I have learned the existence of Help Yourself years ago, by way of Welsh Rock/proggers MAN (one of my all time favorite bands) since both Malcolm Morley, Martin Ace & Ken Whaley from HY have participated on several MAN albums! Help Yourself and Man toured together way back in 1971, where they learned each others friendship and musicianship. As co-leader and co-founder of MAN, Deke Leonard also has played occasionally with Help Yourself, well enough of that, that story regarding Help Yourself, Man and others from that circuit, is very long and winding (read more about it in the lavish booklet that Esoteric have made for this re-release). This double release holds tracks from 4 Help Yourself albums, plus some single A&B tracks, a rarity and a live performance. This being an anthology, some tracks are omitted from each album! Have Esoteric chosen the best tracks for this Anthology?! Well that is a matter of opinion isn't it! I like my albums full, no exceptions!
Still this is an excellent way to meet and being introduced to this fine band, their history, the special circuits of bands around them and the bonus comes in form of the mentioned extra and rare tracks! Despite hailing from UK, this bands country rock sound could have been from US, even though they have some unique and quirky thoughts when delivering their tunes! Their progressive side also comes thru´ on various tracks and wonderfully so (A thing they have in common with MAN) surprising the listener now and again! I must also mention their fine ability to create vocal harmonies, both original and beautiful.
As you might have guessed, I am a long time fan of Help Yourself, MAN, Quicksand and Neutrons, all derivate one way or another and IMHO all great and interesting!! So I highly recommend newcomers to give HY a whirl, try out this fine package why dont you?! Its good value for your money .. both quantity and quality wise!! HELP YOURSELF!!