Helter Skelter is also one of Meat Beat Manifesto's more well-known songs, consisting of trance-inducing beats and repetitive lyrics, "Helter Skelter", "It's in my brain now", "This is it!", "Originate", "Sound in space", and a single usage of the word "person", all repeating throughout in various combinations, though mostly just repeating "It's in my brain now". The original song has appeared on the Helter Skelter/Radio Babylon single, and the 99% LP, and a remix of this song called Helter Skelter '97 appeared on their album, Original Fire, and a radio edit promo CD.

Helter Skelter was originally released as part of the Beatles album commonly known as The White Album on November 22, 1968. Like the rest of the album, Helter Skelter was recorded at Abbey Road Studios. The track was co-produced by the Beatles' main producer George Martin and a fledgling Chris Thomas in his production debut. Thomas later went on to produce for Pink Floyd, Wings, Pete Townshend, the Sex Pistols, and Elton John.

Paul McCartney wrote Helter Skelter. He also sang lead vocals, played lead guitar and bass guitar. John Lennon sang harmony, played second lead guitar and tenor saxophone. George Harrison sang harmony with John and played rhythm guitar. The Beatles' road manager, Mal Evans, played the trumpet. Ringo Starr played the drums, of course, and screamed out "I got blisters on my fingers!"

In the late 1960s rock 'n' roll was going through gigantic changes. Artists and bands such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Iron Butterfly and The Who were laying the ground work for what would later be called Heavy Metal. Paul began to pay attention to this emerging sound. "I read in the Melody Maker that The Who had made some track or other that was the loudest, most raucous rock 'n' roll, the dirtiest thing they've ever done." The article was about The Who's I Can See for Miles and Paul felt he could do better. So he started to put Helter Skelter together. When the reviews came back, Paul was tickled to see the papers call his song "the loudest, nastiest, sweatiest rock song we've done."

But in only eight and a half months people received a much different view of the song and arguably Heavy Metal in general. On August 9, 1969 Charles Manson's followers brutally killed six people in Los Angeles including Sharon Tate and her eighth-month unborn baby. The next day members of the Manson Family murdered Leno and Rosemary LaBianca with the same ferocity. At the scenes the killers left messages written in the victims' blood, one of which was "Helter Skelter." Manson believed the Beatles were communicating secret messages in their music, and particularly in their latest work, The White Album. He 'preached' that Helter Skelter predicted a coming race war and that they were to rise up and fight against the Pigs and blacky.

The story was horrifically sensational and dominated the press for months. People read about the effects of hard core rock 'n' roll music on the Manson Family. He once rambled, "The music speaks to you every day but you're too deaf, dumb, and blind to listen. It's not my conspiracy. It's not my music. I hear what it relates. It says rise; it says kill. Why blame me? I didn't write the music." But despite the obvious insanity of Charlie Manson, the music inevitably got its unfair share of the blame. The Manson murders basically created the stigma that Heavy Metal is satanic and evil.

The almost comical fact about all this is that a helter skelter, quite literally, is a slide that spirals around a tall tower. When one gets to the bottom, one climbs the stairs to the top before turning and sliding down again. Much like how Back in the U.S.S.R. makes fun of Pet Sounds, Paul created this heavy, dirty, sweaty piece to show-up and poke fun at this new sound coming from The Who and Jimi Hendrix by making it, not about death, murder, Satan or the like, but about children’s play ground equipment.

The song has been covered by more than a few people, including Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Pat Benatar. But none is more annoyingly memorable than U2's live recording for their album Rattle And Hum. The tribute begins with Bono's declaration that, "This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles. We're stealing it back." Unfortunately, the song wasn't preformed well. Also, he changed some of the pronouns from first person to second which took like nails on a chalkboard. It would have been nice if they actually were able to steal it back from Manson, but the recording, particularly with the mention of his name, inevitably reminded people of song's ominous past.



When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again
Yeah, Yeah

Do you, don't you want me to love you
I'm coming down fast but I'm miles above you
Tell me, tell me, tell me, come on tell me the answer
You may be a lover but you ain't no dancer

Helter skelter
Helter skelter
Helter skelter Yeah!

Will you, won't you want me to make you
I'm coming down fast but don't let me break you
Tell me, tell me, tell me the answer
You may be a lover but you ain't no dancer

Look out helter skelter
Helter skelter
Helter skelter

Look out, cause here she comes
When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide
And I stop and I turn and I go for a ride
And I get to the bottom and I see you again

Well do you, don't you want me to make you
I'm coming down fast but don't let me break you
Tell me, tell me, tell me the answer
You may be a lover but you ain't no dancer

Look out helter skelter
helter skelter
Helter skelter

Look out helter skelter
She's coming down fast
Yes she is
Yes she is

I got blisters on my FINGERS!





The publishing rights to Helter Skelter are owned jointly by Sony Music Publishing and Michael Jackson. The lyrics were used fairly without permission. CST Approved.


Sources
http://www.beatles-discography.com/beatles_songs_h.html
http://mixonline.com/ar/audio_producer_chris_thomas/
http://www.terrortrap.com/helter.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helter_Skelter/
http://www2.wmin.ac.uk/clemenr/covers/coversfull.html#part3

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.