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The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night CD (album) cover

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

3.50 | 502 ratings

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bfmuller
2 stars A Hard Day's Night is remarkable for at least three facts: it pioneered with George's use of Rickenbacker 12-string guitar, that was so influential; it was the first Beatles album made entirely of original compositions (and the only in their whole catalogue composed exclusively of Lennon-McCartney songs, as George would later make his way as a composer himself); and it was mostly dominated by John, clearly the major force in this album, and the only example of a really imbalance between John and Paul on The Beatles catalogue. It was distinguished also because it was the first soundtrack from a Beatles movie (only side one, actually), but this is more of a curiosity than an achievement.

The album itself contains at least five classic Beatles songs: the faster ones are the title track and Can't Buy Me Love and the slower ones are If I Fell and And I Love Her (both democratically split between John and Paul). The fifth classic is caught in the middle: I Should Have Known Better, sung by John.

But then, to my ears, this one would have only another highlight in Things We Said Today, by Paul. Not that the others are absolutely let-downs. None of them are actually bad, but as the album goes, it kind of tires me, particular in side 2 (starting with track 8 on CD). Taken separately, another songs might stand out as second-class hits, like I'm Happy Just to Dance with You (sung by George, written by John), I'll Be Back and Tell Me Why (both by John). Probably the reason for that is John's lead singing (the exceptions are only 4 songs, already stated above), which accounts for diminishing one of the great appeals of Beatles albums: its diversity. Not that John's singing and writing are bad. They just don't make it for a Beatles album, which is supposed to be much more than that. That said, for my taste, this one is probably the weakest of all The Beatles albums. Not bad, but a bit tiring, and being the first phase of The Beatles the one I least appreciate, this is their album that I least listen to as well. In fact, I listened to it after several years only because of the 2009 remastered edition. Therefore, the rating here is more faithful to my actual overall opinion than the previous two, which are rounded down to suit a prog-rock website. Not this one: 2 stars is what I give it in all contexts.

bfmuller | 2/5 |

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