Sunday, May 29, 2011

Help ! (soundtrack LP)

Capitol Records released the second Beatles' movie soundtrack for their second film "Help!". The title of the LP was also "Help!". For this second movie, Capitol Records had the rights to the movie soundtrack. This must have been a change in the contract somewhere as to this day I can still not figure out why United Artists would be so hard-up to get the soundtrack exclusive for the first film but not negotiate the same for the second film. After all, it's been said that the first film was created by United Artists so that they could issue the soundtrack. Strange.

Anyway, the two formats issued for this LP were once again mono and stereo. The catalogue number for the mono issue is Capitol MAS-2386. The catalogue number for the stereo issue is Capitol SMAS-2386. The release date for the LP on or about August 09 (in Canada) and August 13 (in the US) 1965.

The top of the front cover has the words: "Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" in blue with the band's name in orange underneath. The band members are positioned in somophore letters in black in white with George, Ringo, John and Paul (left to right) and Paul extending his arms out and almost touching the Capitol logo printed to his right as opposed to the UK front cover which also features the band members in somophore letters in colour and in different positions: George, John, Paul and Ringo left to right. Stereo copies of the US/Canada copies have the blurb: "New Improved Full Dimensional Stereo" in orange and black at the top. Unfortunately, mono copies of this LP are not true mono mixes, they are simply the streo mixes folded down to one channel. Boo.

The back cover has the artist and title of the LP once again in orange with some film credits in green and brown. The tracklisting is underneath in black and orange with the instrumentals only listed as ..well..."instrumental". There is a full colour photo of the Beatles in Nassau and finally some black and white mini LP covers which promote "Something New", "Second Album", "The Beatles' Story", "Meet The Beatles", "Beatles '65", "The Early Beatles", "Beatles VI". Canadian copies promote: "Something New", "Long Tall Sally", "The Beatles' Story", "Beatlemania! With The Beatles", "Beatles '65", "Twist And Shout" and "Beatles VI". Once again, all LPs are in non sequence.

The cover was gatefold and sold at a premium price when first released (a dollar more than regular rock and roll LPs at the time !). The inside gatefold shows the Beatles on skis at the Swiss Alps, one of John and Ringo at the same location, an alternate photo of the Beatles in Nassau and finally four individual photos of John, Paul , George and Ringo in various film locations. The liner notes are simply silly hyperbole.

The labels used for this LP are the classic black with rainbow rim Capitol standards for the time with white or blue perimeter print above the rainbow rim. Canadian issues do not credit the Musical Score writer Ken Thorne. US issues have variations with some issues not have the Ken Thorne credits (B. Spizer explains that Capitol at the time didn't know who composed the score although it is clearly written in big letters on the back cover and I'm sure the answer was only a phone call away. Weird.), some issues have the score composer Ken Thorne credits. Some US copies have track 4 on side two as "The Bitter End" while other copies have track 4 on side two as "The Bitter End"/"You Can't Do That".

The song material for this LP is a mixture of side one of the UK Parlophone LP "Help!" and some music score "muzak" by Ken Thorne. Side one opens with the title track preceeded by a short blast of "James Bond" style musak. Next is "The Night Before" from the film. The third song is the first instrumental listed as "From Me to You Fantasy" which is also in the "James Bond" style of muzak. The fourth song is "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away". The fifth song is the George Harrison composition "I Need You" and side one ends with the second instrumental "In The Tyrol" which is a Wagner style brass band fast arrangment of his Overture. So far, the order of the Beatles song (bar the instrumentals) follow the same order at the UK "Help!" LP.

Side two begins with "Another Girl". A sitar Indian style instrumental follows as the second track listed as "Another Hard Day's Night". Now the order slightly changes from the UK version with "Ticket To Ride" appearing as the next track. The fourth track on side two is another Ken Thorne instrumental listed as "The Bitter End". This is followed by the final Beatles' original song for this set: "You're Going To Lose That Girl" (some label copies have the song listed as "You're Gonna Lost That Girl". The end of side two features a final Ken Thorne instrumental listed as "The Chase".

The inner sleeves included for this LP contained the olive-green version in the US (see the previous blog entry for "Beatles VI") and red/white Capitol/Pathe sleeves for Canadian stereo versions while Canadian mono versions had not sleeve.

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