Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.
Much like we said about the Please Please Me Hot Stampers, on the top copies the presence of the vocals and guitars is so real it’s positively startling at times.
Drop the needle on You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away and turn up the volume — on the best copies it will be as if John and Paul were right there in your living room.
The best import copies of this album sound AMAZING, but the typical one is pretty mediocre. Most tend to be dull, with not enough extension up top, as well as thin, lacking weight and body from the lower midrange on down.
In-Depth Track Commentary
Help! (A Number One Hit)
The Night Before
One of the biggest problems we found with this album is that the top end tends to be somewhat lacking. On the better copies, the cymbals on this track will sound correct and lively.
You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
One of the reasons this song sounds so good is that there are only acoustic instruments being played. There’s not an electric guitar to be found anywhere in the mix, one of the few tracks that can make that claim. We love the Tubey Magical guitars and voices found on early Beatles albums, and this song is a good example of both.
I Need You
You’re Gonna Lose That Girl
Ticket to Ride (A Number One Hit)
It’s Only Love
One of the best sounding tracks on the album. The better copies have an exceptionally sweet and open top end. John’s voice is double tracked and sounds wonderful.
You Like Me Too Much
Tell Me What You See
This track has harmonic distortion which can clearly be heard on the vocals. When the chorus comes in it’s quite obvious that there are extra generations of tape between you and The Beatles.
That said, the better the copy the less the shortcomings of the pressing will add to the distortion that’s already on the tape.
I’ve Just Seen a Face
This is potentially one of the best sounding tracks on side two. If you have a Hot Stamper and want to impress your audiophile friends, this track should do the trick.
We stand by our earlier assertion that this song can sound wonderful on a German pressing (the rest of the album not so much).
The right Brit pressings deliver plenty of warmth, sweetness, and midrange magic on this beautiful song. Just listen to the texture on the strings to hear what’s right about the estimable Norman Smith’s one-inch, four-track, all-tube engineering.
Dizzy Miss Lizzy
Not one of the better sounding songs on Help, but a good test for tonality. If your copy is even slightly bright this track will tear your head off.