Published on 1965
Track 8 on “Help!”
What the Beatles said about “Act Naturally”
The Beatles’ version of "Act Naturally" is sung by Ringo Starr. They performed the song during an The Ed Sullivan Show appearance which was taped on August 14, 1965 and broadcast on September 12, 1965.
The Beatles recorded the song on June 17, 1965 in 13 takes. The first 12 takes were evidently used to work out the arrangement; the master was take 13, the only take with vocals. It was mixed the following day. The Beatles almost recorded a song by their engineer Norman Smith, but realized that Starr didn’t yet have a vocal on Help!, and so "Act Naturally" was recorded instead, the last cover they recorded until the Get Back/Let It Be sessions in 1969. Smith later had some success as a performer, using the name Hurricane Smith. In 1973 his song "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?" reached 3 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in the U.S.
Because Capitol Records’ version of the Help! album included only the songs that appeared in the movie, plus incidental music from the film, the label held back "Yesterday" and "Act Naturally" and issued them initially as a non-LP single. As the B-side of the U.S. single, "Act Naturally" peaked at #47 in October 1965. The two songs made their first American album appearance on Yesterday and Today, released in the U.S. on June 20, 1966.
When the single was reissued on Apple Records in 1971, "Act Naturally" had the "full apple" side and "Yesterday" ended up on the "sliced apple" side. That is because "Act Naturally" was the intended A-side and has always been listed as such in Capitol’s files. [From Wikipedia]