The next Beatles release was another single (the second of 1965 in the UK) which heralded the second motion picture released by United Artists featuring the Beatles. The title track, of course was "Help!". This is an original Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly by John and having a tremendous significance for Lennon as witnessed in interviews during his short life. Lennon was feeling tremendously insecure at this time, and this is his first "message" song. The original title for the second Beatles motion picture had been "Eight Arms to Hold You" and it was this title which appeared in print on the previous single's label. Once the song "Help!" was written , the title of the film was changed. The single was another number one basically all over the world. The single was released on July 23 1965.
"Help!" was recorded at EMI Studio Two on Tuesday April 13 1965. The song took 12 takes to complete with the following instrumentation: bass and drums , Lennon's acoustic guitar and Harrison's electric guitar. The vocals and the decending electric guitar riff were overdubbed.
Five days later, on April 18 1965, three mixes of "Help!" and one stereo mix of "Help!" were completed in room 65 at EMI studios and these mixes were taken away by United Artists (but they were never used). The song was once again mixed in mono and stereo on June 18 1965 from the control room of EMI Studios. The mono mix used for the single and the mono UK LP had a slightly different vocal recorded during the dialogue overdubs for the film. There is no tambourine present on the mono recording. The stereo mix uses the original vocals from April 13 1965 with the tambourine added. This version is also on the North American version of both formats due to the fact that the US mono LP is simply fold-down stereo.
"Help!" is available on the single (Parlophone UK R 5305 and Capitol 5476 [released July 19 1965]). It is also found on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "Help!"; the North American Capitol LP/CD "Help!"; the Parlophone UK LP "A Collection of Beatles Oldies", the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles 1962-1966", the Capitol US version of the LP "The Beatles Rarities"; the EMI/Capitol LP "Reel Music", the EMI/ Capitol US and UK version of "20 Greatest Hits", the Apple 2-LP/CD "1" and the Apple 2-LP/CD "Love".
"Help!" was performed during the 1965 tour and two performances are available: the Blackpool,England performance is available on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2" and the Hollywood, California, US performance is available on the EMI/Capitol LP "The Beatles Live At the Hollywood Bowl".
"Help!" was never performed for BBC radio.