John Lennon teamed up with his lifelong friend, Paul McCartney, to create the Lennon-McCartney Songwriting Partnership. This songwriting duo penned countless songs for not only The Beatles but other artists as well (including the Rolling Stones, Cilla Black and The Fourmost). While being interviewed by Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner in 1970, he was quizzed over his favourite Beatles songs. He instantly named a handful of tracks.
Lennon responded: “I always liked [I Am The] Walrus, Strawberry Fields, Help, In My Life.” But the interviewer couldn’t help but interject. He yelped: Why ‘Help!’?”
The singer had obviously thought about the 1965 song a lot, as he had a thoughtful answer ready to go. He said: “Because I meant it. It’s real.”
When pressed for more details, Lennon continued: “The lyric is as good now as it was then, it’s no different, you know. It makes me feel secure to know that I was that sensible or whatever.”
The Imagine singer also pointed out that, at the point of writing and recording Help! he was not using any drugs. He said he was “aware of himself”. He added: “That’s with no acid, no nothing… well pot or whatever. It was just me singing ‘help’, and I meant it, you know?”
There was a key aspect of the track that Lennon did not like, however.
Lennon told Playboy: “The whole Beatles thing was just beyond comprehension. I was subconsciously crying out for help.” He also touched upon the authenticity of I Want To Hold Your Hand. He said of the song he wrote alongside McCartney: “We [Paul & John] wrote that together, it’s a beautiful melody.”
While reminiscing on these two tracks, Lennon even said he wanted to rerecord them.
Lennon confessed: “I might do that and Help! again. Because I like them. I sing them, you know, they’re the kind of songs I like to sing.”
Although the star was not 100 percent happy with Help!, it did extremely well for the band. It reached number one in more than 12 countries and sol more than 2 million units worldwide. It has also been covered by a number of musical acts, including Bananarama.