act Naturally", Great Lead Guitar by George.
They close it out in Mop Top style with the cover song "Dizzy Miss Lizzie", its even sung in Mop Top style with screams and all, the last cover for John with the Beatles for at least 4 years on the "Let It BE" movie cover songs.
Either way its a win,win CD, you get the past, present and future in one. Its too good to not include in your Beatles library, buy and enjoy the Beatles last taste of Beatlemania on the "Help!" CD.
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Help! [UK] by The Beatles (Audio CD - 1990)
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