The Beatles’ fifth album Help! was first released fifty years ago today, on 6th August, 1965.
The band’s fifth studio album also acted as the soundtrack for their film Help!, following the format of their third record (and subsequent film) A Hard Day’s Night. Seven of the 14 songs on the album appear in the film – which took up the first side of the album on vinyl – whilst the second half featured seven other tracks, including ‘You Like Me Too Much’ and ‘Yesterday.’
As with the majority of English records of that decade, the US release of the record differed from the original release, being solely a soundtrack album of the first seven songs. Some of the songs that didn’t appear on the US version appeared on the US release of Rubber Soul.
Help! featured many influential tracks such as ‘Ticket To Ride’ and ‘Help!’ – songs that the whole world (die-hard Beatle fan or not) would go on to learn inside out. The single ‘Help!’ was one of The Beatles many major successes, which went to Number One in both the UK and US singles charts in the summer of ’65.
Even though the titular song feels and sounds upbeat, it was actually written by Lennon to express his stress over The Beatles’ wild and quick rise to success in the early sixties. Bearing in mind that the band started in 1960, and became a worldwide phenomenon by 1963, it’s no surprise that Lennon was somewhat overwhelmed when ‘Beatlemania’ ultimately captivated the globe.
Help! began to distinguish The Beatles’ as individual writers, rather than just the same Lennon and McCartney brand. This can be seen through the distinct difference between Lennon’s ‘Help!’ and McCartney’s ‘Yesterday’ – which is a much more nostalgic and sentimental track on McCartney’s part. Two of George Harrison’s songs also feature on the record; ‘I Need You’ and ‘You Like Me Too Much’.
Remind yourself of one of The Beatles’ greatest albums through their 1965 movie, Help! below.