Stand Out Albums has been a showcase for my favorite albums across the vast performers that I love. Covering a little bit of everything from classic rock to country hits, much like Key Movies of My Life, it has been the albums that shaped me. This year, I am going to take a slightly different approach by discussing the discographies of my favorite musicians, album by album, in release order.
Continuing with one of my all time favorite bands, The Beatles, we find ourselves at their third studio release which also happened to correspond with a film both entitled A Hard Day’s Night.
Please note, for simplicities sake we are reviewing the original Parlophone releases as they were released in Europe and not the Capitol Record releases which propelled the Beatles fandom in America. Don’t get me wrong, the Capitol Records were fine but, to me, the original Parlophone records give you a much broader sense of their style and more accurate evolution of their songwriting skills.
Why This Album?
There is something about the title track of this album that embodies everything the Beatles were in a single song. Both in style and substance, A Hard Day’s Night is a song and an album that signifies the true beginning of Beatlemania the world over while also giving us what could be considered the Definitive ‘Early Beatles’ Album.
I can’t listen to this album without it evoking a sense of fun and excitement. Opening with a distinctive cord played on Harrison’s Rickenbacker 360/12 this song and this album becomes one of the most iconic of the Beatles collection creating what the Doctor would call a ‘fixed point in time’ that even with a TARDIS could and should never be altered. The album, written entirely by Lennon/McCartney, essentially established that this rag tag group from England were not just a one hit wonder, but a truly talented group who were here to stay.
With tremendous harmonies, evocative lyrics and gorgeous cord progressions, A Hard Day’s Night was not just a fantastic album but was also the soundtrack for one of my favorite films. The film which is also called A Hard Day’s Night was directed by Richard Lester and gives viewers a fictionalized interpretation of the Fab Four as they prepare for a television performance. Through the film we see the boys as they have misadventures across London both as a group and as individuals culminating with a lively chase and a live television appearance.
I will never forget the first time I watched A Hard Day’s Night finding these four lads from Liverpool to not only be tremendously talented musicians, but also very witty and funny actors in their own right. Sure, they were playing themselves, but if there is anything Richard Lester knew, it was comedy, and he pulled performances from these four that were nothing short of impressive.
Bottom line, both A Hard Day’s Night the album and the film are keystones in the history of music cementing this group of musicians into the hearts and minds of people everywhere. Their rare enthusiasm and charisma simply oozes off of every track and every frame of these productions, making A Hard Day’s Night simply one of the finest albums and films ever made.
Obviously, the Title Track is one of the most Iconic songs ever, with the aformentioned opening cord to the addictive energy through and through, this song is one of their most well known for a good reason.
There is something about Anytime At All that feels ahead of its time and a hint of what is to come from the Beatles. I always felt it was somewhat out of place among the more jangly and upbeat tunes but also one of the most progressive of the 13 track album.
McCartney just kills with Things We Said Today creating a ballad that is extraordinarily smooth in both tone and voice. It is sweet, sultry and will certainly make you believe in love.
Ok, Where do I get it?
Next week, we discuss the 1964 album Beatles for Sale, until then…
Late to the Game 1/19/2021
Thanks for reading, If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and also check out some retro tv goodness with the ongoing series Retro TV Reviews here. You can also find a few of my other Music Reviews Here.
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