Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I've Just Seen a Face

While much of the focus concerning The Beatles is on Sgt. Pepper's or Abbey Road, we sometimes forget how great an album like Help! is. I'd even go so far to say that I'd rather listen to Help! or A Hard Day's Night multiple times rather than Pepper's even once.

Take the song "I've Just Seen a Face" from Help!:

I've just seen a face,
I can't forget the time or place
That we'd just met, she's just the girl for me
And I want all the world to see we've met
Na na na na na na

On the page, the lyrics aren't great but when they're sung by McCartney, the song becomes wonderful and endearing. The chord structure also seems very influenced by jazz, which would become a common trait for Paul's songs.

The first ten seconds of the song have Harrison, Lennon and McCartney playing in a rhythm that won't be heard during the rest of the song; it almost sounds like something from a classical score to me. When Paul starts singing, "I've just seen a face/I can't forget the time or place..." we hear an evolved Beatles that even a year before, with songs like "I'll Cry Instead," couldn't really be heard.

It's a song that doesn't sound complex when compared to "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite," but in a different way, it's more complex rhythmically--and a much better song to boot.

It was recorded during the same session as "Yesterday" and was released on the American version of Rubber Soul, but I don't think it works as well on that album as it does between "Tell Me What You See" and the aforementioned "Yesterday" on the CD version I have.

Another interesting note: Help! came out on my birthday, August 6th--although 22 years before I was born.

No comments: