The Top 29 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time List
“I don’t like the recording that much,” Lennon told ROLLING STONE. “We did it too fast, to try and be commercial.” John Lennon wrote Help! while going through a period of overeating, drinking too much and smoking pot “for breakfast.” Thus, the fast quarter notes The Beatles play on this recording are displayed below as instructed in the actual sheet music, Copyright © 1965 NORTHERN SONGS LIMITED, All Rights Administered by BLACKWOOD MUSIC INC., under license from ATV MUSIC (MACLEN) & CBS UNART CATALOG INC. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured., are abandoned in favor of the underlying half notes. Why? The tempo instruction on the sheet music is, verbatim, “Moderately, with a driving beat” That’s all. In the Official sheet, the half note gets the beat, and the song is in 2/2 time rather than ‘common’ 4/4 time. Measuring the speed was a tough call. We called on the Beatles expertise of our own Sarah Anthony and asked: Do you hear the faster speed and the defining beat or do you hear the underlying half note as the slower beat? Ms. Anthony’s listening agrees with the sheet music view. “Help!” works on two levels–the hard driving 94.9 bpm half notes and the 189.8 quarter notes which dominate the single. As many Latin songs which can be listened to actively as either 93 or 186 bpm, this Beatles song will either strike you as 94.9 beat per minute or the quarter note double 189.8 beats per minute. Those who hear the 2/2 will hear Help! as 94.9 beats per minute, while those who hear the faster beat as prominent hear the 189.8. Because the Beatles themselves, according to the Stone hear the faster beat as prominent, it is listed accordingly.
meanspeed=189.8 beats per minute
meanspace=316 milliseconds per beat.
declassified 4/18/17 by matherton street group
HELP! The Beatles harmonictempo map