This is a direct excerpt from UNCLE JOE'S RECORD GUIDE - The BEATLES, as printed in November 1990. Copyright (c) 1990 by J. Benson Unlimited. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic means including information storage and retrieval systems without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review. An expanded, updated version of this book is scheduled for release in October 1998.
A Hard Day's Night (17-14) *compact disc*
3rd U.K. LP, released 7/10/64 - 4th U.S. LP, released 6/26/64. The movie deal for A Hard Day's Night had been put together in late 1963, before the Beatles became a worldwide phenomenon. The movie portrayed their lives with a fair amount of accuracy - that alone made it a classic.
On January 17, 1964, while the group was spending three weeks in Paris opening for Trini Lopez, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was certified a million-seller in America. The Beatles had finally conquered the States. The next day, they went into a Paris studio, re-cut the vocal tracks for "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and rerecorded all of "She Loves You," both with German lyrics. Then they recorded "Can't Buy Me Love." By the end of the Lopez gig, the seven songs that would be included in the movie A Hard Day's Night had been written and arranged. A quick trip to America for another Ed Sullivan TV Show and a few concert dates was followed by more recording before the A Hard Day's Night filming began on the first of March 1964.
While this album was basically the movie's soundtrack, it also marked the first time the Beatles filled an entire album with original music (and the only time they did so with just Lennon/McCartney songs). The success and subsequent royalties generated by their first two albums meant more freedom and creativity in the studio for the boys - and it showed. Even though this had the most sophisticated arrangements to date, the music still had a raw, exciting edge. Most of the songs for the movie were recorded in late February 1964. At the end of the six weeks of filming in May, the Beatles took a well-deserved, three-week vacation. When they returned, the first two days of June were spent recording the second side of this album and finishing their fifth British EP. Most of the second side of A Hard Day's Night was released in the States as Something New and Beatles '65.
One of the by-products of the A Hard Day's Night sessions was the Beatles' hard-rocking, 4-song Long Tall Sally EP - still considered to be one of the finest EP releases ever. With two new songs recorded as part of the A Hard Day's Night project, the Long Tall Sally EP was released in England before the A Hard Day's Night album; it sent all of Britain into a frenzy for the movie's premiere. Of the four songs released on the Long Tall Sally EP, two - "Long Tall Sally" and "I Call Your Name" - had previously appeared in the U.S. on The Beatles' Second Album. The other two songs - the Beatles' covers of "Slow Down" and "Matchbox" - were released as an U.S. single four months after the A Hard Day's Night album, and then included on the American Something New album.
Averaging 22 years of age, the Beatles were worked to the bone even before their first real U.S. tour. A whirlwind European/Australian tour was scheduled for mid-June 1964, but Ringo came down with tonsillitis just 24 hours before the first concert. Session man Jimmy Nicol was pulled from obscurity to fill in on drums. After those dates, Jimmy slipped back into oblivion, and the Beatles barely had time to rest before they were back on the road.
The A Hard Day's Night movie premiered in London on July 6, 1964, and the album and first single (the title track) entered the British charts at #1 four days later. The A Hard Day's Night album ultimately stayed at #1 on both the American and British charts for four months! With Beatlemania raging, the band began their first full U.S. tour at the Cow Palace in San Francisco on August 18, 1964. They finished it one month later in New York.
** Special Note: Released on United Artists Records (instead of Capitol Records) as part of the Beatles' movie deal, the American version of this album was radically different. It contained the Beatles' songs from the movie interspersed with orchestrated instrumentals from the soundtrack. Thankfully, only the original British version of A Hard Day's Night is available on compact disc.
All of these songs were featured in the movie and on the U.S. version of the album.
These were the songs that neither made it into the movie A Hard Day's Night nor on the American version of the album. However, these were all eventually released in the U.S. on Something New and Beatles '65. With the exception of " You Can't Do That," all of these songs were recorded June 1 and 2, 1964, just after the Beatles returned from their short post-movie vacation.