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


The Beatles



2.41 | 41 ratings

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Easy Money
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2 stars The difference between this version and the British version of Hard Day's Night is the US version is an actual soundtrack and only contains music from the movie. The song I'll Cry Instead actually got cut from the movie at the last minute, but it still appears on this soundtrack.

The most noticable difference between the two records is that this version has instrumental covers of Beatles songs played by part-time Beatle George Martin and his Orchestra. Orchestral versions of rock songs are not a favorite with a lot of people, they can bring back bad memories of dentist visits or long rides on slow crowded elevators, but to some of us they are yet another genre that has some good artists and some bad. Certainly cheesemeisters like Arthur Fiedler and Lawrence Welk can squeeze the life out of any good song, but other artists such as Tartaglia or Terry Baxter can make orchestral versions of psychedelic rock songs that are more far out than the originals. George Martin is much more like the latter two than the former two.

If you can dig this sort of thing, Martin's version of I Should Have Known Better is a fun 60s discotechue number with the melody being passed around between twangy guitars and honkin saxophones.The classic song, And I Love Her is given an exotic sound with latin percussion and deep reverb strings. Unfortunately Ringo's Theme is a little too corny even for this dubious genre and sounds like it belongs on little speakers down at the supermarket. Finally Martin's version of A Hard Day's Night shows what he is really capable of. His arrangement on this tune is extremely inventive and features constantly shifting time signatures and an avant-jazz arrangement that recalls some of Quincy Jones' best work.

The songs performed by the Beatles on here have been heard by all of us many times before. Hard Day's Night and Can't Buy Me Love still rock a bit, but most of the others are just second rate pop music. I would rather hear Martin's version of And I Love Her over the Beatles' version, it sounds nicer without the lyrics.

If you like slightly off-beat orchestral versions of rock classics, then you might want to hear what George Martin did with these wore out Beatles tunes.

Easy Money | 2/5 |


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