Part 8 of my 12 part series on The newly released Beatles U.S. albums set continues with the ‘Help!’ album which was radically different from the British issue.
Capitol Records issue of Help! was released on August 13, 1965, a week after its British counterpart was released on Parlophone. The British version featured 10 tracks of Lennon-McCartney songs, two songs by George Harrison, and two covers. The U.S. version featured a gatefold cover, seven tracks by the Beatles, and five selections from the soundtrack score composed by Ken Thorne and credited to the George Martin Orchestra, including a James Bond type theme which opens the album and preceeds the title track. That extra musical intro featured an Indian sitar for the first time on a Beatles album.
Help! topped the Billboard album chart for the first of nine consecutive weeks on September 11 until it was finally knocked out of the #1 position by ‘The Sound Of Music’ on November 13. it would remain on the chart for a total of 44 weeks eventually selling over three million copies. On the original vinyl album, ‘Ticket To Ride’ was presented in ‘fake’ stereo which has been replaced with the true stereo master on the new set which uses the 2009 British masters for The Beatles tracks and the 1965 Capitol masters for the instrumental tracks. Both mono and stereo versions are included on the cd and download with a running time of a little under 29 minutes total.
John Lennon sang lead on three of the seven Beatles tracks, Paul on two, John and Paul on one and George Harrison sang lead on ‘I Need You’- the first Harrison composition included on a Beatles album since ‘Don’t Bother Me’ from ‘Meet the Beatles’.
Here’s a rundown of who sang what:
MONO/STEREO – SONG – LEAD VOCAL
2:40 2:39 Instrumental Intro/Help! – John
2:36 2:36 The Night Before – Paul
2:08 2:08 From Me To You Fantasy – instrumental
2:12 2:11 You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away – John
2:31 2:30 I Need You – George
2:26 2:26 In The Tyrol – instrumental
2:08 2:08 Another Girl – Paul
2:31 2:30 Another Hard Day’s Night – instrumental
2:31 2:31 Ticket To Ride – John
2:26 2:26 The Bitter End/You Can’t Do That – instrumental
2:19 2:19 You’re Gonna Lose That Girl – John
2:31 2:31 The Chase – instrumental
With five of the album’s dozen tracks instrumentals from the film’s score, a lot of Beatles fans felt short changed with the music.
Interviews with John, Paul George, and Ringo made during the filming of ‘Help!‘
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