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Beatles under a microscope - A Hard Day's Night

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tkitna:
A Hard Day’s Night

The first great Beatles album in my opinion. I cant think of too much I don’t like about this album, but I havent started listening to it yet, so here it go's.


1. A Hard Day’s Night -  I was watching Elton John on Jimmy Fallon last night and he said that ‘Bennie And The Jets’ was the only song people could pick out just from the opening chord. Wrong! The guitar strum at the beginning of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ might be the most recognizable chord in music history. What a great song. One of the first things I noticed was how cool the bongos are. The cowbell is super cool too. The rhythm section is nice. Guitars sound great. Awesome solo. Love the background vocals (especially Paul). 1:53 mark I like Johns ‘Ungh’ when he comes back in. 2:05 the voices arent together. Sounds messed up. The ending is great also, with the repeating guitar. Sounds like a dream/psych type ending.

2. I Should Have Known Better - The harmonica actually sounds good here, but at the 0:05 mark it suddenly stops. I think it’s a studio mistake because at the 0:07 mark the fade out is abrupt. It just quits. Oh well. Love the guitar strums at the 0:38 mark. Acoustic guitar sounds good (as will be the theme on this album). Johns voice is good as usual. Guitar solo is weak in my opinion. There’s something in the background that’s being used as a space filler, but I’m not sure what it is. Cowbell maybe? Decent song, but nothing great.

3. If I Fell - I never used to like this song a whole lot, but its grown on me over the years. Some of the Beatles finest harmonies can be found here. They sound great. I dig George’s guitar tone. 0:57 the background vocals are loose, but I think the drawn out pause was done on purpose. No biggie. Love Pauls voice. 1:44 Paul laughs and loses it. George Martin should have redone that part.

4. I’m Happy Just To Dance With You - I love Georges voice here. What a great song for him. I’m on the fence with the conga or whatever it is that plods along. Something is needed, but I’m not sure this was the best choice. Love the ’Ohh’s’ in the backgound (Paul and John). I dig the electric guitar sound. 1:47 mark Ringo skips a fill and just goes with the bass drum. Very cool.

5. And I Love Her - One of my favorite Beatle songs. First off, Pauls voice is awesome. Great, great acoustic guitar sound. Like the claves and bongos. George has a fantastic solo here. So clean and precise. Love the bass sound too.

6. Tell Me Why - Never dug this tune. Probably my least favorite on the album. Theres an echo to the song throughout. Remasters or studio? I do like the piano in the background. Speaking of backgrounds, the vocals are everywhere. They need tightened up bad on this song. Ringo has a nice shuffle throughout. 1:25 I have guitar written on my notes, but I think I was interrupted by my wife and forgot what I had to say. 1:32 is perhaps the worst falsetto in popular music history. Awful. This song just doesn’t seem like a lot of time was spent on it.

7. Cant Buy Me Love - Here’s another song like ’All My Loving’, I know its good and people love it, but I’ve never been such a huge fan of it. I don’t dislike it, I just don’t love it. The acoustic guitar is nice. Love the hi hat noise. Dig the guitar strums at the 0:47 mark. 0:52 Pauls ’Nooo’ is too cool. Really like the guitar solo. One layered on top of another. Neat. Bass sounds good. 1:55 John’s ’Mmm’ in the background is cool too.

8. Any Time At All - I always associate this song as ’It Wont Be longs’ half sister some how. They just remind me of each other for no apparent reason. Love hearing Pauls background voice on the 2nd ‘Anytime At All’. The organ keeping the beat is neat. Johns raspy voice adds to the song. 1:02 mark George’s background vocal continues and brings Johns voice back in. This is nothing short of awesome. It’s the following part - ‘When you need a shoulder to cry on’. Great. Not a fan of the guitar/organ solo together. 1:59 the vocals here sound screwed up. Not together, but I’m not certain.

9. I’ll Cry Instead - Not much to say about this one. Its an alright song. Like the tambourine. It adds a lot of space. Bass is cool. Like Georges guitar tone. Eh, not anything else to really add.

10. Things We Said Today - Love this song. My favorite version is on ‘Live At Hollywood Bowl’ where they rock out during the breaks. I also love the version on ‘Tripping The Live Fantastic’. Paul does a great job there. Anyways, back to the original. 0:17 Paul and I think Georges voice together sounds awesome. It might have been John, but it sounds like George to me. Happens again at the 2:06 mark. 0:34 George strums the guitar and adds a little fancy to it, if you know what I mean. Sounds great. 0:59 love the tambourine and piano. 1:27 the last ‘On’ is shaky when singing ‘On and On’. All in all, I really love the song. It has a dark/brooding character to it in my opinion.

11. When I Get Home - Ringo’s slight delay on the last beats while bringing the song in really makes it for me. Rhythm guitar sounds good. Love Johns raspy voice again. Backgrounds are tight together even on the higher parts which is good. 1:31 voices not together. 1:34 Ringo doesn’t play a fill. Was he being tasteful or did he make a mistake? I would have added one, but then again, I’m not Ringo Starr.

12. You Cant Do That - Another song I’m not thrilled about. I think its filler at best. You have cowbell, bongo’s, and Ringo on the kit to fill in space on this rather shallow tune. Guitar at the beginning sounds corny. I do like Paul and George’s background vocals. I was ready to rip apart the guitar solo, but he did a solid job. He didn’t mess it up, but I’m just not crazy about it. Song has a great ending though.

13. I’ll Be Back - Acoustic guitar sounds great. George does great throughout the entire song with his playing. Love Johns voice. Background vocals are strong. Not a whole lot more to add. I think this is a pretty neutral song. I really believe this was intended filler, but it somehow turned out better than that.

nyfan(41):
good post!
ok, track by track i'm, pretty on page with what you've said...
-

--- Quote from: tkitna on April 01, 2011, 04:00:59 PM ---
 A Hard Day’s Night -   Johns ‘Ungh’ when he comes back in.

--- End quote ---
my favorite . .
because it's superimposed with paul's 'yeah' after he sings the middle part (holding me tight, tight) . . kind of passes off the vocals to john like a relay baton
maybe my favorite moment on any beatles record !

i should have known better - i dont like the high harmonica mix... i think the main note in the chorus is held too long.... but i love the melody on "and when i tell you that i love youuu etc..." so im 50/50


--- Quote from: tkitna on April 01, 2011, 04:00:59 PM ---3. If I Fell - 1:44 Paul laughs and loses it. George Martin should have redone that part.

--- End quote ---
couldn't disagree with you more. without a doubt the best part of the song.
this song is so beautiful . . everyone who hears it is moved by the melody and impressed by the harmony . . and somehow it never made it into the cannon of beatles classics like the songs on the red and blue compilations... hmm
maybe it's skilled but corny. i guess that's why paul cracked up

happy just to dance with you
the backing vocals are like two big brothers helping their little brother
to me the accents and rhythm 'hits' in this song are what make it good

and i love her - instant classic. probably one of the best 5 songs paul ever wrote.
actually can stand with songs like fur elise and greensleeves - the kind of song they played for kings in olden times


--- Quote from: tkitna on April 01, 2011, 04:00:59 PM ---6. Tell Me Why - Never dug this tune.

--- End quote ---
same here. for me it's because i don't care about whatever story john is trying to tell
someone cried... someone lied.... tell him what and he'll apologize . . someone's on bended knee... he really cant help it he's so in love
... so what exactly happened?.. better yet- who cares!

can't buy me love
fun and forced. like a hired birthday clown that tells the kids they're having a good time. yippie paul. george's solo kept this from being your cheesiest song ever
luckily the last song on side A.... because i can't look you in the face after this fake hooplah. devoid of sincerity
--------
side two anytime at all
is there a better song that contrasts the sounds of john and paul's voices
the instrumental break really builds up too
-
i'll cry instead
clever pop song . .  the beatles had so much music under their belts, it's no surprise
but...
here we see the lennon bitter venom show itself amid the tears
'you better hide all the girls, im gonna break their hearts all around the world, yeah im gonna break em in 2... and show you what your lovin man can do'
that's real fire ^
and leading up to that . .
"dont wanna cry when there's people there, i get shy when they start to stare, gonna lock myself away"
tough exterior and vulnerable inside of the teenage protaganist -> john lennon was an awesome introspective lyricist long before 'help'

things we said today
ahead of it's time. 10 out of 10

when i get home
awesome song. one of my favorites
crazy harmonies in the build up . . what is that soul satisfying chord interval? - whooaaa iiiiiiiiii - - as the drums get louder then release -> that makes my adrenaline rush !
to have lyrics that are delivered so 'from the gut' -> but also include the word 'trivialities'......
could elvis even define or spell that word?
-

you cant do that
a direct order in the lyrics! with music that bolsters the command
wow, this smart rough sensitive talented singer really sounds like a jerk
would paul even have the backbone to boss his woman around like this?.... or maybe paul's just not as insecure
-
either way.... with the couplet of greeen and seeen.... john's wordsmithery continues to emerge
and awesome guitars

i'll be back
so much going on here. almost like a troubadour song from days of old
great harmonies, lyrics and middle part.... not the most memorable melody regardless. i always 'forget how it goes'
--------------------------------------

album highlights -> title track cant miss. and i love her / things we said today -> paul delivers. glimpses of john's creative intelligence straining to emerge in the pop format





7 of 13:

--- Quote from: tkitna on April 01, 2011, 04:00:59 PM ---2. I Should Have Known Better
--- End quote ---
the tuneful and crunchy hamonicawork makes this song happen, john lets it all hang out here.

Hello Goodbye:
Those of you who remember what movie theaters were like before the advent of "movieplex" know what I mean.  Fortunately we still have a few theaters like that around.  Well that's where I first heard and saw The Beatles do many of these songs.  What an impact that had on me in 1964 at The Loews Meadows Theater with its giant screen and stereo sound system...





The opening chord of A Hard Day's Night accompanied the opening scene pictured above and was the first sound heard in the film.  Even today, it's hard for me to listen to these songs and even play some of them without thinking of the film.  They're like music videos for me.

A Hard Day's Night is brilliant, from that opening chord to George's outro on his 12-string Rick.  But I like Paul's delivery of the bridge the most and, as nyfan mentioned, I enjoy the way Paul hands the lead vocal back to John for the verse.  George's guitar solo is magnificent.  It's only a brief few measures but remains memorable.  He really made his Rickenbacker 360/12 sing!

Take a bow lads...



nyfan(41):

--- Quote from: Hello Goodbye on April 02, 2011, 12:41:09 AM ---What an impact that had on me ... with its giant screen

--- End quote ---
interesting
in some interviews, it seems like john and paul had some life-transforming experiences in movie theaters too (.. 20 flight rock, elvis)

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