For me, “Help!” was the album that showed the Beatles to be outgrowing their teenybopper days (for lack of a better term) and heading very quickly toward the groundbreaking experimentation of “Rubber Soul”, “Sgt. Pepper’s” and so on.

Much like the movie itself, “Help!” (the album) came at my ears in FULL COLOR, baby, making everything that came before seem like it was blasting out of a 13″ black-and-white TV by comparison.

The reason I mention this is because I thought it’d be cool to post a few mp3’s that detail the recording process. The first of three songs I’ll post today is one that I’ve always felt was their last lightweight “teenybopper” song. It’s still a great song, make no mistake about that, but was proof the fabs hadn’t completely abandoned their “black-and-white” days.

The second song is “Yes It Is”; one of my fave tracks from the “Help!” record. Mid-sixties Lennon at his best, with a perfectly atmospheric Harrison guitar line played live while the basic track is being cut.

But Darren, why post several versions of the same song, you ask?

Well, I’ll tell you why: the studio banter, flubs and re-starts are all part of the charm of these tracks. You can actually get an idea of what it was like to have “been there”.

The third song is an alternate mix of Ticket To Ride that I dig. Hope you do too.


That Means A Lot (rehearsal)
That Means A Lot (test take)
That Means A Lot (take 1)
That Means A Lot (take 2)
That Means A Lot (take 20)
That Means A Lot (take 21)
That Means A Lot (take 23)
That Means A Lot (take 24)

Yes It Is (take 1)
Yes It Is (takes 2 through 7)
Yes It Is (takes 8 and 9)
Yes It Is (takes 10 through 14)

Ticket To Ride (alternate mix, single-tracked Lennon vocal, no fade)

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