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The Beatles - Help

Updated on December 12, 2013

Help - The Beatles

"Help" is a Beatles' song that was written primarily by John Lennon. It appeared as the title track to their album "Help!" which was released in 1965. The song was also released as a single and quickly made it to number one in the charts in both the UK and the US.

John, in particular, has been quoted as saying that this song was one of his favourites and according to many polls found on the Internet, many Beatles' fans agree.

Table of Contents

What you will find on this lens.

  1. Help Song Facts - Quick facts about the Beatles' song "Help".

  2. Beatles Help - Song History - Information about the song's origins, recording, awards and other notes of interest.
  3. The Beatles - Help Personnel - Who individually did what for the recording of the song.
  4. Help Trivia Quiz Game - How much do you know about the song "Help"? Find out here.
  5. Help Song Poll - How does "Help" rate?
  6. The Beatles - Help Trivia Facts - Quick trivia facts about the song "Help".
  7. The Beatles - Help Videos - Watch the Beatles performing "Help".
  8. The Beatles Help Album - Track listing and other album related facts.
  9. Help Cover Videos - Videos of "Help" performed by various artists.
  10. Help Guitar Instruction Videos - Learn how to play "Help" on guitar.
  11. Beatles Sheet Music - Beatles sheet music at Amazon.
  12. Trivia Links - Other trivia sites of interest.
  13. Help Guestbook - Take a minute and share your thoughts about the song and/or the Beatles.


Help Song Facts

Song Writer: Lennon/McCartney John Lennon (80%), Paul McCartney (20%)

Lead Singer: John

Length: 2:18 (UK), 2:39 (US)

Recorded: April 13th, 1965 - Take 12

Studio: Abbey Road

Released: August 6th, 1965 (UK), August 13th, 1965 (US)

Album: HELP

Single: B-Side - I'm Down

US Chart: September 4th, 1965 - 3 weeks

UK Chart: August 5th, 1965 - 3 weeks

Producer: George Martin


Listen to/Buy Help Album!

The Beatles - Help - Personnel

John Lennon - Lead vocal, 12-string acoustic guitar

Paul McCartney - Bass, background vocals

George Harrison - Lead guitar, background vocals

Ringo Starr - Drums, tambourine

Beatles Help - Song History

Origin

During an interview that was publicized in "The Beatles Anthology" miniseries Lennon stated that the song "Help" was a genuine cry for help, as the pressures of the Beatles' fame and his own unhappiness began to foster. John also claimed that he had wanted to record "Help" at a much slower tempo but the rest of the band felt that it would have more commercial value if it were played faster.

Release

The song appears on the Help! LP, the USA Help! soundtrack, 1962-1966, the Imagine soundtrack, 1, Love, and The Capitol Albums, Vol. 2.

The single version was included on on the Beatles' Rarities LP.

Noteworthy

The UK and the US releases of "Help" differ slightly. The American version has a fifteen second introduction that was not included on the British release. Additionally, the lyrics on the single release differ to those on the album.

During a Rolling Stone's interview in 1970 Lennon stated that "Help!" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" were his most legitimate Beatles songs and not just songs written to order.



Help Song Poll

How do you rate the song Help?

See results

The Beatles - Help Trivia Facts

  • "Help" was the first Beatles' song to be used for a national commercial campaign. The Ford Motor Company purportedly paid $100,000 for the use of the song in commercials promoting their Lincoln-Mercury product line.
  • The single and album versions of "Help" have slightly different lyrics.
  • On an episode of "Full House" (a sitcom which aired on ABC) two of the main characters are accidentally locked in a recording studio and they begin to yell for help. People that are outside of the locked studio assume that they are recording a cover of the song "Help" and leave them be.
  • According to some, when the line "I know that I just need you like I've never done before" is played backwards it sounds like John is saying "Now he uses marijuana."
  • When asked about the song in 1965, John stated, "We think it's one of the best we've written."
  • "Help" ranked number 29 on the Rolling Stone's 2004 500 greatest songs of all time list.
  • Lennon originally wrote the song at much slower tempo but it was decided to speed it up in order to make the song more commercial.
  • Originally, the "Help!" album cover was to show the Beatles spelling out the word "Help" using the semaphore system of communicating with flags. The photographer didn't like the pose, so he had them hold the flags in a way that looked good, but didn't spell anything.


The Beatles - Help Videos


Beatles - Help Facts

Released: 13 August 1965

Recorded: Abbey Road

Length: 28:43

Label: Capitol

Producer: George Martin











Track Listing

All songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, except where noted.

Side one

"Help!" - 2:18

"The Night Before" - 2:33

"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" - 2:08

"I Need You" (George Harrison) - 2:28

"Another Girl" - 2:05

"You're Going to Lose That Girl" - 2:17

"Ticket to Ride" - 3:10

Side Two

"Act Naturally" (Johnny Russell, Vonnie Morrison) - 2:29

"It's Only Love" - 1:54

"You Like Me Too Much" (Harrison) - 2:35

"Tell Me What You See" - 2:36

"I've Just Seen a Face" - 2:04

"Yesterday" - 2:03

"Dizzy Miss Lizzy" (Larry Williams) - 2:53

Listen to/Buy Help Album!

Help - Cover Versions

  • In 1968 Deep Purple recorded a cover version (greatly slowed-down) of the song for their album Shades of Deep Purple.
  • In 1970 The Carpenters recorded a cover version for release on their album Close to You.

  • In 1975 Caetano Veloso released a cover on his album Joia.
  • In 1976 Henry Gross covered it for the musical documentary All This and World War II. John Lennon once stated that this was his favourite version of the song. Harrison and McCartney perform backing vocals.
  • In 1976 The Damned covered the song for the B-side of "New Rose".
  • Dolly Parton included a bluegrass version of "Help!" on her 1979 Great Balls of Fire album.
  • In 1980 John Farnham released the song as a piano-based ballad recorded at a much slower tempo.
  • In 1984 Tina Turner released a version of the song recorded with The Crusaders that peaked at #40 in the UK. The song was included on European editions of her album Private Dancer.
  • In 1989 the song was recorded by Bananarama alongside French & Saunders and Kathy Burke and released as the official Red Nose Day single to raise money for Comic Relief. French, Saunders and Burke were credited as Lananeeneenoonoo (a paraody of Bananarama who they had imitated in the French & Saunders television programme). This version reached #3 in the UK charts.
  • In 1991 Waltari covered "Help!" on their debut album, Monk Punk.
  • In 1995 88 Fingers Louie recorded a version on their first full-length release, Behind Bars.
  • In 1995 Little Texas recorded a version of the song for the Beatles tribute album Come Together: America Salutes The Beatles.
  • In 1998 The Punkles did a punk cover of this song on their first album.
  • In 1999 Claire Martin recorded a slowed-down cover on her album Take My Heart with Noel Gallagher on guitar.
  • In 2000 Tsunku and 7HOUSE covered "Help!" on their Beatles' cover album, A Hard Day's Night.
  • In 2003 Art Paul Schlosser recorded a parody of "Help!" called "Smelt" which appears on on his Words of Cheese and Other Parrot CD.
  • Silverstein released a cover version on their fourth album, A Shipwreck in the Sand.
  • "Help!" has also been covered by Michael Stanley, dc Talk, Alma Cogan, Rick Wakeman, Howie Day, McFly, Roxette, Fountains of Wayne, and Peter Sellers.
  • The Rutles' song "Ouch!" is a tongue-in-cheek parody of this song

Help Cover Videos

If you are a Beatles fan, this is a must have! Starting from the very beginning, all the way to the present. Interviews with Paul, George and Ringo (and footage of interviews with John), it really gives a personal point of view to go along with photos, images and footage of the fab four.

Help Guitar Instruction Videos - Learn to play Help on Guitar.

Trivia Links

Trivia sites and other useful resources for the Beatles or trivia fan.

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Help Guestbook - Please share your thoughts about the song Help.

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    • Dylanexpert profile image

      John D. Baldwin 2 years ago from New York, New York

      I have just published a Beatles hub so I'm interested in this. Liked your lens very much; lots of interesting facts. There was some repetition but not much. You might also have described the difference in lyrics between the US and UK versions. Interesting videos of some cover versions of the song, particularly that of Carol. Keep up the good work.

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      One of my favorite rock albums is Help!

    • emmakeynes profile image

      emmakeynes 5 years ago

      Love this song! Great lens!

    • profile image

      Rukia 9 years ago

      Love this lens as the many I have seen before it! Very well put together and tells you really anything you would want to know!