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


The Beatles



3.51 | 513 ratings

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3 stars Beatlemania reaches a peak as the Fab Four complete two LPs, six singles, a film, a soundtrack and a major tour, all in one year. The defining album of the era, A Hard Day's Night, contains no cover versions, with Lennon taking the lion's share of the writing. But when an album of a mere 30-minute duration feels long, you know there is something dull about it. No song is bad, but few of them stand out as being anything more than throwaway ditties to accompany the now-legendary footage of the boys running around in their Beatle-suits being silly.

The title track is strong.... it has a cowbell in it, what do you expect! Also, the opening chord strum (yes, that chord) is the most interesting moment on the whole album, harmonically. It's an Fadd9 chord with a D in the bass; only the Beatles could popularise such an obscure thing. 'I Should Have Known Better' is nothing special, and 'If I Fell' is a ballad that falls short of Paul's usual standards. 'And I Love Her' however, is a great song, as is the rocking single 'Can't Buy Me Love'. On side two, 'Any Time At All' and 'I'll Be Back' are the best Lennon compositions. Great melodies and a driving beat. But my favourite song of the album is McCartney's 'Things We Said Today', with its cool key changes and inspiring rhythms. A real gem, for sure.

So for me, A Hard Day's Night only offers around five or six decent songs, with the rest serving as defining moments of Beatle mediocrity. In a film setting the tunes may work better, but for an album, I think some trimming was in order. Obviously these guys were very busy in 1964, and I commend the fact that they could even come up with 14 more songs every few months, but that's not going to change my opinion. This album is the most overrated of the early Beatles catalogue.

thehallway | 3/5 |


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