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AHDN The Beatles First Masterpeice?
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Mr. Kite
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28 March 2014 - 6.13am

Please Please Me was an amazing album, great debut, love all the songs, but by AHDN the Beatles really knew what they were doing. Every song was well thought out musically (some lyrics were a bit forced) and recorded well. It's their best early album (first four) and the title song is a classic. Was AHDN The Beatles' first masterpiece?

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SatanHimself
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28 March 2014 - 1.07pm

I've always seen AHDN as their cultural crossover album, as it proved they were more than just hype.  It was a truly varied collection of songs tied into a great movie.  It's the first album of all-originals, too.

I've noticed that as time marches on AHDN gets lumped into the "early Beatles" pile.  Probably because in comparison 'Beatles For Sale' almost seems like a step backwards with its glut of cover songs and occasionally questionable song choice.  Honestly, for years I thought BFS came before AHDN, because the transition from AHDN to 'Help!' felt more natural.

E is for 'Ergent'.

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SatanHimself
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28 March 2014 - 1.08pm

Hey, albums get hyperlinked now.  Neat. When did that start?

E is for 'Ergent'.

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Mr. Kite
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28 March 2014 - 1.28pm

SatanHimself said
I've always seen AHDN as their cultural crossover album, as it proved they were more than just hype.  It was a truly varied collection of songs tied into a great movie.  It's the first album of all-originals, too.

I've noticed that as time marches on AHDN gets lumped into the "early Beatles" pile.  Probably because in comparison 'Beatles For Sale' almost seems like a step backwards with its glut of cover songs and occasionally questionable song choice.  Honestly, for years I thought BFS came before AHDN, because the transition from AHDN to 'Help!' felt more natural.

Beatles For Sale Seems like a break, probably due to the fatigue caused by touring, definitely a step backward in my opinion. But I wasn't even thinking about the movie, that definitely was a big turning point.

And I think they started linking last night.

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Von Bontee
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28 March 2014 - 2.14pm

More hyperlinking mysteries for me to ponder: How does it differentiate between the single and album titles?

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Starr Shine?
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28 March 2014 - 2.26pm

Von Bontee said
More hyperlinking mysteries for me to ponder: How does it differentiate between the single and album titles?

Context?

 

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meanmistermustard

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28 March 2014 - 2.33pm

Von Bontee said
More hyperlinking mysteries for me to ponder: How does it differentiate between the single and album titles?

I don't think it does, the albums get precedence and then its the songs so Help! takes you to the album page not the song page. I suppose the thinking is that the album pages will provide you with the links to entries for all the songs on that album plus a load of other entries around the forum whereas the song entry might lead to less.

SatanHimself said
Hey, albums get hyperlinked now.  Neat. When did that start?

Joe put the feature in a few days back, its detailed in this Forum Changes post and the ones following.7

 

On topic.

Is it a masterpiece? Its certainly an amazing album, another step up in quality in their writing and recording and all songs self-penned by John and Paul, which was a real eyeopener at the time, and there are a few fillers (I'm Happy Just To Dance With You, When I Get Home, I'll Cry Instead - tho some will argue that Revolver, The White Album and even Pepper has that) and its lacking that something needed to take it to the masterpiece level. It did take them them two more albums before they pushed thru with Rubber Soul.

For me their first masterpiece, which is very different from an exceptional album, is Revolver, that was when they put an album together that blew the world of music and everything in it away and left anyone stunned at how far ahead of the game they were - tho it may hav enot been felt that way at the time. By Pepper everyone else had cottoned on and got it and society was pretty much in tune (altho some derided it on initial release, same as when She Loves You was released). I think thats why Revolver is now generally seen to be better than Pepper.

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Mr. Kite
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28 March 2014 - 3.03pm

meanmistermustard said

Von Bontee said
More hyperlinking mysteries for me to ponder: How does it differentiate between the single and album titles?

I don't think it does, the albums get precedence and then its the songs so Help! takes you to the album page not the song page. I suppose the thinking is that the album pages will provide you with the links to entries for all the songs on that album plus a load of other entries around the forum whereas the song entry might lead to less.

SatanHimself said
Hey, albums get hyperlinked now.  Neat. When did that start?

Joe put the feature in a few days back, its detailed in this Forum Changes post and the ones following.7

 

On topic.

Is it a masterpiece? Its certainly an amazing album, another step up in quality in their writing and recording and all songs self-penned by John and Paul, which was a real eyeopener at the time, and there are a few fillers (I'm Happy Just To Dance With You, When I Get Home, I'll Cry Instead - tho some will argue that Revolver, The White Album and even Pepper has that) and its lacking that something needed to take it to the masterpiece level. It did take them them two more albums before they pushed thru with Rubber Soul.

For me their first masterpiece, which is very different from an exceptional album, is Revolver, that was when they put an album together that blew the world of music and everything in it away and left anyone stunned at how far ahead of the game they were - tho it may hav enot been felt that way at the time. By Pepper everyone else had cottoned on and got it and society was pretty much in tune (altho some derided it on initial release, same as when She Loves You was released). I think thats why Revolver is now generally seen to be better than Pepper.

Which is why Revolver is probably my favorite. I probably shouldn't have used the word masterpiece, but I meant their first real breakthrough, an exceptional album that showed their true talent and was full of amazing music. 

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IveJustSeenAFaceo
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28 March 2014 - 8.25pm

Testing: A Hard Day's Night

EDIT: Excellent, it kept my italics. I'm weird about needing the italics there.

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Zig
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28 March 2014 - 8.41pm

Mr. Kite said
I probably shouldn't have used the word masterpiece

Why not? It's a legitimate question. Great topic.  

Since I consider 1963/64 to be the "early days", I say yes it was their first masterpiece for the positives mentioned by SatanHimself.

SatanHimself said
...it proved they were more than just hype.  It was a truly varied collection of songs tied into a great movie.  It's the first album of all-originals, too.

I can definitely see the merit in mmm's thinking as well - especially since Revolver is my co-favorite album along with Rubber Soul (Rubbolver!).

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DrBeatle
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23 June 2014 - 7.47pm

Listening to the album at the moment and yes, it is the masterpiece of their early phase that started with Please Please Me and ended with Beatles For Sale. Just wire-to-wire mastery and so far ahead of everyone else at the time it was released that it must have seemed cruelly unfair in 1964.

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Bongo
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23 June 2014 - 11.22pm

Clearly AHDN is a master piece compared to their 1st 2 LPS, which could have been Please Please Me 1 & 2,  like Rubber Soul & Revolver were.  Again followed by another master piece in Sgt.Pepper.  How Ironic. a-hard-days-night-ringo-13

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StrawberryWalrus
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2 August 2014 - 12.24am

I had to register reading about this topic. I consider this album their first POP masterpiece. Not a single bad song on this one, it has incredible energy all through it and there's the movie too. Heard it for the first time some months ago and I was shocked. Too perfect :)

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Bulldog
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2 August 2014 - 12.36am

Agreed that this album is fantastic. There isn't a song I'd skip on here, and even if I didn't like a song on here there isn't a song that goes beyond three minutes in length. It's definitely my favorite of the Fabs' first four albums, and I think part of that is because all the songs are Lennon-McCartney originals. Not only that, each man was becoming more mature in terms of lyric writing and arrangements (Things We Said Today and I'll Be Back are good examples of these.) And that's not to say you don't have your typical early Beatles songwriting, but they were getting better.a-hard-days-night-john-1a-hard-days-night-paul-8

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Zig
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2 August 2014 - 12.55am

StrawberryWalrus said
I had to register reading about this topic. I consider this album their first POP masterpiece. Not a single bad song on this one, it has incredible energy all through it and there's the movie too. Heard it for the first time some months ago and I was shocked. Too perfect :)

Thanks for popping in @StrawberryWalrus - pull up a chair and join us.

DrBeatle said
Listening to the album at the moment and yes, it is the masterpiece of their early phase that started with Please Please Me and ended with Beatles For Sale. Just wire-to-wire mastery and so far ahead of everyone else at the time it was released that it must have seemed cruelly unfair in 1964.

Just as RS, R and SPLHCB were in 65, 66 and 67. 

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Beatleva
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2 August 2014 - 10.15am

 A Hard Day's Night was the first album I owned. I loved it. In my opinion it is their best from their early days. They had gotten the hang of it, Please please me was just a sort of experiment, then came With the Beatles (which was alright) and then came... A Hard Day's Night, you can hear the change, they were maturing.

Lyric-wise it was not too strong, but definitely an improvement from the other two albums. 

I like the fact that there are no covers on the album, it is all their own work, but the only shame is that George didn't have a song on there. 

Beatles For Sale definitely was a step back. It happened too soon after A Hard Day's Night and they just wanted a break, I guess. 

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Mr. Kite
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2 August 2014 - 11.13am

Beatleva said

I like the fact that there are no covers on the album, it is all their own work, but the only shame is that George didn't have a song on there. 
 

He didn't write one for it, but at least he got to sing I'm Happy Just To Dance With You. Poor Ringo however... a-hard-days-night-ringo-12

a-hard-days-night-ringo-10: Hey guys what am I singin' on this one?
a-hard-days-night-paul-4: Umm... *mccartney mouth scratch* You don't get a song this album, Ringo...
a-hard-days-night-john-1: We're writin' the whole thing!
ahdn_george_06: I get to sing one!
a-hard-days-night-ringo-12: C'mon guys, I can do a cover! We only have 13 songs!
a-hard-days-night-john-6: Go make a movie 'bout it, Richie!
a-hard-days-night-ringo-2: I will!

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Zig
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2 August 2014 - 2.24pm

Diggin' the love for the early albums here. As much as I enjoy everything from Rubber Soul forward, the early stuff excites me to no end. There is no doubt in my mind they mastered Rock & Roll.

@Mr Kite Even though Ringo did not have a track on this album, they did record 'Matchbox' during these sessions (1 June 1964). It appeared on the Long Tall Sally EP. 

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StrawberryWalrus
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2 August 2014 - 2.32pm

Zig said

StrawberryWalrus said
I had to register reading about this topic. I consider this album their first POP masterpiece. Not a single bad song on this one, it has incredible energy all through it and there's the movie too. Heard it for the first time some months ago and I was shocked. Too perfect :)

Thanks for popping in @StrawberryWalrus - pull up a chair and join us.

Thank you too a-hard-days-night-george-10

 

I would agree that it's definitely a huge improvement over previous two records, but they are all too different to compare.

Please Please Me was their first record, it was very fun and lightweight, but then comes With The BeatlesThe latter is way more mature and somewhat darker, while the former is the opposite. Then A Hard Day's Night pops in. To me, at least, it's more similar to PPM than WTB. It's almost as if they were following some order: Fun, mature, fun, mature (the last being Beatles For Sale). Of course that most probably isn't the case, but that's how I picture those albums (and to add to this, dividing like this isn't doing it the full justice - AHDN has a fair share of beautiful, solemn ballads just like WTB has All My Loving, Hold Me Tight etc.)

About Ringo, I agree that he should have had a chance to sing somewhere. I can easily imagine him singing I'll Cry Instead in somewhat different arrangement. However, he contributed the name of the album/movie, and to me, that's quite an accomplishment for such a record.

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paulramon1962
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12 August 2014 - 1.42am

Let me get this out of the way: Is A Hard Day's Night a masterpiece? As a film, yes. As an album, no.

But I will say that I consider this their first truly great album. When I listen to it, I don't feel the need to skip around like I do with some of their other albums (I'm looking at you, Please Please Me, With the Beatles, and Beatles For Sale). It has some nice tunes, but I don't see it as being anything too revolutionary. Pretty par for the course with what they were writing. I think the album came out better because they had more time on it as far as the songwriting goes. Beatles For Sale is generally considered a rushed effort, and while there is brilliance on that record, it doesn't match that of A Hard Day's Night.

 

Plus, the guitar on I'll Cry Instead sounds like it's on drugs. I like that. a-hard-days-night-john-6

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