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Help! Recovered

August 6th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

Help Recovered front

Today, exactly 50 years ago, The Beatles released their Help! album in Britain . In the US, a different version was issued a week later. It was a great time for music. A month earlier the Beach Boys released their Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) album; Bob Dylan issued his Highway 61 Revisited on August 30, and two weeks later Otis Redding’s Otis Blue came out.

A few years ago I conducted an experiment to discover which Beatles album was the best, song-by-song. That is obviously different to an album’s conceptual, cultural or historical value. By that token, I might instinctively go for Abbey Road, or Sgt Pepper’s, or Revolver, or Rubber Soul. But here I rated each song on an album out of ten and arrived at an average.

Help! won, just ahead of A Hard Day’s Night, followed by Abbey Road. Song for song, Help! is a most satisfying and likeable album. Even the least great songs (You Like Me Too Much, Tell Me What You See, Another Girl) are pretty good. Only Dizzy Miss Lizzy is a regrettable throwback to the first two albums. (Bottom of the table was With The Beatles).

Cover versions of most songs on Help! are relatively scarce. So I’m rather pleased with this lot. Tim Rose’s version of You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away especially is quite wonderful, with its organ backing by Gary Wright and the insistent guitar and by rolling drumming by Wright’s fellow Spooky Tooth members Mick Jones and Bryson Graham.

Vanilla Fudge go all Summer-of-Love psychedelic on their version of Ticket To Ride, while The Sunshine Company, also in 1967, slow down Harrison’s jaunty I Need You (The Beatles’ original, incidentally, was released as a single in Italy).

You’re Going To Lose That Girl is represented in a French version by an act of which I’ve found out little. Their name, Les Mersey’s, does little to hide their influence. The Quebec foursome issued their first LP in 1964 and their last, of course, in 1970. It seems they frequently covered The Beatles, but they were no cover band.

Help Recovered back

And before the year is out, there’ll be a Recovered version of Rubber Soul to mark that album’s 50th anniversary. But for today, here’s Help! Recovered, with home-made covers, made the night before. PW in comments.

1. José Feliciano – Help (1966)
2. Herbie Mann – The Night Before (1966)
3. Tim Rose – You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (1972)
4. The Sunshine Company – I Need You (1967)
5. George Martin Orchestra – Another Girl (1965)
6. Les Mersey’s – Je lai perdue cette fille (You’re Going To Lose That Girl) (1966)
7. Vanilla Fudge – Ticket To Ride (1967)
8. Leon Russell – Act Naturally (1971)
9. Bryan Ferry – It’s Only Love (1976)
10. Hugo & Osvaldo Fattoruso – Me gustas demasiado (You Like Me Too Much) (1969)
11. Teenage Fanclub – Tell Me What You See (2001)
12. Johnny Rivers and his L. A. Boogie Band – I’ve Just Seen A Face (1973)
13. The Dillards – Yesterday (1970)
14. Flying Lizards – Dizzy Miss Lizzie (1984)

GET IT!

 

More great Beatles stuff:
A Hard Day’s Night – Recovered
Beatles For Sale – Recovered

Wordless: Any Major Beatles Instrumentals
Any Bizarre Beatles
Covered With Soul Vol. 14 – Beatles Edition 1
Covered With Soul Vol. 15 – Beatles Edition 2

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1962-66

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1967-68
Any Major Beatles Covers: 1968-70
Beatles – Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 1
Beatles – Album tracks and B-Sides Vol. 2

More Mix-CD-Rs

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  1. halfhearteddude
    August 6th, 2015 at 07:23 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Guy
    August 6th, 2015 at 07:33 | #2

    Looking forward to this one. You’ve never let us down with your Beatles tributes :)

  3. Pete
    August 6th, 2015 at 23:25 | #3

    I’m sorry but I have to comletely disagree: “Help” is the least satisfying – and most ineptly sequenced – albums of the Beatles discography…..even though it still beats the crap out of everything else! I regularly cite it as the weakest of all Beatle albums.

    It’s all side two’s fault!

    First off, as any American fan will tell you….”I’ve Just Seen A Face” and “It’s Only Love” are supposed to be opening side one and side two of “Rubber Soul”! And they shouldn’t be sitting next to “Tell Me What You See” and “You Like Me Too Much”, which are standout cuts on “Beatles VI”, but sound ridiculous next to “Yesterday” and “I’ve Just Seen A Face”. “Act Naturally” opening up side 2 is almost as bad as “What Goes On” opening up side 2 of the English “Rubber Soul”. And “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” is a last gasp of the early Beatles album-closers (ala “Twist and Shout” and “Money”). A total mixed bag. And great as “Yesterday” is, I’d pick any track off of “Revolver” over that one. (weakest tracks on “Revolver”? The outstanding “And Your Bird Can Sing” and great “Dr. Robert”.

    One time I was in the hospital and I begged someone to bring me Beatles albums. Of all of the Beatles albums, he brought this one. When I played it in front of a group of people, a first-generation fan remarked when “You Like Me Too Much” was on: “gee, they’re not as great as I remember.” Another time, I was at work and after delivering a sermon on how influential and progressive everything the Beatles ever did was, “You Like Me Too Much” came on….and my friend, laughing, said “So Mike….what major progression is this song?!!!”

    (I’d say the intro, and the instrumental break….and I love “You Like Me Too Much” but it’s possibly the weakest original Beatle composition, with “Tell Me What You See” – love it as I do – coming in a close second.

    So…..those songs may be satisfying to Beatle freaks like us…..but they don’t cut it with laymen.

    Nothing is more satisfying song for song than “Revolver” which is like eating a great meal. They’re all satisfying. But this one is the weakest, obviously a major-transitional album.

  4. halfhearteddude
    August 7th, 2015 at 10:32 | #4

    Help! is indeed quite fascinating as a transitional album, the link between A Hard Day’s Night and Rubber Soul. You Like Me Too Much obviously might belong on the former; You’ve Got To Hide… and I’ve Just Seen A Face on the latter. So advertising Help! as the fully formed progression would be wrong. But it’s amazing that between Help! and Rubber Soul, only four months elapsed. Imagine if there’d be need for only one LP a year, and what fine tracks would have fallen by the wayside.

    August 1965 might have seen the release of an LP like this (presuming that one or two of For Sale tracks could have been used in the movie, and let’s add a single to it as well; the sequence obviously would be different, though sequencing never was the band’s strongest point):

    No Reply
    I’m A Loser
    Baby’s In Black
    I’ll Follow The Sun
    Eight Days A Week
    Every Little Thing
    I Feel Fine
    Help!
    You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
    I Need You
    You’re Going To Lose That Girl
    Ticket To Ride
    It’s Only Love
    Yesterday

    And in 1966, Rubber Soul/Revolver

    Drive My Car
    Norwegian Wood
    Nowhere Man
    I’m Looking Through You (though Michelle might more obvious)
    Girl
    In My Life
    If I Needed Someone
    Taxman
    Eleanor Rigby
    Here, There And Everywhere
    Good Day Sunshine
    And Your Bird Can Sing (or I Want To Tell You)
    Got To Get You Into My Life
    Tomorrow Never Knows

    Substitute your least favourite track for the obligatory Ringo track.

  5. Dave B
    August 9th, 2015 at 06:53 | #5

    Loving this series! Hope there’s more to come.

  6. dogbreath
    August 22nd, 2015 at 11:00 | #6

    Nice idea, nicely executed. Many thanks.

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