The Beatles went on to influence many bands and artists but who were the Beatles influenced by. In the fourth part of a series we will look at some of the influences who made it on to the fifth Beatles album Help!

From the point the Beatles had first released their debut album Please Please Me until the point of releasing their 5th studio album Help! a lot of things had changed. The Beatles themselves had come a long way and yet there was still very much more to come.

On three of their first four albums the Beatles had included 6 cover songs on each one but by the time they got round to making Help! they decided to only include two cover versions on the album, after which all future Beatles albums would be all their own songs.

The Beatles album Help! is a tale of two sides. The first side (literally back then) was the seven original Beatles songs that would feature in their film Help!, the second side started with a cover version and ended with a cover version.

Buck Owens – Act Naturally

In the first Beatles film, A Hard Day’s Night, Ringo Starr had stole the plaudits and in the film Help! became the centre of the action. With that in mind could there have been any other reason that the Beatles included a cover of this song on their album and gave it to Ringo Starr to sing!

Larry Williams – Dizzy Miss Lizzy

This was not the only Larry Williams penned song that the Beatles covered – for more information Click Here – and the lead vocals on the Beatles version went to John Lennon.

And that was it as far as the Beatles album Help! is concerned and it that was it as far as the Beatles studio albums went with regards to cover versions. The Beatles career from this point on progressed to Rubber Soul then Revolver. Then came their ‘opus’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and on to The Beatles (white album) and then Yellow Submarine. Their last two albums by recording were Let It Be and Abbey Road although they were the other way round by release!

The song Dizzy Miss Lizzy had been in and out of the Beatles live set since way back when and having it as the last song on the album Help! was almost a case of John Lennon putting down a marker to end the Beatles ‘moptop’ period – and we all know what happened next.

The list of Beatles influences after this fourth part of the series now looks like this; John Lennon – Arthur Alexander, Shirelles, Isley Brothers, Marvelettes, Smokey Robinson, Barrett Strong, Chuck Berry, Roy Lee Johnson, Buddy Holly, Larry Williams; Paul McCartney – Lenny Welch, Meredith Wilson, Leiber & Stoller, Little Richard, Buddy Holly; George Harrison – Goffin & King, Chuck Berry, Richard Drapkin, Carl Perkins.

Although we have now reached the end of cover versions on Beatles studio albums the list of influences on the Beatles is still not complete. It is now time to take a step way on back to look at other songs the Beatles covered that were not on any of their studio albums and the best place to look would be at the Live At The BBC album.


P.S. This article was originally published by the same author on Triond on the 26th of September 2011 and can be found by clicking HERE.