ARTIST: The Beatles
TITLE: A Hard Day’s Night
YEAR RELEASED: 1964
CHART ACTION: #1 UK (A US version hit #1 as well, but it was chopped up to heck)
SINGLES: Can’t Buy Me Love (#1 US, #1 UK), A Hard Day’s Night (#1 US, #1 UK), I’ll Cry Instead (#25 US), And I Love Her (#12 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: If I Fell (#53 US as a B-side), Things We Said Today, I’ll Be Back, You Can’t Do That (#48 as a B-side), maybe all of it?
LINEUP: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Beatles’ machine cranks out an album for their movie, and in doing so move forward in songwriting and instrumentation.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Beatlemania is going strong in the UK and had just started in the US when news came that they were going to star in their own movie. With the movie, of course, there had to be an album.
What the Beatles delivered were 13 tracks of stellar rock-and-roll, showing sophistication, an expanded musical palette, and starring George Harrison’s 12-string electric guitar. That last feature got all of the US musician’s head spinning with possibilities. It may be one of the most important musical instrument choices in rock history.
All thirteen songs could have been singles, hits, smashes, you name it. The first side of the UK release were the ones featured in the movie. The second side, though had outstanding cuts like “I’ll Cry Instead”, “You Can’t Do That”, “I’ll Be Back” and “Things We Said Today”. It’s hard to fathom an act with the depth of songs that those four were just ‘leftovers’ as it were, since they weren’t in the movie.
This is the first Beatles’ album without covers, and every song is a Lennon / McCartney song. It’s John’s album in reality. Nine of the thirteen cuts have him singing or co-singing lead, with Paul netting three and George one. Because of that, there wasn’t a lot of fluff, mostly rock-and-roll.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: In the US, we got half of the album and the other tracks were filled up with the orchestral pieces conducted by George Martin. Kind of a rip-off, really. But the cover was neat.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A: It’s a short album with no filler and fantastic rock songs.