In 1965, Beatlemania was still raging on, and the Beatles rose to the occasion with their fifth album, Help! Their songs further delved into some of the genres that they had explored previously, including folk rock, R&B, country, and probably most notably for the first time chamber pop with their game-changing song “Yesterday”. They even had room for one more cover song for the road in Larry Williams’ “Dizzy Miss Lizzie”.
Saying that, the band were growing up as both songwriters and as people, bringing more of their personalities to the fore as writers. This is certainly reflected in the songs on this album which is a continuation of the more sophisticated approach to subject matter hinted at earlier, including some of their most personal songwriting to date. And that personal side of things would only become more developed as the year went on.
Additionally, the Help! record would serve as a showcase for the songs that would appear in the movie of the same name, in which the band also appeared. Playing out like a sort of surrealist Marx Brothers affair, The Beatles solidified their image as happy (and also edgy) lads from Liverpool, although even by this time some of the cracks in the union, however small, were beginning to show.
My old friend Graeme Burk, and my newer friend Shannon Dohar talk about all of this and more in this fifth episode of our A Year With The Beatles Podcast.