Another album and yet another turning point for the band. This is their first album with all original material, and it proved to be their strongest album yet! Paul McCartney might have dominated the songwriting in the earlier albums, but John Lennon ended up writing most of the material for this album. (As always, the two shared credits!)
The Beatles used Rickenbacker guitars in the film and for the recording sessions. Roger McGuinn took notice and went out and purchased a shiny new Rickenbacker guitar. So you could in fact claim this ‘Hard Days Night’ record was the most influential record of all-time. You could, but you’d be insane to do so. Then again some people like to credit The Beatles for everything. I think Roger McGuinn and The Byrds most likely, it can be safely said, took the sound of The Rickenbacker somewhere else altogether but sure, the chiming tones of this guitar is noticeable all over the album, not least through the opening classic title song. I actually believe the film was far more influential than the record, by the way. The Beatles had such a strong image, were so successful, that it made other groups start to wonder about their own image and dress-wear.
Paul delivers two of the the early Beatles’ signature tunes. They’re “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “And I Love Her,” of course! “And I Love Her” turns out to be one of The Beatles best love ballads ever with a melody so sweet that it couldn’t possibly be topped. The instrumentation is relatively simple… With strummed and scaling acoustic guitars, and Ringo’s simple bongos. It might have been one of their more commercial songs, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a flash of brilliance. As you know already, “Can’t Buy Me Love” is one the album’s more upbeat rockers that will surely get you to the dance floor for sure. It’s so difficult reviewing these Beatles albums, because I’m perfectly aware that everybody knows these songs by heart… and especially that song. (And that’s not because Patrick Dempsey once starred in an ’80s movie with that title!) George comes up with a wonderful guitar solo in the middle, which is nearly as joyous as the melody itself.
A pretty consistent album this, though some of the songs are just good rather than great. ‘I’m Happy Just To Dance With You’ falls into that category. Enjoyable, but no all time world beating masterpiece. George comes off a bit like a dork! But that’s OK, because I like dorks. And the melody is catchy, anyway. “You Can’t Do That” is a wholly more excellent composition with an interesting song structure. I love that ending! It basically consists of that three-note guitar loop that seems to wear-out. It’s simple, it’s succinct and it interests me. Much more interesting than a fade-out that the majority of pop stars would’ve done. My only complaint about that song is George’s electric guitar solo in the middle, which has an unfortunate clashing effect.
I dwell on each of these songs only to find out I don’t have anything remotely original to say about them. But they are enjoyable for me to review! So there you go. I enjoyed writing this review more than you did reading it!