Marrick’s McCartney Music Marathon #5: A Hard Day’s Night
By: Marrick Thurman
A Hard Day’s Night was The Beatles third studio album and was released on July 10th, 1964. According to John Lennon in a 1980 interview, the title for the album had been created accidentally from something Ringo Starr had said as a goof. The album and song of the same name sparked their first movie with the same name “A Hard Day’s Night”.
The first song on the album, which happens to share the name with the album, “A Hard Day’s Night”, is by far one of the most popular and recognizable Beatles song. It was written by John Lennon, but credited to Lennon-McCartney. It’s sang by Lennon (who also plays guitar), with McCartney doing back-up vocals and bass guitar, and Harrison doing guitar and Starr on drums. It was the first song by any artist to ever to hold the top spot on the charts for multiple consecutive weeks.
“I’m Happy Just to Dance with You” is the only song on A Hard Day’s Night that Harrison wrote independently. The song was written for their feature film and specifically for Harrison to sing when he felt he was lacking confidence creating his own songs. Lennon later said in an interview that if Harrison hadn’t sung the song, that he would’ve sung it himself. The song has a slightly upbeat tone, mainly because of Starr’s quick drumming. Harrison’s smooth vocals with Lennon and McCartney’s back-up vocals make for an amazing song. McCartney wrote “And I Love Her”, an easily-recognizable song off the album, which reached the 12th spot on the Billboard Hot 100. “And I Love Her” gives off a bit of a melancholy vibe due to the soft and slow pace of McCartney’s singing and Harrison’s guitar playing.
“Can’t Buy Me Love” Is no doubt, besides “A Hard Day’s Night”, the most well-known song off of A Hard Day’s Night. It was written by McCartney, but credited to Lennon-McCartney. McCartney explained in an interview that the song is simply about how material possessions are nice, because you can buy all of those that you want, but you can’t simply buy love. McCartney also said that you could interpret it however you’d like, but he draws the line at the suggestion that the song’s about anything vulgar. In 2015, McCartney and Starr donated the use of their recording of the song to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
In 2005, A Hard Day’s Night placed 5th in the list of the “100 Greatest British Albums Ever” by Q magazine. In 2012, it was vote 307th in the Rolling Stones Magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. Finally, A Hard Day’s Night was included in Robert Dimery’s “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die”. A Hard Day’s Night is one of The Beatles best early albums, and is just filled to the brim with amazing songs. The band’s constant experimenting with tones of songs and different instruments made their songs, and this album, fresh and interesting. While it wasn’t as experimental as some of their later albums, it was a different change of pace from their first two studio albums. The drums and guitar on some of the songs blended together perfectly and with the quiet or excited vocals (be it Lennon, McCartney, or Harrison’s). It’s an all-around fantastic album and piece of music history.