Beatles Review: A Hard Day’s Night
March 4, 2010 5 Comments
Now we come to the first peak in The Beatles’ career: their 3rd album A Hard Day’s Night. Somewhere I’ve read that this album sounds like somebody opened a bottle of champaign, and this hits the nail on its head. Where the last album With The Beatles was slightly dark, this here is all bright, hyperactive and full of adrenaline. It starts with the weird opening chord (which puzzled even scientists because nobody was able to find out exactly what chord it was until 2008) of the title song, and runs through a set of 13 Beatles originals (yeah right, no cover versions this time). It shows all the good qualities of the early Beatles, their incredible vocal harmonies, their simple-yet-intriguing melodies and rhythms. And it shows the incredible fun and energy that the guys had.
I remember a fun little story. When I was young (much younger than now at least), I saved myself a lot of money (around 30 DM, approx. 15€ nowadays) to buy this album on CD. That must have been in 1992 or so, I was about 14. I didn’t even have a CD player! So I went to the closest supermarket, gave away my hard-earned money to get this CD. And when I was home and saw ‘Mono’ on the package, I was so disappointed, because I believed that this was a fake thing. In my childish view I assumed that the real thing must be stereo because stereo is obviously better, no? In the end, I went back to the supermarket and returned the CD (that was quite a funny and geeky argument with the salesguy, not wanting the CD because it’s mono). But not without first going to a friend and making a copy of it to cassette tape. Yay 😀 Only much later I realized that the mono version was indeed the official version and bought the CD again. Now I have both, and comparing the versions I must say that the mono version is indeed better, again there are a bunch of glitches on stereo (the start of ‘Should Have Known Better’ for example) that have been corrected in mono. It needs to be said that at this time mono was by far the dominant format and the Beatles themselves never really cared for the stereo mixes, leaving them to others, while attending the mono mixes themselves. However, compared to the first two albums, which have this funny extreme left-right panning, the stereo mixes are a bit more sane, which owes to the fact that they used 4 track recording for the first time.
That was a bit technical this time, I usually try to avoid that because we want to listen to music, not technology, right? I enjoyed listening to this album today anyway. Quite alot even. Next time I will have a look (listen) at the Beatles for Sale.