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Beatles forums => Albums => Microscopes => Topic started by: tkitna on April 11, 2011, 04:11:06 PM

Title: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: tkitna on April 11, 2011, 04:11:06 PM
Help!

So here we have the transitional album in my opinion. The Beatles were smoking dope and starting to mature somewhat in their music making. There’s a nice blend of  early stuff and some songs that were starting to dictate some growth.


HELP! - I always find myself comparing this song to ‘A Hard Days Night’. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe because they are title songs or maybe it’s the message they both portray. With ‘AHDN’ you have the lads trying to relay how hard they work and how tired they are. With ‘HELP!” you have the desperate plea because they cant take it anymore (John more so on a personal level I guess). Anyways, I’m not one for lyrics or song meanings (purely music for me), but the desperation works here. Its convincing. Even the frantic nature of the song adds to the subject matter. Regardless, moving on. Pauls bass is cool and drives the song along. Acoustic guitar is nice as usual. I like the tambourine during the chorus. Georges guitar tone is good. Johns voice is nice and the song ending is great. Nice song.

The Night Before - This isn’t a great song by any means, but I’ve always had a soft spot for it. Guilty pleasure maybe. Again, Pauls bass is good here too. I’m not crazy about the guitar tone. Hi hat (or ride, I cant tell) noise fills a lot of space and is welcomed. Love Pauls voice. The organ annoys me. At 0:56 in the middle break, Ringo breaks out in a beat that is awfully familiar to ‘I Feel Fine’. The same? Not sure, but it works. Love the background vocals. 1:29 love Pauls ‘Oh Oh Oh’s’ while George comes in with a ‘Yes’. Cool. Weak guitar solo. 1:51 ‘Yeah’ in the background is neat too.

You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away - Norwegian Wood before Norwegian Wood. That’s how I look at this song. Stripped down and not as personal, but the building block is set. Johns voice is eerily good on this one in my opinion. Acoustic guitar sounds nice. The tambourine on the 2 and 4 has to be there. Song wouldn’t be the same without it. The guitar being played on every word through the chorus is great. Georges acoustic tone is nice. The horns at the end add a ton. Love them. The shaker throughout is cool too.

I Need You - This George song is not a favorite for sure. I hate the volume controlled guitar throughout. Annoying. Background vocals are nice. I don’t like the congas or whatever it is Ringos playing. I do like the cowbell however. I really don’t have a lot to say about this song. Its weak and a definite throwaway in my opinion.

Another Girl - Hate the guitar tone. Ringo kills on the ride cymbal. Love Pauls voice here. Bass chugs along and sounds good. Background vocals are alright, but nothing special. 1:23 mark the voices arent tight together. Shaky. The ending sucks. This song is just ok in my opinion. Filler.

You’re Going To Lose That Girl - Love the tight harmonies. Hate the bongo’s. Their just too much and erratic. I really dig the chorus when George and Paul sing ’Watch What You Do’ and John comes in at the end with a ’Yeah’. Sweet. I don’t know. I’m not very partial to this song either. Its ok and sounds of early Beatles to me. Its decent enough I suppose. Oh yeah, the guitar solo sucks.

Ticket To Ride - This is a good song even if its not one of my favorites. The drum beat is awesome (regardless if Paul told him what to play or not). The guitar tone is great. Rhythm guitar sounds great also. Johns voice sounds really good and the backgrounds are nice too. Like the tambourine in the chorus. The guitar solo that ends the bars is alright, but I’m not a fan for some reason. 2:30 mark, Johns ’Ahhh’ makes the song for me. Love it. On the fence about the falsetto ending. Something different may have been better there, but it works all in all.

Act Naturally - I don’t like Country/Western music so my opinion of this song is biased before I even begin. I do have to say that this song has frustrated me more than any other being a drummer. I’m an open handed player and Ringo’s shuffle here has caused me fits for years. At this point in my life, its as if this song is my arch nemesis. When I try to play the shuffle, I have a left hand full of suck for some reason. I try to double time the hats with both hands. Nope, doesn’t work or sound right. Whatever, its more mental than anything. Moving on, I do like the drumsticks being played on something in the background. Speaking of backgrounds, they don’t even sound like the Beatles. Maybe that’s a good thing. Guitar tone sucks (broken record, yeah I know). Coming back to the guitar, 1:53 mark, what in the hell is that? Horrible. Worst song on the album by far.

Its Only Love - Love Johns raspy voice. Not crazy about the constant guitar strums throughout. Tambourine is nice. 0:41 double tracked voice (or George maybe, I cant tell) isn’t together. Thinking about this though, was that on purpose, because it sounds pretty cool. 1:05 mark the guitar has an obvious mess up (bad note) and he tries it again right after to cover up the mistake, but its just as obvious. It sounds horrible. I don’t know if it was John or George, but it sucked regardless of who played it. I don’t think the organ was needed at all in this song. I think the piano would have been enough and just fine. Ringo plays a hard shuffle here too. I like the sound of Georges voice in the background on this song. Harmonies are good during the chorus. Piano/guitar solo together wasn’t half as bad as I thought it was going to be before I listened to the song. Speaking of the piano, who plays it on this song?  John, Paul, George Martin? Whoever it was,,,kudos.

Tell Me What You See - Weak song. I don’t like the vocals here. I don’t like the backgrounds either come to think of it. Here’s a song that has drums, tambourine, wood blocks, and some other noise making instrument being played at the same time. Too much in my opinion. The organ is ok actually to me here. The lead vocals and backgrounds are shaky throughout the entire song. Why? George Martin should have tightened this song up some. Maybe he didn’t feel it was worth the effort. I can understand that. Humming together at the end sucks and sounds dumb. Song is nothing more than filler.

I’ve Just Seen A Face - Again, I’m not a Country/Western music person. So why do I love this song? Makes no sense to me, but I do. It might be the best song on the album to be honest. Guitars are awesome in both tone and playing. Like Pauls double tracked higher background vocals during the chorus. Applause to George for a fantastic guitar solo. Ringo drives the song. Nice playing. 1:29 mark you can hear Pauls double tracked background vocals singing along faintly before they come in with the full effect. Great song.

Yesterday - I’m still sick of this song. I don’t know which one is worse, ’Imagine’ or this one. I’m not saying they are bad songs, I’m just saying that I seem to hear them 20 times a day somehow. Anyways, Pauls voice is awesome here. George Martins strings throughout are masterful. Gorgeous for the song. Acoustic guitar sounds nice. 0:52 mark Pauls sings with a double tracked background and it isn’t necessary. It should have been left out. Then again, it’s the only time in the song that it happens. Did George Martin overlook this? Hmm. 1:37 the drawn out violin kills me. Super killer and makes the song. Wrapping it up with this tune, I can see why its legendary. It’s a great song. I can also see why I’m sick of it though and why I’m going to be even more sick of it when Paul finally kicks the bucket. This thing is played to death.

Dizzy Miss Lizzy - If somebody ever asked me to name an unconvincing rock song, this would be it. I have never liked it. The Beatles are trying to fool us when playing this one. They try every effort to make it sound interesting and energetic, but they fail on every one of those levels. The ear piercing guitar at the beginning is painful. Makes me cringe when I hear it. Hi hat space filler noise is needed and good. Johns voice tries here, but even he cant pull it off. 0:42 Ringo flat out botches a drum fill. John screams a few times during the song to try to revitalize the energy. It helps, but doesn’t succeed. 1:23 George or John butchers the guitar lead. The screw up is so bad that theres a whole bar of empty space afterwards. Now that’s just horrendous. Amateurs don’t mess up that bad most of the time. 1:45 yet another guitar screw up. Cowbell is cool. 2:04 guess what? Yes, another botch up with the guitar. I like the piano, but not the organ. This song is embarrassing and should have had more care given to it. Its no wonder I don’t like it.


Overall, HELP! Is only a decent album. Yeah, they started smoking weed so maybe they weren’t with it all together, but there’s some shining moments and some not so great moments. Album seems to have a lot of filler in my opinion. More so than I originally thought. With all the warts and glare, I still enjoy it though.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on April 11, 2011, 06:39:01 PM
I agree with two points. This is the true transitional album, and not Rubber Soul as it's usually said to be (in my opinion Rubber Soul is one of the four true peaks with Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's and Abbey Road). And I also agree that this album has a lot of fillers. But somehow this is still my favourite album among the first five. A Hard Day's Night may be more consistent, with almost every song being very good; but I think that the best material in Help! (title track, "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away", "Ticket To Ride", "Yesterday", despite being overplayed) is better than anything the Beatles did before. This is also the first Beatles album I bought (in cassette format, after watching the movie), so it's also kinda special for me.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: tkitna on April 12, 2011, 12:20:40 AM
Its the first CD I ever bought. I enjoy the album too, but as you said, its not as consistent as some of their others. Its still good though.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: glass onion on April 12, 2011, 09:05:19 AM
ok.......this is the bit where things start to get a bit more interesting in my opinion.the haircuts get bigger.the clothes get cooler.it's all in colour!i think the 'help!' album is not bad.not great,not bad.the title track is excellent.ringo is an absolute colossus.like a half/three quarter shuffle feel,then the two handed matched fill into the chorus....."i've opened up the doors".try it guys.you won't get it nearly as smooth.the night before is ok....it is a ride cymbal todd,and yeah-good spot with the latin beat in the middle 8,probably a copy of 'i feel fine'.something i still cannot play.'hide your love away','lose that girl' are both alright.i have a lot of time for 'i need you',i like the tune but probably because i don't hear it that often.'ticket to ride'=fantastic.'act naturally' is cool...ringo was cool and his songs on the albums were cool.do not mention this shuffle to me.how the hell he plays that so smooth i cannot understand.and then sings-live!check it on the 1965 appearance on ed sullivan.'it's only love' was a john throwaway but i love this song,one of me guilty pleasures.'tell me what you see' is in the same kind of vein and is ok by me.'i've just seen a face' i don't like as much,'yesterday' is one of the greatest ballads ever written (and don't anybody DARE tell me i am talking crap)and 'dizzy miss lizzy is rubbish.so to sum up........all opinion,but mine is this is the best yet.the songs are getting better and the look is getting cooler.john is looking good with a bit of extra weight.the sweet smell of success (and dope) hang in the air.rolls-royces and aston martins are on the gravel drives.brilliant.'the beatles'...the first real band...and still the greatest. 8)
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: tkitna on April 12, 2011, 10:42:18 AM
probably a copy of 'i feel fine'.something i still cannot play.

Me either.

Quote
do not mention this shuffle to me.how the hell he plays that so smooth i cannot understand.

Tell me about it. I'll have to check out the Ed Sullivan footage.

Quote
'dizzy miss lizzy is rubbish.

Isnt it though?


I agree things are interesting now. Good record, but the next one is really, really good.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Gary910 on April 12, 2011, 03:07:18 PM
As I have said in other threads (and maybe it takes away credibility for me) I do not think there is a single Beatles song that is bad. I do not think any song is "filler" either. Of course there are some that are better than others.

I challenge (and this is purely subjective) any band/songwriter to put out a song as good as any Beatles song. You might be able to criticize some of the cover songs that The Beatles did, but I don't think there is anyone better. If you criticize the cover songs, are you criticizing the song or the arrangement. If you are criticizing the song, the criticism is directed in the wrong place. Direct it at the songwriter not the "cover band". I know you can argue things like 'Revolution 9' is crap. Well, I disagree there as well. If you understand what they were doing, it is a brilliant piece of songwriting/recording. 'Revolution 9' is not a commercial, danceable song. It wasn't meant to be. 'Wild Honey Pie' again, you could argue that it is just a bunch of stupid noise, and in a sense it is, but the way it is done I understand the "art" of it.

Because this is my opinion, I have not gotten in on these discussions. I am having a good time reading them though.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: glass onion on April 12, 2011, 07:05:58 PM
when i state that a certain song isn't very good,or plain bad,i am putting it up against other songs that were written or recorded by the beatles.for instance,compared to 'penny lane'(for instance),'mr.moonlight' isn't very good.but sometimes it is necessary to be subjective like that.after all,this is a beatles site,we are all fans,i feel quite comfortable in saying exactly what i mean.i think i can name genuinely poor beatle songs on one hand,and over a wide body of work that the band released, that is some going.i cannot do that with any other act that i admire.i think sometimes people who love the band get maybe a little too protective,but remember that we are all genuine fans who have listened to these albums literally hundreds and hundreds of times over.you ought to join in with this particular thread gary,especially now we are getting to the meatier albums.tkitna has started an amazing thread here,probably the best one on the whole site.enjoy it!!
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 12, 2011, 08:15:26 PM
Tell Me What You See - This is one of my favorite songs on this album.  I like Paul's lead vocal and John's harmony and how they switch.  I like the claves and the quick outro.  But what I like most is the more mature nature of Tell Me What You See.  It's a signpost to the future and Rubber Soul.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on April 12, 2011, 09:06:36 PM
As I have said in other threads (and maybe it takes away credibility for me) I do not think there is a single Beatles song that is bad. I do not think any song is "filler" either. Of course there are some that are better than others.

I challenge (and this is purely subjective) any band/songwriter to put out a song as good as any Beatles song. You might be able to criticize some of the cover songs that The Beatles did, but I don't think there is anyone better. If you criticize the cover songs, are you criticizing the song or the arrangement. If you are criticizing the song, the criticism is directed in the wrong place. Direct it at the songwriter not the "cover band". I know you can argue things like 'Revolution 9' is crap. Well, I disagree there as well. If you understand what they were doing, it is a brilliant piece of songwriting/recording. 'Revolution 9' is not a commercial, danceable song. It wasn't meant to be. 'Wild Honey Pie' again, you could argue that it is just a bunch of stupid noise, and in a sense it is, but the way it is done I understand the "art" of it.

Because this is my opinion, I have not gotten in on these discussions. I am having a good time reading them though.

With all respect Gary, I think that your point of view tends to be blind devotion. You talk about "Revolution 9", and I wonder what you would think about that song (?) if it was done by other act (and this just an example, actually I enjoy "Revolution 9" even more than some other Beatles tunes). The Beatles were humans, and they did some stuff that is not very good. The Beatles is my very favourite band, but I can freely say that the best material from other groups (especially from the 60's) is better than 90% of the Beatles music. How many Beatles songs are better than, say, "My Generation", "I Can See For Miles", "Pinball Wizard" (The Who), "Somebody To Love", "White Rabbit" (Jefferson Airplane), "Mr. Tambourine Man", "Turn! Turn! Turn!", "Eight Miles High" (The Byrds), "Waterloo Sunset" (The Kinks), "She's Not There", "Time Of The Season" (The Zombies), "Alone Again Or" (Love), "Shapes Of Things" (The Yardbirds), "For What It's Worth" (Buffalo Springfield), just to name some. Of course that the Beatles were the best ever in terms of quality and quantity, and their best songs are truly among the best of the best ever, but there are other bands that did music as good as the Beatles, though they weren't as prolific as our Fab Four.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: peterbell1 on April 12, 2011, 09:55:32 PM
As I have said in other threads (and maybe it takes away credibility for me) I do not think there is a single Beatles song that is bad. I do not think any song is "filler" either. Of course there are some that are better than others.

I challenge (and this is purely subjective) any band/songwriter to put out a song as good as any Beatles song. You might be able to criticize some of the cover songs that The Beatles did, but I don't think there is anyone better. If you criticize the cover songs, are you criticizing the song or the arrangement. If you are criticizing the song, the criticism is directed in the wrong place. Direct it at the songwriter not the "cover band". I know you can argue things like 'Revolution 9' is crap. Well, I disagree there as well. If you understand what they were doing, it is a brilliant piece of songwriting/recording. 'Revolution 9' is not a commercial, danceable song. It wasn't meant to be. 'Wild Honey Pie' again, you could argue that it is just a bunch of stupid noise, and in a sense it is, but the way it is done I understand the "art" of it.

Because this is my opinion, I have not gotten in on these discussions. I am having a good time reading them though.

Personally, I reckon that the best of The Beatles is better than any other band (I probably wouldn't be here otherwise ;D )
But I don't think everything they put out was better than anything by any other artist. I'd rather listen to God Only Knows by The Beach Boys than Savoy Truffle, for example (and I quite like Savoy Truffle by the way!)
I suppose if you took an average of how great a band's output was, The Beatles would come out number one, because they were consistently good, and occasionally untouchable. However, my top 100 songs would maybe feature just 10 or 15 Beatles tunes and the rest would be all sorts of different bands. But the Beatles are still far and away my favourite band.
But it's all personal opinions and that's what makes threads like this interesting.
And here follows an example ...  ;D
TKITNA said Tell Me What You See is a "weak" song, but I love it! It is a fairly simple song, but that is part of its greatness for me. I love those upward guitar strums, the harmonies, Ringo's snare sound during the organ part. Sure, it's not up there with Beatles "classics" but it makes me incredibly happy to hear it.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 12, 2011, 11:57:47 PM
I’ve Just Seen A Face - I had to wait until the Capitol Rubber Soul was released to first hear this song.  It was the first song on side one and I instantly liked it.  Paul's double tracked vocals were superb and Paul, John and George all played acoustic guitar.  When I took blues lessons several years later, my teacher and I would warm up with this song at my request.  He played rhythm and helped me hone my fingerpicking technique.  I like how Paul "bum bumdee dee dumed" to himself during the solo.  I do the same when I play this song.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 13, 2011, 12:29:00 AM
Act Naturally - This is one of Ringo's signature songs and he sings it quite well with Paul doing some fine C&W back up vocals.  George Harrison plays a very nice Chet Atkins-like lead guitar on his Gretsch Tennessean, even nicer in this live performance...

The Beatles (Ringo Starr) - ''Act Naturally'' [Live] (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58Amodaf-g8#)
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 13, 2011, 12:44:59 AM
tkitna, this is how Act Naturally sounds when played by these guys...

...two, three, four!

Buck Owens & His Buckaroos - Act Naturally [Live] - 1966 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOpgL4mqEis#)

Buck Owens and His Buckaroos   1966
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 13, 2011, 12:48:58 AM
The Beatles' version really needed a pedal steel guitar for the full effect.  ;)
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: glass onion on April 13, 2011, 08:23:10 AM
the post that hello goodbye has included with the 'act naturally' footage was what i was thinking of todd,it looks like it wasn't ed sullivan,but 'big night out',sunny blackpool,united kingdom.sorry for getting mixed up.....but how good was ringo?not the singing (although that was ok)but the drumming is superb.that is actually great footage and a brilliant live version of the song.top banana!!
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: tkitna on April 13, 2011, 10:08:22 AM
Yeah, that is some sweet footage. Damn him and that shuffle though.

Thanks for the clips HG, but since we're on the kick, we might as well add the both of them together. (great video)
Ringo Starr & Buck Owens - Act Naturally - Clip - 1989 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHeRq6DdxHE#)


Thanks for the replies guys.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Gary910 on April 13, 2011, 02:45:23 PM
I get what you are saying as to some songs being "weak" or whatever word you want to use.

Todd, some of those songs you mentioned, I can't stand. I do not like the Byrds. I hate that California (yeah, that is where I live) folk sound. I don't like when The Beatles are compared to The Byrds or any other band of the time. I don't think they even compare. To me it sounds like completely different music. After almost 30 years of strong fandom of The Beatles, I hear something different. I can't put my finger on it, but I don't think anyone sounds like The Beatles. I don't even think that George, Ringo, John or Paul on their own sounded like The Beatles.

If you want to call it "Blind Devotion" so be it. I don't feel that is what it is. I do feel, and I think this point is well made that there are some songs that are better than others (although if there ever was subjectivity, that is it).

The Beatles (and solo) is the only band I can consistently listen to the whole catalog. I have other (Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Police/Sting, and a few others) full catalogs. Maybe we are all on the same page and don't even know it.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 13, 2011, 03:14:06 PM
Thanks for the clips HG, but since we're on the kick, we might as well add the both of them together. (great video)
Ringo Starr & Buck Owens - Act Naturally - Clip - 1989 ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHeRq6DdxHE#[/url])


Yes, Act Naturally was a signature song for both Buck Owens and Ringo Starr.

Here's Buck introducing the song in 1963...

Buck Owens & Don Rich - Act Naturally + Down to the River FANTASTIC!!! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXqDcU8u7Go#)


And one of his final performances...

Act Naturally (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8b2lWF56wA#noexternalembed)


Ringo carries on the tradition...

Ringo Starr - Act Naturally (live 2005) HQ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H_CF1IKCN8#ws)


Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on April 13, 2011, 04:11:48 PM
I get what you are saying as to some songs being "weak" or whatever word you want to use.

Todd, some of those songs you mentioned, I can't stand. I do not like the Byrds. I hate that California (yeah, that is where I live) folk sound. I don't like when The Beatles are compared to The Byrds or any other band of the time. I don't think they even compare. To me it sounds like completely different music. After almost 30 years of strong fandom of The Beatles, I hear something different. I can't put my finger on it, but I don't think anyone sounds like The Beatles. I don't even think that George, Ringo, John or Paul on their own sounded like The Beatles.

If you want to call it "Blind Devotion" so be it. I don't feel that is what it is. I do feel, and I think this point is well made that there are some songs that are better than others (although if there ever was subjectivity, that is it).

The Beatles (and solo) is the only band I can consistently listen to the whole catalog. I have other (Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Police/Sting, and a few others) full catalogs. Maybe we are all on the same page and don't even know it.

When I say "blind devotion" I mean that if the same Beatles song was written and similarly recorded by any other band you may not like it just because it's not the Beatles. The songs I mentioned are among my favourite ones, and I understand that you may not like them, but surely there must be songs by other artists you like that you enjoy more than at least some Beatles songs (don't you think that noone apart from the Beatles wrote a better song than "Hold Me Tight", for instance?). I can say that I like everything the Beatles did, though and I don't like all the solo stuff, especially after the 70's. But I saw that there's life after the Beatles and several other bands did as good music, though not at the same quantity the Beatles did. The point is that you should jugde the music for the music itself, not for the name of the artist.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: tkitna on April 13, 2011, 08:04:24 PM
Quote
The point is that you should jugde the music for the music itself, not for the name of the artist.

This is well said. Its perfectly alright for you to like all of their songs Gary. Everybody likes what they like, but I think we all should keep an open mind. Beatle music alone would bore me to death.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 13, 2011, 08:49:21 PM
Yeah, that is some sweet footage. Damn him and that shuffle though.

I know how you feel, tkitna.  I'm not a drummer but I think an extra percussion track was laid down on Act Naturally.  I hear the snare and hi hat but it sounds like he's using a brush too.

Look at the Buckaroo drummer in Buck Owen's 1963 video.  He's using a brush and I hear the same percussion effect I hear in The Beatles' Act Naturally.  By the way, if you listen to those Buck Owens videos often enough you might just become a C&W fan.  ;)
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Gary910 on April 13, 2011, 09:23:16 PM
Beatle music alone would bore me to death.

It wouldn't me.

Although I do enjoy a very vast variety (is that a tongue twister) of music. I am listening to some jazz now (Gene Krupa). I can say I do not exclusively listen to the Beatles, although if I was on a desert island... no problem (I would have to have solo stuff as well). I might have heard more solo stuff than most "fans" as well, as anyone would be hard pressed to mention anything I do not have (released stuff).
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: nimrod on April 13, 2011, 10:44:08 PM
Help is my least played Beatle album, Ive never liked the majority of the songs on there, yes there are a couple of gems lke the title track and............ You Got To Hide Your Love Away..

Its a definite 'John' thing isnt it, writing songs in Waltz time 3/4 (although some would argue the song is actually in 6/8) Baby's in Black and This Boy were previous to this.....I just feel that John had a real 'feel' for waltz time, I always think of him waltzing with Yoko (on the Let It Be movie) to I Me Mine, overall John wrote a lot more songs in 3/4 than the others.

I really love this particular song though, for me THE best song on the album, although harmony wise very simple, I havent played it in years but Im sure its just 4 chords, (very easy to play for any guitar students out there) this song has the famous Beatle 'flat XII' chord.
A lot of people have said its the Dylan influence on John that made him write this song, Im not so sure, after all its just a love ballad played acoustically (like Yesterday), why cant we say its John's Yesterday ? maybe he was more influenced by Paul than Dylan  ;D
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: tkitna on April 14, 2011, 02:09:27 AM
I know how you feel, tkitna.  I'm not a drummer but I think an extra percussion track was laid down on Act Naturally.  I hear the snare and hi hat but it sounds like he's using a brush too.

Look at the Buckaroo drummer in Buck Owen's 1963 video.  He's using a brush and I hear the same percussion effect I hear in The Beatles' Act Naturally. 

I didnt really hear another drum track. I need to relisten to the song now that you brought this up. I just always thought the fast shuffle was causing the noise. I'll get back to you on that.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: tkitna on April 14, 2011, 02:16:11 AM
I can say I do not exclusively listen to the Beatles, although if I was on a desert island... no problem (I would have to have solo stuff as well). I might have heard more solo stuff than most "fans" as well, as anyone would be hard pressed to mention anything I do not have (released stuff).

I have all their solo stuff too (including more bootlegs than I know what to do with), but not all of it was good. McCartney 2 and Gone Troppo are dust collectors and would be better served as coasters rather than music in my cd player. Ringo the 4th isnt good and Lennons stuff ranks last on my solo chart.

I dont think i'll ever understand, but thats cool. Your a diehard and your sticking to your corner. Nothing wrong with that.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: tkitna on April 14, 2011, 02:20:27 AM
why cant we say its John's Yesterday ?

Because it doesnt hold up to it. Imagine or even In My Life (if we're going with a Beatle tune) would be better choices in my opinion. Yesterday was Pauls masterpiece. YGTHYLA is a good song. No doubt about that, but its pretty thin when going up against the monsters mentioned beforehand. Thats just my opinion though of course.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on April 14, 2011, 02:54:07 AM
I can say I do not exclusively listen to the Beatles, although if I was on a desert island... no problem (I would have to have solo stuff as well). I might have heard more solo stuff than most "fans" as well, as anyone would be hard pressed to mention anything I do not have (released stuff).

I think I'm a fan of 1960's music as you are a fan of the Beatles (and solo) music. I may understand your devotion because I don't like or listen to much music from other times. I dig a few 1970's stuff, but don't ask me to listen to music from the 1980's and beyond (and I don't even care if it is done by my favourite 60's artists). So I may have blind devotion for 1960's music as you have blind devotion for everything with the label "Beatles" in it.

I think the Beatles were so great because they were part of a great era that influenced them as much as they influenced others; the Beatles alone could not have made all the great music they did.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: nimrod on April 14, 2011, 08:00:10 AM
Because it doesnt hold up to it. Imagine or even In My Life (if we're going with a Beatle tune) would be better choices in my opinion. Yesterday was Pauls masterpiece. YGTHYLA is a good song. No doubt about that, but its pretty thin when going up against the monsters mentioned beforehand. Thats just my opinion though of course.

I never said it was as good as Yesterday tkitna, (where did you get that idea?) I was meaning it was Johns attempt to write a love ballad like Paul used to do. 
If I said it was Johns And I Love Her would that make you happier ?  ha2ha
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: tkitna on April 14, 2011, 03:30:47 PM
I never said it was as good as Yesterday tkitna, (where did you get that idea?) I was meaning it was Johns attempt to write a love ballad like Paul used to do. 
If I said it was Johns And I Love Her would that make you happier ?  ha2ha

Yeah, I misunderstood. My bad. And I love Her is better too.  ha2ha
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 14, 2011, 04:28:57 PM
I didnt really hear another drum track. I need to relisten to the song now that you brought this up. I just always thought the fast shuffle was causing the noise. I'll get back to you on that.

If Ringo is indeed doing a fast shuffle, then he's very deft at that hi hat.  And he's singing at the same time!
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 14, 2011, 06:06:30 PM
You Got To Hide Your Love Away..

Its a definite 'John' thing isnt it, writing songs in Waltz time 3/4 (although some would argue the song is actually in 6/8) Baby's in Black and This Boy were previous to this.....I just feel that John had a real 'feel' for waltz time, I always think of him waltzing with Yoko (on the Let It Be movie) to I Me Mine, overall John wrote a lot more songs in 3/4 than the others.

I really love this particular song though, for me THE best song on the album, although harmony wise very simple, I havent played it in years but Im sure its just 4 chords, (very easy to play for any guitar students out there) this song has the famous Beatle 'flat XII' chord.
A lot of people have said its the Dylan influence on John that made him write this song, Im not so sure, after all its just a love ballad played acoustically (like Yesterday), why cant we say its John's Yesterday ? maybe he was more influenced by Paul than Dylan  ;D

I like You've Got To Hide Your Love Away too.  And I like the way John emphasizes this song's 3/4 waltz beat with his "Heys!"  I think there's a big mystique about this flat VII chord though.  A flat 7 chord in the key of G is an F major chord.  The seventh scale degree in the key of G major is F# which when flattened is F natural.     
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: nimrod on April 14, 2011, 10:54:19 PM
I always liked how John sang 'feeling two foot small' instead of 'two foot tall' apparently it was a mistake but they liked it..
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 14, 2011, 11:35:08 PM
I'm posting this to get tkitna to like C&W  :)

Act Naturally (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai4GKBkQEv8#)
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Mr Mustard on April 15, 2011, 05:26:01 PM
Rather than being the first awakening of their broadening horizons, Help! Represents for me the final offering of traditional Beatles fare. It still contains a couple of cover versions. The songs still aim primarily to be commercial, catchy, radio-friendly foot-tapping singalongs. The four lads still had the endearing habit of dressing identically. It was the last time they would lark about to a goofy agenda written and shaped by others. It was the last hurrah of those cheeky, funny, cuddly moptops.

Help! – the song itself – was a superb taster for this new material. Perhaps more than ever before, the voices, drums and guitars dovetailed to near perfection. Superbly descending, crisp, spangly Gretsch guitar from George intertwines with a wonderful lead vocal by John, delivering those loaded lyrics with a perfect measure of angst, hope and desperation. Paul and George provide a truly terrific backing vocal which anticipates the lead – a simple masterstroke. Ringo excels himself; the drumming is nothing short of sensational and both drives and embellishes the whole track (and indeed, much of the album). A dazzling pop song in which each member plays his part to the hilt – the result, as so often with The Beatles – the whole is magically so much more than the sum of its (awesome) parts. Neatly encapsulates the paradoxically lonely claustrophobia and breathless excitement of their goldfish bowl existence in under two and a half fabulous, frenetic minutes.

The Night Before seamlessly continues the party mood. It’s Paul’s track and he confidently bestrides it with a colossal vocal and irresistibly driving bass performance. Love John’s electric piano and his backing vocal support with George. A great number.

You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away – a sorrowful, world-weary little song of vulnerability for which I’ve always held a personal soft spot. It’s one of the first ones I clearly remember, my mum used to play it on an old reel to reel tape machine whilst doing the housework. I was just a little lad and I still remember and love that line about being two foot small and John’s lilting “Hey!” ahead of the song’s catchline (here’s the joke – I used to think it was being sung by Harry H. Corbett as Harold Steptoe!). The flute at the end is beautiful and really elevates the song into something curiously special. Lovely acoustic number – Ringo’s tambourine seems such a small touch, yet makes a giant contribution to this track in my opinion.

I Need You – A slight dip in quality for me here. Much as I like it, George’s monotonous vocal and the vibrating pedal guitar give it a slightly droning repetition after a little while. The cowbell gets on my nerves aswell. As usual with the fab four there is a mesmerising quality which keeps you with it, but generally a bit of a turgid plodder for me, compounded by a rather muted, soporific backing from Paul and John.

Another Girl – back to the party and another catchy hit from Paul, who charts the choppy waters of harsh lyrical sentiment more usually navigated by John. In keeping with the unbending stance of the lyrics, Paul serves up an uncompromisingly stern lead vocal at the lower end of his range, emerging darkly from beneath the strident backing vocals. I really like Paul’s lead guitar flourishes too. Another Girl is Another Winner for my money.

You’re Going To Lose That Girl – Like its immediate predecessor and the album’s two opening tracks, here is yet another consummately catchy pop song. As ever, John delivers a redoubtable performance on the meaty lead vocal. Again, George and Paul supply a  masterfully pugnacious backing – the cleverly overlapping conversational interplay (“…watch what you do/ Yeah!”) glides along on a wonderful percussive wave courtesy of Ringo (although the relentless bongos get a bit irksome and over the top for me - but there’s enough great momentum to the track to overlook this). Superb ending. A real highlight of the album this one.

Ticket To Ride – well, it’s awesome really isn’t it? Lennon’s vocal and lyrical blend of remorse, possessive anger and yearning weave a path – ably abetted by Paul’s high backing – through the jangling guitars (terrific lead by Paul – again) and cascading drums (Ringo is once again magnificent here) on a truly fabulous trip through the emotional pain of  broken romance. The song aches with feeling. John’s wounded “Aaaahhhh….” (2:31) as he tumbles into the title lyric is fabulous. And Ringo’s fills (by turns drilling, stumbling, or finally just a hammerblow full stop) after each “Ri-i-ide” are effortlessly brilliant. A magnificent closer to side one, with – like the opener – ‘number one hit’ written all over it.

So far, so fantastic. Unfortunately, redundant a point as it may seem in this digital age, “Help!” is very much a tale of two halves. Side two represents a nosedive in quality to my mind, and dilutes what, at the half way point, was shaping up as their best album to date.

I dislike Act Naturally, despite Ringo’s manful efforts (and again, awesome percussive display). It gurgles along as a poor man’s ‘Honey Don’t’ and on this occasion I really can’t bear Paul’s high register backing vocal. It somehow doesn’t even sound like the Beatles at all.

It’s Only Love was famously disavowed by John as one of his most embarrassing efforts. Undoubtedly a filler, with trite lyrics and those sugary, spongy guitar layers, it does little for me, though it’s fairly innocuous I suppose. I do like John’s sharp, tongue-in-cheek enunciation of “bright” (sarcastically disparaging the hollowness of his own lyrics here) and his lilting falsetto at the end, but all in all a lazy, throwaway effort.

You Like Me Too Much – this track has the drive and infectious energy so clearly lacking from George’s turgid side one offering. I wish this had been in the film instead of ‘I Need You’. I enjoy the rolling tempo and barrelhouse piano. It’s nice to have a more upbeat original number from George, following the melancholy mood which prevails throughout ‘Don’t Bother Me’ and ‘I Need You’. I love reading tkitna’s reviews but this song was completely overlooked there…. I’m guessing you must regard this one as eminently forgettable eh tkitna?

Tell Me What You See is another makeweight, almost childish in its structure with banal lyrics and an almost nursery rhyme quality buoyed up by that electric piano and bouncy percussion. Despite the tweeness I find it difficult to dislike. I like the hummed ending.

I’ve Just Seen A Face is love at first sight set to music. Another simple song it’s hard to dislike, with a naïve quality and freshness nicely echoed in the breathless, tumbling vocal and descending guitar work. A nice little tune from Paul – too good to be regarded as filler, but lightweight and fairly shallow nonetheless. Guilty pleasure meets hidden gem in a way.

Yesterday – how do I address the elephant in the room? It may be a beautiful song (and it is) but I’m sick to the back teeth of it. It’s not even Beatles proper – Paul stands alone (apart from that string quartet) to deliver the most covered “standard” of all time and cement himself into immortality. It does have an austere, yearning simplicity to it. But it will forever be the most overrated Beatles tune of all time for me I’m afraid. Interesting how each Beatle is (to my mind at least) branded by these one word titles (‘Yesterday’ for Paul, ‘Imagine’ for John, ‘Something’ from George and ‘Photograph’ by Ringo).

Dizzy Miss Lizzy – concludes a weak side two with a dreadful, slapdash mess. One of the worst Beatles recordings ever in my opinion. A boring rock & roll performance by John Lennon would seem to be an oxymoron, yet that is what we end up with in the shape – or rather shapelessness – of this weary, repetitive shambles. The screeching guitar and Lennon’s uncharacteristically unconvincing vocal combine to give us a tiresome track that can’t finish too soon for me. A shame when they recorded the vastly superior ‘Bad Boy’ at the same session.

In conclusion, the first side of the Help! LP was a triumph, sadly tainted by the unconvincingly cobbled together hotchpotch that was side two. They wouldn’t tolerate such a slip in standards again.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 15, 2011, 08:02:35 PM
Act Naturally...It somehow doesn’t even sound like the Beatles at all.

Right.  It sounds Country & Western.  Paul is doing a credible C&W backing vocal in Don Rich's style.

The previous video I posted used the Buck Owens and His Buckaroos Carnegie Hall Concert soundtrack...

(http://livinginstereo.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/04/BuckOwens_CarnegieHall.jpg)
 

This is the actual soundtrack to Act Naturally performed on The Ranch Show  March 15. 1966...

Buck Owens & His Buckaroos - Act Naturally (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDmDwvZSlPw#ws)

...now that's how it's done...Bakersfield style.  ;)
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: tkitna on April 16, 2011, 12:35:41 AM
I'm posting this to get tkitna to like C&W  :)

I try, but its just not working for me.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: tkitna on April 16, 2011, 12:48:48 AM
Help! – Neatly encapsulates the paradoxically lonely claustrophobia and breathless excitement of their goldfish bowl existence in under two and a half fabulous, frenetic minutes.

Wow. See Mr. M, I cant compete with that. Awesome.

Quote
You Like Me Too Much – this track has the drive and infectious energy so clearly lacking from George’s turgid side one offering. I wish this had been in the film instead of ‘I Need You’. I enjoy the rolling tempo and barrelhouse piano. It’s nice to have a more upbeat original number from George, following the melancholy mood which prevails throughout ‘Don’t Bother Me’ and ‘I Need You’. I love reading tkitna’s reviews but this song was completely overlooked there…. I’m guessing you must regard this one as eminently forgettable eh tkitna?

Damn, I did forget to review the song. Must have misplaced my notes for that one. Oh well. I like it well enough. With just listening to it in my head, I love Ringos drumming and the piano to start. Georges vocals are decent here and I do like the song. Sorry i missed this one and i'm at work now with no way of listening to it.



[/quote]
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 16, 2011, 01:15:36 AM
I try, but its just not working for me.

Shucks, you got to get into a country mood, tkitna.

It's pickin' and grinnin' time!

Buck Owens and Roy Clark (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsQjtTUCAS0#)



Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 16, 2011, 02:41:57 AM
I’ve Just Seen A Face - Again, I’m not a Country/Western music person. So why do I love this song? Makes no sense to me, but I do.

Maybe you really do like C&W, tkitna.  And bluegrass too...

Country Roads - I've Just Seen Her Face (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbq3qE9BuQU#)

A Touch of Grass - I've Just Seen a Face (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyPLN-vRJW8#)

I've Just Seen a Face (cover) The Grasshoppers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dLOHinbqA0#)

I´ve just Seen a Face - Paul McCartney Unplugged (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0rRK1GIF-w#)
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 16, 2011, 02:58:54 AM
Dizzy Miss Lizzy – concludes a weak side two with a dreadful, slapdash mess. One of the worst Beatles recordings ever in my opinion. A boring rock & roll performance by John Lennon would seem to be an oxymoron, yet that is what we end up with in the shape – or rather shapelessness – of this weary, repetitive shambles. The screeching guitar and Lennon’s uncharacteristically unconvincing vocal combine to give us a tiresome track that can’t finish too soon for me. A shame when they recorded the vastly superior ‘Bad Boy’ at the same session.

Aw, it wasn't that bad.  But this is how it really goes...

Dizzy Miss Lizzy

Larry Williams - Dizzy Miss Lizzy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q83PsGrHwiQ#)

Larry Williams   1958
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: tkitna on April 16, 2011, 06:32:47 AM
Aw, it wasn't that bad. 

It truly was
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Bobber on April 16, 2011, 09:51:10 PM
I will have a look at Brian Kehew's Beatles Recording Book to check whether Ringo really used 1 track to record his drum part for Act Naturally.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Bobber on April 16, 2011, 09:55:30 PM
Found it:
Track 1: Drums, Bass, Acoustic Guitar
Track 2: Lead Guitar
Track 3: Vocal
Track 4: Percussion, Backing Vocal

'Percussion' is subject to another series of posts I suppose. ha2ha
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 16, 2011, 10:06:33 PM
Thanks for looking that up, Bobber.  It might explain what I'm hearing.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 16, 2011, 10:13:18 PM
It truly was


tkitna, the B-side of Larry Williams' Dizzy Miss Lizzy is Slow Down...

Larry Williams Slow Down (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd8nnkjrQHw#)


...Ah, 1950s R&B
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 16, 2011, 10:49:40 PM
Back to I've Just Seen A Face for a moment.  From The Stringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival in Gray Hawk, Kentucky we have...

Boxcars & Bluesgrass,I've just seen a face (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldPhTy8NibE#)

Well doggies!! 
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: nimrod on April 17, 2011, 12:39:02 AM
Bloody Hell this site is turning into a country honk, I'll need a cowboy hat soon just to get in the door..

 ha2ha
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 17, 2011, 04:40:23 AM
(http://images2.fanpop.com/image/photos/14600000/Paul-s-cowboy-hat-the-beatles-14626870-278-480.jpg)

Yup!
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Mr Mustard on April 17, 2011, 03:14:57 PM
...An' don't fergit to mosey along over to th'back cover o'the LP y'all....

(http://i55.tinypic.com/2igd5qc.jpg)

YEEEEEEEE-HHHAAAAA!!!!
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: tkitna on April 18, 2011, 03:36:08 AM
I'll try to have Rubber Soul up tomorrow.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: nimrod on April 18, 2011, 09:31:44 AM
I'll try to have Rubber Soul up tomorrow.


now theres a leap, from the mundane poppy girly songs to one of serious song writing, more adventurous lyrics and instrumentation and a turn away from moptopdom.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: glass onion on April 18, 2011, 02:39:47 PM
now theres a leap, from the mundane poppy girly songs to one of serious song writing, more adventurous lyrics and instrumentation and a turn away from moptopdom.
i do agree that the leap from help! to rubber soul is huge.i always consider the jump from help! to r.s as being more significant than the jump from r.s to revolver.lots of people don't agree with that.i am looking forward to some interesting chat over the next few weeks.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on April 18, 2011, 02:47:08 PM
i do agree that the leap from help! to rubber soul is huge.i always consider the jump from help! to r.s as being more significant than the jump from r.s to revolver.lots of people don't agree with that.i am looking forward to some interesting chat over the next few weeks.

I agree that the jump from Help! to Rubber Soul was the most important in terms of songwriting (actually Rubber Soul is my very favourite Beatles album), but when we talk about recording techniques and sound I think that the jump from Rubber Soul to Revolver was the most important. I see Rubber Soul as the album with the best songs and Revolver as the most revolutionary album ever.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: peterbell1 on April 18, 2011, 04:32:11 PM
I agree that the jump from Help! to Rubber Soul was the most important in terms of songwriting (actually Rubber Soul is my very favourite Beatles album), but when we talk about recording techniques and sound I think that the jump from Rubber Soul to Revolver was the most important. I see Rubber Soul as the album with the best songs and Revolver as the most revolutionary album ever.

Totally agree there.
I would also add that the whole "sound" of Rubber Soul adds to its greatness. It seems much more polished than Help to me, even though it was recorded in something of a rush to meet the Christmas release deadline. There seems to be more layers to RS, where Help was fairly one-dimensional - even though you get a cross-section of music on Help (from ballads like Yesterday to rockers like Dizzy Miss Lizzy), sonically it isn't half as interesting as RS. I think as well as The Beatles stepping up their game on RS, George Martin et al at Abbey Road were also becoming better at their craft and it begins to show from RS onwards.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on April 18, 2011, 05:44:51 PM
Of course, there was also a big jump in sound from Help! to Rubber Soul, but Revolver was something completely different from anything done before by anybody. Different doesn't necessarily mean better, but Revolver was certainly a revolutionary album.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on April 18, 2011, 08:25:14 PM
I've been hankerin' to get to Rubber Soul.  Lots of good bluegrass on that there album...

"Norwegian Wood" Performed by Microtonic Harmonic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHY-TfHJjtc#ws)


;)
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: tkitna on April 20, 2011, 12:37:34 AM
I've been slacking on my duties. I promise tomorrow morning Rubber Soul will be reviewed. I was boozing with my brother in the garage and i'm half tilted right now.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Joost on May 07, 2011, 11:04:57 PM
For some reason I never read any of these 'Beatles under a microscope' topics before, but now that I have, I really enjoyed your reviews, Todd. Excellent work.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: tkitna on May 08, 2011, 01:39:33 AM
Thanks Joost. Add some opinions to them if you want. Its interesting to me.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on September 01, 2011, 09:21:18 PM
How could I have forgotten Arlo!

Arlo Guthrie - I've just seen a face (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srR_lIkj3_8#)
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: In My Life on September 02, 2011, 03:34:08 AM
How could I have forgotten Arlo!

Gotta love Arlo!
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on September 02, 2011, 04:27:40 AM
(http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l5d1k4lYKX1qzn0deo1_400.jpg)

(http://25.media.tumblr.com/aHyNHMV3lpqp92oiIvUe5X14o1_400.jpg)
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Hello Goodbye on September 03, 2011, 12:36:35 AM
Ticket To Ride - Hillbilly Style (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qE3zwt__JsE#)



Well doggies!!!   ha2ha
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: In My Life on September 03, 2011, 05:25:16 AM
^^^
I think the girl's expression at 1:18 says it all.  ;)
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Moogmodule on June 07, 2015, 06:16:32 AM
This microscope hasn't got a run for a while, since there's been a couple of comments about Help on other threads I thought I'd put down my thoughts.

Help does seem to get ranked relatively low in the Beatles discography. It doesn't have the fresh exuberance of A Hard Days Night, the consistent songwriting of Rubber Soul or the technical whizzbangery of Revolver and Peppers.

Still. It has four Beatle classics in Help, Ticket to Ride, You've Got to Hide Your Live Away and of course Yesterday. Admittedly Yesterday does divide Beatle fans. It is way overexposed and I can't blame anyone for being sick of it. But at its heart it has a gorgeous melody and simple but poignant lyrics which helps explain its wide popularity and longevity.

In addition Help has Youre Going to Lose That Girl which, while maybe not quite making it too classic status, is a great girl group pastiche. It's hard not to sing along with it. John does a great vocal on it as well.

The rest of the album does have a bit too much filler.  But Beatle filler is usually better than for many other bands, given the care they put into arranging. So filler isn't always the criticism it might be.

The two George songs are interesting studies in themselves. They certainly show George is coming along pretty well in the songwriting stakes given these are his number two and three recorded songs. I Need You is a tightly written, almost folk rock sounding, piece. It suffers a bit from George's tendency to write downbeat melodies but I do like it overall. It's structured well and has some nice melodic moments.

George threw pretty much everything into You Like Me Too Much, the bluesy piano intro, the Al Jolson moment before the bridge, the Cole Porter moment at the end of the bridge, a separate lead break over a different chord pattern with the piano and guitar trading phrases. You could almost hear him willing this to be his first hit song. As it is it seems to be less then the sum of those parts. It's fun and a bit goofy. Not typical George fare. Pleasant enough but I've always found it easy to skip.

If nothing more these songs show George certainly wasn't just whacking four chords together and calling it songwriting. Perhaps his main problem was, at this stage, he was writing melodies he could sing; his range was considerably less than John and Paul and so his melodies were a bit confined.

The "Paul" songs aside from Yesterday stray a little close to toss-offs. I've Just Seen a Face is a notable exception. It sounds a basic tune but there is some inspiration there that lifts it. I can see why he revived it on tour with Wings.

The Night Before is a decent, almost gritty, sort of R&B number. Paul sings it well and it comes off as a song that would have made a good live tune if the Beatles had been a normal band still doing club dates. As for Another Girl, it never really grabbed me and is one I can skip. Paul's weird bending guitar fills I find a little irritating. Like some manic insect hovering around.

John got the best of this album with his title track, YGTHYLA and the large share of credit for ticket to ride and YGTLTG. That left him with Its Only Love as his toss off. He always dismissed it and the lyrics certainly don't match up to the standards he was setting with other songs on the album. But i've always liked the tune. The verse melody has a slinky sinuous quality that draws you in. The chorus isn't earth shattering but is catchy enough. A lot of people would have been happy to write this tune i think. The guitar sound has almost a sitar quality to it. 

Tell Me What You See strikes me as maybe the most fillerish original. Still the arrangement makes it listenable. The refrain harmonies give it some drama. I like that low vocal line on "look into these eyes now". I don't seek this song out. But I don't skip it either.  Paul didn't rate it highly. He amusingly tried to give John 40% credit; John wasn't having any of that. It was Paul's as far as he was concerned.

That leaves the two covers. Act Naturally is just Ringo. He pulls it off with his usual panache. The song is fine for what it is. But with the Beatles increasingly writing in the new world of rock, as opposed to rock and roll, these simple country rockabilly numbers come up sounding a bit one dimensional. Still, its carried off well. George's guitar is neat throughout. He usually sounded comfortable in this genre.

And then there's Dizzy. I still think this is better than most of the covers on Beatles for Sale. But that's not a high bar. Why was it there?. Was it because, A Hard Day's Night aside, this was part of the Beatle formula? Ending on a raucous classic cover, usually by John (although George got it on Beatles for Sale). Were they out of material? Did they just like it? Who knows. They did have Leave my Kitten Alone in the can from Beatles for Sale, I suppose the same reasons for not using it previously still held. It would have been a better finish to the Beatle's cover era. As throat shredding covers go it was always going to be pretty much impossible to top Twist and Shout. Money came reasonably close. John does a  pretty serious vocal on this, its not phoned in. Ringo's drumming is strong except for the constant cymbal banging on through the song which makes the song sound ragged.  The guitar riff gets old very quickly too. The overall sense is a hurried job. This was probably a great live number though.

So all in all the amount of less than great tunes does lower this in the Beatle rankings. It has its good qualities. To me there's 7 or 8 really enjoyable tunes on it. And nothing too offensive. Which means I'm happy to listen to it when the mood takes me. It's interesting to hear John's lyrics developing more and more. Paul still sounds like he's writing lyrics to get a song finished with "moon and June" type lines. John means his.





Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: oldbrownshoe on June 07, 2015, 06:52:15 PM
My preferred era is the '62-'64 Beatles (for The Stones read '63-'65) but I'm going to be digging 'Help!' out on Thursday, 6th August, the 50th anniversary.
Hey! I'm doing Apple's job for them, but they won't be making any money!
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Kevin on June 07, 2015, 08:57:03 PM
Here's how the history of The Beatles should have gone: A Hard  Days Night was the bands high water mark, a glorious high octane celebration of Beatlemania whose energy they would never capture again. Beatles For Sale was seen as luck lustre and Help! not much better Though the hits kept coming they, like their British Invasion contempories had had their day and were becoming increasingly irrelevant as a new wave of bands they had inspired took over. Another album, maybe two and they were gone.
But damn if they didnt start getting better again. I don't like Help! too much, either the song, the album or the movie. They were squeezing the lemon dry and it should have been nearly over. That the very next year they would make Revolver seems unimaginable. But you can hear hints of it in Help! But still it shouldn't have happened. This should have been a nail in the coffin not a seed for immortality.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Moogmodule on June 07, 2015, 10:19:51 PM
Here's how the history of The Beatles should have gone: A Hard  Days Night was the bands high water mark, a glorious high octane celebration of Beatlemania whose energy they would never capture again. Beatles For Sale was seen as luck lustre and Help! not much better Though the hits kept coming they, like their British Invasion contempories had had their day and were becoming increasingly irrelevant as a new wave of bands they had inspired took over.

And Paul McCartney's Beatles, with him as the only original member, would be coming to a club near you soon. Shortly followed by Ringo's version.  ha2ha
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: nimrod on June 07, 2015, 11:02:50 PM
Thanks for that review moog, I enjoyed reading it  ;)
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: oldbrownshoe on June 08, 2015, 12:01:33 AM
I agree with you, Kevin, there's a period around 1965 when, with the 'electric' Dylan and the falling away of Mersey Beat groups, the land shifted.

I guess with the Beatles' huge success they were always the most likely to stay the course but, you know what, I'm not sure it was ever a given.

Those interviews where George or Ringo would answer that they didn't know what they'd be doing in two years time weren't just for the cameras......I believe that they genuinely didn't think it would last.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Moogmodule on June 08, 2015, 12:49:37 AM
Yep Rubber Soul was the game changer for them. Interesting that they were having trouble finding enough material for it. John had to suggest Paul revisit an older tune, Michelle; they dragged in Wait from the Help sessions. It was fortunate George stepped up with two decent songs. A couple of more ill chosen covers would have detracted from the album seriously.

Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Klang on June 08, 2015, 01:17:50 AM

Couple of things...

Was this not essentially a movie soundtrack album? True, not all the songs appeared in the film, but doesn't the same hold true for AHDN? Anyway...film soundtrack, not a regular album.

This other discussion about them being on the way out is rather moot for me. More great music came and the rest is history.

I can forgive a bit of a creative lag (debatable) and a dependence on cover tunes, considering the whirlwind they eventually got swept up into. In fact, they did great.

It's easy to second guess and over-analyze these things in hindsight. At the time, it was thrilling.

Fun flick, too.

 :)

Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Moogmodule on June 08, 2015, 01:40:16 AM


Fun flick, too.

 :)

I always liked it. Silly but fun. One for the fans though. Doesn't have the film history cred of AHDN
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Moogmodule on June 08, 2015, 01:42:10 AM


It's easy to second guess and over-analyze these things in hindsight.

 :)

That's why I joined the forum  ;D
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Klang on June 08, 2015, 02:04:50 AM
Doesn't have the film history cred of AHDN

I realize that's the consensus opinion. I personally feel that 'Help!' was the perfect follow-up and in my book stands on an equal footing.

Vive la différence!

 8)

Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Klang on June 08, 2015, 02:06:49 AM
That's why I joined the forum  ;D

My presence is admittedly more voyeuristic, but I'll do some occasional second-guessing too.

 :P

Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Moogmodule on June 08, 2015, 05:24:54 AM
Thanks for that review moog, I enjoyed reading it  ;)

Ta Nim. I might stick my oar in on a few of these microscopes. They were really good work. Sort of like the core literature of this forum.  I enjoy reading through the original debates.

It'd be good to get some of the more recent arrivals to look at them again. And see if the longer term members have changed any views over the years.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: nimrod on June 08, 2015, 07:22:26 AM
Couple of things...

Was this not essentially a movie soundtrack album? True, not all the songs appeared in the film, but doesn't the same hold true for AHDN? Anyway...film soundtrack, not a regular album.

This other discussion about them being on the way out is rather moot for me. More great music came and the rest is history.

I can forgive a bit of a creative lag (debatable) and a dependence on cover tunes, considering the whirlwind they eventually got swept up into. In fact, they did great.

It's easy to second guess and over-analyze these things in hindsight. At the time, it was thrilling.

Fun flick, too.

 :)

agree 100%  :)
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: blmeanie on June 08, 2015, 11:43:20 AM

Still. It has four Beatle classics in Help, Ticket to Ride, You've Got to Hide Your Live Away and of course Yesterday.

Love that nit-picking that goes on regarding Beatle albums, 4 "classics" on an album.  While it may be in the bottom half of the catalog, having 4 or more (love -your going to lose that girl)  classic songs on an album is impressive for any band. 

Alas, they were not "any" band.
Title: Re: Beatles under a microscope - HELP!
Post by: Normandie on June 08, 2015, 01:27:08 PM
Admittedly Yesterday does divide Beatle fans. It is way overexposed and I can't blame anyone for being sick of it. But at its heart it has a gorgeous melody and simple but poignant lyrics which helps explain its wide popularity and longevity.

I am SO glad you said that. I've never cared for Yesterday, I think in part because, as you mentioned, of its overexposure, but I felt like that was Beatles sacrilege, so I've never admitted it.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the album, Moogmodule. Very interesting reading.