Music Throwback Saturday: songs from Help!

There were both musical and lyric similarities between ‘Yesterday’ and a Nat King Cole song.

Beatles_help2Here is my continuing look at how the Beatles were influenced by other musicians, including themselves. This is based on Steve Turner’s “The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Write,” subtitled “the stories behind every song.” Fairly often, the members of the group are quoted as having been inspired by a piece for their own creations. So I thought I’d put some of their songs up against the source material, with links to all, though some are live or otherwise non-standard versions.

Yes, It Is, the B-side to the single Ticket to Ride:

John claimed it was nothing more than an attempt to rewrite ‘This Boy‘ as it had the same chords, harmonies and “double-Dutch words.”

I’m Down, the B-side to the single Help:

An unashamed attempt by Paul to write a Little Richard song with which to replace ‘Long Tall Sally‘ in the Beatles’ set

Paul found it was not so easy.

Yesterday: The story that Paul woke up from a dream, worried that the tune had been unconsciously plagiarized is well known. He asked people for a month whether they were familiar with it.

In July 2003 the Liverpool writer Spencer Leigh made the discovery that there were both musical and lyric similarities between ‘Yesterday’ and the Nat King Cole song ‘Answer Me‘ (1953). The Cole song even has the lines “yesterday I believed that love was here to stay/Won’t you tell me that I’ve gone astray?’ The response from Paul’s office when the news broke was that the two songs were as alike as ‘Get Back’ and ‘God Save the Queen’.

This sounds, at worst, like subconscious plagiarism.


Their goal: Meet the Beatles on tour in 1966; Their solution: Impersonate the opening act

‘She’s with me’ – Paul McCartney endorses Hillary Clinton after half an hour meeting together with wife Nancy

Watch the video here, especially after the 1:30 mark.


What’s It To Ya?

I didn’t NEED help, didn’t ASK for help. If/when I do, I’ll be sure to make my desire for help known.

I tend to have a rather laissez-faire attitude towards other people’s action unless it’s harmful or venal, or otherwise stupid. Why can’t I get the same courtesy? And it’s always the little stuff that gets on my nerves.

Item: I ride my bike part of the way to work, then catch a bus most of the rest of the way (to get past a hill I cannot make without being all sweaty for work), placing my bike on the bus. So, the other day, someone asked me why would I ride my bike when the forecast in the afternoon was so lousy, with a probable rainstorm? And it sounded rather accusatory, in the “What were you thinking?” mode. And she’s not the first person to ask the question.

Well, here’s the answer:
1. If it’s raining, I’ll just put the bike on the bus ALL the way home.
2. The forecast is occasionally wrong, and if I didn’t bike when rain is projected, I’d almost NEVER ride.
3. The storms generally strike around 4 pm, and I don’t go home until 5:30.

As it turned out, we had two wicked storms, one at 2 pm, and another around 4:15. It was still raging at 5:15, but by the time I left, it had abated, and I rode half the way home, per usual.

Item: it’s really hot at a rehearsal. I go to the bathroom, pour cold water over my head. Someone notices the residual water and asks about it. “Why would you do that? why wouldn’t you just go outside?”

Well, because:
1. The effect of the outdoor coolness would dissipate as soon as I came back in, whereas
2. The cold water stayed in my hair for several minutes, keeping me cool for an extended period.

There are a couple of other examples, but you get the idea.

I get the sense that these folks meant to be helpful, though they tend to sound judgmental. But I didn’t NEED help, didn’t ASK for help. If/when I do, I’ll be sure to make my desire for help known.

I’ve noted that others have the same type of problem. one friend unfriended someone on Facebook who accused her of “playing” at 2 a.m. when she was working. And had she been playing, who was he to judge?
Arthur made an interesting observation:

“I have a simple pop-culture mantra that I often repeat as a sort of caution for others because it’s kept me out of social media trouble: Everything you love, someone else hates; everything you hate, someone else loves. So, relax and like what you like and forget about everyone else.

“There’s nothing wrong with choosing to stay out of pointless squabbles on purely subjective matters of taste. We all have far more important things to worry—and fight—about.”

I note this because a blogger I know personally suggested that the duo Hall & Oates SUCKED and that only people who liked them did so ironically. Gee, I have no idea how to like something “ironically.” I noted that I liked a lot of their output “in the mid-70s, not so much in the late ’70s, but again in the early ’80s. Without irony.”

Private Eyes – Hall and Oates.

H is for Help!, the Beatles albums

In the United States, Help! really was a SOUNDTRACK album. So the songs on the first side of the UK LP were spread onto the two sides, augmented by movie instruments written or arranged by Ken Thorne.

Help! was the second Beatles movie, after A Hard Day’s Night, but the first one I saw. When I watched it in a movie theater, back in 1965, I loved it! Viewing it again in 2009 on TV, with the Daughter, it really didn’t hold up, but it was nevertheless enjoyable for the music if nothing else. Here is the trailer to the 2007 video release. And here or here or here is the 90-minute film, in its entirety, or it was there, as of this posting.

But what I really wanted to talk about is the album. Or to be more precise the albums. In Great Britain, and other civilised places in the world, when the LP came out in 1965, the playlist was based on the wishes of the group, and looked like this:

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

You can find the individual songs, I’m sure, on YouTube. Here is the whole album.

But in the United States, Help! really was a SOUNDTRACK album. So the songs on the first side of the UK LP were spread onto the two sides, augmented by movie instruments written or arranged by Ken Thorne.

Side one

1. Help! (preceded by a James Bondian instrumental intro)
2. The Night Before
3. From Me to You Fantasy (Lennon–McCartney; arranged by Thorne)
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 (Lennon–McCartney; arranged by Thorne)
3. Ticket to Ride
4. Medley: The Bitter End/You Can’t Do That (Thorne/Lennon–McCartney; arranged by Thorne)
5. You’re Going to Lose That Girl
6. The Chase

American ears, at least those of a certain age, had gotten used to a particular order of their songs, and while, for most albums, one could take the CDs (based on the British order) and rearrange the songs to suit our aural needs, there were those five instrumentals on the US Help! album that for a long time weren’t digitally available elsewhere. It was ALMOST reason enough to buy The Capitol Albums, Volume 2, which contains The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, the US version of Help! (with the instrumentals) and the US version of Rubber Soul.

What happened to the seven songs on Side 2 of the UK album? You Like Me Too Much and Tell Me What You See, rejected for the movie, ended up on Beatles VI, as did Dizzy Miss Lizzie. I’ve Just Seen a Face and It’s Only Love start Sides 1 and 2, respectively of the US Rubber Soul album; the US and UK Rubber Soul album have 10 common songs, with the other four UK songs ending up on the US Yesterday and Today. Yesterday and Act Naturally from UK Help also ended up on Y&T, which didn’t exist in the UK.

From Wikipedia: A few songs that were intended for the film were not used… because of The Beatles’ suggestions. Lennon and McCartney wrote If You’ve Got Trouble for Ringo Starr to sing, but the song was rejected…That Means a Lot was written for the film, but The Beatles were not satisfied with their performance of the song and they gave it to P.J. Proby, who released it as a single [The linked versions are from Beatles Anthology 2.]…Yes, It Is ended up being released as the B-side of Ticket to Ride and was also on Beatles VI.

ABC Wednesday – Round 10

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