“A Hard Day’s Night”
Album: A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
An instantly recognizable chord (Fadd9, according to George Harrison) from Harrison’s twelve-string that is at once resonant and brief announces the beginning of this Beatles classic, “A Hard Day’s Night.” Like the opening chord, the song is a tightly packed 2:30 minute jaunt of pop with poise.
“A Hard Day’s Night” is the title track for the Beatles’ first album of wholly original compositions. The soundtrack to the film by the same name, A Hard Day’s Night showcases the band’s newfound confidence and style. As the mop-top cuts became a bit more imperfect and formats a bit less rigid (this was the group’s first UK single without a pronoun in the title), the Beatles began to sound more like a rock band and less like a pop outfit. For the first time, we see a clear consciousness of effort and fame in the writing- “It’s been a hard day’s night, and I been working like a dog.” Musically, the fab four still stick to a neat arrangement for the song, but small flourishes like Ringo’s cowbell and George’s lingering final notes prove the Beatles can capture the sweet sound of controlled chaos.