Beatles – Help! (Dr. Ebbett DBM-004)


Help! (Dr. Ebbett DBM-004)

Help!, The Night Before, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, I Need You, Another Girl, You’re Going To Lose That Girl, Ticket To Ride, Act Naturally, It’s Only Love, You Like Me Too Much, Tell Me What You See, I’ve Just Seen A Face, Yesterday, Dizzy Miss Lizzie

The original Help! released by EMI / Parlophone (CDP 7 46439 2) is in stereo and is very poor sounding.  The excessive reverb on “Dizzy Miss Lizzie” has been singled out for particular scorn.  The first needle drop for Help! is the version released by Original Monaural Recording (PMCD 1255) in 1989.  In 2000 Fabulous Sound Lab (fs-1005) released an HDCD stereo edition which some collectors claim has pronounced surface noise.  More recently B4Records (CT-004) contains mono album plus outtakes and a transfer of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab edition (MFSL 1-105) was released in 2000 in stereo but the bass is mixed strange.  Another MFSL copy was released in 2003 that garnered some praise.  The Millennium Remasters label issued three separate versions of the album.  The first was in 2002 which contains both the UK mono (from the early eighties box set) and the stereo version from the 1982 MFSL box set.  Some collectors claim these transfers are very good, but not as dynamic as the corresponding Dr. Ebbett issue.  In 2004 Millennium Remasters released an edition with both the mono and stereo Japanese edits (EAS 70134/EAS 80554) and another version with the UK stereo and mono versions.

DBM is the seventh Dr. Ebbett release of this material.  The first is the UK stereo (MFSL 1-105) released in 2000 that used slight noise reduction and is sharper and louder than the EMI release.  In the same year the label released the UK mono (PMC 1255) edition.  On this otherwise excellent release some collectors detect a slight lack of treble on the opening songs.  The following year the label issued the US mono (MAS 2386) in 2001 and re-released an upgrade in 2005.  The same year as the upgrade came an issue documenting the UK stereo (PCS 3071) and the following year came the cd-r issue of the UK blue box (PCS 3071).  The DBM is a silver pressed version of the latest cd-r release and the sound quality is flawless.  It is a very clean transfer from vinyl and the stereo separation is astonishing to listen to.  The UK release has songs from the film on side one of the vinyl (“Help!” to “Ticket To Ride”) and other songs recorded at the same time on side two (“Act Naturally” through “Dizzy Miss Lizzie”), whereas the US was a pure soundtrack with the instrumental tracks filling out the balance of the release.

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