A Hard Day's Night - Parlophone 1964
There something special and recognizable about the group's 1964 sound; what this exactly is can be difficult to describe, but Harrison's 12-string guitar is definitely one of the reasons. Numbers like "Can not Buy Me Love," "You Can not Do That" and "Anytime at All" are good examples of this sound.
The group shows of the album an impressive continuation of the rapid musical development that had started with the first recordings with George Martin late in 1962. The songwriting is with very few exceptions outstanding first class. Vocally both Lennon and McCartney are on top, and Harrison beautifully falls into the delicate harmonies. he playing is very tight, which could also be a reason for the aforementioned 1964-sound.
Lennon is on most Beatles albums the dominant singer and songwriter, and this is particularly evident on this album. He is the man behind many of the most memorable numbers from the album, including the titletrack, "I Should Have Known Better" (a sure hit had it been released as a single), "Anytime at All," "You Can not Do That" and the beautiful ballad "If I Fell". The remainder of Lennon's contributions are more average, but far from weak.
McCartney is in focus on the hit single "Can not Buy Me Love", and he also contributes the two evergreen ballads "Things We Said Today" and "And I Love Her".
It was normally European standard that a Beatles album contained 14 songs, but in this case for unknown reasons, only 13 were selected - especially strange because the very strong Lennon's song "I Call Your Name" was recorded during the same sessions. "I Call Your Name" was along with three coverversins released on the 1964 EP "Long Tall Sally". The song should have earned a place on this album, as it subsequently often has been forgotten / ignored - at least in Europe. In the U.S., the songs was included on the album "The Beatles' Second Album". Well, at any rate this is great album.