My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Click Image for larger version – Clipped from http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Hard_Day’s_Night_(album)
Brief Background: A Hard Day’s Night was recorded in several sessions during the first half of 1964 and was released in July (US version in June) of that year. The first side of the UK features songs from the movie, and the second side features songs written for the movie that didn’t make it in (The US version was different, with instrumental versions of select songs done by George Martin. What a mess and a ripoff that version is!). This is the first Beatles album to contain songs which were all written by the band. The title of the album, song, and movie come from a phrase Ringo threw out one day in the course of a conversation (A Ringo-ism). They were told that “A Hard Day’s Night” would be the title of the movie and then wrote an amazing song…. It blows my mind every time.)
What I liked: I love the energy up this album. They start with “A Hard Day’s Night” and just run with it. I never thought about it until reading the Wikipedia article on the album, but this is definitely more of a pop direction than the previous albums. Still, there are plenty of Rock ‘n’ Roll guitar parts (I just love those clean guitar “solos” and am cherishing them before everything becomes buried in distortion.) I started by thinking this was a true successor to Please, Please Me based on it’s energy, but I think it is truly a progression that brings the controlled atmosphere of With the Beatles as well to make a hybrid sound.
What I Didn’t Like: I take issue with the misogynistic lyrics of “You Can’t Do That”, especially since Lennon was busy sleeping with whomever he could get his hands on while expecting Cynthia to isolate herself at home.
My Overall Thoughts: This album really shows the Beatles starting to move from just being a pop band and progressing into a complete song writing, culture changing Juggernaut. It would also be three more albums before they put out another collection of songs written by completely by themselves (btw the span there is only one and a half years. The released Beatles for Sale, Help! and Rubber Soul all in 1.5 years. Amazing!)
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I have no doubt this should be here. It’s a great album on it’s own, but taken along with the movie… they are already almost to a territory that hasn’t been rivaled since.
Rating (Out of 5): 4.5
Amazon Review (Out of 5):4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? No (10/45)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 77%