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

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

3.52 | 313 ratings

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Brendan
3 stars This is mean to be the high-water-mark for the Early Beatles; all songs were written by the Beatles themselves. And this is a fan favourite.

It cannot be denied that some of their best early songs are on here. The song 'A hard day's night' is a classic, radio staple, deservedly so, an energetic song, a bit more complex in structure to be pure rock 'n' roll but it rocks. Other exuberant, memorable gems include Pauls' 'Money Can't buy me love' and Johns' 'I should have known better'. Then there's the tender ballad 'And I love her', with interesting percussion and lovely Spanish guitar. These four songs are all Beatles classic, as is 'If I fell', a ballad with beautiful vocal harmonies, but not a favourite of mine, it's so confusing, I don't know who ends up with who or what, or who broke who's heart first...

That is five classics, but let's come back to the fact that this album is the first that had only originals. They seem to be running out of good material. In fact, both 'Tell me why' and 'When I get home' are very bad songs, much worse than anything on the first album, and worse than most of the material on 'With the Beatles'. 'Tell me why' is a sloppy, slap-happy pop tune that sounds like it was cobbled-together in quickly t flesh out the album, and 'When I get home' is just downright horrible. So we are really only dealing with 11 songs of quality. At least there were 14 songs on the first two albums, and the following two 'Beatles for sale' and 'Help!'

The first side of the record is very different from the second side. The first is sprightly pop-tune, the second is darker and more daring. The second side has gems, most notable 'Things we said today', a Paul McCartney song with a haunting melody, but after a while they all sort of sound the same, except maybe John's humourous 'I'll cry instead', and the cowbell-driven rocker 'You can't do that'.

So, there is quality material here, plenty of it, and the second side is interesting, shows they could write very original, fresh melodies, but there are weaknesses there. Three stars, possibly three and a quarter.

Brendan | 3/5 |

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