on 30 October 2003
A Hard Day's Night is my favourite Beatle's album. The opening chord, one of the most recognisable in pop music, sets up an album which is full of classic tracks. The harmonies between Lennon and McCartney work perfectly throughout the album. The use of the harmonica on 'I Should Have Known Better' suits the song perfectly. George's guitar work on 'And I Love Her' helps make the song one of McCartney's best ballads. The tracks which did not appear in the movie are still great Beatle's songs. 'I'll Be Back' is a beautiful, thoughtful Lennon track which ends the album in style. The album stands the test of time and remains a classic.
on 16 September 2009
A joyous album - the first Beatles album with no covers. The first album to be recorded with 4-track tape machines which allowed more intricate arrangements (eg vocals on If I Fell and I'll Be Back). The song content is still of the boy meets girl / girl wrongs boy/ boy wrongs girl variety - but is melodically and harmonically more sophisticated than the band's 1963 output. So five stars for the music!!
Now for the re-mastering. The sound is bigger and much better than the 1987 mono cd and definitely less harsh. But it's not as good as it could be. (Possibly the limitations of cd sound quality??) The title track lacks ambience and there is an "artificial" feel to some of the songs - as if the sound is a bit constrained and can't "breathe" (eg the title track and I'm So Happy Just To Dance With You). I have a vinyl copy of the album with the 60's stereo mix on it which doesn't have any of these problems. But it is a bit scratchy....and I'm not keen on hearing scratches!
I've not heard the new mono re-master...but I do think A Hard Day's Night is the only album of the first four that DOES cut the mustard in stereo. The 2009 remaster is definitely worth buying....AND listen to Ringo hammering the cowbell on You Can't Do That. Inspired!!!
..And for those people moaning about the stereo field placement on many of the 2009 remastered Beatles albums....The albums have NOT been re-mastered from the MASTER tapes [where it is easy to shape the sound of individual voices and instruments and move things arround in the stereo field]. The remastering process has used the MIXDOWN tapes [the tapes used to press the records in the 60's AFTER all the mixing and stereo placement decisions had been made.] Therefore the re-mastering process was always going to be about making the original '60's mixes sound better. The Love album from a couple of years ago involved going back to the MASTER tapes and REMIXING which is why the sound on that album is quite different to some the 60's mixes [eg I am the Walrus].
This album is a light hearted album from The Beatles, and is their first one to consist solely of their own compositions. It was the soundtrack to their film of the same title, and it was released at the height of Beatlemania.
This album is one that most people will know, and it's probably one of the most popular because it's so upbeat, catchy and well-known.
The title track, A Hard Day's Night opens the album, and there is not a lot I need to say about this one as everyone and their dog knows it. A good song which although it's played a lot, never grows old.
I Should Have Known Better makes me think of the scene in the film where the lads are on the train, and it's a favourite song of mine from this album with a catchy song, great riffs and a welcome addition of the harmonica.
If I Fell is more of a ballad/love song and it's another one which is easy to learn the lyrics to and sing along with.
I'm Happy Just To Dance With You is George Harrison's contribution to the album, and it's probably his most pop-sounding Beatles track.
And I Love Her is a fairly well known and yet somewhat understated love song.
Tell Me Why, when you see it on the film or in general, performed on stage, it's just how I imagine it; it's one of those songs that sounds very catchy and verging on a showtune.
Can't Buy Me Love is another song which needs no introduction. Again, played a lot but very catchy nonetheless.
Any Time At All is a demonstration of the shouty, screamy vocals John Lennon became famous for, and it's another favourite track of mine; it's upbeat despite sounding quite heavy in the instrumental delivery.
I'll Cry Instead is yet another infectiously catchy track and upbeat despite the title.
Things We Said Today is not only my favourite track from this album, but it's my favourite track overall by The Beatles. I love the clever transition between tempos.
When I Get Home is another John Lennon underrated gem. I like the gruff vocals in it and I like the overall melody.
You Can't Do That is a song which is also reasonably well known, and it's a good one to listen to and to dance to.
I'll Be Back is another personal highlight of the album and it is, much as the rest of the record, very catchy.
There is not one questionable track on this album, and I thoroughly enjoy listening to it.
on 21 October 2003
To set the scene here: 1964 was an amazingly, ridiculously busy year for the Beatles..they achieved many goals and set standards that had many other lesser bands riding their "British Invasion" coat tails for years to come.
After conquering the USA, A Hard Day's Night was probably the crowning achievement of the year.
This 2009 CD Stereo remastered version sounds amazing and is a huge improvement on in it's shrill sounding 1987 Mono CD counterpart. As others have said the music has room to breathe and it sounds much fuller. This album included a couple of firsts for the Beatles - It was the first LP of ALL Original material written by Lennon-McCartney, the first purpose-written record & the first not to feature a Ringo lead vocal. From that distinctive opening chord on the title track, the album doesn't let up in quality and depth. Though I had only ever heard the film half of these songs and the previously issued single B-sides (Things We Said Today & You Can't Do That) as a 6 going on 7 year old in 1964, this was pretty much the soundtrack to my life back then. This is probably the most consistently excellent album of their "early period". There is some rocking toughness such as on the title track, I Should Have Known Better, Can't Buy Me Love, Any Time At All & You Can't Do That. Bear in mind that the lads were so prolific that they had also recorded an all-new 4 Track EP "Long Tall Sally" which was released around about the same time. It was arguably the best EP ever recorded!
We have a sophisticated, beautifully produced album that stands alongside the likes of "Rubber Soul", "Revolver", "Abbey Road" & "Sgt. Pepper" as a masterful recording of some great & memorable songs. The "non-film" half of the album includes such quality songs as the John's gentle "I'll Be Back", the countryfied "I'll Cry Instead", the previosly mentioned and wonderful "Things We Said Today" & the hard rock of "You Can't Do That". Any of these songs could have been "A" sides and been hits in their own right.
As a starting point to the Beatles this would fill the bill and leave you wanting to investigate more.
on 27 September 2010
I live in Brazil and was raised in a small town in the country side of Sao Paulo. I am talking about the 60's. As you might know, access to information from outside was pretty difficult, specially around music. So I was always trying to find someone who could have travelled abroad. One of these days I heard I wanna hold your hand. That just caught me by the stomach. I hardly could understand the lyrics, or even pronounce the name of The Beatles. Luckly, some years later (it seemed to be eternity) A Hard Day's Night was eventually realeased in Brazil. Now the record celebrates 47 years. I just bought it again in vinyl, just to remember the experience of hearing it all, and all, and all, and all again. For those about to yeah, yeah, yeah, who wants to go into the roots of revolution of the 60's, who wants to release their naivy spirit and continue living in the history of pop/rock music, this album is a must have (obviously almost all of the Beatles). But, try to listen it with free mind, like a teenager or a youth who is looking for something that you may never heard before, who wants to forget Ipod for a while, or the internet for about 40 minutes, and to look to our way of living differently. Is was a kind of revolution, in its own right. And it is all there. Sound, voices, raw guitar, yells, vibrations, roots of future creativity (I'll Be Back, Any Time At All, And I Love Her, If I Fell, Can't Buy Me Love, and the joyfull ones I Should Have Known Better, A Hard Day's Night...).
Have a nice journey back into the past, if you are at same age like me, or start a new one, in the case you have never tried Beatles once. Unfortunately I never could saw the Beatles on stage. Lucky the ones that could. But the nice thing is that The Beatles has lived in my imagination so far. And still are, beacause of the impact. All this experience made me learn english by myself (no english schools at town). That took me to travel to London, many times. Curiously my son lived in London nearby Abbey Road, where Sir Paul is meant to have a house (true?). And I tried to casually meet him around many times. Not hard days, the opposite, all that kept me with the music. Thank you, Beatles, for this long and still enduring journey. And, you, play it loud.
After the promising debut of Please Please Me and the excellent R'n'B of With The Beatles, the band returned with their third album in the space of a year; the soundtrack to a film (that was far better than it should've been) and without doubt their finest work up to that point, or even up to Rubber Soul. With the group having discovered the work of Bob Dylan early that year, a whole new layer of acoustic music was added to their work, resulting in a textured, rich sound for this record; add to this the fact that it's the first entirely Lennon/McCartney-penned album and you have several new beginnings on this LP.
The album is really a Lennon LP more than a Beatles LP, seeing as 10 of the 13 songs are mostly Lennon pieces. This means that since Lennon wrote many of them in a short period while on the road - and many of them were written for, as he puts it, 'the meat market' - there is not as great a degree of quality control as the more group-oriented LPs. For example, 'When I Get Home' is excellent melodically, but lyrically is garbage and worryingly close to the title track.
However, aside from a couple of minor dips, this is the band's most accomplished LP up to this point. The layered, deep sound on this album is surmised by the title track, most importantly it's massive, famous opening chord and the guitar solo - played on twelve string and doubled by a piano. The Dylan influence is also obvious in excellent acoustic-based tracks like Paul's 'Things We Said Today' or the slightly eerie 'I'll Be Back,' and in the harmonica used on the bawling 'Tell Me Why.'
George Harrison gets a look in on a vocalist on 'I'm Happy Just To Dance With You,' a song with surprisingly dissonant chords, Lennon shows his more vulnerable side on the beautiful harmonies of 'If I Fell,' and Paul created one of his most enduring standbys in 'Can't Buy Me Love.' Perhaps best of all is 'You Can't Do That,' a hint of the future written by Lennon, led by a nasty, sneering piano and guitar line with a snake-hipped groove, boosted by John's bitter, suspicious lyrics. It's one of their best early songs and is sorely overlooked.
A Hard Day's Night is just one of the many early Beatles records that is all but ignored in the face of say, Sgt. Pepper. But it deserves accolades almost as high as that record, and if you're not into the psychedelic era then you may even prefer it. I know I do.
This is a great CD. It is the first Beatles' album released in which all the songs were composed by the Lennon/McCartney duo. From rock to pop to ballads, they did it all. Coupled with their stylized vocals and the band's signature sound, it is quintessential Beatles' music. Without a doubt, this is a landmark album, as The Beatles were at the high point of their popularity, and Beatlesmania was rampant. All you baby boomers out there know what I am talking about.
This CD showcases The Beatles' versatility, as they rock through "A Hard Day's Night" and then segue into a great pop tune, "I Should Have Known Better". This is followed by the romantic "If I Fell", and for those who love a beautiful ballad, there is the haunting and melodic "And I Love Her", sung only as Paul can. Likewise, those who love a gritty, pulse pounding rock beat will definitely be thrilled by John's raspy vocals on "You Can't Do That". These songs are just the tip of the iceberg, however, as there is not one bad track on this CD.
It was with this CD that The Beatles took a pivotal role in the shaping of pop music in the twentieth century. No music collection should be without it.
on 19 February 2010
Most people under the age of 50, which, alas, I'm not, can't understand the fuss. You try and tell them, `But the Beatles were first!', and it doesn't compute - they're just a bunch of old, slightly tinny-sounding, songs. Of course if it hadn't been them it would have been someone else, but it was them.
This album was made at the height of Beatlemania, somehow in their song-writing it hadn't quite got through to them that their world (and ours) was changed forever.(Whether for good or bad depends on your point of view, I happen to think for good, probably). Most of the songs are still about getting/losing girls but there are hints in the title track and `Can't Buy Me Love' that they are starting to realise what they've gotten themselves into.
There are a couple of duds on here but for the most part these songs still sound what they were intended to be - damn good pop songs. There's nothing to match the paranoid, at times moving, genius of what was to come on `Help', `Rubber Soul' and `Revolver', but it's still pretty fine and, for those of you under 50, they were first!
"A Hard Day's Night" not only was the de facto soundtrack for the Beatles movie, not only was it the first Beatles album to be nothing but originals (all penned by Lennon-McCartney), but it found the Beatles truly coming into their own as a band. All of the disparate influences on their first two albums had coalesced into a bright, joyous, original sound, filled with ringing guitars and irresistible melodies. "A Hard Day's Night" is where the Beatles became mythical, but this is the sound of Beatlemania in all of its giddy glory. Decades after its original release, its punchy blend of propulsive rhythms, jingly guitars, and infectious, sing along melodies is remarkably fresh.
There is something intrinsically exciting in the sound of the album itself, something to keep the record vital, years after its recording. Even more impressive are the songs themselves (obviously). Not only are the melodies forceful and memorable, but also Lennon and McCartney have found a number of variations to their basic Merseybeat style, from the brash "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Any Time At All" through the gentle "If I Fell" to the tough folk-rock of "I'll Cry Instead". It's possible to hear both songwriters develop their own distinctive voices on the album, but, overall, "A Hard Day's Night" stands as a testament to their collaborative powers- never again did they write together so well and so easily, choosing to pursue their own routes.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney must have known how strong the material was/is- they threw the pleasant trifle "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You" to George and didn't give anything to Ringo to sing. That may have been a little selfish, but it hardly hurts the album, since everything on the record is performed with genuine glee and excitement. It's the pinnacle of the Beatles early years.
This is a truly great album; it's one of my favourites. If you haven't got it-you're crazy!
Along with Beatles For Sale & Rubber Soul, my favourite Beatles album.
It was the first that featured only Lennon-McCartney compositions, virtually the only one that doesn`t (mercifully, I have to say) give Ringo the chance to sing, and one of the most consistently coherent pop LPs ever made, then or now.
John sings the opening title track with Paul - there`s a democratic feel to this one, with the two/three singers harmonising a lot - as well as the great I Should Have Known Better, fabulously frantic Tell Me Why, the thrillingly wonderful Any Time At All, I`ll Cry Instead (which made a very nice debut single for Joe Cocker - WALHFMF was his follow-up), the delirious When I Get Home, and stunningly good musically staccato mid-tempo rocker You Can`t Do That.
Paul sings If I Fell with John, one of their very best songs, as well as And I Love Her, an early instant classic McCartney ballad, the ecstatic Can`t Buy Me Love, one of their finest singles and another classic track, and the thoughtful, strummed Things We Said Today.
George sings John & Paul`s number I`m Happy Just To Dance With You, which suits his voice down to the ground.
It`s the sheer thrill of the energy that makes this such a timeless record, that and the quality of the songwriting. The more I listen to The Beatles these days (and back in the sixties I used to await each new single or LP with bated breath)
the more I`m astounded by the brilliance of John and Paul`s vocals, John one of the very best rock singers of his era, Paul a versatile, melodic genius. John shared a quality that only a few other pop singers of his day had - that sense that he was thrilling to the very physical act of singing, of making such a primal, urgent sound in his throat (which, I hasten to add, Paul shared, though in a different way, and most often on their more rock `n roll tracks). Allan Clarke of The Hollies had it, as did Ray Ennis of The Swinging Blue Jeans - listen to I`m Alive or Hippy Hippy Shake.
I love this record with all my being. They may have `progressed` but they never did anything better than this.
If you break my heart I`ll go
But I`ll be back again