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A Hard Day's Night
Released - 1964 on Capitol/Parlophone Records. Produced by George Martin
John Lennon - Lead & Backing Vocals; Rhythm
& Lead Guitars; Percussion; Harmonica
Additional Keyboards by George Martin
All songs written by John Lennon/Paul McCartney
A Hard Day's Night was put together for the Beatles first movie, but only the first seven songs showed up in the movie's soundtrack, the rest of these songs were released on their UK album. Most of the songs on here were written by John Lennon, and he sings most of the lead vocals, as he was a step ahead of Paul McCartney at this still early part of the Beatles existence. This was also the first Beatle album of all original songs.
The very first thing we hear as the album starts off is Lennon's great guitar chord, which opens the album's title cut. Funny, but the title "A Hard Day's Night" actually came from Ringo Starr, after filming for the new, but not yet titled movie had already begun. Lennon and McCartney were then asked to come up with a song with that title, since the movie's producers liked it, and the two wrote the song over night. With John on lead vocals, it turned out to be a classic, and the best song on the album. But there are other dandies on here that come close, "Can't Buy Me Love" is one of them, and as big a hit, too.
Lennon's "I Should Have Know Better" is another winner, his great use of the harmonica here helps give the song it's extra kick. "If I Fell" is one of the many great Beatle songs that sparkle because of the great vocal harmonies that Lennon and McCartney deliver. And "Tell Me Why" is another ten, and once again, it's those great harmonies from John and Paul that push it over the top. The rest of the numbers here are all better than average. McCartney's "And I Love Her" is so mellow and sweet, with some great added percussion. George Harrison gets to sing lead on the Lennon penned "I'm Happy Just to Dance With You", a fine little tune.
There was little outside help from others on this album, and for the most part the Fab Four kept to their usual instruments. Producer George Martin did help out a bit in spots, and as a band they still had a way to go music wise, but damn, most of these pop songs are great, and when you listen to this album you realize that if all pop songs sounded this way, nobody would ever mind pop songs! Too bad that's not the case, but for an album released in 1964, this one does stand the test of time, better than any other one released that year.
- Keno 2004