Without further delay let's get stuck in!
EDIT: Well, the above just got a bit ruined by a weekend of not blogging; the lack of posting stemmed from the fact we had a big party in our house to celebrate a new housemate moving in (and one moving out, sob!) - in short everything was a bit hectic and my blog posts got a bit behind. With that in mind I've decided to opt out of posting a new Wednesday compilation this week, instead I'm going to focus on getting some more Beatle-A-Day posts - we're getting into the really great stuff now, so hopefully it shouldn't be too much of a hardship ;-p
Apologies for any disappointment this may cause, but I promise I'll make it up next week... I have a bit of a special idea for it!
|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|
|8. Act Naturally|
|9. It's Only Love|
|10. You Like Me Too Much|
|11. Tell Me What You See|
|12. I've Just Seen A Face|
|14. Dizzy Miss Lizzy|
Oh my lord... Help! is a damn fine album, and certainly my favorite at this point in Beatle-A-Day's life - it shows the band pulling the folk and country influences present in Beatles For Sale and reforming them into a much more palatable work (in my opinion anyway, don't hate me!) Just see Lenon's more exciting Dylan-esque writing on You've Got To Hide Your Love Away.
Help! also shows the four stretching their musical vision even further through more apparent studio manipulation - the effects on the guitar in I Need You are really quite progressive, even by today's pop music. Similarly the also Harrison penned You Like Me Too Much sounds very modern today; you know, in retrospect I think Belle and Sebastian might like the song a little bit...
The iconic title track dominates the album, but it belies the songwriting complexity present on the rest of the album. Ticket To Ride's experiments with rhythm (on the guitar picking sections) belay the album's modus operandi of intertwining pop sensibilities with exploration of personal musical interests and lyrical introspection.
It's Only Love hints more strongly at drug use than anything else the band had produced to date, but not just lyrically - the musical responses to the vocal line have a distinct semi-improvised and lackadaisical quality which I don't find hard to attribute to marijuana use.
Even though it sounds a bit silly to equate such a thing to a substance I think the very fact one could think that hints at something much more tangible; The Beatles' music begins reflecting the band themselves much more on Help! than on previous efforts. Instead of aping Bob Dylan, as on Beatles For Sale, and speaking their lyrics in his language, The Beatles look to themselves and craft their own way of expressing the sort of feelings hinted at in the aforementioned album's Lenon Trilogy.
The culmination of this is the album's beautiful penultimate track, Yesterday. On Yesterday I can't help but imagine John, Paul, Ringo and George celebrating their musical childhood, but knowing that it has its place - the past. The song feels heartbroken at leaving the first phase of The Beatles' career, but also knowing that they had to grow up and face a more complex world.
Musically the string arrangements and melody certainly display this, but the real kicker is the song's lyrics. Here are a few snippets so you can see for yourself:
All my troubles seemed so far away,
Now it looks as though they're here to stay,
Oh, I believe in yesterday.
I'm not half the man I used to be,
There's a shadow hanging over me,
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.
Love was such an easy game to play,
Now I need a place to hide away,
Oh, I believe in yesterday."
There's no escaping the fact that The Beatles' childhood was over, and their more experimental teenage years had begun - next, enter Rubber Soul and the sitar...