Help Yourself – Help Yourself
Vinyl rip in 24 bit 196 khz | Art at 600 and 300 dpi |
24-bit 192 khz 1.37 GB |24-bit 96 khz – 714 MB |16-bit 44.1 khz – 271 MB
Original Release 1971 Liberty | 2017 Music On Vinyl MOVLP 2044 | Psychedelic Rock / Folk-rock |
Dr. Vibes’ 12 Days of Christmas – Day 8 – As a teenager in the US, I discovered Help Yourself in a second-hand record shop in the late 1980s, and thought that “Strange Affair” was their first album for the next twenty years. At the time Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet yet, and if you could find any mention of the band in music encylopedia / anthology-type books, it was as a footnote to the more famous Man band from Wales, which Help Yourself frontman Malcolm Morley joined for a while. But they had their own sound, and their own cult following in the UK. This debut album is inferior to the ones that followed it, but rare as hen’s teeth as an original pressing, so I was pretty excited when I saw that reissue label Music On Vinyl had chosen to release it.
A1 I Must See Jesus For Myself 4:00
A2 To Katherine They Fell 3:35
A3 Your Eyes Are Looking Down 4:30
A4 Old Man 6:45
B1 Look At The View 2:30
B2 Paper Leaves 3:15
B3 Running Down Deep 3:30
B4 Deborah 3:35
B5 Street Songs 5:35
Bass – Ken Whaley
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Dave Charles
Engineer – Anton Mathews
Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals – Malcolm Morley
Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica – Richard Treece
Producer – Dave Robinson
Originally released on Liberty (LBS 83484 – UK only)
LINEAGE: Music On Vinyl MOVLP2044, unplayed vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply; Creek Audio OBH-15; Audioquest King Cobra cables; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; clicks and pops removed with Click Repair on very light settings, manually auditioning the output; further clicks removed with Adobe Audition 3.0; dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.
From a personal correspondence with Music On Vinyl, “We received and used high res audio files (96 KHZ / 24 BIT) of the original masters for the Help Yourself album.”
(continued)….. My local “dealer” / record store owner had told me that since I liked moody, meander-y, mellow-but-intense groups like Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Dead, then I would probably like Help Yourself and Man, and he was right.” I think he sold me his copy of Man’s Rhinos, Winos & Lunatics either that same day or on my next visit. The Help’s (as their fans called them) debut album was never issued in on my side of the pond, so it was quite a surprise when I discovered that Strange Affair *wasn’t* their debut record. Though I couldn’t have had much anticipation for something I never knew existed, it was still a bit anti-climactic to hear it. The record is pretty good, but Morley is still finding his musical identity as a writer, and the shameless Neil Young-isms on a few tracks here are a bit cringey. I mean, they actually have a track titled “Old Man,” with a riff that sounds like it was lifted from ‘Down By The River.’ But on quite a few other tunes here, they serve up generous, um, helpings of the type of stuff that would define their style over their brief run in the next few years – melancholic rustic rock with a slightly haunted, coming-down-from-a-high psychedelic vibe. They could really layer the multiple guitars on these tunes when Morley wasn’t switching to keyboards, but they kept it mellow and un-Skynyrd. Tunes like “To Katherine They Fell,” and the closing trifecta of “Running Down Deep,” “Deborah,” and “Street Songs” are as good as anything on their subsequent albums (although Street Songs suffers from some questionable lyrics, which were never Morley’s greatest strength). The sound is quite nice on this pressing and I highly recommend picking up a copy while you still can if you like this sort of thing.
And for anyone wondering where they might have heard his name before, Malcolm Morley went on to participate in a variety of pub-rock &punk groups like Wreckless Eric, The Tyla Gang, and Ian Gomm, as well as being a part of the solo excursions from Deke Leonard of Man.