Director – Joe McGrath. Producer – Subafilms Ltd.
Filmed – 23 November 1965.
Location – Twickenham Film Studios, Middlesex.
The second Beatles’ movie theme song to top the charts, this was also the second song from the sound-track of Help! to make No.1 in both the UK and America. When The Beatles’ second featurelength film was announced to the press in mid-March 1965, the working title was ‘Eight Arms To Hold You’. Some four weeks later, with a new title settled and a theme song needed, the band were in Studio Two at Abbey Road recording ‘Help!’.
A decade and a half later John looked back and said, “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. So it was my fat Elvis period. And I am singing about when I was so much younger and all the rest, looking back at how easy it was.”
During a four-hour recording session on the evening of 13 April 1965, it took eight takes to get the rhythm track down on tape. By take 12, which includes George’s descending guitar motif, the vocals were deemed perfect and added.
This clip is from one of several promos for Beatles’ singles that were made at Twickenham Film Studios and distributed to TV companies around the world to increase sales of the records. The small outlay was not only immediately recouped in fees from broadcasters like the BBC, a profit was also made from licensing the promos. This clip for ‘Help!’ was shown on the special year-end edition of the BBC’s Top of the Pops, a look back to 1965’s biggest hits.