The Beatles are the biggest band of the history of rock and roll, that is indisputable, their influence on this genre is something out of this world. A great example of their importance is the number of great bands they have influenced. And many of those bands paid tribute to them and Deep Purple was on that list.
The Beatles’ “Help!”
The song that served as the title song for both the 1965 film and it’s soundtrack album was also released as a single, and was number one for three weeks in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
“Help!” was credited to Lennon–McCartney. John Lennon was the dominant writer, but the song was developed in songwriting session with Paul McCartney. During an interview with Playboy in 1980, Lennon recounted: “The whole Beatles thing was just beyond comprehension. I was subconsciously crying out for help”
“Help!” by The Beatles
John Lennon has described this time of his life as his “fat Elvis period.” In a 1971 interview with Rolling Stone, Lennon said this is one of his favorite Beatles records, because, “I meant it – it’s real.” He added: “The lyric is as good now as it was then. It is no different, and it makes me feel secure to know that I was that aware of myself then. It was just me singing ‘Help’ and I meant it.”
Paul McCartney helped Lennon write the song, but did not realize it was actually Lennon calling for help until years later.
The song was ranked no. 29 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
Deep Purple’s “Help!”
With a progressive rock approach, Deep Purple’s version was released in their first album “Shades of Deep Purple” (1968). The demo they made of the song helped them to get the record deal.
The album was recorded in only three days in May 1968 and contains four original songs and four covers, thoroughly rearranged to include classical interludes and sound more psychedelic. Stylistically the music is close to psychedelic rock and progressive rock, two genres with an ever-growing audience in the late 1960s.
“Help!” by Deep Purple
Shades Of Deep Purple (1968)
The single “Hush” was released overseas in June 1968 and it turned out to be a huge success, garnering the band considerable attention and peaking at No. 4 on the US charts and at No. 2 on the Canadian charts.
The label’s reluctance to release “Help!” as the promotional single and instead go for “Hush”, proved ingenious. Widely distributed and hyped, the song was played on radios all over the US, particularly the West Coast, and the band’s fame grew considerably. The album was released in the United States in July 1968 and reached No. 24 on the Billboard Pop Chart.
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