A Hard Day's Night
A Hard Day's Night was the third album by The Beatles, released on July 10, 1964 as the soundtrack to their first film of the same name.
The album, whilst showcasing the development of the band's songwriting talents, sticks to the basic rock and roll instrumentation and song format. It is notable as the first Beatles album to feature entirely original compositions (and the only one with a song catalogue credited entirely to Lennon-McCartney). Some of the more famous songs on the album include the title track (with its distinct, instantly recognizable opening chord), and the catchy "Tell Me Why" & "Can't Buy Me Love", which was also a transatlantic number one single for the band. It also features "And I Love Her", the first of Paul McCartney's distinctive and popular ballads. The album and film are said to portray the classic image of The Beatles, being released at the height of Beatlemania.
The title of the album (and film) was alleged to have been the accidental creation of drummer Ringo Starr, though the phrase is used in John Lennon's contemporary book "In His Own Write" and was reputedly used at least once by him during the Hamburg era.
Side one of the LP contains the songs from the movie soundtrack. Side two contains songs recorded for, but not included in, the film, although a 1980s rerelease of the movie includes a prologue before the opening credits with "I'll Cry Instead" on the soundtrack. This is also the first Beatles album to be recorded on four-track tape, allowing for good stereo mixes. Despite this, the CD of this album is currently 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.
In 2000 Q placed A Hard Day's Night at number 5 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2003, the album was ranked number 388 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
On February 26th, 1987, "A Hard Day's Night" was officially released on CD, as were three other of The Beatles' UK albums, "Please Please Me," "With the Beatles," and "Beatles For Sale."
The American version of the album was released on June 26, 1964, by United Artists Records 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," "Can't Buy Me Love," plus "I'll Cry Instead" which was written for the film, but cut from the film at the last minute. The American version also included four 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."
After EMI acquired United Artists Records, this album was reissued on August 17, 1981, on the Capitol label with catalogue number SW 11921.
Whilst the stereo version of the album included the instrumental tracks in stereo, The Beatles' own recordings appeared in mono in both the mono and stereo releases. Stereo versions of most of the songs appeared on the Capitol Records album Something New, also in 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. "A Hard Day's Night" did not appear in a stereo version in the US until the LP Reel Music in March 1982.