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A Hard Day's Night
Studio album by The Beatles
Released 10 July 1964
Recorded 29 January–3 June 1964 at Abbey Road Studios, London, and Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris
Genre Rock
Length 30:45
Label Parlophone
Producer George Martin
Professional reviews
The Beatles chronology
With The Beatles
(1963)
A Hard Day's Night
(1964)
Beatles for Sale
(1964)
Singles from A Hard Day's Night
  1. "Can't Buy Me Love"/"You Can't Do That"
    Released: 16 March 1964
  2. "A Hard Day's Night"/"Things We Said Today"
    Released: 10 July 1964

A Hard Day's Night is the third studio album by The Beatles, released on 10 July 1964 as the soundtrack to their film A Hard Day's Night. The American version of the album was released on 26 June 1964 by United Artists Records with a different track listing. It was eventually replaced by the original UK version with its first release on CD and LP re-release, 26 February 1987.

While showcasing the development of the band's songwriting talents, the album sticks to the basic rock and roll instrumentation and song format. The album contains some of their most famous songs, including the title track and its distinct, instantly recognizable opening chord;[1] and "Can't Buy Me Love", both were transatlantic number one singles for the band. The album and film are said to portray the classic image of the Beatles, as it was released at the height of Beatlemania.

According to music critic Richie Unterberger, "George Harrison's resonant 12-string electric guitar leads were hugely influential; the movie helped persuade the Byrds, then folksingers, to plunge all out into rock & roll, and the Beatles would be hugely influential on the folk-rock explosion of 1965. The Beatles' success, too, had begun to open the U.S. market for fellow Brits like the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Kinks, and inspired young American groups like the Beau Brummels, Lovin' Spoonful, and others to mount a challenge of their own with self-penned material that owed a great debt to Lennon-McCartney."[2]

The title of the album was the accidental creation of drummer Ringo Starr.[3] According to Lennon in a 1980 interview with Playboy magazine: "I was going home in the car and Dick Lester [director of the movie] suggested the title, 'Hard Day's Night' from something Ringo had said. I had used it in 'In His Own Write', but it was an off-the-cuff remark by Ringo. You know, one of those malapropisms. A Ringo-ism, where he said it not to be funny... just said it. So Dick Lester said, 'We are going to use that title.'"[4]

In 2000, Q placed A Hard Day's Night at number five in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.[5] In 2003, the album was ranked number 388 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[6]

Contents

Contents and releases

Side one of the LP contains the songs from the movie soundtrack. Side two contains songs written for, but not included in, the film, although a 1980s re-release of the movie includes a prologue before the opening credits with "I'll Cry Instead" on the soundtrack.

A Hard Day's Night is the first Beatles album to feature entirely original compositions, and the only one where all the songs were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.[7] Normally, Paul McCartney and Lennon would contribute a roughly equal number of songs to each album, but A Hard Day's Night is the one Beatles album on which Lennon's dominance as songwriter is by far the greater, writing the majority of the 13 tracks on the album on his own. This is also one of three Beatles albums, along with Let It Be and Magical Mystery Tour, in which Starr does not sing lead vocal on any songs. Starr sang the lead vocal on "Matchbox", a cover of a Carl Perkins song recorded contemporaneously with the songs on "A Hard Day's Night" and released in Britain on the Long Tall Sally EP.

This is the first Beatles album to be recorded entirely on four-track tape, allowing for good stereo mixes. Despite this, until 2009, the Compact Disc release of this album (catalogue number CDP 7 46437 2) was available only in mono, though many of the tracks appeared in stereo on CD for the first time with the release of the boxset The Capitol Albums, Volume 1 in 2004. Three tracks from the album were issued in stereo on the 1962–1966 compilation.

On 26 February 1987, A Hard Day's Night was officially released on CD in mono, as were three other of The Beatles' albums, Please Please Me, With The Beatles, and Beatles for Sale. Having been available only as an import in the US in the past, the 13 track UK version of the album was also issued in the US on LP and cassette on 21 July 1987. Stereo mixes of "A Hard Day's Night", "Can't Buy Me Love" and "And I Love Her" are available on the 1962–1966 CD.

On 9 September 2009 a remastered version of this album was released and was the first time the album appeared in stereo on CD in its entirety. This album is also included in The Beatles Stereo Box Set.[8]

Track listing

A Hard Day's Night by the Beatles (side one) - Parlophone yellow and black label

All tracks credited to Lennon/McCartney.

Side one
# Title Lead vocals Length
1. "A Hard Day's Night"   Lennon and McCartney 2:34
2. "I Should Have Known Better"   Lennon 2:43
3. "If I Fell"   Lennon and McCartney 2:19
4. "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You"   Harrison 1:56
5. "And I Love Her"   McCartney 2:30
6. "Tell Me Why"   Lennon 2:09
7. "Can't Buy Me Love"   McCartney 2:12
Side two
# Title Lead vocals Length
1. "Any Time at All"   Lennon 2:11
2. "I'll Cry Instead"   Lennon 1:46
3. "Things We Said Today"   McCartney 2:35
4. "When I Get Home"   Lennon 2:17
5. "You Can't Do That"   Lennon 2:35
6. "I'll Be Back"   Lennon 2:24

Sales chart positions

Year Chart Position
1965 Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart 1
2009 Finnish Albums Chart 27[9]

The American release

A Hard Day's Night
Soundtrack by The Beatles and George Martin
Released 26 June 1964
Recorded 1964, Abbey Road Studios
Genre Beat
Length 29:29
Language English
Label United Artists
Producer George Martin
Professional reviews
The Beatles American chronology
The Beatles' Second Album
(1964)
A Hard Day's Night
(1964)
Something New
(1964)
Singles from A Hard Day's Night
  1. "A Hard Day's Night"/"I Should Have Known Better"
    Released: 13 July 1964
  2. "And I Love Her"/"If I Fell"
    Released: 20 July 1964
  3. "I'll Cry Instead"/"I'm Happy Just to Dance with You"
    Released: 20 August 1964

The American version of the album was released on 26 June 1964 by United Artists Records in mono (UAL-3366) and stereo (UAS-6366) and contained the seven songs from the film: "A Hard Day's Night", "Tell Me Why", "I'm Happy Just to Dance With You", "I Should Have Known Better", "If I Fell", "And I Love Her", and "Can't Buy Me Love". It also features "I'll Cry Instead", which, although written for the film, was cut from it at the last minute. The American version also included four easy listening-styled instrumental versions of Lennon and McCartney songs by George Martin: "I Should Have Known Better", "And I Love Her", "Ringo's Theme (This Boy)", and "A Hard Day's Night", each of which later appeared on George Martin's own instrumental albums released by United Artists and Parlophone. As with the Vee-Jay and Capitol albums issued during 1964, there are different label variations of the United Artists album, as well. Some of the labels misspell the titles of 2 of the songs: "Tell Me Why" appears as "Tell Me Who", and "I'll Cry Instead" as "I Cry Instead".

The album went to number one on the Billboard album chart, spending 14 weeks there, the longest run of any album that year.[10]

After EMI acquired United Artists Records, this album was reissued on 17 August 1980 on the Capitol label (SW-11921).

While the stereo version of the album included the instrumental tracks in true stereo, the Beatles' own recordings appeared as electronically rechannelled stereo recordings made from the mono releases. True stereo versions of most of the songs appeared on the Capitol Records album Something New, released in July 1964. "Can't Buy Me Love" and "I Should Have Known Better" finally appeared in stereo versions on the Apple Records compilation Hey Jude in 1970. The song "A Hard Day's Night" did not appear in a stereo version in the U.S. until the LP Reel Music in March 1982. The American version has yet to be released officially on CD.

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Revised track listing

All tracks credited to Lennon/McCartney.

Side one
# Title Notes Length
1. "A Hard Day's Night"     2:33
2. "Tell Me Why"     2:10
3. "I'll Cry Instead"     2:06
4. "I Should Have Known Better"   Instrumental, George Martin & His Orchestra 2:10
5. "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You"     1:59
6. "And I Love Her"   Instrumental, George Martin & His Orchestra 3:46
Side two
# Title Notes Length
1. "I Should Have Known Better"     2:44
2. "If I Fell"     2:22
3. "And I Love Her"     2:29
4. "Ringo's Theme (This Boy)"   Instrumental, George Martin & His Orchestra 3:10
5. "Can't Buy Me Love"     2:12
6. "A Hard Day's Night"   Instrumental, George Martin & His Orchestra 2:06

Personnel

According to Mark Lewisohn[11]

The Beatles
Additional musicians

Notes

References

External links

Preceded by
Hello, Dolly! by Louis Armstrong
Billboard Top LP's number one album by The Beatles
25 July – 30 October 1964
Succeeded by
People by Barbra Streisand

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