The Beatles Wiki


The Beatles Wiki
Released 6 August 1965
Recorded February 15 – June 17, 1965
Studio EMI Studios, London
Genre Folk rock, pop rock, country, rock and roll, baroque pop
Length 33:44
Label ParlophoneCapitol
Producer George Martin
Album Guide
Beatles for Sale
Rubber Soul

Help! is the fifth studio album by English rock band The Beatles. It was first released on 6 August 1965 in the United Kingdom by Parlophone and on 13 August in the United States by Capitol Records. Produced by George Martin, it serves as a soundtrack to the film of the same name and contains fourteen songs in its original British release. Seven of these, including the singles "Help!" and "Ticket to Ride", appeared in the film and occupy the first side of the vinyl release; the second side contained seven other songs, including the wildly popular cover song "Yesterday". The album's cover artwork shows the band spelling out letters in flag semaphore; Robert Freeman, the photographer, said he originally intended to have them spell out the album title, but decided to choose the "best graphic positioning of the arms", where they instead spell out the letters "NUJV".

The American release of the album is considered more of a genuine soundtrack, mixing the first seven songs with instrumental material from the film. Of the other seven songs on the British release, two were released on the American issue of the next Beatles album Rubber Soul, two were back-to-back on the next US single and appeared on Yesterday and Today, and three had already appeared on Beatles VI.


The album includes Paul McCartney's "Yesterday", arranged for guitar and string quartet and recorded without the other group members. John Lennon's "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" indicates the influence of Bob Dylan and includes flutes. McCartney's "I've Just Seen a Face" had a country flavour.

"Ticket to Ride", released as a single in April 1965, was felt by Lennon to be "heavy" in its sound compared to the group's previous output and daring in its reference to a boy and girl living together. McCartney called the arrangement "quite radical". During the recording sessions for the album, the band used the studio's multitracking capabilities to layer their sound. In this, author Mark Prendergast highlights George Harrison's use of a volume pedal and incorporation of "more intricate chordal devices to enrich his guitar sound".

As a songwriter, Harrison contributed "I Need You" and "You Like Me Too Much". These were his first compositions to be included on a Beatles album since "Don't Bother Me" on 1963's With the Beatles.

The record contained two cover versions and a few tracks more closely related to the group's previous pop output, but still marked a decisive step forward. The record sleeve-note shows that Lennon and McCartney made more extensive and prominent use of keyboards, previously played unobtrusively by Martin. Four-track overdubbing technology encouraged this. Lennon, for his part, made much greater use of acoustic guitar, forsaking his famous Rickenbacker.

The original LP's format of featuring songs from the soundtrack on side one and non-soundtrack songs on side two follows the format of A Hard Day's Night.

In later years, Lennon stated that the album's title track was a sincere cry for help; he regretted changing it from a downbeat, piano-driven ballad to an uptempo pop song, which was done only as a result of commercial pressures.

Help! was the band's final British album (aside from the late 1966 compilation A Collection of Beatles Oldies) to feature any cover songs until 1970's Let It Be (which included a performance of the traditional folk song "Maggie Mae"). In 1966, Capitol would release "Act Naturally", already on the British Help! album, on Yesterday and Today. "Bad Boy" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" (both written by Larry Williams and recorded on 10 May 1965, Williams' birthday) were both aimed at the American market and originally not intended to appear on Help!, but "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" ultimately did. Both songs appeared on Beatles VI, released in the US in June 1965. "Bad Boy" was not released in the UK until A Collection of Beatles Oldies, and was that album's only cover song.


A few songs that were recorded and intended for the album and film were not used. Lennon and McCartney wrote "If You've Got Trouble" for Ringo Starr to sing, but the Beatles were not satisfied with the song and it was abandoned, and Starr sang "Act Naturally" instead. "That Means a Lot" was written for the film, but again, the Beatles were displeased with their recordings of the song and it was given to P.J. Proby who released it as a single. Lennon said "Yes It Is" was "me trying a rewrite of 'This Boy', but it didn't work"; it was released as the B-side of "Ticket to Ride" and was also issued on Beatles VI. "You Like Me Too Much" and "Tell Me What You See" were turned down for use in the film by its director, Richard Lester, although they did appear on the album.

In June 1965, at the end of the Help! sessions, the song "Wait" was recorded for the album, but was left unfinished. The Beatles resurrected the track and completed it for inclusion on Rubber Soul in November, when a final song was needed to complete that album.


All songs were written by Lennon/McCartney except where noted.

Side one[]

All songs on side one appear in the film.

No. Title Songwriter(s) Lead Vocal(s) Time
1 Help! Lennon with McCartney Lennon 2:18
2 The Night Before McCartney McCartney 2:33
3 You've Got to Hide Your Love Away Lennon Lennon 2:08
4 I Need You Harrison Harrison 2:28
5 Another Girl McCartney McCartney 2:05
6 You're Going to Lose That Girl Lennon Lennon 2:17
7 Ticket to Ride Lennon with McCartney Lennon with McCartney 3:10

Side two[]

No. Title Songwriter(s) Lead Vocal(s) Time
1 Act Naturally Johnny Russell and Voni Morrison Starr 2:29
2 It's Only Love Lennon Lennon 1:54
3 You Like Me Too Much Harrison Harrison 2:35
4 Tell Me What You See McCartney with Lennon McCartney with Lennon 2:36
5 I've Just Seen a Face McCartney McCartney 2:04
6 Yesterday McCartney McCartney 2:03
7 Dizzy Miss Lizzy Larry Williams Lennon 2:53

U.S. version[]

Help! (US)
Released 13 August 1965
Studio EMI Studios, London
Genre rock, instrumental
Length 28:43
Label Capitol
Producer George Martin,
Album Guide
Beatles VI
Rubber Soul

The North American version, the band's eighth Capitol Records album and tenth overall, includes the songs in the film plus selections from the orchestral score composed and conducted by Ken Thorne, which contains one of the first uses of the Indian sitar on a rock/pop album. "Ticket to Ride" is the only song on the American release in duophonic stereo (also known as "fake stereo") reprocessed from the mono mix. This album is available on CD as part of The Capitol Albums, Volume 2 box set. This set also includes the mono version of the American release, which is purely a stereo-to-mono fold-down mix, including the "fake stereo" duophonic "Ticket To Ride" folded down to mono, despite Capitol already having the mono mixes for the single releases of both that song and "Help!". A second CD release of this album, which contained the seven songs in true mono was issued in 2014 individually and part of the Beatles' The U.S. Albums boxed set.

The American version of "Help!" reached the number one spot on the Billboard album charts for nine weeks starting on 11 September 1965.


Side one[]

  1. "Help!" (preceded by Ken Thorne's "James Bond Theme" instrumental arrangement)
  2. "The Night Before" (extended version)
  3. "From Me to You Fantasy" (instrumental) (Lennon, McCartney, Ken Thorne)
  4. "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"
  5. "I Need You" (Harrison)
  6. "In The Tyrol" (instrumental) (Ken Thorne)

Side two[]

  1. "Another Girl"
  2. "Another Hard Day's Night" (instrumental) (Lennon/McCartney, Thorne)
  3. "Ticket to Ride"
  4. Medley: "The Bitter End" (Ken Thorne)/"You Can't Do That" (instrumental) (Lennon/McCartney, arranged by Ken Thorne)
  5. "You're Going to Lose That Girl"
  6. "The Chase" (instrumental) (Ken Thorne)


External Links[]