|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. Any Time 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|
A Hard Day’s Night not only captures The Beatles at the peak of Beatlemania – the most exciting time in pop music up to that moment, and arguably ever since; when continents fell and music was changed forever – but also sees them perfecting the art of pop. You may have Beatles songs that you prefer, or songs that mean more to you, but nowhere were the group more consistently brilliant than on this soundtrack.
Where the film emphasised just how popular and bizarre their fame was, the accompanying album showed us just why this had happened. The title-track – with surely the most surreal name ever for a number one song – dazzles in a way The Byrds, The Monkees, The La’s and a hundred other janglers never could, while And I Love Her proved that the band could write melodies better than anyone else. Even the song they let George sing, I’m Happy Just to Dance With You, is fizzier than actual bubbles, while Lennon’s vocal (and rhythm solo) on You Can’t Do That saw him trounce The Rolling Stones for sheer snottiness.
This was the first and only Beatles album to be entirely composed of Lennon/McCartney songs, and that unheard-of-in-1964 cockiness shines through. Even the wistful songs – Things We Said Today and I’ll Be Back – were more confident than sad. This is, next to the White Album (a very different kettle of fabs), my favourite Beatles album, and has been ever since I heard it. The exuberance of the 1960s, the genius of The Beatles, and the total unstoppable confidence of the best band in the world realising that they were the best band in the world, are all contained here. Essential.--David Quantick
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Apart from Can't buy me love, the album yielded just one other Beatles hit - the title track. However, several other songs here have retained their popularity, helped by some quality cover versions. I've heard excellent covers of I should have known better, If I fell, I'm happy just to dance with you, And I love her and Things we said today as well as the two hits, some of them in several different styles.
This is, perhaps, the strongest of the early Beatles albums prior to Rubber soul. If you are interested in the early part of their career and you want more than is available on the red album 1962 - 1966, this is essential.
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