Producer: George Martin
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d bestwhkibb (December 31, 2007)
Tough to rate album, as it really shows the direction they were going in, but at the same time fails to move forwards. Captures them halfway in the jump. Of course there are numerous timeless classics here (Help!, Yesterday, Ticket To Ride, You Got To Hide Your Love Away, I've Just Seen A Face, etc), so it's hard to ignore the album, as usual. Not so much to say really. Again, not a primary Beatles purchase, but get it at some point.
Andrew Creamer (November 28, 2006)
The first album any aspiring Beatle fan should buy; perfect in every way, and a glimpse of things to come.
Bruce Beatlefan (September 30, 2005)
It is easy to mentally tick off the Beatles' number ones during this time frame (...I Feel Fine, Eight Days a Week, Ticket to Ride, Help, Yesterday, We Wan Work it Out...)and forget just what a magnificant song Help actually is. John Lennon never wrote a finer lyric in his lifetime, and the group just performed the song marvellously. We also have Paul McCartney's masterpiece "Yesterday", richly deserving of its plentiful accolades.
It is an endlessly fascinating exercise to track the Beatle's progress from the Three-guitar-and-drums pop band to the rock pioneers they became. "Help" isn't the clearly transitional work that "Rubber Soul" is, but there are certain signs of...well, restlessness. Paul takes on lead guitar duties in "Another Girl", John plays keyboards for the first time (actually on the B-side "I'm Down), George rejoins the ranks of the songwriters, and introduces the pedal steel guitar on "I Need You". For the first time, the Beatles bring in outside musicians to supplement their orchestration (the flutes on "You've Got to Hide Your Live Away" and the string quartet on "Yesterday"). The songs themselves remain classically "Beatley" for the most part, but "Ticket to Ride" and "I've Just Seen a Face" seem to belong to a later era (In fact, the American Rubber Soul starts off with the latter). You know that progression is taking place in the Beatle's songwriting because "Dizzy Miss Lizzy", although great fun, sounds completely anachronistic in this collection.
Did you ever notice Ringo's curious drumming in "Ticket to Ride"? He starts off establishing the funky 3-1/2 beat that makes the song unique (Actually not totally unique--he uses the same drum pattern in "Tomorrow Never Knows"), but after the first bridge it's as though he thinks "all right, I've done this offbeat thing, let me go back to normal drumming", because for the remainder of the song he reverts to just providing the 1-2-3-4 base. That strikes me as remarkably self-effacing drumming, which of course has always been a Ringo trademark.
If you know this album you can review it.
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