A Hard Day's Night (1964)


1.A Hard Day's Night
2.I Should Have Known Better
3.If I Fell
4.I'm Happy Just To Dance With You
5.And I Love Her
6.Tell Me Why
7.Can't Buy Me Love
8.Anytime At All
9.I'll Cry Instead
10.Things We Said Today
11.When I Get Home
12.You Can't Do That
13.I'll Be Back

 

Although virtually everything that this band released was praised as a masterpiece, this release truly was just that. Had they "stalled" here, it wouldn't have mattered that much. After all, "Beatlemania" was just reaching its fever pitch and would grasp the world in ways unimaginable. Yet through all of this, they proceeded to release, without a doubt, their best "early" album of their career.

The formula was now intact, the band was through (at least temporarily) recording covers of other material and proceeded to release 13 genuine Lennon-McCartney originals. They had found their footing and delivered in a big big way. That's not to say that the album is redundant, the formula of hard rock, genuine pop and shmaltzy ballads are all here and they all deliver. It didn't hurt that this release coincided with the release of the first (and really, their only true film masterpiece) of the same name. The movie was about the Beatles being the Beatles and still remains a joy to watch to this day.

Every fan of music knows the songs A Hard Day's Night and Can't Buy Me Love which are the true classics of the album. But when the whole album is listened to as a whole, the two above mentioned songs don't stand out that much. That's a good thing, as it again proves just what a great piece of work this album really is. Some of more popular pieces include the rollicking I Should Have Known Better and the softer Things We Said Today that are probably at least familiar to the casual fan. I'll Cry Instead is a nice, almost rockabilly, tune that sounds like it would have been a perfect "Ringo" tune, yet John is handling the vocals (ironically there's no Ringo lead vocals here. Why?). The best hidden gem that is not well known is the ballad If I Fell which deserved a lot more attention that it ever got - but with so many great songs to choose from, well...The album does suffer from a rough patch every now and then, such as the almost screaming-throughout-the-song When I Get Home that is a little rough on the ears and conceals an otherwise fine melody.

Shortly after this release, the group began to slightly experiment (always successfully) with expanding their musical horizons. That being said, you could argue that this album "finished" the first phase of a fabulous career.

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