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The Beatles A Hard Day's Night album cover
3.51 | 595 ratings | 35 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1964

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Songs from the Film "A Hard Day's Night" :
1. A Hard Day's Night (2:32)
2. I Should Have Known Better (2:44)
3. If I Fell (2:21)
4. I'm Happy Just to Dance with You (1:58)
5. And I Love Her (2:31)
6. Tell Me Why (2:10)
7. Can't Buy Me Love (2:14)
8. Any Time at All (2:13)
9. I'll Cry Instead (1:47)
10. Things We Said Today (2:38)
11. When I Get Home (2:18)
12. You Can't Do That (2:37)
13. I'll Be Back (2:20)

Total Time 30:23

Line-up / Musicians

- George Harrison / electric (6- & 12-string) & acoustic guitars, claves, lead (5) & backing vocals
- John Lennon / electric (6- & 12-string) & acoustic guitars, piano, harmonica, tambourine, lead (1-3,7,8) & backing vocals
- Paul McCartney / bass, acoustic guitar, piano, cowbell, lead (1,8,9,11) & backing vocals
- Ringo Starr / drums & percussion

- George Martin / piano, producer

Releases information

First 7 tracks (Side 1 on LP) are from the Soundtrack for the film "A Hard Day's Night"

LP Parlophone ‎- PMC 1230 (1964, UK) Mono version
LP Parlophone ‎- PCS 3058 (1964, UK) Stereo version
LP United Artists - UAS 6366 (1964, US) Stereo, different cover

CD Parlophone ‎- CDP 7 46437 2 (1987, UK) Mono
CD Parlophone ‎- 0946 3 82413 2 4 (2009, Europe) Stereo remaster by Guy Massey & Steve Rooke; CD-ROM section includes Mini-Documentary video

Thanks to Certif1ed for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy THE BEATLES A Hard Day's Night Music

THE BEATLES A Hard Day's Night ratings distribution

(595 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

THE BEATLES A Hard Day's Night reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Guillermo
3 stars This is a very good album in their early discography, the only one of all their albums with all songs composed by Lennon and McCartney.The album was divided in songs included in the film (tracks 1 to 7) and other songs not included in the film (the rest of the songs).

"A Hard Day`s Night": very good lyrics, which, as the old story says, were written by Lennon after one comment that Ringo said after a hard day of work.

"I Should Have Known Better":with an harmonica played by Lennon. Not very interesting for me.

"If I Fell": one of their best ballads, maybe my favourite from them. Great vocals by Lennon & McCartney, and good guitar by Harrison (maybe playing a 12 string electric guitar).

"I`m Happy Just to Dance with You": a song written by Lennon for Harrison to sing.

"And I Love Her": another great ballad, with very good acoustic guitar solo by Harrison.

"Tell Me Why": a more conventional Pop Rock song, IMO.

"Can`t Buy Me Love": I like the lyrics of this song.McCartney still plays this song on tour.

"Anytime at All": a more "dramatic" song, not one of my favourites.

"Ill Cry Instead": a short ballad, not one of my favourites.

"Things We Said Today": a very intersting song IMO, with very good vocals by McCartney plus backing vocals by Harrison. one of the best from this album. Very good acoustic guitars. McCartney played this song during some of his tours.

"When I Get Home": it seems more to me like a "fiiller" song.

"You Can`t Do That": a very good song, with Harrison on 12 string electric guitar and Lennon on double-tracked lead vocals and lead guitar.

"Ill Be Back": one of my favourites, it closes very well the album.

This album was originally released in Mono and Stereo versions on L.P. But, in 1987 George Martin remastered this and the other 3 first albums of The Beatles ("Please, Please Me", "With The Beatles" and "Beatles for Sale") for C.D. releases only in Mono. He explained that these albums sounded to him better in Mono, but I don`t agree with him! All their albums need another resmatering, but these first 4 albums particularly need another remastering, maybe in Stereo versions only. Only those fans who have the old Stereo U.K. L.P.s can enjoy them in better sound.The U.S. Stereo versions of these L.P.s were often re-mixed by Capitol Records for the U.S. market, and I prefer the original Stereo versions.

Review by Menswear
5 stars The perfect wedding soundtrack.

If you ever tie the knot, pop this in your fiesta and bingo, your aunts will go crazy. This album has legendary dancing effect on any type of body or personnality. This is not progressive in any means, but what a record folks!

The 'unknown' material itself is great (the last 5 songs), the radio material is fantastic, the movie was a total blast (with wine or not), so many bands inspired themselves from this album (from Dave Clakrk's Five to Oasis)...the perfect pop album, probably in the 10 best of all time.

Put on your wig, your corduroy and swing with us, don't be afraid...everybody's doing it.

Review by Chicapah
3 stars To appreciate this album one must take into consideration the insane and intrusive circus that was swirling around these guys at the time. They were still riding the crest of the unbelievable wave of universal popularity that gave definition to the term "rock gods," they were about to star in a feature length movie about themselves, and the entire planet wanted a piece of them 24/7. And now, by the way, could you guys throw together about 13 brand new songs to release as your third LP and soundtrack to the movie? No, this isn't prog any more than the Monkees were but it's still an admirable and undeniably well- produced collection of pop songs that rattle around in your brain like they were born in there. Just listen to the complex chord changes going on and you'll realize this isn't just your standard five-bar blues progressions at work here. Two guitars, bass, drums and hardly a keyboard in sight! That's it. All four were working together like no other band had ever collaborated before and the result is an album that moves from one song to another with astounding ease, yet every song is wholly unlike the previous one. Any person who has ever tried to write a song will tell you that this kind of inspired, crafted-on- the-run genius is beyond belief.
Review by bhikkhu
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Oh, my, my, my. Here is Beatlemania in full swing. In 1964 The Beatles offered a new album with all originals, and a movie (which is also great). It is absolutely fantastic. How anyone could not enjoy this, is just beyond my comprehension. At this point, the fab four were seasoned professionals (pretty impressive considering the time frame). There is not one weak track here.

Again, they were not content to sit on their laurels. "A Hard Days Night" opens with that loud chord, and you know you are in for something special. Then the bongos, and Harrison is bending the guitar strings like never before. "If I Fell" could be one of the most beautiful love songs ever written (no, wait, that's "And I Love Her." Or is it .... man, they wrote so many). It is also from a much different perspective than you would expect. "Things We Said Today" is worth the price of the album alone. Here is evidence of something more than pop music. It's intricate harmonies, subtle darkness, and almost menacing acoustic guitar, foreshadow the future (looking for some prog roots?).

I could go through all the songs, but most people have heard them. If you have only heard them separately, you are missing out. This may not be a concept album, but it is of a specific time. These tunes were written together, and belong together.

Here is the obligatory rating spiel. A five star album, that only gets three on P.A. I wish I could do three and one half. This may not be essential, but it is very highly recommended. If you are interested in the history of rock itself, then this is an essential album.

H.T. Riekels

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The album that sparked the phenomenon known as Beatlemania can be rooted with this album, which is half comprised of songs used in the film of the same name. The biggest difference between this album and the previous two albums is the fact that all the songs are original compositions, and for the most part, they are all really good songs. It's amazing how John Lennon and Paul McCartney were able to write 13 songs, record the album, make a movie, and embark on a tour all in a year and have all the songs be of a stellar quality. This album is certainly more progressive than the first two Beatles offerings, but still their sound was nothing more than the three chord pop sound that was so popular in the early 60s. By and by this is my favorite Beatles album of their early albums (from the debut through Beatles for Sale) and in terms of quality it really shows.

This first side of this album was devoted to songs that were used in the film for A Hard Day's Night. This side features the classic Beatles songs A Hard Day's Night (the title thought up by Ringo), And I Love Her, and Can't Buy Me Love, but I can't help but be fascinated by all the songs on this side. A Hard Day's Night begins the album with a modulated G chord and becomes a rollicking rock number with a great Harrison solo in the middle as well as some fun lyrics and vocals. And I Love Her is an acoustic ballad that Paul McCartney wrote for his then girlfriend (who would eventually end up as Gerald Scarfe's wife) and utlizes a great chord progression as well as an interesting percussive beat from Ringo. Harrison gives another short but sweet guitar solo here. Can't Buy Me Love is a sweet ballad of sorts but it has a true upbeat tempo and is a rocker at heart. Once again the guitars are just stellar.

The songs in between the big pieces of the album are just as good. The acoustic pieces If I Fell and I Should Have Known better have some interesting guitar motifs and vocals (and some raunchy harmonica on I Should Have Known Better). I'm Happy Just to Dance With You is the George Harrison vocal track of the album, and it's another simple rocker but it comes off quite effectively. The second side is devoted to non film songs and for the most part they are quite good, although there are a few pieces I don't particularly care for. For the most part you can expect these second side pieces to be of the same quality of the first side, but they just aren't as memorable as the first side (maybe that's because the movie really helps get those songs in your head). The best of these songs are Any Time at All and I'll Be Back. Any Time at All is a rollicking number in the vein of A Hard Day's Night, yet it doesn't have that kick that A Hard Day's Night had. I'll Be Back is a slower tempo piece that has some assuring vocals from Lennon (who was the dominant creative force on this album) and some interesting intrumentation.

In the end, this is my favorite early Beatles album. It's an excellent pop record with few faults, but for progressive rock fans, this isn't really progressive in any true sense of the word. Although the Beatles were progressing rapidly from the simple R&B group they once were with each passing album, they still hadn't truly reached their peak yet. Still, if you're interested in a rock record with little fault, than this comes with an extrememly high recommendation from me. 3.5/5.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is an upgrade over the first two studio albums.The first seven songs were the soundtrack for their first feature film "A Hard Day's Night". Hard to believe this was recorded all in one day.

"A Hard Day's Night" is a classic song from the band with John's vocals being double tracked. "I Should Have Known Better" has some good harmonica in it, good tune. "If I Fell" is a good ballad but "And I Love Her" is even better. George sings lead on "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You". "Can't Buy Me Love" was a huge hit for the band. Of the remaining six songs "Things We Said Today" and "I'll Be Back" are the two I really like.

Well as THE BEATLES would say "getting better all the time" and they're right in the middle of the craziness of Beatlemania at this point.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Third album of the Beatles finally established them as a premier beat/rock'n'roll band of the sixties. Supported by the namesake movie, "A Hard Day's Night" caused massive success of the group that was to be labelled "Beatlemania". This is a good album containing many of their hits, but still within the confines of a standard rock'n'roll/r'n'b template. Exploratory music work was to start the following year, 1965.
Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars This is a special album for me. It was the first Fab Four album I got. It was offered to me in the most painful year of my life (1972). Almost a year lying in bed, surgeries, rehabilitation etc. Painful but so instructive and full of musical delights.

This album will reach the first spot in the charts on both sides of the Atlantic (as usual).

The melodies are more and more polished, the vocal harmonies catchier and smoother. How many timeless songs on this album ? Plenty.

The title and opener written by John for instance. Rocking, furious tempo like the life described in the lyrics but "I Should Have Known Better" is not of less value. In terms of ballads "If I Fell" is a pleasant appetizer for my favourite song from this album : "And I Love Her" and its perfect acoustic guitar play (thanks Georges).

Side one is actually almost perfect and by far their best from their early recordings (this is their third album). Ending again with a song that seems to have ever existed (but there are so many of them in their wonderful career). It was written at the Georges V hotel in Paris (it is more a palace actually). They moved a piano in one of their suites to allow the band to create more music. Paul wrote it under these circumstances. It was their first song featuring only one singer (Paul).

The rocking "Any Time At All" has John's mark on it, still the verses are fully melodic. The first weakness of this album is "I'll Cry Instead", some country-rock style piece of music with little depth. But this feeling is quickly erased by the next song. As if it were impossible to have two weak songs in a row on their albums.

"Things We Said Today" is a melancholic song written by Paul and it is based on his personal life. It is obvious at this time that their rocking side was John's matter, while ballads was Paul's one. "When I Get Home" and "You Can Do That" emphasizes this aspect particularly well. But on the contrary, the closing number "I'll Be Back" from John has a nostalgic mood, sustained with a very pleasant acoustic guitar work. It ends this album maybe not on the highest note, but still as a pleasant Fab Four tune.

Four stars (one extra for all the souvenirs that are going through my mind while listening to this album in particular).

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Beatles picked up quickly through the release of this third album "A Hard Day's Night" - an album that really made them, actually. Through this album they proved to the world not only that they were consistent that in two years they released three albums already but also they secured the type of music they played. As far as composition and simplicity this album is marvelous. In fact, the opening track "A Hard Day's Night" (2.32) has set out clearly that they play straight rock music even though their main structure is pop. Looking at the beat and melody and how guitar is played, this song projects the future of The Beatles music in developing matured composition.

As usual, their composition is simple, easy to digest but it's good enough to pump listener's emotion up. This is what makes good about their music. The second track "I Should Have Known Better" (2:44) is really a killer that blew me away at first listen and it still a great track until now. I even still like spinning the album for the sake of enjoying this song with great flow, good lyrics and stunning harmonica work. Another good track with strong pop orientation is "And I Love Her". "Can't Buy Me Love" is another catchy track from this album and it was a major hit in my country sometime around 70s. "You Can't Do That" is also another favorite of mine.

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any rock music collection. I think this album has made the music of The Beatles had matured.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This album was released in Brazil with the fascinating title of Os Reis do I-I-I (The Kings Of Yeah-Yeah-Yeah... duh!) which was the same title of the movie seen at the theaters. I-I-I (Yeah-Yeah-Yeah) was the name used here to define the kind of rock beat we had around 1964 and lasted for one year, nothing more than that... well, maybe it's a synonym for proto-prog and we didn't know.

All 13 songs here are signed by the duo John Lennon & Paul McCartney although George Harrison is allowed to sing one of them, just to tie 6x6 between the pair. A Hard Day's Night is the only Beatles official release where all tracks bear the signatures of either famous composers and it per se says very much, at least for fans and collectors.

The 7 songs that form the soundtrack for the namesake movie are so much known that became wasted with time, being the title track aligned with some of the band's major classics. From these I prefer more that one sung by George Harrison, 'I'm so happy just to dance with you' and the interesting 'Tell me why', avoiding the cheesy ones that go by the name of 'If I fell' and 'And I love her' together with the almost unbearable 'Can't buy me love'.

However, the original LP side B contains some forgotten gems, specially 'Things we said today', a love song with a tempo faster than the usual for ballads, 'I'll be back', also cheesy but provided with fine vocals and catchy chords progression, 'When I get home', a bit weird but with some innovative time changing and 'You can't do that', a fair tune provided with a peculiar swing.

This album certainly took a hike among the world hysteria that was happening then and served well the purpose of the movie, but it's not the last wonder. Side A deserves a mere 2 stars, being a territory to be prospected only by fans, while the side B is far superior, reaching the excellence peak (in terms of pop- rock, I mean). Average: 3 stars.

Review by J-Man
4 stars I love The Beatles. They are one of my favorite bands, but I never really loved their early stuff. All of their later stuff had some progressive elements, if not total prog. But, their early stuff no element of prog whatsoever. Just pure old rock. While this album is not bad by any means, it is still no Abbey Road in my mind. The album consists of some very nice pop sogs with no prog in them at all. This by far their best album while still in the Beatlemania phase, mostly because the album is completely composed by Lennon/McCartney. Like I said, don't expect Abbey Road, but if you want some good old rock n' roll you can't go wrong with A Hard Day's Night.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "A Hard Days Night" is the 3rd full-length studio album by UK pop/rock act The Beatles. The album was released through Parlophone Records in July 1964. Its the successor to "With the Beatles" from November 1963. Side one of the original vinyl version of the album features seven tracks which would also appear in the "A Hard Days Night movie (1964)" movie. The movie starred The Beatles. Side two of the original vinyl version of the album features six compositions written for the movie which ended up not being included.

The songwriting was exclusively credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney (except for "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You", which as written by George Harrison). Its the first Beatles album not to feature several cover tracks. The band have obviously grown as songwriters and musicians with rocket launch speed, and "A Hard Days Night" is generally a much more mature release than the bands first two albums ("Please Please Me (1963)" and "With The Beatles (1963)"). The tracks are a bit more well developed and detailed than before. The title track and "Can't Buy Me Love" are the two standout tracks on the album.

The musicianship and sound production are on a higher level than on earlier releases and "A Hard Days Night" is a good quality album release by The Beatles. The tracks are simple and catchy, melodic and energetic. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Beatlemania.

1964 took things to an entirely different level for the Fab Four. More studio time. Songs all over the radio. Trips to America. Feature film. The Ed Sullivan Show. Not a bad year all in all. The 3rd album (released July 10th 1964) which coincided with the first of the Beatle films was a huge improvement over their mediocre second album. They were still as efficient as ever, taking a total of 65 hours to record and mix this one. The tracks on side one were used in the film while the side two tracks were not. The band did not want the film to be overwhelmed with music, instead wishing for the boys personalities to be given time to shine with action and dialogue. They felt however that the other recorded tracks were too good to let sit around and so placed them on side two of "A Hard Days Night." This album was also notable for being the first to feature all originals and no covers. Two other things contributed to the increasingly elaborate sound. First, the band was now using a 4-track which allowed more control for George Martin and Norman Smith (the Engineer who would soon produce Pink Floyd's masterpiece "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.") Second, George Harrison had recently acquired a 12-string Rickenbacker guitar which gave the album a unique sound.

The ratio of winners to merely passable tracks took a significant jump here over "Meet the Beatles." The title track is a classic with that ringing first chord that would make the hair of the Beatlemaniacs necks stand up for the rest of their lives. "If I Fell" and "And I Love Her" are two of those gentle and sweetly romantic ballads that can melt hearts. The latter features a rather exotic sounding dual acoustic guitar treatment, with only hand percussion. Paul's vocal is really amazing here. Side one ended with another big single in "Can't Buy Me Love." The best of the non-film tracks were "Things We Said Today" and "I'll Be Back." Interestingly both tracks have just the slightest hint of melancholy in the music, a sign that the boys were starting to think about more emotional variation than "happy go lucky." "A Hard Day's Night" night is an iconic album and nostalgically legendary for those who were teens in that era, but it was still just a good album on the upward trajectory.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars And moving onto exhibit 3 here are some more 2 minute noodles. The Beatles improved on each album and this is their first great album IMHO. The songs are well produced and have some amazing catchy melodies. There are quintessential Beatles galore on this classic, namely A Hard Day's Night with its trademark clanging intro chord - an F#m to die for. I Should Have Known Better is wonderful with crazy harmonica and Lennon at his best. If I Fell is another track from the film AHDN and it is an instant treasure that had fans screaming like seagulls drowning out the sound. I'm Happy Just To Dance With You, And I Love Her and Can't Buy Me Love are well known and appear on countless compilations. My favourtes are also Anytime At All, I'll Cry Instead, Things We Said Today and I'll Be Back. The film was insane but it worked due to these great songs. An excellent album that rocketed the band to super stardom.

Review by baz91
4 stars How any rock band could become so popular that they were releasing feature film with their third album, I will never understand! The Beatles were certainly proving themselves as an astonishing musical force by this point. After having a mix of cover versions and original tracks on their first two albums, 'A Hard Day's Night' was the first album to feature entirely original tracks, all credited to Lennon/McCartney. This explains why the record is filled with great tracks from start to finish.

Beginning with the classic A Hard Day's Night, the album features all the songs from the film, and some more on the second side. While most of these tracks don't stand up to the title track, Can't Buy Me Love or the immensely pretty And I Love Her, there is fun to be had on every song. There are even moving moments on this album, which is a plus for any pop record. Sadly, the 13 tracks that comprise this album only last about 30 minutes in total.

'A Hard Day's Night' is, in my opinion, the Beatles' second best album from the early period, with 'Help!' being slightly superior. However, after this promising release, the next album would turn out to be a stinker.

Review by Warthur
3 stars A major step forward for the Beatles, A Hard Day's Night was their first album consisting entirely of their own material. The most important advance here is in the clean break between the Four and their influences; all of the tracks feel rooted in the 60s rather than harking back to earlier eras of rock and roll. The title track and Can't Buy Me Love are the best of the straight-ahead rockers, whilst Things We Said Today, I'm Happy Just to Dance With Her and others show a far greater emotional and musical range than their first two albums display.

Tracks such as You Can't Do That show a harder edge that may be inspired by the emergence of the Rolling Stones and other rivals; certainly, the boys are not content to produce a third iteration of Please Please Me here. What they do produce is probably the best album of their early Merseybeat years. Particularly of note is George Harrison's use of 12-string and Spanish guitar, introducing a new sound into a rock context, a simple innovation with profound consequences.

Review by thehallway
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.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars Continuing the Merseybeat pop / rock concoctions of their first two albums, THE BEATLES up their ante after their explosion onto the world scene after their American invasion via The Ed Sullivan show. This is the very first album where they prove to the world that they do not have to rely on covers and indeed can construct an entire album of their own making. After breaking into the stratosphere their confidence level shot through the roof and this was a good thing for it allowed the Fab Four to construct some of the catchiest and memorable 60s rock n roll in their nascent career.

Side one on HARD DAY'S NIGHT is also the soundtrack to THE BEATLES' hugely successful black-and-white comedy film of the same name starring the Fab Four themselves, performing their own music and escaping the crazed female fans who were throwing themselves as well as their knickers about. The film itself was a huge hit and so was the accompanying album. Side two consists of songs not found on the soundtrack. This was the only album where every track was written by Lennon and McCartney but it was Ringo who came up with the album title.

This album was a true innovator as it prompted many a folk act to "plug it in" and go electric but also saw some progressive tendencies creep in as with George Harrison's Spanish guitar. This album helped continue THE BEATLES into the spotlight and didn't disappoint one bit. The momentum was strong and HARD DAY'S NIGHT only cemented Beatlemania into the world's consciousness. The absolute best of their early albums and the only one where I love every track on it. Run, guys! They're catching up to ya!

Review by jamesbaldwin
3 stars First album composed only by the Beatles, and only 100% signed by Lennon and McCartney, "A Hard Day's Night" represents the peak reached by the Beatles during the Beatlemania.

The Beatles put their preparation in rock and roll, Motown soul, vocal complexes, and churn out their original Mersey Beat songs, which are inspired but are an original synthesis of their 50s influences. The Lp starts with a nice piece of Lennon (A Hard Day's Night, vote 8), fast, percussive, exuberant, in perfect Mersey beat style but with some original instrumental interventions, including the initial guitar chord by Harrison that then inspired the sound of the Byrds. Voice in the foreground, cheerful tone, refined guitar ending: good composition. Second song by Lennon again, in a country-rock style (I Should Have Known Better, vote 7), with refrain of harmonica (the only one of the album) characterizing, from the '50s taste for the singing still in the foreground and the bare accompaniment of the guitar: it could have been present too in the previous albums. Rudimentary solo of electric and harmonic guitar.

Third song by Lennon but with an important contribution of McCartney (If I Fell, vote 8). Romantic slow, with the vocal harmonies of John and Paul always in the foreground, to make beautiful melodic passages. Minimal drums, bass and acoustic accompaniment. The lack of an instrumental break is felt. 50s style vocal song very sweet and refined harmonically.

"I'm Happy Just To Dance With You" (vote 6,5/7) is a song by Lennon left to sing to Harrison, as it often happened in the early years. A minor song, with a good rhythm, good rhythm guitar, but it remains one of the most anonymous of the album. The album masterpiece arrives. A slow Spanish acoustic song by Macca, with the contribution of Lennon (And I Love Her, vote 8,5) in the excellent bridge. Great work by Harrison on acoustic guitar, Ringo gives up the battery for bongo. Perfect.

"Tell Me Why" (vote 7+) is a typical Mersey Beat song, a mix of rock and roll, pop, vocal harmonies; frantic rhythm, Lennon first voice, choirs. Nice. The first side ends with the album hit: "Can't Buy Me Love" (vote 8) by McCartney. Rock and roll rhythm, very fast, nice determination; unfortunately there is no electric accompaniment of the rhythm guitar, but there is a good Harrison solo.

The second side, unlike the previous two album, is made up of only six songs, not seven, and so the album has a total of 13 songs. As in "Please Please Me" and "With The Beatles", it is inferior to the first side (but here are all original songs, while the second sides of the first two discs were full of covers), in fact does not contain any Beatles classic, but almost all minor pieces by Lennon, undisputed ruler of the album (in total there are 10 tracks by John against the 3 by Paul), but Macca everywhere puts his hand makes great pieces come out (the three of his more the help to John for "If I Fell").

"Any Time At All" (vote 7,5) may be associated with "It Wont Be Long". It's a rock and roll song with a frenetic refrain, a good piano solo, very lively. "I'll Cry Instead" (vote 6,5/7) is another Lennon beat song from country performance, with a good rhythm but too short and with the sound disturbed by the tambourine too much in evidence. "Things We Said Today" is an acoustic ballad by Paul (vote 7,5/8), but with the drums in the background and the voice in the foreground, which has changes in beautiful tones, and creates a more relaxed and adult music that is a new for the Beatles.

"When I Get Home" (vote 7,5) is the rock and roll song with soul inflexions with a harder sound and intonation of the Lp. It is played and sung with great power and conviction, and the hardness of the sounds only fades in the choirs. "You Can not Do That" (vote 7+), conceived as a single, is another good rock and roll with percussion in the foreground, sung with conviction is: but a little repetitive in the arrangement. In most of the album, compared to the previous two Lp, there is no electric, metallic (especially guitar) sound in rock songs.

The album ends with a ballad by Lennon (I'll Be Back, vote 7,5), who could remember "If I Fell" for the searching in vocal harmonies. Here the voice of Lennon is at times lonely, and the acoustic guitar accompaniment is more present, with Spanish inflections.

Overall, this is a very homogeneous album, the first really "album of author", with beautiful ballads and beautiful rock and roll with a rhythmic guitar accompaniment mostly acoustic (sometimes you miss the electric); it has four peaks and few falls; highlights a leader, Lennon, author and singer of most of the songs, and a second leader, McCartney, who only writes for high-quality pieces. The sound of the group is now well defined, and therefore "A Hard Day's Night" represents a point of arrival in a sense: from now on, or the Beatles will begin to repeat themselves, or will begin to evolve into a more refined pop rock.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,52. Vote album: 7,5. Three stars

Review by patrickq
4 stars This is the first significant Beatles album. After the 1963 LPs Please Please Me and With the Beatles, the Beatles and producer George Martin took their time with A Hard Day's Night, which acted as a soundtrack to the group's first movie. While only the first seven songs were featured in the film, all thirteen were new Lennon-McCartney originals written during the production of the album - - quite a difference from the two prior albums on which more than 40% of songs were covers.

As had been the case on With the Beatles, John Lennon is the star here. A Hard Day's Night includes nine Lennon originals, including five strong numbers: "A Hard Day's Night," "I Should Have Known Better," "If I Fell," "You Can't Do That," and "I'll Be Back." McCartney's exuberant "Can't Buy Me Love" is another highlight, and his relatively somber "And I Love Her" and "Things We Said Today" suggest a growing sophistication. (While all of the songs on A Hard Day's Night are credited to Lennon-McCartney, at least three included meaningful input from both, including "A Hard Day's Night" and "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You," the latter sung by George Harrison.)

While the UK version is now considered canon, the version of A Hard Day's Night that I grew up with was my mother's United Artists version, the one with the red cover. It's missing "Any Time at All," Things We Said Today," "When I Get Home" (all released in the US on Something New later in July), "You Can't Do That" (released in April on The Beatles' Second Album), and "I'll Be Back" (released in December on Beatles '65). In their place were orchestral, instrumental recordings of "I Should Have Known Better," "And I Love Her," "A Hard Day's Night," and "This Boy," the vocal version of the last of which did not appear on any version of the A Hard Day's Night album. Confusing. The four instrumentals were conducted by George Martin and, as far as I know, don't feature the Beatles at all. Of course, collectors and serious Beatles fans will want these recordings, but they're really nothing special. So the UK version - - the one with the blue cover - - is where it's at.

A Hard Day's Night finds the Beatles taking a major step forward. Even if A Hard Day's Night doesn't contain any all-time classics, its average song is considerably better than the average song on either of their first two LPs.

Latest members reviews

3 stars On their third album, Beatles shifted a bit away from their raw rock'n'roll & mersey-beat style to put excellent pop songwriting into focus. This album features the best melodies and vocal harmonies so far. All songs are affectionate, well performed. Harrison remains more in the background tha ... (read more)

Report this review (#2846936) | Posted by sgtpepper | Thursday, October 20, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A Hard Day's Night is quite a milestone in the history of the Beatles. Firstly, it's the first album with only self-written compositions (and the only Beatles album with nothing but Lennon/McCartney songs on it), and that itself was quite remarkable in a time when most other bands performed songs wr ... (read more)

Report this review (#2405200) | Posted by The Anders | Saturday, May 23, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars All Originals Now. For their first feature film, the Beatles composed all original music. The UK album contains all the songs used in the film, but a number of others. They are all excellent. The title track is a classic, and garnered huge radio play, and "And I love Her" grew to be one of the fa ... (read more)

Report this review (#1698691) | Posted by Walkscore | Saturday, March 4, 2017 | Review Permanlink

2 stars With their horrible first two albums out of the way, The Beatles come back fresh with ideas to create an album completely written by them. The overall style and sound has not changed; these guys are still churning out love-ridden pop numbers one after the other. But at least you can sense the songwr ... (read more)

Report this review (#771424) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars No filler on Hard Days Night. Probably the finest of there first few albums. This is a great album of rock and roll songs, not a progressive album, though. The Beatles would develop more prog music a few years later with releases like Sgt Peppers and The White Album. The best songs on this disc ... (read more)

Report this review (#640946) | Posted by mohaveman | Saturday, February 25, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Important note: This is a review written without a consideration for prog standards. If you don't want to read it, please don't waste your time. If you do not want to get discouraged from hearing something good, you may proceed. I personally don't see it as a classic album. It is possible that i ... (read more)

Report this review (#614002) | Posted by Dayvenkirq | Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Rating: 8/10 Even though it includes some breakthrough singles from Beatles' first works like "A hard day's night", "I Should have known better", "And I love her" and "Can't buy me love", this album really keeps a regular level between the tracks. Of course, that is something good for any re ... (read more)

Report this review (#458471) | Posted by Mattiias | Thursday, June 9, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a joyous album from the height of beatlemania. All songs were written and performed by the band which was actually unheard of at the time. The title track's opening chord has been analysed a lot. It still clangs hugely across the decades; no other band of that period could convey this ki ... (read more)

Report this review (#437916) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Friday, April 22, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 energet ... (read more)

Report this review (#329504) | Posted by Brendan | Monday, November 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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-McCartne ... (read more)

Report this review (#250425) | Posted by bfmuller | Friday, November 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I am a bit ambivalent about this album. It has both some great tracks & some turkeys. Well, turkeys in this band's high standards. We are talking about The Beatles here.... The title track is a classic track. I also rate I Should Have Known Better, And I Love Her and Can't Buy Me Love highly ... (read more)

Report this review (#237978) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Monday, September 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If you are looking for "progressive music" then this is not necessarily the album for you. Although the Beatles did indeed have a lot of progressive songs and more often, progressive parts of pop songs, they had not hit that stage in their career at this point. That being said, this album is ... (read more)

Report this review (#106656) | Posted by proghairfunk | Monday, January 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I may have a differenct perspective here than most but I definately look at this record as prog. Everything is relative folks and if you were around in 1964 and can remember what pop radio was like at the time knows this is true. For me the true measure of "Prog" is whether it takes the m ... (read more)

Report this review (#81828) | Posted by | Friday, June 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Well, I used to like this album better two years ago, but now I don't find it too interesting. It's got a few shining moments: "A Hard day's night", and "Can't buy me love". But, the rest of the album comes from "Good, but non-essential" to "Poor". You know, these were their first years, they ... (read more)

Report this review (#72943) | Posted by N-man | Friday, March 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is where it began to be Beatles straight through. The rock'n'roll days are over. The songs on this album are very strong, but for a progger it might be too straight pop. A quick look at the song list, and you have to admit that no one came close to this band in 1964. In one sense it was s ... (read more)

Report this review (#70226) | Posted by 1971 | Wednesday, February 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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