Help! (1965, the Fifth Beatles Album)



Studio Album / Soundtrack by The Beatles
Released 6 August 1965
Recorded 15–19 February, 13 April, 10 May & 14–17 June 1965,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock, pop rock, folk rock
Length 34:20
Label Parlophone
Producer George Martin
The Beatles Chronology
Beatles for Sale
Rubber Soul
Singles from
  1. “Ticket to Ride”
    Released: 9 April 1965
  2. “Help!”
    Released: 19 July 1965
Professional Ratings
Review Scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars
The A.V. Club A
Blender 4/5 stars
The Daily Telegraph 4/5 stars
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 5/5 stars
Paste 100/100
Pitchfork Media 9.2/10
The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004) 5/5 stars
The Rolling Stone Record Guide (1979) 5/5 stars[

Help! is the fifth British and tenth North American album by English rock group the Beatles, and the soundtrack from their film Help!. Produced by George Martin for EMI’s Parlophone Records, it contains fourteen songs in its original British form, of which seven appeared in the film. These songs took up the first side of the vinyl album and included the singles “Help!” and “Ticket to Ride”. The second side contained seven other releases including the most-covered song ever written, “Yesterday”.[13]

The American release was a true soundtrack album, mixing the first seven songs with orchestral material from the film. Of the other seven songs that were on the British release, two were released on the US version of the next Beatles album, Rubber Soul, two were back-to-back on the next US single and then appeared on Yesterday and Today, and three had already been on Beatles VI.

In 2012, Help! was voted 331st on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.[14] In September 2013, after the British Phonographic Industry changed their sales award rules, the album was declared as having gone platinum.


The album features Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday”, arranged for guitar and string quartet and recorded without the other group members. John Lennon’s “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” indicates the influence of Bob Dylan and includes classical flutes. While several compositions on 1964’s Beatles for Sale, as well as “I’ll Cry Instead” from A Hard Day’s Night, had leaned in a country and western direction, McCartney’s “I’ve Just Seen a Face” was almost pure country, taken at such a fast tempo that it might have been bluegrass if not for the absence of banjo and fiddle.

“Ticket to Ride”, also released as a single, was felt by Lennon to be “heavy” in its sound compared to the group’s previous output and daring in its reference to a boy and girl living together. McCartney called the arrangement “quite radical”.

George Harrison contributed “I Need You” and “You Like Me Too Much”, his first compositions to be included on a Beatles album since “Don’t Bother Me” on 1963’s With the Beatles.

The record contained two cover versions and a few tracks more closely related to the group’s previous pop output, yet still marked a decisive step forward. The record sleeve-note shows that Lennon and McCartney made more extensive and prominent use of keyboards, previously played unobtrusively by Martin. Four-track overdubbing technology encouraged this. Lennon, for his part, made much greater use of acoustic guitar, forsaking his famous Rickenbacker. All these developments can be traced to the previous Beatles for Sale, where they were less obvious because that album had been recorded more hastily, lacked chart hits and contained many cover versions.

The original LP’s format of featuring songs from the soundtrack on side one and non-soundtrack songs on side two follows the format of A Hard Day’s Night.

In later years, Lennon stated that the album’s title track was a sincere cry for help; he regretted changing it from a downbeat, piano-driven ballad to an uptempo pop song, which was done only as a result of commercial pressures.

Help! was the band’s final British album (except for the late 1966 “oldies” album) to feature any cover songs until 1970’s Let It Be (which included a performance of the traditional folk song “Maggie Mae”). (In 1966, Capitol would release “Act Naturally”, already on the British Help! album, on Yesterday and Today, and later in 1966 Parlophone would release that “oldies” album, which included “Bad Boy”; both songs had been recorded before Help! was released.)

Rejected Songs

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 and Starr sang “Act Naturally” (which is not in the film but is about being in the movies) instead. “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. Lennon said “Yes It Is” was “me trying a rewrite of ‘This Boy’, but it didn’t work”; it was released as the B-side of “Ticket to Ride” and was also on Beatles VI. “You Like Me Too Much” and “Tell Me What You See” were rejected for use in the film by its director, Richard Lester, though they did appear on the album (and also on Beatles VI).

Much later, in June 1965, the song “Wait” was recorded for the album. However, “Wait” (with some newly added overdubs) ended up on Rubber Soul when another song was needed to complete that album.

When “Help!” came out in ’65, I was actually crying out for help. Most people think it’s just a fast rock-‘n’-roll song. I didn’t realize it at the time; I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie. But later, I knew I really was crying out for help. It was my fat Elvis period. You see the movie: He — I — is very fat, very insecure, and he’s completely lost himself. And I am singing about when I was so much younger and all the rest, looking back at how easy it was. Now I may be very positive — yes, yes — but I also go through deep depressions where I would like to jump out the window, you know. It becomes easier to deal with as I get older; I don’t know whether you learn control or, when you grow up, you calm down a little. Anyway, I was fat and depressed and I was crying out for help.

John Lennon

Album Cover

The album cover features the Beatles with their arms positioned to spell out a word in flag semaphore. According to cover photographer Robert Freeman, “I had the idea of semaphore spelling out the letters “HELP”. But when we came to do the shot, the arrangement of the arms with those letters didn’t look good. So we decided to improvise and ended up with the best graphic positioning of the arms.”

HelpSPELLINGOn the UK Parlophone release, the letters formed by the Beatles appear to be “NUJV”, whilst the slightly re-arranged US release on Capitol Records appeared to feature the letters “NVUJ”, with McCartney’s left hand pointing to the Capitol logo. The Capitol LP was issued in a “deluxe” gatefold sleeve with several photos from the film and was priced $1 more than standard Capitol releases at the time.

Compact Disc Release

There have been three Compact Disc releases of Help!. The first was on 30 April 1987, using the 14-song UK track line-up. Having been available only as an import in the US in the past, the original 14-track UK version replaced the original US version with its release on LP and cassette as well on 21 July 1987. As with the CD release of the 1965 Rubber Soul album, the Help! CD featured a contemporary stereo digital remix of the album prepared by Martin in 1986. Martin had expressed concern to EMI over the original 1965 stereo remix, claiming it sounded “very woolly, and not at all what I thought should be a good issue”. Martin went back to the original four-tracks tapes and remixed them for stereo. One of the most notable changes is the echo added to “Dizzy Miss Lizzy”, something that was not evident on the original mix of the LP.

When the album was originally released on CD in Canada, pressings were imported from other countries, and used the 1987 remix. However, when the Disque Améric and Cinram plants in Canada started pressing the album, the original 1965 stereo mix was used by mistake. This was the only source for the 1965 stereo mix in its entirety until the release of the mono box set in 2009.

The 2009 remastered stereo CD was released on 9 September. It was “created from the original stereo digital master tapes from Martin’s CD mixes made in 1986”. The disc in the mono box set contains the 1965 mono mix as well as the 1965 stereo mix.

Track Listing

All songs written and composed by Lennon–McCartney, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Lead Vocals Length
1. “Help!” Lennon 2:18
2. “The Night Before” McCartney 2:33
3. “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” Lennon 2:08
4. “I Need You” (George Harrison) Harrison 2:28
5. “Another Girl” McCartney 2:05
6. “You’re Going to Lose That Girl” Lennon 2:17
7. “Ticket to Ride” Lennon with McCartney 3:10
Side two
No. Title Lead Vocals Length
1. “Act Naturally” (Johnny Russell, Voni Morrison) Starr 2:29
2. “It’s Only Love” Lennon 1:54
3. “You Like Me Too Much” (George Harrison) Harrison 2:35
4. “Tell Me What You See” McCartney and Lennon 2:36
5. “I’ve Just Seen a Face” McCartney 2:04
6. “Yesterday” McCartney 2:03
7. “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” (Larry Williams) Lennon 2:53

North American Capitol Release


Soundtrack album by The Beatles and Ken Thorne
Released 13 August 1965
Recorded 15–19 February, 13 April, 10 May & 14–17 June 1965,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock
Length 28:43
Label Capitol
Producer George Martin, Dave Dexter, Jr.
The Beatles North American chronology
Beatles VI
Rubber Soul
Singles from Help!
  1. “Ticket to Ride”
    Released: 19 April 1965
  2. “Help!”
    Released: 19 July 1965

The North American version, the band’s eighth Capitol Records album and tenth overall, includes the songs in the film plus selections from the orchestral score composed and conducted by Ken Thorne, which contains one of the first uses of the Indian sitar on a rock/pop album. “Ticket to Ride” is the only song on the American release in duophonic stereo (also known as “fake stereo”) reprocessed from the mono mix. This album is available on CD as part of The Capitol Albums, Volume 2 box set. This set also includes the mono version of the American release, which is purely a stereo-to-mono fold-down mix, including the “fake stereo” duophonic “Ticket To Ride” folded down to mono, despite Capitol already having the mono mixes for the single releases of both that song and “Help!”. A second CD release of this album, which contained the seven songs in true mono was issued in 2014 individually and part of the Beatles The U.S. Albums boxed set.

The American version of “Help!” reached the number one spot on the Billboard album charts for nine weeks starting on 11 September 1965.

Track Listing

All songs written and composed by Lennon–McCartney, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Lead Vocals Length
1. “Help!” (preceded by an uncredited instrumental intro based on “The James Bond Theme”) Lennon 2:39
2. “The Night Before” McCartney 2:36
3. “From Me to You Fantasy” (Lennon–McCartney; arranged by Thorne) instrumental 2:08
4. “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” Lennon 2:12
5. “I Need You” (Harrison) Harrison 2:31
6. “In the Tyrol” (Ken Thorne) instrumental 2:26
Side two
No. Title Lead Vocals Length
1. “Another Girl” McCartney 2:08
2. “Another Hard Day’s Night” (Lennon–McCartney; arranged by Thorne) instrumental 2:31
3. “Ticket to Ride” Lennon with McCartney 3:07
4. “Medley: The Bitter End (Ken Thorne)/You Can’t Do That” (Lennon–McCartney; arranged by Thorne) instrumental 2:26
5. “You’re Going to Lose That Girl” Lennon 2:19
6. “The Chase” (Ken Thorne) instrumental 2:31

Chart Positions

Chart Year Peak
UK Albums Chart 1965 1
Billboard 200 Pop Albums
Australian Albums Chart
Australian Albums Chart 1966


Original Release
Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA) Gold 35,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) Platinum 300,000^
^shipments figures based on certification alone

dagger BPI certification awarded only for sales since 1994.

North American Release
Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada) 2× Platinum 200,000^
United States (RIAA) 3× Platinum 3,000,000^
^shipments figures based on certification alone


According to Mark Lewisohn and Alan W. Pollack.

  • John Lennon – lead, harmony and background vocals; acoustic (six and twelve-string) and rhythm guitars; electric piano
  • Paul McCartney – lead, harmony and background vocals; lead, acoustic and bass guitars; keyboards (acoustic and electric pianos); güiro
  • George Harrison – lead, harmony and background vocals; acoustic, rhythm and lead guitars
  • Ringo Starr – drums, handclaps and assorted percussion (tambourine, maracas, cowbell, bongos, claves and brushed snare); lead vocals (on “Act Naturally”)
Additional musicians
  • George Martin – piano and producer
  • John Scott – flutes on “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”
  • String quartet on “Yesterday”, arranged by Martin in association with McCartney

Surround versions

The songs included in the soundtrack of the film Help! were mixed into 5.1 surround sound for the film’s 2007 DVD release, that is, tracks 1—7, accounting for half of the original album’s songs.

Release history

Country Date Label Format Catalog
United Kingdom 6 August 1965 Parlophone mono LP PMC 1255
stereo LP PCS 3071
United States 13 August 1965 Capitol mono LP MAS 2386
stereo LP SMAS 2386
Worldwide reissue 15 April 1987 Apple, Parlophone, EMI Compact Disc CDP 7 46439 2
United States 21 July 1987 Capitol stereo LP CLJ 46439
Japan 11 March 1998 Toshiba-EMI CD TOCP 51115
Japan 21 January 2004 Toshiba-EMI Remastered LP TOJP 60135
Worldwide reissue 11 April 2006 Apple/Capitol/EMI CD reissue of US LP CDP 0946 3 57500 2 7
Worldwide reissue 9 September 2009 Apple/Capitol/EMI CD stereo remaster CDP 0946 3 82415 2 2

From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia


Beatles for Sale (1964, the Fourth Beatles Album)


Beatles for Sale is the fourth studio album by English rock band the Beatles, released on 4 December 1964 and produced by George Martin for Parlophone. The album marked a minor turning point in the evolution of the Lennon–McCartney partnership, John Lennon particularly now showing interest in composing songs of a more autobiographical nature. “I’m a Loser” shows Lennon for the first time coming under the influence of Bob Dylan,[3] whom he met in New York while on tour, on 28 August 1964.

Beatles for Sale did not produce a single for the UK – the non-album tracks “I Feel Fine” and “She’s a Woman” performed that role. Nevertheless, that coupling was followed up in the United States by “Eight Days a Week”, which became their seventh number one in March 1965.

The album hit the UK number one spot and retained that position for 11 of the 46 weeks that it spent in the Top 20. Beatles for Sale did not surface as a regular album in the US until 1987. In its place was Beatles ’65 which featured eight songs from Beatles for Sale, plus the A and B-side of “I Feel Fine” and “I’ll Be Back” from the UK’s A Hard Day’s Night album. Beatles ’65 enjoyed a nine-week run at the top of the US charts from January 1965.


The Beatles began their first studio session for Beatles for Sale on 8 June 1964, only seven days after their last session for A Hard Day’s Night. Prior to the new recording sessions, the band toured Australia and New Zealand (after a two-show night in Hong Kong), played concerts in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden and made several television, radio and live concert appearances in the UK. Music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic said, “It was inevitable that the constant grind of touring, writing, promoting, and recording would grate on the Beatles,”[5] leading to the inclusion of several cover versions after the all-original A Hard Day’s Night; the band’s visible weariness on the album’s cover is noted by narrator Malcolm McDowell during The Compleat Beatles. Yet during these sessions they were still capable of recording the single “I Feel Fine” and its B-side, “She’s a Woman” (both written by Lennon–McCartney, and not included on the album).

Gram Parsons has noted the strong country influence on “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party”. “I’m a Loser” is also notable for being perhaps the first Beatles song to directly reflect the influence of Bob Dylan, thus nudging folk and rock a little closer together toward the folk-rock explosion of the following year.


Beatles for Sale and its modified US counterparts, Beatles ’65 and Beatles VI, all reached number one on the charts in their respective countries, with Beatles for Sale taking over from A Hard Day’s Night in the United Kingdom.

On 26 February 1987, Beatles for Sale was officially released on Compact Disc (catalogue number CDP 7 46438 2), as were three other Beatles’ albums, Please Please Me, With the Beatles and A Hard Day’s Night. Almost 23 years after its original release, the album charted in the United Kingdom for a fortnight in 1987. Having been available only as an import in the US in the past, the album was also issued domestically in the US on LP and cassette on 21 July 1987. Even though this album was recorded on four-track tape, the CD version issued in 1987 was available only in mono.

This album has been digitally remastered using the latest technology (along with the rest of the Beatles’ catalogue) and was reissued on CD in stereo for the first time on 9 September 2009.

Writing and Recording


When Beatles for Sale was being recorded, Beatlemania was just past its peak; in early 1964, they had made waves with their television appearances in the United States, sparking unprecedented demand for their records. Beatles for Sale was their fourth album in 21 months. Recording for the album began on 11 August, just one month after the release of A Hard Day’s Night, following on the heels of several tours. Much of the production on the album was done on “days off” from performances in the UK, and most of the songwriting was done in the studio itself.

Most of the album’s recording sessions were completed in a three-week period beginning on 29 September. Beatles’ producer George Martin recalled: “They were rather war-weary during Beatles for Sale. One must remember that they’d been battered like mad throughout ’64, and much of ’63. Success is a wonderful thing, but it is very, very tiring.”

Song Selection

Even the prolific Lennon–McCartney songwriting team could not keep up with the demand for their songs, and with a targeted deadline of Christmas to meet, the band resorted to recording several cover versions for the album. This had been their mode of operation for their first albums but had been abandoned for the all-original A Hard Day’s Night. The album included six covers, the same number as their first two albums. McCartney recalled: “Recording Beatles for Sale didn’t take long. Basically it was our stage show, with some new songs.” Indeed, three of the cover tunes were recorded in a total of five takes in one session on 18 October.

Beatles for Sale featured eight original Lennon and McCartney works. At this stage in their partnership, Lennon’s and McCartney’s songwriting was highly collaborative; even when songs had a primary author the other would often contribute key parts, as with “No Reply” where McCartney provided a middle-eight for what was otherwise almost entirely a Lennon song.

In 1994, McCartney described the songwriting process he and Lennon went through:

We would normally be rung a couple of weeks before the recording session and they’d say, ‘We’re recording in a month’s time and you’ve got a week off before the recordings to write some stuff.’ … so I’d go out to John’s every day for the week, and the rest of the time was just time off. We always wrote a song a day, whatever happened we always wrote a song a day … Mostly it was me getting out of London, to John’s rather nice, comfortable Weybridge house near the golf course … So John and I would sit down, and by then it might be one or two o’clock, and by four or five o’clock we’d be done.


Recording took place at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London. The Beatles had to share the studio with classical musicians, as McCartney would relate in 1988: “These days you go to a recording studio and you tend to see other groups, other musicians … you’d see classical sessions going on in ‘number one.’ We were always asked to turn down because a classical piano was being recorded in ‘number one’ and they could hear us.” George Harrison recalled that the band was becoming more sophisticated about recording techniques: “Our records were progressing. We’d started out like anyone spending their first time in a studio—nervous and naive and looking for success. By this time we’d had loads of hits and were becoming more relaxed with ourselves, and more comfortable in the studio … we were beginning to do a little overdubbing, too, probably to a four-track.”

Recording was completed on 18 October. The band participated in several mixing and editing sessions before completing the project on 4 November; the album was rushed into production and released exactly a month later. The Beatles’ road manager, Neil Aspinall, later reflected: “No band today would come off a long US tour at the end of September, go into the studio and start a new album, still writing songs, and then go on a UK tour, finish the album in five weeks, still touring, and have the album out in time for Christmas. But that’s what the Beatles did at the end of 1964. A lot of it was down to naivety, thinking that this was the way things were done. If the record company needs another album, you go and make one.”

Original songs

Opening tracks

All three opening tracks for Beatles for Sale have a sad or resentful emotion attached to them. This opening sequence set the sombre overall mood of the album, revisited in another Lennon tune, “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party”, which, “consistent in tone with ‘No Reply’, ‘I’m a Loser’, and ‘Baby’s in Black’”, according to Allmusic, “finds the singer showing up at a party only to find that the girl he expected to find isn’t there”.

Other McCartney songs on the album included “What You’re Doing”, which implored the singer’s girlfriend to “stop your lying”. Although “Eight Days a Week” and “What You’re Doing” are well regarded by many fans, they were regarded negatively by their creators: McCartney dismissed “What You’re Doing” as “a bit of filler … Maybe it’s a better recording than it is a song …”, while Lennon referred to “Eight Days a Week” in a 1980 interview with Playboy magazine as “lousy”. In 1972, Lennon revealed that “Eight Days a Week” had been made with the goal of being the theme song for the film Help!:

I think we wrote this when we were trying to write the title song for ‘Help!’ because there was at one time the thought of calling the film Eight Arms To Hold You.

McCartney considered the Beatles for Sale sessions to be the beginning of a more mature phase for the band:

We got more and more free to get into ourselves. Our student selves rather than ‘we must please the girls and make money’, which is all that “From Me to You”, “Thank You Girl”, “P.S. I Love You” is about. “Baby’s in Black” we did because we liked waltz-time … and I think also John and I wanted to do something bluesy, a bit darker, more grown-up, rather than just straight pop.

“No Reply”

According to Lennon in 1972, Beatles music publisher Dick James was quite pleased with “No Reply”:

I remember Dick James coming up to me after we did this one and saying, ‘You’re getting better now—that was a complete story.’ Apparently, before that, he thought my songs wandered off.

Reviewer David Rowley found its lyrics to “read like a picture story from a girl’s comic,” and to depict the picture “of walking down a street and seeing a girl silhouetted in a window, not answering the telephone.”

“I’m a Loser”

Steven Thomas Erlewine, writing for Allmusic, singled out “I’m a Loser” as “one of the very first Beatles compositions with lyrics addressing more serious points than young love.” (cf. “There’s a Place”)

David Rowley found it to be an “obvious copy of Bob Dylan”, as where Lennon refers to the listener as a “friend”, Dylan does the same on “Blowin’ in the Wind”. He also said its intention was to “openly subvert the simple true love themes of their earlier work”.

“Baby’s in Black”

Main article: Baby’s in Black

Unterberger said this song was “a love lament for a grieving girl that was perhaps more morose than any previous Beatles song”. The song features a two-part harmony sung by Lennon and McCartney.

“I’ll Follow the Sun”

“I’ll Follow the Sun” was a reworking of an old song; it had originally been written when McCartney was a youth, as he related in 1988:

I wrote that in my front parlour in Forthlin Road. I was about 16 … We had this hard R&B image in Liverpool, so I think songs like “I’ll Follow the Sun”, ballads like that, got pushed back to later.

Unterberger argued that although the song was “sometimes described as a ballad because of its light and mild nature, it’s actually taken at a pretty brisk tempo.”

George Martin would later say that this was his favourite song from Beatles for Sale.

“Eight Days a Week”

Main article: Eight Days a Week

“Eight Days a Week” is noteworthy as one of the first examples of the in-studio experimentation that the band would use extensively in the future; in two recording sessions totalling nearly seven hours on 6 October devoted exclusively to this song, Lennon and McCartney tried one technique after another before settling on the eventual arrangement. Each of the first six takes of the song featured a strikingly different approach to the beginning and ending sections of the song; the eventual chiming guitar-based introduction to the song would be recorded in a different session and edited in later. The final version of the song incorporated another Beatles first and pop music rarity: the song begins with a fade in as a counterpoint to pop songs which end in a fade out.

“Every Little Thing”

Main article: Every Little Thing (song)

The dark theme of the album was balanced by “Every Little Thing”, a “celebration of what a wonderful girl the guy has”, according to Unterberger,[15] that appeared later in the album and had been written as an attempt for a single, according to McCartney:

‘Every Little Thing’, like most of the stuff I did, was my attempt at the next single … but it became an album filler rather than the great almighty single. It didn’t have quite what was required.

The British progressive rock band Yes included an extended cover of this song on their 1969 debut album and have played their version live on many occasions.

“What You’re Doing”

Main article: What You’re Doing

The lyrics are generally believed to concern McCartney’s relationship with Jane Asher, also considered to be the muse for future Beatles songs such as “I’m Looking Through You” and “You Won’t See Me” from Rubber Soul and “For No One” from Revolver.

Cover Songs

The remainder of the album consisted of cover versions, several of which had been staples of the Beatles’ live shows years earlier, especially in Hamburg, Germany and at The Cavern in Liverpool, including Chuck Berry’s “Rock and Roll Music”, Buddy Holly’s “Words of Love”, and two by Carl Perkins, “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby” (sung by George Harrison) and “Honey Don’t” (sung by Ringo Starr).

800px-Beatles_for_sale_side1Many critics panned the cover version of “Mr. Moonlight”. Stephen Thomas Erlwine of allmusic called it Lennon’s “beloved obscurity” that wound up as “arguably the worst thing the group ever recorded.”[5] Q magazine agreed, calling “Mr. Moonlight” “appalling.” Rowley noted that the original by Dr Feelgood and the Interns was “hardly outstanding”. A cover of Little Willie John’s “Leave My Kitten Alone” was recorded at the same session, but rejected from inclusion on the finished album; it was widely bootlegged before seeing official release on 1995’s Anthology 1 compilation.

596px-Bfs_lp_corrThe recording of the medley of “Kansas City” and “Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey!” was memorable for McCartney, who in 1984 said that it required “a great deal of nerve to just jump up and scream like an idiot.” His efforts were egged on by Lennon, who “would go, ‘Come on! You can sing it better than that, man! Come on, come on! Really throw it!'” The song was inspired by Little Richard, who combined “Kansas City” with his own composition, “Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey!”, but Rowley found the lead vocals “strained” and considered it McCartney’s “weakest Little Richard cover version” (although McCartney only recorded one other Little Richard cover, “Long Tall Sally”, while with the Beatles). However, in contrast to this Ian MacDonald, in his book Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties, described it as one of their better covers. The original LP sleeve listed the song as “Kansas City” (Leiber & Stoller). After the attorneys for Venice Music complained, the record label was revised to read “Medley: (a) Kansas City (Leiber/Stoller) (P)1964 Macmelodies Ltd./KPM. (b) Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey! (Penniman) Venice Mus. Ltd. (P)1964.”


Beatles for Sale was released in the United Kingdom on 4 December 1964. On 12 December, it began a 46-week-long run in the charts, and a week later knocked A Hard Day’s Night off the top of the charts. After seven weeks, the album’s time at the top seemed over, but Beatles for Sale made a comeback on 27 February 1965, by dethroning The Rolling Stones and returning to the top spot for a week. The album’s run in the charts was not complete either; on 7 March 1987, almost 23 years after its original release, Beatles for Sale re-entered the charts briefly for a period of two weeks shortly after the first CD release on 26 February 1987.

Album Design

The downbeat mood of the songs on Beatles for Sale was reflected in the album cover, which shows the unsmiling, weary-looking Beatles in an autumn scene photographed at Hyde Park, London. McCartney recalled: “The album cover was rather nice: Robert Freeman’s photos. It was easy. We did a session lasting a couple of hours and had some reasonable pictures to use … The photographer would always be able to say to us, ‘Just show up,’ because we all wore the same kind of gear all the time. Black stuff; white shirts and big black scarves.”

This was the first Beatles album to feature a gatefold cover (the next would be Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, in 1967). The photo inside the gatefold cover showed The Beatles standing in front of a montage of photos, which some have assumed was the source of inspiration for the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, though there is no evidence for this.

The sleeve notes featured an observation by Derek Taylor on what the album would mean to people of the future:

There’s priceless history between these covers. When, in a generation or so, a radioactive, cigar-smoking child, picnicking on Saturn, asks you what the Beatle affair was all about, don’t try to explain all about the long hair and the screams! Just play them a few tracks from this album and he’ll probably understand. The kids of AD2000 will draw from the music much the same sense of well being and warmth as we do today.

North American Release

The concurrent Beatles release in the United States, Beatles ’65, included eight songs from Beatles for Sale, omitting the tracks “Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey!”, “Eight Days a Week” (a number one hit single in the US in early 1965), “What You’re Doing”, “Words of Love”, “Every Little Thing”, and “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party” (flipside to “Eight Days a Week”, it reached number 35 in the US and it would hit number one on the US Country chart for Rosanne Cash when she remade it in 1989). In turn, it added the track “I’ll Be Back” from the British release of A Hard Day’s Night and the single “I Feel Fine”/”She’s a Woman”. The six omitted tracks finally got an LP release in America on Beatles VI in 1965. Beatles ’65 was released eleven days after Beatles for Sale (and just ten days before the Christmas holiday) and became the fastest-selling album of the year in the United States.

Australian Release

Australian cover of Beatles for Sale.
Australian cover of Beatles for Sale.

Although the LP was released with an identical track listing to the UK version, EMI Australia changed the cover art. The reason for this was due to a union rule stating that either new artwork had to be made for overseas albums or the original cover was to be photographed. John Lennon complained to EMI Australia at a meeting about the changes, but the cover remained the same until the album’s release on compact disc in 1988.

The cover of the Australian release of the LP featured individual photographs of The Beatles taken at one of the group’s Sydney concerts in June 1964.


The band, which in the previous year had grown weary of performing for screaming audiences, followed the contemporary standard industry practice of including covers in order to maintain an expected level of productivity. Q found the album title to hold a “hint of cynicism” in depicting The Beatles as a “product” to be sold. Erlewine said, “The weariness of Beatles for Sale comes as something of a shock.”

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars
The A.V. Club B
Consequence of Sound 4.5/5 stars
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars
Paste 79/100
Pitchfork Media 9.3/10
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5 stars

Despite citing it as “the group’s most uneven album”, Allmusic felt that its best moments find them “moving from Merseybeat to the sophisticated pop/rock they developed in mid-career.” Tom Ewing of Pitchfork Media said, “Lennon’s anger and the band’s rediscovery of rock ‘n’ roll mean For Sale’s reputation as the group’s meanest album is deserved”. Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph commented that “if this is a low point, they still sound fantastic”, adding that “the Beatlemania pop songs are of a high standard, even if they are becoming slightly generic.” John Lennon said of the album, “You could call our new one a Beatles country and western LP.”

Track Listing

All songs written and composed by Lennon–McCartney, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. “No Reply” Lennon with McCartney 2:15
2. “I’m a Loser” Lennon with McCartney 2:31
3. “Baby’s in Black” McCartney and Lennon 2:02
4. “Rock and Roll Music” (Chuck Berry) Lennon 2:32
5. “I’ll Follow the Sun” McCartney 1:46
6. “Mr. Moonlight” (Roy Lee Johnson) Lennon 2:33
7. “Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!” (Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller/Richard Penniman) McCartney 2:33
Side two
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. “Eight Days a Week” Lennon 2:44
2. “Words of Love” (Buddy Holly) Lennon and McCartney 2:12
3. “Honey Don’t” (Carl Perkins) Starr 2:55
4. “Every Little Thing” Lennon and McCartney 2:01
5. “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party” Lennon with McCartney 2:33
6. “What You’re Doing” McCartney 2:30
7. “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby” (Perkins) Harrison 2:23

Charts and Certifications

Chart positions

Chart Year Peak
UK Albums Chart 1964 1


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA) Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada) Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA) Platinum 1,000,000^
^shipments figures based on certification alone

dagger BPI certification awarded only for sales since 1994.


The Beatles
  • John Lennon – lead, harmony and backing vocals, rhythm and acoustic guitars, piano, harmonica, tambourine, handclaps; 12-string lead guitar on “Every Little Thing”
  • Paul McCartney – lead, harmony and backing vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, Hammond organ, handclaps
  • George Harrison – harmony and backing vocals, lead vocals on “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby”, lead, acoustic and 12 string guitars, African drum, handclaps
  • Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine, maracas, timpani, cowbell, packing case, bongos, lead vocals on “Honey Don’t”
Additional musicians
  • George Martin – piano and producer
Personnel per Mark Lewisohn

From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia


A Hard Day’s Night (1964, the Third Beatles Album)

HardDayUK-vertA Hard Day’s Night is the third studio album by British rock group the Beatles, released on 10 July 1964, with side one containing songs from the soundtrack to their film A Hard Day’s Night. The American version of the album was released two weeks earlier, on 26 June 1964 by United Artists Records, with a different track listing. This is the first Beatles album to be recorded entirely on four-track tape, allowing for good stereo mixes.

In contrast to their first two albums, all 13 tracks on A Hard Day’s Night were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, showcasing the development of the band’s songwriting talents. The album contains some of their most famous songs, including the title track, with its distinct, instantly recognisable opening chord, and the previously released “Can’t Buy Me Love”; both were transatlantic number-one singles for the band.

The title of the album was the accidental creation of drummer Ringo Starr. According to Lennon in a 1980 interview with Playboy magazine: “I was going home in the car and Dick Lester [director of the movie] suggested the title, ‘Hard Day’s Night’ from something Ringo had said. I had used it in ‘In His Own Write’, but it was an off-the-cuff remark by Ringo. You know, one of those malapropisms. A Ringo-ism, where he said it not to be funny … just said it. So Dick Lester said, ‘We are going to use that title.'”

In 2000, Q placed A Hard Day’s Night at number five in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2012, A Hard Day’s Night was voted 307th on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.


Hard_days_night_side1-vertMusically, A Hard Day’s Night eschews the rock and roll cover songs of the band’s previous albums for a predominantly pop sound. Sputnikmusic’s Dave Donnelly observes “short, peppy” pop songs characterised by layered vocals, immediate choruses, and understated instrumentation. According to Pitchfork Media’s Tom Ewing, the lack of rock and roll covers allows listeners to “take the group’s new sound purely on its own modernist terms”, with audacious “chord choices”, powerful harmonies, “gleaming” guitar, and “Northern” harmonica. Music journalist Robert Christgau writes that Lennon–McCartney’s songs were “more sophisticated musically” than before.

Side one of the LP contains the songs from the movie soundtrack. Side two contains songs written for, but not included in, the film, although a 1980s re-release of the movie includes a prologue before the opening credits with “I’ll Cry Instead” on the soundtrack.

A Hard Day’s Night is the first Beatles album to feature entirely original compositions, and the only one where all the songs were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.[19] Lennon dominates the song writing being the primary author of ten out of the thirteen tracks on the album, all except “And I Love Her,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” and “Things We Said Today.” This is also one of three Beatles albums, along with Let It Be and Magical Mystery Tour, in which Starr does not sing lead vocal on any songs. Starr sang the lead vocal on “Matchbox” during the sessions; it appeared instead on the Long Tall Sally EP.

Cultural Influence

According to music critic Richie Unterberger, “George Harrison’s resonant 12-string electric guitar leads were hugely influential; the movie helped persuade The Byrds, then folksingers, to plunge all out into rock & roll, and the Beatles would be hugely influential on the folk-rock explosion of 1965. The Beatles’ success, too, had begun to open the US market for fellow Brits like the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Kinks, and inspired young American groups like the Beau Brummels, Lovin’ Spoonful, and others to mount a challenge of their own with self-penned material that owed a great debt to Lennon-McCartney.”


On 26 February 1987, A Hard Day’s Night was officially released on compact disc in mono, along with Please Please Me, With the Beatles, and Beatles for Sale. Having been available only as an import in the US in the past, the 13 track UK version of the album was also issued in the US on LP and cassette on 21 July 1987. Stereo mixes of “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “And I Love Her” had been made available on the first compact disc issue of 1962–1966 in 1993. Most of the rest of the tracks appeared in stereo on compact disc for the first time with the release of the box set The Capitol Albums, Volume 1 in 2004.

On 9 September 2009, a remastered version of this album was released and was the first time the album appeared in stereo on compact disc in its entirety. This album is also included in The Beatles Stereo Box Set. A remastered mono version of the original UK album was part of The Beatles in Mono box set.

Track Listing

Side one
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. “A Hard Day’s Night” Lennon and McCartney 2:34
2. “I Should Have Known Better” Lennon 2:43
3. “If I Fell” Lennon and McCartney 2:19
4. “I’m Happy Just to Dance with You” Harrison 1:56
5. “And I Love Her” McCartney 2:30
6. “Tell Me Why” Lennon with McCartney 2:09
7. “Can’t Buy Me Love” McCartney 2:12
Side two
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. “Any Time at All” Lennon 2:11
2. “I’ll Cry Instead” Lennon 1:46
3. “Things We Said Today” McCartney 2:35
4. “When I Get Home” Lennon 2:17
5. “You Can’t Do That” Lennon 2:35
6. “I’ll Be Back” Lennon with McCartney 2:24

Charts and certifications

Chart performance

Year Chart Position
1964 UK Albums Chart 1
1965 Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart 1
2009 Finnish Albums Chart 27


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA) Gold 35,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) Gold 100,000^
^shipments figures based on certification alone

dagger BPI certification awarded only for sales since 1994.

North American Release AHardDaysNightUSalbumcover-vert

The American version of the album was released on 26 June 1964 by United Artists Records in both mono and stereo, the fourth Beatles album in the United States. The album went to number one on the Billboard album chart, spending 14 weeks there, the longest run of any album that year.

All seven songs from the film, the first side of the UK album, were featured along with “I’ll Cry Instead”, which, although written for the film, was cut at the last minute. The American version also included four easy listening-styled instrumental versions of Lennon and McCartney songs arranged by George Martin conducting an orchestra of studio musicians: “I Should Have Known Better,” “And I Love Her,” “Ringo’s Theme,” and “A Hard Day’s Night.” After EMI acquired United Artists Records, this album was reissued on 17 August 1980 on the Capitol label, catalogue SW-11921.

While the stereo version of the album included the instrumental tracks in true stereo, the Beatles’ own recordings appeared as electronically rechannelled stereo recordings made from the mono releases. The 1980 Capitol Records release used the same master tape as the original United Artists stereo release, despite the availability of several tracks with official stereo remixes by that time. True stereo versions of most of the songs appeared on the Capitol album Something New, released in July 1964. “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “I Should Have Known Better” finally appeared in stereo on the Apple Records compilation Hey Jude in 1970. The song “A Hard Day’s Night” did not appear in stereo in the US until the LP Reel Music in March 1982. In 2014, the American version of “A Hard Day’s Night” was released on CD individually and in a boxed set of all the other US Beatles albums to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles first US visit. This CD reissue features all of the songs in both true stereo and mono mixes.

Track Listing

Side one
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. “A Hard Day’s Night” Lennon and McCartney 2:33
2. “Tell Me Why” Lennon with McCartney 2:10
3. “I’ll Cry Instead” Lennon 2:06
4. “I Should Have Known Better” instrumental 2:10
5. “I’m Happy Just to Dance with You” Harrison 1:59
6. “And I Love Her” instrumental 3:46
Side two
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. “I Should Have Known Better” Lennon 2:44
2. “If I Fell” Lennon and McCartney 2:22
3. “And I Love Her” McCartney 2:29
4. “Ringo’s Theme (This Boy)” instrumental 3:10
5. “Can’t Buy Me Love” McCartney 2:12
6. “A Hard Day’s Night” instrumental 2:06

Charts and Certifications


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada) Platinum 100,000^
United States (RIAA) 4× Platinum 4,000,000^
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Chart Succession

Preceded by
Hello, Dolly! by Louis Armstrong
Billboard Top LPs number-one album
25 July – 30 October 1964
Succeeded by
People by Barbra Streisand
Preceded by
The Rolling Stones by The Rolling Stones
UK Albums Chart number-one album
25 July 1964 – 19 December 1964
Succeeded by
Beatles for Sale by The Beatles


  • John Lennon – vocals; acoustic and electric (six and twelve-string) guitars; piano; harmonica; tambourine
  • Paul McCartney – vocals; acoustic and bass guitars; piano; cowbell
  • George Harrison – vocals; acoustic and electric (six and twelve-string) guitars; claves
  • Ringo Starr – drums and percussions
  • George Martin – piano
  • Norman Smith – bongos on “A Hard Day’s Night”


From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia