Best of the Beatles: Help!

After the poll for Beatles for Sale, it’s time to move on through the Beatles’s discography! Next up is their second soundtrack album - Help!.
*Help! *was released in August of 1965, and it contained Lennon/McCartney, Harrison, and cover songs.

A few interesting tidbits about the songs: “Help!”, the title track, was originally a melancholy piece written by John, meant to be accompianed by piano (the demo is actually on YouTube), but he later changed it under commercial pressure to be more upbeat to suit the film. Later on, he said he regretted this, as the demo piece was more sincere.
Another song on the album, “Yesterday”, was actually composed in Paul McCartney’s sleep; he says he woke up one morning with a tune in his head, and then worked in out in a few minutes on a piano, using the lyrics “scrambled eggs”.

Lastly, there’s one other thing I’d like to address - the idea that this series of polls is meant to determine the definitive, end-all “greatest” Beatles song. All of the albums are a collective work of art; to hold up one song as the “best” is like choosing one chapter from a book and declaring it the most well-written. These polls are primarily meant as a way to encourage discussion about Beatles songs in a friendly, slightly competitive atmosphere; they’re simply fun little distractions, nothing more, nothing less. I hope that no Beatles fans on the SDMB are discouraged from participating because they’re annoyed at the idea that the Beatles can be boiled down to a handful of songs.

So - let’s vote!

Sorry, I forgot to mention in the OP - songs with asterisks next to their names are cover songs.

“Yesterday” is just such a ridiculously good song.

*Yesterday *is one for the hall of fame. No question.

Besides it, I loved You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away. Not so much for the song, which I like a lot, but for the way the four of them just sit around and sing it alone in a simple setting with no fanfare.

Ticket to Ride is also wonderful, especially the introduction.

When my friend and I went to see this movie when it first came out, we had to sit through it three times because we couldn’t understand a word they were saying! Back then we weren’t exposed to the wide variety of British accents that we are not in movies, PBS, songs, etc.

This is the hardest one yet. I voted for Help! but there are at least 5 other songs I wanted to vote for.

Lots of good songs there. Not to besmirch any, I chose ‘Hide Your Love Away’

Hide Your Love Away for me.

I’m going to avoid the two obvious choice and go with “I’ve Just Seen a Face.”

I love several songs on the*** Help! ***album, but “Ticket to Ride” is one of my favorite Beatle songs, period.

Doesn’t mean “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” “The Night Before” and the title track aren’t great.

“You’re Gonna Lose That Girl” has been one of my very favorites since the day it was released.

I went “Ticket To Ride.” It’s one of my favorite Beatles songs all-around. I especially love Ringo’s drumming on this.

Yep, that’s pretty much my reasoning. This really is a fantastic album - almost all the songs would have a fair shot at being the strongest on any of their past albums. I think “Yesterday” has lost some of its sway over time simply because it’s so famous, you can get tired of it, but it’s the one song that I feel really dramatically changed music.

I also love the syncopation, guitar riff, and clashing harmonies on “Ticket to Ride” and the just . . . overall rhythm and feel of “I’ve Just Seen a Face”. It’s interesting, because while making this poll I found out for the first time that “Act Naturally” was a cover - which is funny, because I think it and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” are the two weakest songs on the album. My opinion of the Lennon-McCartney songwriting team has risen, if that’s even possible at this point. :smiley:

I had trouble choosing between “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and “Ticket to Ride,” but finally went with the latter. (Maybe because, for us gringos, the former is what kicks off Rubber Soul).

No, no, no. I cannot pick just one.

If you let me pick two, I’ll go with my two favorite scenes from the movie: *You’re Gonna Lose That Girl *and Ticket To Ride. They were so cool in the first scene and so stoned in the second.

Help! is a really interesting album where they are really starting to experiment with a wider range of both sounds and types of song. Some of it works and some doesn’t, often within the same song. “You’re Going to Lose that Girl,” is a terrific song, for instance, but the execution leaves something to be desired. Much of the experimentation and new directions taken here do not come fully to fruition until the next couple of albums.

With some reluctance, I am going to choose “Yesterday,” even though it stands somewhat apart from what makes Help! as a whole so good and interesting. Not only is it a great tune in its own right (apparently, Paul himself had trouble believing he had really written it, rather than having unconsciously plagiarizing from somewhere), but, unlike much of the rest of the album, the performance and the simple production are just right. This is a song that (as numerous cover versions have shown) very easily turns to schmaltz. This original version is almost unique in that Paul, and George Martin, managed to avoid letting that happen. (As I understand it, Paul had to put his foot down to prevent the strings from being all “shimmery” with vibrato. He was very right to do so.)

“Yesterday” is not what makes Help! a great album, not even, really, an important part of what makes it a great album, but it is the best individual track.

I just have to mention that maybe Paul was partly right – turns out the song bears some resemblance to “Georgia on My Mind,” especially the Ray Charles version the Beatles would have been familiar with.

Not to take anything away from Sir Paul’s momentous, phenomenal, gorgeous accomplishment. Everything good has some inspiration from something else.

It was a toss-up for me between “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” and “I’ve Just Seen A Face”, but I went with the former just because I thought it had a better chance of winning, which I’d like to see (I don’t think any of my previous choices are going to make it). Still, “I’ve Just Seen A Face” is a great song that should get more recognition (and it’s deceptively difficult to sing).

ETA: Revolver is going to be the toughest choice for me by far.

I seem to be the only one who came down to I’ve Just Seen a Face and another song (Yesterday, specifically) who went with the former.

The rhyme scheme, particularly, pleases me.

As for “…Face,” that’s true, starting with the first word, which interrupts that wonderfully odd introduction mid-measure.

As for Revolver, no kidding. Someone once asked me, “Is there a ‘Best of the Beatles’ album?,” and I replied, “Yeah, it’s called Revolver.”

Ack! All of it! Hide Your Love Away, Help!, The Night Before, You’re Going to Lose That Girl. This album and all the ones that follow it are too good to pick one song.