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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/help_album_cover_6461.jpg
The standard album cover for Help!
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cd1094_5831.jpg
The alternate album cover for Help!, used in the US.
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Help! is the fifth studio album by The Beatles, released in 1965. Like their earlier album A Hard Day's Night it served as a sort of soundtrack to the movie of the same name. It would also be their final studio album until Let It Be to feature any covers.

Interestingly, the album cover with the Beatles using flag semaphore to spell "HELP" is inaccurate. It instead spells "NUJV". According to cover photographer Robert Freeman, this inaccuracy was intentional as it turned out that the "HELP" arrangement didn't look good enough. On the US version of the album, it was changed to "NVUJ."

The album was listed at #331 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It would spawn hits such as "Help!", "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away", "Ticket to Ride", and "Yesterday", the most recorded song of all time.

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Tracklist (Standard Version):

Side One

  1. "Help!"
  2. "The Night Before"
  3. "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"
  4. "I Need You"
  5. "Another Girl"
  6. "You're Going to Lose That Girl"
  7. "Ticket to Ride"

Side Two

  1. "Act Naturally"
  2. "It's Only Love"
  3. "You Like Me Too Much"
  4. "Tell Me What You See"
  5. "I've Just Seen a Face"
  6. "Yesterday"
  7. "Dizzy Miss Lizzy"


Tracklist (US Version):

Side One

  1. "Help!"
  2. "The Night Before"
  3. "From Me to You Fantasy"*
  4. "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"
  5. "I Need You"
  6. "In the Tyrol"*

Side Two

  1. "Another Girl"
  2. "Another Hard Day's Night"*
  3. "Ticket to Ride"
  4. "Medley: The Bitter End/You Can't Do That"*
  5. "You're Going to Lose That Girl"
  6. "The Chase"*

* From the film score by Ken Thorne


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Principal Members:

  • George Harrison - guitar, backing and lead vocals
  • John Lennon - lead vocals, guitar, piano
  • Paul McCartney - lead vocals, bass, guitar, piano, güiro
  • Ringo Starr - drums, percussion, lead vocals, tambourine, maracas, cowbell, bongos, claves, brushed snare


It's Only Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: "Yesterday" has Paul singing and playing by himself. Paul would go on to do this several times throughout the Beatles' career.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: As noted above, the Beatles are spelling out the gibberish "NUJV" on the cover because the photographer disliked the look of "HELP".
  • Break Up Song: "Yesterday" ("Why she had to go/ I don't know she wouldn't say") and "Ticket To Ride" ("The girl that's driving me mad is going away").
  • Cover Version: "Act Naturally" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" are covers of Buck Owens and Larry Williams, respectively. Apart from a throwaway rendition of the "trad. arr." bawdy song "Maggie Mae" on Let It Be, these would be the last covers to feature on a Beatles record.
  • Cult Soundtrack: To the movie of the same name.
  • Cut-and-Paste Translation: As shown by the difference in track listing between the standard version and the US version.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Paul McCartney dreamt the melody of "Yesterday" during his sleep. When he woke up he asked everyone whether they could remember who wrote it? As it turned out he had invented it himself and so he recorded it as a solo piece, without the rest of the band. It would become the most often covered song in history.
    • Another version of the story behind "Yesterday" has Paul playing it on the piano in Alma Cogan's flat in Kensington. He was sure it was an existing tune but couldn't recall where it came from. He may have been thinking of "Answer Me", a huge hit for both Frankie Laine and David Whitfield in the 1950s. There are certainly some similarities between the two songs. "Answer Me" contains the lines
      She was mine yesterday
      I believed that love was here to stay
      Won't you tell me where I've gone astray
      Please answer me O Lord
  • Excited Show Title!: "Help!" for both the album and the title track, as well as the film.
  • Face on the Cover: The band is shown from a distance and in different clothing, but in an empty background that does not distract from the viewer watching at them.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Lennon wrote "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" about a man trying to keep his homosexuality a secret, most obviously referring to their manager Brian Epstein. The lyrics itself don't directly allude to it, though.
  • In the Style of...:
    • "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" is basically John doing Bob Dylan (with John himself saying he'd never have used the "clown" line/rhyme otherwise).
    • "I've Just Seen A Face" is pure country.
  • New Sound Album: To an extent. There's the country-rock "Act Naturally", and the proto-metal (to some people) "Ticket To Ride".
  • Nostalgia Filter:
    • "Help"
    When I was younger, so much younger than today. I never needed anybody's help in any way
    • "Yesterday"
    Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away.
  • The Oldest Profession: "Ticket to Ride" is about a girl getting her streetwalker license.
  • One-Woman Song: "Dizzy Miss Lizzy".
  • One-Word Title: "Help".
  • The Power of Love: "It's Only Love", "I Need You".
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: "Help!" was a summarization of Lennon's feelings about Beatlemania at that point.
  • Silly Love Songs: Just like the earlier albums most of the material here deals with love.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Ringo Starr sings lead on "Act Naturally", and George Harrison sings lead on "I Need You" and "You Like Me Too Much".
  • Subdued Section: "Help!" has this at the end, when Lennon repeats the first verse.
  • Title Track: "Help!".
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: On "It's Only Love":
    Just the thought of you makes nighttime brrright
  • Urban Legends: The album cover supposedly has the band mimicking the word "help" in semaphore sign language. This was originally the idea, but the photographer felt the movements they made didn't look as photogenic, so he allowed the band to strike other poses that looked better.
  • White Void Room: The Beatles stand in it on the album cover.


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