1964: A Hard Day's Night

 

Parlophone/July 10. 1964. PMC 1230 (mono) PCS 3058 (stereo)

Produced by George Martin All songs composed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. All? Yes, all.

Side 1:
A Hard Day's Night
I Should Have Known Better
If I Fell
I'm Happy Just To Dance With You
And I Love Her
Tell Me Why
Can't Buy Me Love
Side 2:
Any Time At All
I'll Cry Instead
Things We Said Today
When I Get Home
You Can't Do That
I'll Be Back
"Side 1" on the LP is made up of songs from the Beatles' first movie "A Hard Day's Night", side 2 contains other new songs.  How they found time to write all these great songs in between all the other tings they did in 1964, we shall never know. The title is a ringoism that first appeared in John Lennons 1964 book "In His Own Write".

The CD is a mono only "let's not bother with mixing a proper stereo-CD" thingy from 1987.

Liner Notes:

Alun Owens began work on the original screenplay late last autumn. Producer Walter Shenson and director Richard Lester watched their newest screen stars at work over Christmas and the New Year on the stage of the Finsbury Park 'Astoria' in London. John and Paul began to compile a collection of new compositions for the soundtrack while The Beatles were appearing at the Paris 'Olympia' last January. One morning early in March a specially chartered train moved out of Paddington station and the first day's shooting of The Beatles' first film got underway.

Reel upon reel of precious film had filled the camera crew's metal cans before a title had been selected for the United Artists picture. Then Ringo casually came up with the name at the end of a particularly strenuous session on the film set. 'It's been a hard day's night that was!' he declared, squatting for a moment in the arm of his canvas chair behind the line of cameras and technicians. The film, which also stars Wilfred Brambell in the role of Paul's (mythical) Irish grandfather, was promptly named 'A HARD DAY'S NIGHT'.

The story depicts something like 48 consecutive hours of activity in the bustling lives of four beat group boys. Named John, Paul, George and Ringo. A Hard Day's Night is heard at the very beginning of the film as the boys sing and play over the opening titles. The number features John's double-tracked voice, producing a duet effect. Its brisk, compelling theme crops up in orchestral form elsewhere during the film as part of recording manager George Martin's instrumental soundtrack score.

John's I Should Have Known Better makes an early appearance in the film during a railway sequence when the four boys are seen playing cards in the guard's van of the train.

John and Paul share the vocal action on If I Fell, the first of four songs featured in extensive theatre/studio sequences which shows the group rehearsing and finally performing in a television spectacular. I'm Happy Just To Dance With You gives George a chance to handle the lead vocal, And I Love Her hands the solo spotlight to Paul who is joined by John for Tell Me Why.

The last of the soundtrack's magnificent seven, Can't Buy Me Love, has already been a worldwide disc hit for The Beatles. In "A HARD DAY'S NIGHT' it forms the musical backdrop to several different scenes when the boys are seen chasing across a field after a quick-fire getaway from the television studio and when the incredible race between Beatles, fans and police takes place with the boys tearing along streets and down alleyways in double-quick time!

Creating and perfecting completely new compositions for the soundtrack of 'A HARD DAY'S NIGHT' presented John and Paul with one of the greatest challenges of their pop-penning career. In the past their song-writing had been done at a more leisurely pace. Now they had a shooting schedule deadline to meet and the entire collection of fresh numbers had to be compiled during a season of concerts in Paris and a now legendary visit to America. To assist their work the two boys had a grand-piano moved into their hotel suite at the George V in Paris.

By the beginning of March the task was complete and The Beatles had a total of almost a dozen new songs ready for final rehearsal. At every stage of its conception and production care was taken to see that 'A HARD DAY'S NIGHT' would not turn into a continuous parade of Beatle performances. After all The Beatles themselves agreed that the film should portray as many different facets of the four boy's individual personalities as possible. Indeed, the comedy contest was, and is, of paramount importance, and John, Paul, George and Ringo are afforded the maximum opportunity to display their on-the-spot sense of humour.

It became apparent that no more than six new songs should be introduced via the soundtrack of the film. To increase this number would have left insufficient screen-time for the action of the plot. On the other hand it seemed most unfair to hold back the remainder of the boy's new songs when each one was of such excellent quality. Eventually the decision was made to record all the material which John and Paul had written and include the extra titles on the second side of this album.

Although the voice of George Harrison is much in evidence throughout this album the solo vocal activity on the second side is shared between the songs' composers, John and Paul. Paul handles the lyrics of Things We Said Today and he's heard in duet with John on I'll Cry Instead. For the main part John's is the dominant voice featured on Any Time At All, When I Get Home, You Can't Do That and I'll Be Back although George and Paul back up his efforts strongly on all titles.

When you listen to the second side of this record you will agree that it would have been a pity to cast aside such a fabulous set of songs solely because the couldn't be fitted into the structure of 'A HARD DAY'S NIGHT'. Now, with this album in your library, you have a collection of Beatle recordings which is comprehensive and up to date. At the same time it is interesting to remember that the LP housed within this sleeve is the first-ever album release to be made up entirely of self-composed and self-performed Beatle compositions.

Cover notes by TONY BARROW
A Hard Day's Night

basic recording- 16 April 1964
additional recording- 16 April 1964
master tape- 4 trac
k
mono mixed: 23 April 1964
stereo mixed: 22 Jun 1964.
Remixed for the CD "1962-1966" in 1993. Digitally remixed in 2000 for "1".

A USA cassette version from 1964 has the ending riff repeated five times instead of three (done by editing). The 1993 stereo remix has a better centered lead vocal than the 1964 one.

I Should Have Known Better

basic recording- 26 Feb 1964
additional recording- 26 Feb 1964
master tape- 4 trac
k
mono mixed: 3 Mar 1964. edited.
stereo mixed: 22 Jun 1964. Remixed for the USA LP "Reel Music" in 1982.

The mono mix fades out a little faster than the stereo mix. The harmonica during the intro cuts out suddenly at one point (the fourth phrase) in stereo, but is fixed in the other two by edit: mono repeats the third harmonica phrase, and the new stereo mix (1982) repeats the second phrase.

In the home video A Hard Day's Night, the new stereo mix (1982) is used in the train scene but the old one (1964) with the harmonica mistake is used in the television show scene later, where it seems to match his movements. Note, the UK: Parlophone PCS 7218 Reel Music LP uses the old 1964 stereo mix.

If I Fell

basic recording- 27 Feb 1964
additional recording- 27 Feb 1964
master tape- 4 trac
k
mono mixed: 3 Mar 1964. edited.
stereo mixed: 22 Jun 1964. 

The stereo mix has a double track John on the intro, unlike mono, with a slight lag in one track at the first word "if" and at "and" in "and I've found". Paul misses the high note the second time on the word "vain" ("our new love was in vain"), as heard in stereo, but corrected in mono by editing in the same word from the first time round. 


I'm Happy Just To Dance With You

basic recording- 1 Mar 1964
additional recording- none
master tape- 4 trac
k
mono mixed: 3 Mar 1964. 
stereo mixed: 22 Jun 1964. 

And I Love Her

basic recording- 27 Feb 1964
additional recording- 27 Feb 1964
master tape- 4 trac
k
mono mixed: 3 Mar 1964. edited.
stereo mixed: 22 Jun 1964. Remixed for the CD "1962-1966" in 1993.

The "German stereo version" (german "Something New"-LP 1964, and USA "Rarities" 1980) has six guitar riffs at the end instead of only four. It seems to have been made by editing in repeats, rather than being an untrimmed version, although for what purpose is unknown. It also has the guitar softer on left, but this seems to be a balancing error, not a different mix, since the centered vocal is also pulled a little to right, as it would be if the balance were off.

The USA Soundtrack LP of "A Hard Day's Night" on United Artists Records featured a single tracked lead vocal most of the time, whereas all other releases has it double-tracked.


Tell Me Why
basic recording- 27 Feb 1964
additional recording- 27 Feb 1964
master tape- 4 track
mono mixed: 3 Mar 1964. edited.
stereo mixed: 22 Jun 1964. 
Stereo mix has a noise at the very end edited off the others. 
Can't Buy Me Love
basic recording- 29 Jan 1964 at EMI Pathe Marconi, Paris
additional recording- 29 Jan at EMI Pathe Marconi, Paris; 25 Feb, 10 Mar 1964
Master tape- 4 track 2d generation
mono mixed: 26 Feb 1964
stereo mixed: 22 Jun 1964, re-mixed in 1993 f
or the CD "1962-1966". Digitally remixed in 2000 for "1".

The mono mix has the rhythm track mixed more upfront, and sounds more powerful, but at the same time the guitar is less audible.

In both stereo mixes (The first one used on the stereo "A Hard Day's Night" vinyl LP, the second one is on the 1962-1966 aka "the red album" compilation double CD set), some of the drum sound appears in the center, fading up in between vocal lines and then back down, giving the impression it sounds this way on the multi-track. However, the outtake from the same day ("Anthology 1" with added reverb) does not have this, so maybe it happened during the work in February rather than during recording. It may make for a better compressed sound in mono but sounds bad in stereo

Any Time At All

basic recording- 2 June 1964
additional recording- 2,3 June 1964
master tape- 4 trac
k
mono mixed: 22 June 1964. 
stereo mixed: 22 June 1964. 

US mono (Something New LP) has the piano mixed way down compared to the others, and the single drumbeat just before the chorus is either missing or way down so that we hear only what sounds like a thump on a guitar body... and these mixes were all done on the same day. The stereo separation shows the rhythm track fading up louder between vocal lines, as in stereo Can't buy me love, possibly leakage into the vocal microphones during live recording.

I'll Cry Instead

basic recording- 1 June 1964
additional recording- 1 June 1964
master tape- 4 trac
k
mono mixed: 4 June 1964. Edited.
stereo mixed: 22 June 1964. Edited. 

Lewisohn reports the song was recorded in two sections that were edited together, but not what the sections are. Additionally, only one mono mix is documented, but we have two, which I tentatively date the same day. The mono mix used in the US is the "long version" that has an additional verse, verse 4, obviously edited in, which repeats the lyrics but not the same recording of verse 1. The UK mono mix and the standard stereo mix are by comparison the "short version". (Possibly, the UK mono mix is just a mono reduction of the stereo mix, explaining why only one real mono mix is documented?)

A "long version" stereo mix made by editing the original stereo mix was used in a montage of still photos that opened the 1982 theatrical reissue of the film A Hard Day's Night, as well as the subsequent home video release. This is a forgery of a nonexistent "complete" version, as if the mono long version were not extended by an edit, and is not like that mix because it edits in a repeat of the same recording of verse 1, not a different one. 

Things We Said Today

basic recording- 2 June 1964
additional recording- 2,3 June 1964
master tape- 4 trac
k
mono mixed: 4 June 1964. 
stereo mixed: 22 June 1964. 

When I Get Home

basic recording- 2 June 1964
additional recording- 4 June 1964
master tape- 4 trac
k
mono mixed: 22 June 1964. 
stereo mixed: 22 June 1964. 

US mono (Something New LP) has the piano mixed louder than UK mono, but the latter has a louder percussion crash at "whoa-ah". And they were mixed one right after the other.

The line "till I walk out that door" is doubletracked in US mono (Something New LP) while only "out that door" is in the other mono and stereo mixes. As heard on Something New, one of the vocals starts "till I" before the other, and the single vocal track used in other mixes is the one that starts later.

You Can't Do That

basic recording- 25 Feb 1964
additional recording- 25 Feb 1964
master tape- 4 trac
k
mono mixed: 26 Feb 1964
stereo mixed: 22 June 1964. 

There is an earlier stereo mix made 10 Mar 64, which was used on the Canadian stereo LP "Long Tall Sally". This has no bass in the right channel. A new stereo mix of 1994 appears on the home video "The Making of A Hard Day's Night", but not on disk.

I'll Be Back

basic recording- 1 June 1964
additional recording- 1 June 1964
master tape- 4 trac
k
mono mixed: 22 June 1964.
stereo mixed: 22 June 1964.

The original USA LP Beatles '65 added a lot of echo to this track in stereo, and a little in mono.

 

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