Helter Skelter (4:29)

Cover of The Beatles (The White Album)

From The Beatles (The White Album) and 28 other releases

“I’ve got blisters on my fingers!” is shouted by Ringo Starr at the end of the song, after he threw his drum sticks down from the intensity and length of the recording session. Studio session recordings of the song were numerous and varied in style, and lasted up to 27 minutes at the longest.

Helter Skelter is a song written by Paul McCartney and recorded by The Beatles on The White Album. It is considered one of the first Heavy Metal songs. Black Sabbath & Deep Purple both admit to being heavily inspired by this song.


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  • noff01

    Blue Cheer and some other bands did Heavy Metal before The Beatles did. So no, The Beatles weren't the firsts. Helter Skelter isn't even that Metal, it falls a lot better in the Hard Rock/Heavy Psych/Garage Rock genre.

    Yesterday 12:57am Reply
  • Renan_P

    First shoegaze song

    12 Jan 4:27pm Reply
  • GhostHaunted

    Fucking great!

    4 Jan 11:17am Reply
  • theironictea

    "While Paul was doing his vocal, George Harrison had set fire to an ashtray and was running around the studio with it above his head, doing an Arthur Brown." Starr's recollection is less detailed, but agrees in spirit: "'Helter Skelter' was a track we did in total madness and hysterics in the studio. Sometimes you just had to shake out the jams."

    3 Jan 3:34pm Reply
  • Sebastian-

    "Some sources erroneously credit the "blisters" line to Lennon; in fact, Lennon can be heard asking "How's that?" before Ringo's outburst" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helter_Skelter_%28song%29

    26 Dec 2014 Reply
  • theironictea

    Legendary, way ahead of it's time.

    24 Dec 2014 Reply
  • DTJesus

    First heavy metal song

    15 Nov 2014 Reply
  • RomanyDagger

    "Nope, John yelled it. First I've ever heard it attributed to Ringo. But it was John. Bet the (Junior's) farm on it! " Well, actually, it was Ringo. Sorry, bud.

    4 Oct 2014 Reply
  • catspajamas06

    I love the anthology version.

    7 Sep 2014 Reply
  • msantell

    helter skelter was recorded the year (1968) after Purple Haze and Foxy Lady (1967) were released, so who influenced who?

    4 Sep 2014 Reply
  • msantell

    lennon called Ticket to Ride among the first heavy metal songs: "That was one of the earliest heavy-metal records made. Paul's contribution was the way Ringo played the drums." John Lennon according to All We Are Saying, by David Sheff

    4 Sep 2014 Reply
  • msantell

    it sounds more like Ringo, who was also more inclined to use the word "me" over "my" . . .plus ringo says it was him Ringo played the drums so forcefully that his shout of "I've got blisters on my fingers!" accompanies the musical fadeout. Ringo explained what happened in The Miami Herald June 29, 2008: "The track was actually very long, and we were just pounding. It was a jam, really, it turned into that. And at the end, the only way off the kit was, 'Look, my fingers are bleeding, and I just have to get up.'' And I decided to shout it."

    4 Sep 2014 Reply
  • fillmore_east

    Um, wrong. Absolutely 100 percent Ringo. Beatles 101.

    4 Sep 2014 Reply
  • capecodrob

    Even the most casual Beatles fan knows it was John shouting. This guy is a total hack. Claims "Norwegian Wood" was about Yoko. What a crock. John was quoted in an interview that he was "trying to write about affairs" without upsetting his wife.

    4 Sep 2014 Reply
  • gtrman61

    Is it McCartney that is insisting on publishing who wrote what in these articles? Generally John sang the songs he wrote and McCartney sang his. The same goes for George.

    4 Sep 2014 Reply
  • bowersba

    Nope, John yelled it. First I've ever heard it attributed to Ringo. But it was John. Bet the (Junior's) farm on it!

    4 Sep 2014 Reply

    This must of been like listening to Slayer in the 60s.

    5 Jul 2014 Reply
  • TheMally98

    Sure, is not the song that invented heavy metal but it is certainly has been influential and still remains epic.

    21 Jun 2014 Reply
  • Phonophobe

    none of the covers of this come anywhere close in heaviness despite the invention of metal in the meantime

    24 May 2014 Reply
  • cerealkiller_x

    beatles' fav ♥

    24 Apr 2014 Reply
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