A Hard Day’s Night Premiered 50 Years Ago Today
The Beatles first film opened on July 6, 1964 and has just been remaster for blu-ray.
Giles Martin (Sir George Martin’s son) has remixed the musical tracks for the latest release and it sounds great, especially considering what he had to work with. The movie itself doesn’t look or sound like it’s a half century old, although I still wish they’d shot it in color. If you hven’t seen it in awhile, it’s worth picking up – especially the clarity of the bly-ray presentation.
Musically it’s The Beatles at the time American embraced the group in a fashion that hadn’t been seen before, and will probably never be seen again. The soundtrack album still holds up well.
Originally released on United Artists records June 26, 1964, the rights to the album reverted back to Capitol in 1980 when their parent company EMI acquired United Artists records, enabling them to include it in the latest box set. The British album was released two weeks later on July 10.
By July 25, ‘A Hard Days Night’ was the #1 record on Billboard’s album chart where it remained for 14 weeks, longer than any other album that year. It was also the first Beatles album to feature all songs written by Lennon-McCartney. The album eventually sold over4,000,000 copies, receiving 4x platinum certification
The seven songs from the film and ‘I’ll Cry Instead’ (which was written for but deleted from the film) were originally presented in fake stereo, while four instrumental tracks arranged and conducted by producer George Martin, were added to fill out the album. Unlike The Beatles recordings, those four tracks were presented in true stereo.
On the U.S. albums collection released in 2009, all stereo tracks are in true stereo replacing the original lp’s fake stereo, with the exception of ‘I’ll Cry Instead’ which is a unique version that contains an extra verse. It was only mixed in mono and therefore repeated in that form in the stereo grouping for continuity.
John and Paul sang lead on three of the tracks, John on two, Paul on two, and George on one.
Mono/Stereo – Song – Lead
2:33 2:31 A Hard Day’s Night – John and Paul
2:10 2:10 Tell Me Why – John and Paul
2:05 2:05 I’ll Cry Instead – John
2:10 2:11 I Should Have Known Better – George Martin instrumantal
1:59 1:59 I’m Happy Just To Dance With You – George Harrison
3:45 3:46 And I Love Her -George Martin instrumental
2:44 2:45 I Should Have Known Better – John
2:21 2:22 If I Fell – John and Paul
2:29 2:28 And I Love Her – Paul
3:11 3:11 Ringo’s Theme (This Boy) – George Martin instrumental
2:12 2:12 Can’t Buy Me Love – Paul
2:06 2:06 A Hard Day’s Night – George Martin instrumental
Front cover and promo labels from original album issue.
George, John, Paul and Ringo (1964) on filming ‘A Hard Days Night