Help! (album)

This article is about the Beatles album. For other albums, see Help.
The Beatles, standing in a row and wearing blue jackets, with their arms positioned as if to spell out a word in flag semaphore
Studio album / soundtrack by The Beatles
Released 6 August 1965 (UK)
13 August 1965 (US)
Recorded 15 February – 17 June 1965[1]
Studio EMI Studios, London
Length 34:20
Label Parlophone
Producer George Martin
The Beatles chronology
Beatles for Sale
Rubber Soul
Singles from Help!
  1. "Ticket to Ride"
    Released: 9 April 1965
  2. "Help!"
    Released: 23 July 1965
Professional ratings
Review scores
The A.V. ClubA[5]
Chicago Sun-Times[6]
Consequence of SoundB[7]
The Daily Telegraph[8]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[9]
Pitchfork Media9.2/10[12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[13]

Help! is the fifth studio album by the English rock band the Beatles, and the soundtrack from their film Help!. Produced by George Martin, it contains fourteen songs in its original British form. Seven of these, including the singles "Help!" and "Ticket to Ride", appeared in the film and took up the first side of the vinyl album. The second side contained seven other releases including the most-covered song ever written, "Yesterday".[14]

The American release was a true soundtrack album, mixing the first seven songs with instrumental material from the film. Of the other seven songs that were on the British release, two were released on the US version of the next Beatles album, Rubber Soul, two were back-to-back on the next US single and then appeared on Yesterday and Today, and three had already been on Beatles VI.

In 2012, Help! was voted 331st on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time".[15] In September 2013, after the British Phonographic Industry changed their sales award rules, the album was declared as having gone platinum.[16]


The album features 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 flavor. [17]

"Ticket to Ride", also released as a single, was felt by Lennon to be "heavy" in its sound compared to the group's previous output[18] and daring in its reference to a boy and girl living together. McCartney called the arrangement "quite radical".

George Harrison contributed "I Need You" and "You Like Me Too Much", 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, yet 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.

When "Help!" came out in '65, I was actually crying out for help. Most people think it's just a fast rock-'n'-roll song. I didn't realize it at the time; I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie … It was my fat Elvis period.

John Lennon[19]

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.[20][21]

The Beatles at a press conference during their August 1965 US tour

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.[22] 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.[23]

Rejected songs

A few songs that were recorded and intended for the film were not used because of the Beatles' suggestions. Lennon and McCartney wrote "If You've Got Trouble" for Ringo Starr to sing, but the song was rejected and Starr sang "Act Naturally" (which is not in the film but is about being in the movies) instead.[24] "That Means a Lot" was written for the film, but the Beatles were not satisfied with their performance of the song and they gave it to P.J. Proby, who released it as a single.[25] Lennon said "Yes It Is" was "me trying a rewrite of 'This Boy', but it didn't work";[26] it was released as the B-side of "Ticket to Ride" and was also on Beatles VI. "You Like Me Too Much" and "Tell Me What You See" were rejected for use in the film by its director, Richard Lester, though they did appear on the album (and also on Beatles VI).

Much later, in June 1965, the song "Wait" was recorded for the album. However, "Wait" (with some newly added overdubs) ended up on Rubber Soul when another song was needed to complete that album.

Album cover













The album cover features the Beatles with their arms positioned to spell out a word in flag semaphore. According to cover photographer Robert Freeman, "I had the idea of semaphore spelling out the letters "HELP". But when we came to do the shot, the arrangement of the arms with those letters didn't look good. So we decided to improvise and ended up with the best graphic positioning of the arms."[27]

On the UK Parlophone release, the letters formed by the Beatles appear to be "NUJV", whilst the slightly re-arranged US release on Capitol Records appeared to feature the letters "NVUJ", with McCartney's left hand pointing to the Capitol logo.[28] The Capitol LP was issued in a "deluxe" gatefold sleeve with several photos from the film and was priced $1 more than standard Capitol releases at the time.

Compact disc release

There have been four CD releases of Help! The first was on 30 April 1987, using the 14-song UK track line-up. Having been available only as an import in the US in the past, the original 14-track UK version replaced the original US version with its release on LP and cassette as well on 21 July 1987. As with the CD release of the 1965 Rubber Soul album, the Help! CD featured a contemporary stereo digital remix of the album prepared by Martin in 1986. Martin had expressed concern to EMI over the original 1965 stereo remix, claiming it sounded "very woolly, and not at all what I thought should be a good issue". Martin went back to the original four-track tapes and remixed them for stereo.[29] One of the most notable changes is the echo added to "Dizzy Miss Lizzy", something that was not evident on the original mix of the LP.

When the album was originally released on CD in Canada, pressings were imported from other countries, and used the 1987 remix. However, when the Disque Améric and Cinram plants in Canada started pressing the album, the original 1965 stereo mix was used by mistake. This was the only source for the 1965 stereo mix in its entirety until the release of the mono box set in 2009.[30]

The 2009 remastered stereo CD was released on 9 September. It was "created from the original stereo digital master tapes from Martin's CD mixes made in 1986".[31] The original 1965 stereo mix was included as a bonus on the mono CD contained in The Beatles in Mono boxed set.

The 1965 stereo mix was reissued again on the Help! CD contained in the Beatles collection The Japan Box released in 2014.

Track listing

All tracks written by Lennon–McCartney, except where noted. 

Side one (soundtrack to the 1965 United Artists film Help!)
No. TitleLead Vocals Length
1. "Help!"  Lennon with McCartney 2:18
2. "The Night Before"  McCartney 2:34
3. "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"  Lennon 2:09
4. "I Need You" (George Harrison)Harrison 2:28
5. "Another Girl"  McCartney 2:05
6. "You're Going to Lose That Girl"  Lennon 2:18
7. "Ticket to Ride"  Lennon with McCartney 3:09
Side two
No. TitleLead Vocals Length
1. "Act Naturally" (Johnny Russell, Voni Morrison)Starr 2:30
2. "It's Only Love"  Lennon 1:56
3. "You Like Me Too Much" (George Harrison)Harrison 2:36
4. "Tell Me What You See"  McCartney and Lennon 2:37
5. "I've Just Seen a Face"  McCartney 2:05
6. "Yesterday"  McCartney 2:05
7. "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" (Larry Williams)Lennon 2:54

North American Capitol release

Soundtrack album by The Beatles and Ken Thorne
Released 13 August 1965[32]
Recorded 15–19 February, 13 April, 10 May & 14–17 June 1965
Studio EMI Studios, London
Length 28:43
Label Capitol
Producer George Martin, Dave Dexter, Jr.[33]
The Beatles North American chronology
Beatles VI
Rubber Soul
Singles from Help!
  1. "Ticket to Ride"
    Released: 19 April 1965
  2. "Help!"
    Released: 19 July 1965[32]

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. "Help!" is available on CD as part of The Capitol Albums, Volume 2 box set. This CD contains both the stereo and mono versions of the American release. A second CD release of this album, which contains the seven songs in true mono was issued in 2014 individually and as part of the Beatles The U.S. Albums boxed set.

All of the non-movie tracks from Side 2 of the British album were spread out through three American albums. Three were already issued on the previously released Beatles VI: "You Like Me Too Much", "Tell Me What You See", and "Dizzy Miss Lizzy". "I've Just Seen A Face" and "It's Only Love" were placed on Rubber Soul with its follow-up album Yesterday and Today receiving the remaining two tracks: "Yesterday" and "Act Naturally"

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

Track listing

All tracks written by Lennon–McCartney, except where noted. 

Side one
No. TitleLead Vocals Length
1. "Help!" (preceded by an uncredited instrumental intro based on "The James Bond Theme")Lennon with McCartney 2:39
2. "The Night Before"  McCartney 2:36
3. "From Me to You Fantasy" (Lennon–McCartney; arranged by Thorne)instrumental 2:08
4. "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"  Lennon 2:12
5. "I Need You" (Harrison)Harrison 2:31
6. "In the Tyrol" (Ken Thorne)instrumental 2:26
Side two
No. TitleLead Vocals Length
1. "Another Girl"  McCartney 2:08
2. "Another Hard Day's Night" (Lennon–McCartney; arranged by Thorne)instrumental 2:31
3. "Ticket to Ride"  Lennon with McCartney 3:07
4. "Medley: The Bitter End (Ken Thorne)/You Can't Do That" (Lennon–McCartney; arranged by Thorne)instrumental 2:26
5. "You're Gonna Lose That Girl"  Lennon 2:19
6. "The Chase" (Ken Thorne)instrumental 2:31

Charts and certifications


Chart (1965) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[34] 1
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[35] 1
UK Albums (OCC)[36] 1
US Billboard 200[37] 1
Chart (1987) Peak
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[38] 62
Chart (2009) Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[39] 62
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[40] 48
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[41] 62
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[38] 64
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[42] 26
Italian Albums (FIMI)[43] 50
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[44] 35
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[45] 18
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[46] 53
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[47] 30
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[48] 53


In the US, the album sold 1,314,457 copies by 31 December 1965 and 1,594,032 copies by the end of the decade.[49]

Original release
Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[50] Gold 35,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[51] Platinum 300,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

dagger BPI certification awarded only for sales since 1994.[52]

North American release
Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[53] 2× Platinum 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[54] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


According to Mark Lewisohn[55][56] and Alan W. Pollack.[57]

Additional musicians

Surround versions

The songs included in the soundtrack of the film Help! were mixed into 5.1 surround sound for the film's 2007 DVD release, that is, tracks 1—7, accounting for half of the original album's songs.

Release history

Country Date Label Format Catalog
United Kingdom 6 August 1965 Parlophone mono LP PMC 1255
stereo LP PCS 3071
United States 13 August 1965 Capitol mono LP MAS 2386
stereo LP SMAS 2386
Worldwide reissue 15 April 1987 Apple, Parlophone, EMI Compact Disc CDP 7 46439 2
United States 21 July 1987 Capitol stereo LP CLJ 46439
Japan 11 March 1998 Toshiba-EMI CD TOCP 51115
Japan 21 January 2004 Toshiba-EMI Remastered LP TOJP 60135
Worldwide reissue 11 April 2006 Apple/Capitol/EMI CD reissue of US LP CDP 0946 3 57500 2 7
Worldwide reissue 9 September 2009 Apple/Capitol/EMI CD stereo remaster CDP 0946 3 82415 2 2


  1. Help! Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  2. Unterberger, Richie (2002). Turn! Turn! Turn!: The '60s Folk-Rock Revolution. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. p. 272. ISBN 0-87930-703-X.
  3. Spignesi, Stephen J.; Lewis, Michael (2004). Here, There, and Everywhere: The 100 Best Beatles Songs. New York: Black Dog. ISBN 978-1-57912-369-7. ...after the unabashed more-or-less traditional pop rock of A Hard Day's Night and Help!...
  4. Allmusic review
  5. Klosterman, Chuck (8 September 2009). "Chuck Klosterman Repeats The Beatles". The A.V. Club. Chicago. Archived from the original on 26 May 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  6. McLeese, Don (30 April 1987). "CDs `Help!' restore Beatles' intent". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  7. Young, Alex (18 September 2009). "The Beatles – Help! (Remastered)". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  8. McCormick, Neil (7 September 2009). "The Beatles – Help!, review". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  9. Larkin, Colin (2006). Encyclopedia of Popular Music. 1. Muze. p. 489. ISBN 0-19-531373-9.
  10. Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide (2nd ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 88. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.
  11. "The Beatles: The Long and Winding Repertoire". Paste. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  12. "Pitchfork Media review". Pitchfork Media. 8 September 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  13. "The Beatles | Album Guide". Archived from the original on 20 September 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  14. "Most Recorded Song". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on 10 September 2006.
  15. "500 Greatest Albums of All Time: the Beatles, 'Help'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  16. "Beatles albums finally go platinum". BBC News. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  17. Unterberger 2009.
  18. Beatles Interview Database 2009.
  19. "Playboy Interview: John Lennon And Yoko Ono". Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  20. "Help! by The Beatles". Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  21. "John Lennon- Help! (Piano Demo)". YouTube. 9 December 2007. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  22. Keith Badman and Barry Miles, The Beatles Diary: The Beatles Years (Omnibus Press, 2001), 248.
  23. Liner notes, Past Masters vol.1
  24. Lewisohn 1988, pp. 55,60.
  25. Lewisohn 1988, pp. 56–57.
  26. Sheff 2000, p. 196.
  27. Freeman, p. 62.
  28. Spizer, Bruce (2000). The Beatles' Story on Capitol Records – Part Two: The Albums. 498 Productions. pp. 88, 93.
  29. Kozinn 1987.
  30. "Rubber Soul CD – Canadian Pressing Featuring Original UK Mixes?". Steve Hoffman Music Forums. 9 April 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  31. Apple Records 2009.
  32. 1 2 Stannard 1982, p. 141.
  33. Ruhlmann 2009.
  34. Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book (1940–1969). Turramurra: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-44439-5.
  35. " – The Beatles – Help!" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  36. "The Beatles | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  37. "The Beatles – Chart history" Billboard 200 for The Beatles. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  38. 1 2 " – The Beatles – Beatles for Sale" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
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  40. " – The Beatles – Beatles for Sale" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
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  42. "The Beatles: Beatles for Sale" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat IFPI Finland. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
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  47. " – The Beatles – Beatles for Sale". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
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  49. "How Many Records did the Beatles actually sell?". Deconstructing Pop Culture by David Kronemyer. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  50. "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2009 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  51. "British album certifications – The Beatles – Help". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 15 September 2013. Enter Help in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  52. "Beatles albums finally go platinum". British Phonographic Industry. BBC News. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  53. "Canadian album certifications – The Beatles – Help". Music Canada. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  54. "American album certifications – Beatles, The – Help!". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 15 September 2013. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  55. Lewisohn 1988.
  56. Lewisohn 1996.
  57. Pollack 2009.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Help! (album)
Preceded by
Out of Our Heads by The Rolling Stones
Billboard 200 number-one album
11 September – 12 November 1965
Succeeded by
The Sound of Music (soundtrack)
by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
Preceded by
The Sound of Music (soundtrack)
by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
18 September – 19 November 1965
29 January – 4 February 1966
12–18 February 1966
Succeeded by
Rubber Soul by The Beatles
Preceded by
The Sound of Music (soundtrack) by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
UK Albums Chart number-one album
14 August 1965 – 16 October 1965
Succeeded by
The Sound of Music (soundtrack) by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
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