Help! (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Help!

Artist = The Beatles
from Album = Help!
B-side = "I'm Down"
Released = 1965-08-06 (UK)
1965-08-13 (U.S.)
Format = 7"
Recorded = Abbey Road: 1965-04-13
Genre = Folk rock
Length = 2:18 (UK), 2:39 (US)
Label = Parlophone (UK)
Capitol Records (U.S.)
Writer = Lennon/McCartney
Producer = George Martin
Chart position =
* #1 (UK Singles Chart)
* #1 (US Billboard Hot 100)
* #1 (CAN CHUM Chart)
Last single = "Ticket to Ride"
This single = "Help!"
Next single = "We Can Work It Out" / "Day Tripper"
(UK-1965) -----
"Yesterday" (US-1965)
Misc = Extra musicsample |Type=single |filename=Beatles help.ogg |format=Ogg |title=Help!Extra tracklisting
Album = Help!
Type = studio
Tracks = ;Side one
# "Help!"
# "The Night Before"
# "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"
# "I Need You"
# "Another Girl"
# "You're Going to Lose That Girl"
# "Ticket to Ride";Side two
# "Act Naturally"
# "It's Only Love"
# "You Like Me Too Much"
# "Tell Me What You See"
# "I've Just Seen a Face"
# "Yesterday"
# "Dizzy Miss Lizzy"
Infobox Single
Name = Help!

Artist = Deep Purple
Album = Shades of Deep Purple
Released = July 1968 (US) September 1968 UK)
track_no = 6
Recorded = May 11 - May 13, 1968 Pye Studios, London
Genre = Progressive rock
Length = 6:01
Label = Parlophone (UK) Tetragrammaton (US)
Writer = John Lennon
Paul McCartney
Producer = Derek Lawrence
prev = "Mandrake Root"
prev_no = 5
next = "Love Help Me"
next_no = 7
Infobox Single
Name = Help!

Artist = Tina Turner
from Album = Private Dancer
B-side = "Rock 'n' Roll Widow"
Released = 1984
Format = 7", 12" single
Recorded = 1984
Genre = Pop/R&B
Length = 4:30
Label = Capitol
Writer = John Lennon
Paul McCartney
Producer = Wilton Felder, Ndugu Chancler, Joe Sample
Certification =
Last single = "Let's Stay Together" (1983)
This single = "Help!" (1984)
Next single = "What's Love Got to Do with It" (1984)
Infobox Single
Name = Help! (with Lananeeneenoonoo)

Artist = Bananarama
from Album = Greatest Hits Collection
B-side =
Released = February 1989
Format = 7" single, 12" single, CD single
Recorded = January 1989
Genre = Pop, Dance
Length =
Label = London Records
Writer = John Lennon
Paul McCartney
Producer = Stock Aitken Waterman
Chart position = * #3 (UK)
* #25 (Australia)
* #35 (New Zealand)
* #8 (Switzerland)
* #4 (Spain)
Last single = "Nathan Jones"
This single = "Help!"
Next single = "Cruel Summer '89"
"Help!" is a song by The Beatles that served as the title song for both the album "Help!" and the film "Help!". It was also released as a single, and was #1 for three weeks in both the USA and UK. "Help!" was written primarily by John Lennon, but credited (as all Beatles song written by either person) to Lennon/McCartney. Paul McCartney reports that he had a hand in writing the song as well, being called in "to complete it" in a two-hour joint writing session on 4 April 1965 at Lennon's house in Weybridge. [Barry Miles, "Paul McCartney", p. 199; cited in Bob Spitz, "The Beatles", p. 555.] He later said that the title was "out of desperation". [William J Dowlding, "Beatlesongs", p. 97; cited in "Playboy", December 1984] RS500S|29|"Help!"


As revealed in the miniseries "The Beatles Anthology", Lennon wrote the lyrics of the song to express his stress coming from the quick rise to a massive level of success for The Beatles after years of obscurity. The rest of the band felt somehow surprised learning this, but they considered it normal. Since Lennon's feelings of insecurity were incongruous with the band's image of confidence, Lennon felt it was nearly impossible for the fans to understand the origin of the song. "I was fat and depressed and I "was" crying out for 'Help'," Lennon told "Playboy". [Bob Spitz, "The Beatles", p. 555.] Writer Ian MacDonald describes the song as the "first crack in the protective shell" Lennon had built around his fragile emotions during the Beatles' rise to fame, and an important milestone in his songwriting style.

In the 1970 "Rolling Stone" "Lennon Remembers" interviews, Lennon said that because of its honesty it was one of his favorites among the Beatles songs he wrote, but he wished they had recorded it at a slower tempo. In these interviews, Lennon said he felt that "Help!" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" were his most genuine Beatles songs and not just songs written to order.


*John Lennon: double-tracked lead vocal and acoustic guitar.
*Paul McCartney: bass and background vocals.
*George Harrison: lead guitar and background vocals.
*Ringo Starr: drums.


The Beatles recorded Help! in 12 takes on 13 April 1965, in Abbey Road's Studio Two. The first eight takes were without vocals. Onto the final attempt the group overdubbed vocals, tambourine and the guitar fills at the end of each chorus, the latter played by George Harrison. [ [ The Beatles Bible: Help!] Retrieved 9 October 2008]


The single and album versions of the song have slight differences. The American version begins with a James Bond-style instrumental.

The song appears on the "Help!" LP, the USA "Help!" soundtrack, "1962-1966", the "Imagine" soundtrack, "1", "Love", and "The Capitol Albums, Vol. 2". The single version appeared on the Beatles' "Rarities" LP.

Cover versions

*In 1968, Deep Purple recorded a cover version (greatly slowed-down) of the song on their album "Shades of Deep Purple". Consistent with Lennon's other remarks about the song, he said that this version was 'the way the Beatles' should have done it'.Fact|date=August 2008
*In 1970, the Carpenters did a cover version for release on their album, "Close to You". It was not released as a single.
*In 1976, Henry Gross covered it for the ephemeral musical documentary "All This and World War II". John Lennon once stated that this was his favourite version of the song. George and Paul do backing vocals.
*In 1976, The Damned covered the song for the B-side of "New Rose".
*In 1980, Australian vocalist John Farnham released the song as a piano-based ballad recorded at a much slower tempo.
*In 1985, Ford Motor Company reportedly paid $100,000 for the use of the song in commercials promoting their Lincoln-Mercury product line. This was the first time a Beatles song was used for a national commercial campaign.
*In early 1984, Tina Turner released a version of the song recorded with The Crusaders as the follow-up to her successful cover of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together". "Help!" peaked at #40 in the U.K. but went relatively unnoticed elsewhere. The following single "What's Love Got to Do with It" became her big comeback and "Let's Stay Together" and "What's Love Got to Do With It" were later both included on her multiplatinum selling album "Private Dancer" - her ballad version of "Help!" was however only included on the European editions of the album.
*U2 played it often during their 1986 A Conspiracy of Hope Tour and 1987 Joshua Tree Tour at a slower tempo.
*In 1989, the song was recorded by British girl group Bananarama alongside French & Saunders and Kathy Burke and released as the official Red Nose Day single to raise money for Comic Relief. French, Saunders and Burke were credited as Lananeeneenoonoo (a paraody of Bananarama who they had imitated in the French & Saunders television programme). This version reached #3 in the UK charts.
*Richard Marx performed the song at a concert near the Berlin Wall in 1989. He performed Help the same way John Farnham recorded Help back in 1980. Marx never recorded it.
*Noel Gallagher performed it at certain Oasis concerts at a slower tempo.
*Paul McCartney also slowed it down a bit when he played it during his 1990 concert tour as part of a tribute to Lennon.
*"Help!" has also been covered by The Carpenters, Michael Stanley, dc Talk, Dolly Parton, Alma Cogan, Rick Wakeman, Howie Day, McFly, Roxette and Fountains of Wayne.
*In 1991, the Finnish metal band Waltari covered Help! on their debut album, Monk Punk.
*In 1998 The Punkles did a Punk cover of this song on their first album.
*In 1999, British jazz singer Claire Martin recorded a slowed-down cover on her album "Take My Heart" with Noel Gallagher on guitar.
*In 2000, Tsunku and 7HOUSE covered "Help!" on their Beatles' cover album, "A Hard Day's Night".
* In 2003 Art Paul Schlosser recorded a parody of "Help!" called Smelt which is on on his Words of Cheese and Other Parrot Trees CD now at Apple iTunes.
*In 2007, Rapper, Lil' Wayne, sampled the song's chorus for his new official mixtape entitled, The Leak. The song was replaced on The Leak, however, and was instead put on various underground mixtapes.
*French artist Louis Bertignac, previously of Téléphone, covered the song on his 2005-2006 tour, along with another Beatles song, "I'm Down".

Cultural references

*American author Mark Z. Danielewski frequently references this song in his novel "House of Leaves."
*Featured in "Cutting it Close", an episode of "Full House", when Jesse Katsopolis breaks both of his arms in a motorcycle accident and has to adjust to a life where he always needs assistance.
*Mentioned in the film Yellow Submarine; when Young Fred is knocking on the Beatles' door, he says "Won't you please, please help me?" in reference to the song's lyrics.
*In the Powerpuff Girls episode "Meet the Beat-Alls", a military sergeant said "Help, we need somebody, help, not just anybody, help, we need the Powerpuff Girls." The sergeant himself may be a reference to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
*In the Only Fools and Horses episode The Jolly Boys' Outing, Mickey Pearce sings "Won't you please, please help me?" to a sleeping Albert, prompting Albert to tell him to "Get off, you noisy little git!" However, the version playing on the radio as Mickey sings is the Bananarama cover version rather than the original.


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  • Help — (h[e^]lp), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Helped} (h[e^]lpt) (Obs. imp. {Holp} (h[=o]lp), p. p. {Holpen} (h[=o]l p n)); p. pr. & vb. n. {Helping}.] [AS. helpan; akin to OS. helpan, D. helpen, G. helfen, OHG. helfan, Icel. hj[=a]lpa, Sw. hjelpa, Dan. hielpe …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Help — Help, n. [AS. help; akin to D. hulp, G. h[ u]lfe, hilfe, Icel. hj[=a]lp, Sw. hjelp, Dan. hielp. See {Help}, v. t.] [1913 Webster] 1. Strength or means furnished toward promoting an object, or deliverance from difficulty or distress; aid; ^; also …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Help — Help, v. i. To lend aid or assistance; to contribute strength or means; to avail or be of use; to assist. [1913 Webster] A generous present helps to persuade, as well as an agreeable person. Garth. [1913 Webster] {To help out}, to lend aid; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • help — I. verb Etymology: Middle English, from Old English helpan; akin to Old High German helfan to help, and perhaps to Lithuanian šelpti Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. to give assistance or support to < help a child with homework > 2. a …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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