A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the soundtrack to the Beatles' first movie, A Hard Day's Night, has been an all-ages favorite pretty much since the day it came out; it's the first Beatles album that was all Lennon-McCartney originals, and the songwriting duo showed their mastery of the two-minute single with such hits as the title tune, "Can't Buy Me Love," and "If I Fell." There's an occasional racy lyric ("I'm gonna love her till the cows come home / And then I'll love her more till I walk out that door again"), and "You Can't Do That" seems driven by the same insecure jealousy that turns up in John Lennon's later work. But especially by the standards of today's music, this is good, clean, catchy pop at its absolute best.
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What's the story?
A hit since the day it came out in 1964, the soundtrack to the Beatles' movie A Hard Day's Night was also the first Beatles album to include nothing but Lennon-McCartney originals, and left no doubt that the songwriting team had come into its own. This 2009 version of the album, which follows the original British release in including numerous tracks that don't appear in the movie, also includes a short making-of documentary video.
Is it any good?
There's not a bad song in this entire collection, and many -- e.g. "A Hard Day's Night," "If I Fell," "Can't Buy Me Love," "I Should Have Known Better," "And I Love Her," "Things We Said Today" -- are enduring favorites in pop music and the Beatles songbook. Lennon/McCartney are in top form here, and having a good time, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why the album A Hard Day's Night was so popular when it first came out in 1964, and why these songs are still so appealing to so many today.
Do you like the way the music was used in the movie? Do you have any favorite scenes?
Lennon and McCartney are seen as geniuses now, but at the time these songs were written, most adults mocked the idea that rock 'n' roll artists could be serious songwriters. How do perceptions change and artists get more respect?
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