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Some general thoughts on A Hard Day's Night
11 March 2019
6.04pm
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QuarryMan
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Was listening through this album earlier today and wanted to record a few things I observed. 

- The album cover is really cool, perhaps even cooler than With The Beatles . If I ever released an album with a four piece band, I'd like to try a cover in this style. 

- This is the first entirely Lennon-McCartney written album. This was pretty groundbreaking for 1964 - how many pop artists were doing the same at this point? 

- It has a pretty consistent sound with the bright, jangly Rickenbacker guitar sound, and the rhythm section sounds great on this album too. Less propulsive than the other early albums, and more tailored to the more nuanced songwriting. 

- And I Love Her is way ahead of its time in terms of the band taking inspiration from music of different nations, this time with a very flamenco sounding guitar part and melody, the former of which we owe to George for composing. 

- When John sings 'meee' in the first line of If I Fell , my heart always melts. 

- I'll Be Back is a really badass album closer. I really like the descending melody and just the general message of naming the last song that. It's like, "we just blew you away with our best album yet, but we're only just getting started". 

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11 March 2019
7.22pm
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50yearslate
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QuarryMan said 

- When John sings 'meee' in the first line of If I Fell , my heart always melts. 

For me it's when Paul's voice cracks while singing "vain." Love that part so so so much.

- I'll Be Back is a really badass album closer. I really like the descending melody and just the general message of naming the last song that. It's like, "we just blew you away with our best album yet, but we're only just getting started". 

  

Couldn't agree more.

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18 March 2019
11.28am
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PurplishRain
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I think this is the best album they did in the earlier career. 

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18 March 2019
8.16pm
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It's the album of theirs I play the most often......It's so jolly.

19 March 2019
7.56am
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QuarryMan
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PurplishRain said
I think this is the best album they did in the earlier career. 

  

Me too. It's just consistently great, which sets it apart from the other early ones, which usually have a couple of substandard tracks.  

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21 March 2019
3.26pm
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Von Bontee
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QuarryMan said
 

- This is the first entirely Lennon-McCartney written album. This was pretty groundbreaking for 1964 - how many pop artists were doing the same at this point? 

  

How many pop artists in 1964 were getting Lennon & McCartney to write their entire album for them? None! a-hard-days-night-paul-11

Seriously, though...I know that (for example) Chuck Berry's and Bo Diddley's first coupla albums were all-original, but those consisted largely of previously-released singles; also, those two are individuals, not bands. What bands existed in 1964 who were capable of writing and recording an all-new, all-original album? Possibly the Beach Boys or the Miracles could've achieved it, if such a feat had been a priority for either band at the time. 

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22 March 2019
6.06am
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Timothy
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PurplishRain said
I think this is the best album they did in the earlier career. 

  

Definitely. 

1.The Beatles 2.Sgt. Pepper 3.Abbey Road 4.Magical Mystery Tour 5.Rubber Soul 6.Revolver 7.Help! 8.Let It Be
9.A Hard Day’s Night 10.Please Please Me 11.Beatles For Sale 12.With The Beatles 13.Yellow Submarine

22 March 2019
6.55am
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Dark Overlord
Nowhere Land
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QuarryMan said
This is the first entirely Lennon-McCartney written album. This was pretty groundbreaking for 1964 - how many pop artists were doing the same at this point?

People often look at this fact like it's a great thing.

Don't get me wrong, it's nice that they were able to do this but i recommend you look at these statistics regarding their first 4 albums:

Please Please Me :

18 unique songs recorded (counting From Me To You , Thank You Girl , and One After 909 )

 12 original

  6 made for single release (4 ending up on album)

  4 made for album release

  2 left unreleased

 6 covers

With The Beatles :

18 unique songs recorded (counting She Loves You , I'll Get You , I Want To Hold Your Hand , and This Boy )

 12 original

  4 made for single release

  8 made for album release

 6 covers

A Hard Day's Night :

17 unique songs recorded

 14 original

  2 made for single release (2 ending up on album)

  12 made for album release (2 ending up on single, 1 ending up on EP instead of album)

 3 covers (3 ending up on EP instead of album)

Beatles For Sale :

17 unique songs recorded

 10 original

  2 made for single release

  8 made for album release

 7 covers (1 ended up unreleased)

As you can see, The Beatles only recorded 2 more original songs then their 2 previous albums in exchange for 3 less covers. Not to mention, the only reason Can't Buy Me Love and You Can't Do That were included was because Lester included the former in the film, so if he had chosen I'll Cry Instead , they would've had no choice but to include covers.

As for what other bands had done an all original album at this time, The Beach Boys ' Little Deuce Coupe and All Summer Long come pretty close with only 1 cover each.

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22 March 2019
9.09am
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Ron Nasty
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While it is an interesting breakdown, @Dark Overlord, your argument is based on the premise that everything recorded was recorded for possible album release.

For instance, you include the results of the From Me To You session as something that could have been intended to appear on the Please Please Me  album. It was a standalone single session done after the tracklisting and artwork for PPM were already done.

Just because certain things were recorded within timeframes that fit certain albums does not mean they were ever intended to be a part of that album. Lumping single sessions and album sessions together creates a false picture as we know, as much as possible, they considered and approached them differently.

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22 March 2019
1.32pm
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Dark Overlord
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Good point but i specifically stated that some of those songs were slated for a single release and were not meant to appear on the album.

As for From Me To You , i was on the fence as to include it or not but if then i remembered that they released Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand less than a week after recording it so i decided to lump it in there although you're right, it was never meant for inclusion on Please Please Me .

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22 March 2019
2.16pm
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Ron Nasty
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See, my point would be, @Dark Overlord, while it can be useful to look at the breakdown between covers and originals in their early work, it cannot be done by lumping it together by album periods.

Another example would be the Long Tall Sally  EP. Though I Call Your Name  was briefly considered for A Hard Day's Night , none of the covers were. Same with She Loves You  and I Want To Hold Your Hand , recorded during the With The Beatles  timeframe, were never considered for inclusion on the album.

By suggesting, as you do, that certain tracks were recorded as possibles for a particular album when they weren't.

Until Beatles For Sale  they always seemed to know what were single/EP releases, what were album releases, and what would be singles that had to also go on the album (A Hard Day's Night  and Can't Buy Me Love  being obvious examples of singles that couldn't be left off AHDN ).

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22 March 2019
5.39pm
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Dark Overlord
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Alright, even if we remove songs slated for a single release, that means that With The Beatles had 8 original songs recorded for it while A Hard Day's Night had 11, with Can't Buy Me Love /You Can't Do That originally intended as the non-album single to compliment their 3rd album but was included due to the A-side's inclusion in the film.

That's only 3 more originals then the previous album which is nice and all but not nearly as impressive as others make it seem which brings me to my point, while it's cool that they did an all original album, they weren't ready for it and were only able to do it by the skin of their teeth, having to rely on both sides of a previously released single and still having to cut the album a track short to get there.

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