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AHDN The Beatles First Masterpeice?
12 August 2014
4.34pm
Zig
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I'm not going to use words like masterpiece and revolutionary while respectfully disagreeing with the "par for the course" statement.

IMHO their songwriting improved by leaps and bounds from album to album in the early years. This album featured the strongest collection of songs they had written yet. John slightly opened the door to his psyche in 'I'll Cry Instead'. 'And I Love Her' was unlike any ballad they had done before. 'Things We Said Today' sounded upbeat while featuring somber lyrics.

Then, of course are the obvious attributes like the fact that this album was written entirely by the artist recording it (how many others were doing this?), the opening chord to the title track (can you say "wake-up call"?) and George's debut of the 12-string Rickenbacker on a Beatles album.

To me, AHDN is the point where the maturity in their lyrics/chords/song structures really started to blossom.

EDIT: I believe I got ahead of myself with the term "blossom". Let's just say the seeds of maturity in their songwriting were lovingly sewn on this album.

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13 August 2014
12.24am
paulramon1962
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Maybe par for the course was a bit strong. I only meant that there wasn't anything terribly new about their song writing. It was getting better, sure, but not quite by leaps and bounds yet. I'll agree with the 12 string sentiment, as well as the startling opening chord. As to a band writing all the songs on the album, name a pop artist today who does that! a-hard-days-night-george-10

And I Love Her is probably my favorite track on the album, next to You Can't Do That. The former is such a beautifully done track, not necessarily anything fantastic in terms of lyrics, but what makes the song is the music. You Can't Do That is probably my favorite guitar performance by John. He does a fine solo, and George's riff is great, too!

 

All in all, A Hard Day's Night is a great album. I still won't call it a masterpiece, but I think there are very few bands who could call their early tracks masterpieces. The Beatles did more in 8 years than some artists do in decades. (For example, the Beatles released 13 albums in this time. Pink Floyd released 13 albums over 3 decades, starting in 1967 and finishing in 1994. Incidentally, I am excited for their new record.) I tend to believe that because of their high output over a short time (especially in their early years) we saw literally everything, where as some bands might hold off on a track because they have time. Back then, they were desperate for songs, and the fact that Lennon and McCartney were so good at writing them came as a plus. 

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Zig
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13 August 2014
2.12pm
Zig
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paulramon1962 said

And I Love Her is probably my favorite track on the album, next to You Can't Do That. The former is such a beautifully done track, not necessarily anything fantastic in terms of lyrics, but what makes the song is the music. You Can't Do That is probably my favorite guitar performance by John. He does a fine solo, and George's riff is great, too!
 

'You Can't Do That' is among my top 5 Beatles songs.

BTW, welcome to our Forum. Apologies for not having done so sooner. I look forward to more of your contributions.

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24 August 2014
8.54pm
cleaner101
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The first truly great album they made in my opinion. Beatles for Sale certainly 'feels' like they're taking a breather after making this and touring to death. In fact Beatles for Sale actually feels earlier than this when I listen to it now, containing more covers and the original songs more lethargic... perhaps too harsh but there it is.

24 August 2014
10.23pm
Bongo
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Yes it was their first Masterpiece, mainly because the Movie helped project it higher.  But compared to their first 2 LP's that were just 2 great Rock n' Roll LP's, it was definately better.

Was Help! another Masterpiece, or just another soundtrack???? a-hard-days-night-paul-7

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25 August 2014
2.15am
thisbirdhasflown
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I agree with @cleaner101 about how Beatles For Sale feels earlier than it actually is. I think that A Hard Day's Night is better than the ones beforehand, but the first masterpiece in my opinion is Rubber Soul. Just me.

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4 September 2014
10.16am
macdog
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For me AHDN sparkles with great sounds. By that I mean that it is sonically a very satisfying listen. Musically they were not as inventive again until Revolver. Even a song as slight as I'll Cry Instead, with very dreary lyrics, sounds great. And the best songs on AHDN are just stunning. I prefer AHDN to the next three albums. Beatles For Sale would be my next preference. There is a lot of sonic variety on Rubber Soul but for me that album doesn't have the strong songs that AHDN does, even though a few of my favourites are on there. YMMV.

24 September 2014
1.09pm
william.s
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I love all their albums so I cannot say "this is better" or "that is worse". However, AHDN contains some music gems like "And I Love Her" and "If I fell" that are close to my own idea of musical perfection.

9 December 2014
12.30am
meanmistermustard
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Strange how memories work.

Was listening to the new mono vinyl remaster of this and remembered it was the 4th Beatle album i bought ('Help' -> Blue -> Red -> AHDN) and i got it one Sunday in Ayr from Woolworths on cassette. I was forever reading the album notes as none of the others had them (i bought the pre-cd cassettes of the above with different tracklistings for the first two and the red and blue were on single long-play cassettes) so that was a big thing (it would have been post-1987 so who knows how i got an old copy of 'Help' as it was new out of HMV in Glasgow). And there were pictures!! I was fascinated by the picture of John in his cap.

heart

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10 December 2014
2.46am
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As silly as it sounds, I think pictures DO make a difference. I'd stare at the albums forever while listening to them. (That's one reason I liked Beatles VI)

I went all over town looking for one of those caps, and then went around looking for the glasses Lennon's wearing on the back of Revolver.

Maybe pictures will make a comeback - but people would have to go back to listening an 'album' as opposed to random songs on the iPhone. And you'd have to be home focused on the album that's playing, not multi-tasking with headphones on.

Back to AHDN, Lennon's not (visibly) tortured yet, so his songs remain foot-tapping upbeat.

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14 January 2015
5.40am
ewe2
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I have to agree with the sentiment that Beatles For Sale feels "the wrong way around" with A Hard Day's Night. Coming to it afterwards as I did, I am still stunned by the quality of this album. Some of their best harmony singing, and the songs are full of ideas. If I'd heard it as a child, I would have preferred it, probably but that's not what happened and I have to pretend it came later!

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9 March 2015
12.21pm
Annadog40
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I like how all the songs are their own creations.

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9 March 2015
4.53pm
PeterWeatherby
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I don't think I'd use the term "masterpiece," personally, because I'm comparing it to later works like Revolver and Pepper.

I would, however, use the term "triumph." This album, to me, is where The Beatles flexed their muscles and basically said, "this is how you do pop rock."

I'm going to be a bit biased, though, because this film was my first exposure to The Beatles. I was just learning to play guitar at the time, and I'll never forget the hours and hours I spent staring at the screen, rewinding and pausing the VCR to see if I could work out where George's (or John's) fingers were on the fretboard.

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14 March 2015
5.20pm
long long long
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For it's time, it's astoundingly of high consistent quality. At a time when The Beach Boys and The Kinks were stretching out records with cover songs dominating both sides, Lennon and McCartney established themselves as the greatest songwriters in the world by taking an entire album on their backs and ensuring not a single dud was on there. Classic. It only starts to lose shine when you start comparing it to their later work.

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14 March 2015
11.57pm
vonbontee
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I think it's a major step forward in their trajectory, and a really great LP that falls a bit short of "masterpiece", mostly because of a couple of Paul songs that are less appealing than the rest. I believe that "Rubber Soul" was the first real masterpiece, and the previous five albums are all "triumphs". (And a couple of them are more "minor triumphs".)

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