For some reason this album has quite often attracted less than flattering reviews complaining that The Beatles were tired and such like. Yeah right. I wouldn’t mind being tired if it meant I could churn out tracks like ’Ticket To Ride’, ’Yesterday’, ’I’ve Just Seen A Face’ and ’You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away.’ Perhaps it was because from their next album ’Rubber Soul’, released just a few months after this one in 1965, the music The Beatles produced was taken to such heights that it was virtually beyond criticism. So this was the poor relation after the exuberance of ’A Hard Day’s Night’ and before the psychadelia of the mid 60s output? Well that would be a pretty ridiculous conclusion. This album’s songwriting was for the most part far superior to that on ’Beatles For Sale’ from the previous year and only marginally less consistent than ’Rubber Soul’. When discussing a weaker link amongst Beatles albums, one does not think of Anne Robinson. And this album was way above what most bands were producing at the time and still sounds remarkably fresh and vibrant 40 years later. If you can I would avoid purchasing Beatles compilations. Their original albums are so much more rewarding. They each give a snapshot of where they were at the time. But blink and you’ve missed a few beats as the next album was always different. Other artists have successfully reinvented themselves it is true. David Bowie, Dylan, even The Stones on occasions. The Beatles did it with practically every album. Other tracks worthy of note here are ’The Night Before’ from Paul, a fast catchy number with great backing vocals. ’I Need You’ is a simple but effective and quite charming Harrisong (check out Tom Petty’s version on Concert For George). ’You’re Gonna Lose That Girl’ is one of those lost Lennon classics that one finds on most Beatles albums. Among the covers, ’Dizzy Miss Lizzy’ is delivered with gusto and ’Act Naturally’ is a suitable vehicle for Ringo’s country vocal (he was to do a whole album of country songs in 1970 after the split entitled ’Beaucoups Of Blues’, to great effect). A couple of the other songs are a little ordinary but only by this band’s Everest High standards. The title track was a genuine cry for help from Lennon (or so he said later) but is actually one of their less engaging singles. Not that it’s bad or anything. On the whole this album finds The Beatles at or very near their peak. I rediscovered it recently and it was great. It is the kind of album that you forget how good it is. And surely ’Ticket To Ride’ is their most majestic single for their early-mid period.