Monday, September 14, 2015

The Beatles' HELP! at 50


Fifty years ago this month one of the all-time classic Beatles' songs, "Help!" hit Number One on the US Billboard chart. The song was from the movie of the same name, directed by Richard Lester, who has also directed the Beatles' first film, A Hard Days' Night  (1964).

"Help!" was written by John Lennon, who considered it one of his favorites. In several interviews before his death he called it "personal" and one of his best songs (along with "Strawberry Fields Forever"). It went to Number One the week of September 4, 1965 and stayed there for three weeks, through the week of September 18.

It has always been one of my favorite Beatle songs. I like the harmony between John and Paul McCartney, as well as the back-and-forth of the chorus lyrics. It's a fun song to sing-along with, but it has more bite than just your simple "boy loves girl-boy loses girl" song.
"Help!" is available on the Help! soundtrack, as well as on the 1962-1966 (red) album, the Imagine: John Lennon soundtrack album, and 1 Love (the #1 Hits) album. On the soundtrack album, there is an odd, jazzy-type introduction to the song, which for years I thought that radio stations were cutting before they played the single. It was years before I realized that bit was only for the soundtrack album.

Here's a fantastic LIVE version of the song from a TV broadcast in the UK from 50 years ago. Amazing how well the Beatles sound when you can actually hear them! 

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