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Courtesy of Capitol Records

Q: On my old copy of the Beatle single HELP, it says in parentheses, (From the United Artists release “Eight Arms To Hold You”). Is that a Beatle movie or some other film that the song was used in? And any other details on the song HELP?

A: “Eight Arms To Hold You” was one of the working titles of the Beatles' film that became “Help!”. Other working titles for the film were also just as lame: “Beatles 2” and “Beatles Production 2” (John Lennon's suggestion for the film title was “High Heeled Knickers”). I don't think the single "Help!" had the "Eight Arms" mention; however, it did show up on a different single from the movie, "Ticket To Ride" (see picture below). The song HELP! was one of two songs that were Lennon's favorites, the other being STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER, because – according to Lennon himself - “(they were) the only true songs I ever wrote; they were the ones I wrote from experience.” Paul McCartney has stated that he helped a little with writing the song but it was mostly Lennon crying out for help. Remember the cover to the HELP! soundtrack? It showed all four Beatles standing in the snow spelling out something in semaphore (flag communication) that we assumed was the word “help” - but it wasn't. The photographer originally had the Beatles spelling “help” but thought it looked too humdrum, not eye-catching enough; so he posed them in a way that looked appealing but spelled nothing.

 

Courtesy of Capitol Records