'A Hard Day's Night' Turns 60: The Beatles' Most Revolutionary Album

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

No matter what the Beatles created, the world never seemed ready for what that was. You only knew that it would be different than anything before. Had you loved the band’s last album, you were also aware that the one about to hit record store shelves would be a departure, a moving-on from what already existed. The Beatles both challenged and rewarded listeners this way, which is among the best things about them.

That surprise factor existed from the start with a single like “Please Please Me,” and, of course, “She Loves You,” a song that feels as if you’re hearing it for the first time after you’ve heard it a thousand times. The albums startled as well: Please Please Me had the gumption to function as a cohesive statement and not merely a couple of hits fleshed out with filler, while sophomore outing With the Beatles was a rhythm and blues masterwork from the industrial cities of America via the ports—and the musical melting pot—of the Beatles’ Liverpool.

If you were around back then, you may have believed that the Beatles were about to settle in, and what they did going forward, for however long they managed to last, would be variations on that marvelous output to date. But this was not the Beatles way, and it was certainly not the way of A Hard Day’s Night, the album they released on July 10, 1964, and the best they ever made.

Source: Colin Fleming/


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