A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the soundtrack to the Beatles' second, epically silly film Help! dodges all those pesky issues that have caused the film to age ungracefully (e.g. the cartoonish ethnic stereotypes) and just delivers the great songs, including many that have since become standards for generations of artists. Besides such gems from the movie as "Help!" and "Ticket to Ride," there's the all-time-classic ballad "Yesterday," as well as some fun country-tinged cover tunes.
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What's the story?
Containing seven songs from the movie and seven more for good measure, Help! is topnotch Beatles fun, and also offers a good sample of their styles. Besides the title song, \"Ticket to Ride\" and the perennial classic \"Yesterday,\" the album includes two pleasantly lightweight songs (\"I Need You,\" \"You Like Me Too Much\") by George Harrison, two country-tinged numbers (Paul on the Lennon/McCartney \"I've Just Seen a Face\" and Ringo on a cover of \"Act Naturally\"), and John tearing up the place with retro-rocker \"Dizzy Miss Lizzie.\"
Is it any good?
In the year between their two movies, A Hard Day's Night and Help!, the Beatles evolved dramatically as songwriters and musicians, and the songs on the Help! soundtrack show it. While there are plenty of bouncy pop singles in their earlier style, both John Lennon and Paul McCartney rise to new heights as thoughtful lyricists and clever arrangers, and suddenly the basic rock band is incorporating everything from East Indian instruments to string quartets in their recordings. Not every track is as stellar as "Yesterday," "Ticket to Ride" and "Help!," but they're all appealing. The 2009 remastered recording's sound quality is stunning, and it adds a short making-of documentary video.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how so many songs on this album ("Yesterday," "Ticket to Ride") have been recorded by other artists and what makes other artists like them.
"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" is the beginning of a new style of songwriting for John Lennon. Do you like the experiment? Are there later Beatles tunes you think are similar?
The modern music video owes a lot to the performance scenes in this movie. What's your favorite?
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