Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Hard Days Night

A Hard Days Night was released July 10, 1964 making it The Beatles third album and the first album with all original material and consist solely of songs written by Lennon-McCartney.  The album has a total of 13 tracks;
  • A Hard Days 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
  • 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
The album featured John Lennon on vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, harmonica, and tambourine; Paul McCartney doing vocals, bass guitar, piano, and cowbell; George Harrison on vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and claves; and Ringo Starr on drums, conga, bongos, and tambourine; and George Martin on piano.It is one of the few albums that Ringo does not sing (Ringo doesn't sing on Magical Mystery Tour and Let It Be) .

The Name "A Hard Days Night" came from Ringo Starr and appeared in John's In His Own Write, "Sad Michael".

"When we knew we were writing for something like an album [John] would write a few in his spare moments, like this batch here. He'd bring them in, we'd check 'em. I'd write a couple and we'd throw 'em at each other, and then there would be a couple that were more co-written. But you just had a certain amount of time. You knew when the recording date was and so a week or two before then we'd get into it.
It didn't seem like pressure. It was - I suppose you'd have to think it was but I don't remember it being a pressure. It was fun, it was great. I always liken songwriting to a conjurer pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Now you see it, now you don't. If I now pick up a guitar and start to conjure something out of the air, there's a great magic about it. Where there was nothing, now there is something. Where there was a white sheet of paper, there's a page we can read. Where there was no tune and no lyrics, there's now a song we can sing! That aspect of it made it a lot of fun. We'd be amazed to see what kind of rabbit we'd pulled out that day."- Paul McCartney

The first song recorded for the album was "Can't Buy Me Love" which was recorded on January 29, 1964 at EMI's Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris.  The song was taped in four takes and become the follow-up to I Want To Hold Your Hand when released as a single on March 20, 1964 in the UK.
"The very first records we made were mono, though I did have stereo facilities. To make mixing easier I would keep the voices separate from the backing, so I used a stereo machine as a twin-track. Not with the idea of stereo - merely to give myself a little bit more flexibility in remixing into a mono. So the first year's recordings were made on just two tracks and were live; like doing broadcasts. With the great advance of four-track we were able to overdub and put on secondary voices and guitar solos afterwards. By the time we did A Hard Day's Night we would certainly put the basic track down and do the vocals afterwards. Invariably, I was putting all the rhythm instruments onto either one or two tracks (generally one track) so you would have bass lumped with guitar. It wasn't until later still that we began putting bass on afterwards as well, giving Paul the opportunity of using his voice more."-George Martin
 During the absence of The Beatles due to making their first film, A Hard Day's Night, and their world tour George Martin worked on the recordings by editing and mixing with EMI studio engineers and adding piano part to "You Can't' Do That". The album was completely finished on June 22.

The album had advance orders of over 250,000 in the UK and by the end of 1964 sold 600,000 copies. More than a million advance orders were made for the US release and within 2 months A Hard Days Night sold million copies making it one of the fastest- selling albums of all time. It spent 21 consecutive weeks as number one on UK charts from July 25, 1964 and remained on the charts for 38 weeks. In The US it topped US Billboard album charts for 14 weeks, the longest time any album stayed on the charts that year. A Hard Days Night topped US and UK single and album charts simultaneously on August 5, 1964, the only time that has ever happened.
"We were different. We were older. We knew each other on all kinds of levels that we didn't when we were teenagers. The early stuff - the Hard Day's Night period, I call it - was the sexual equivalent of the beginning hysteria of a relationship. And the Sgt Pepper-Abbey Road period was the mature part of the relationship."- John Lennon, 1980

A Hard Days Night Fun Facts:
  • January 29, 1964 they started recorded A Hard Days Night with the first song "Can't Buy Me Love". They booked Pathe Marconi Studios for a daytime session to record  German-language versions of She Loves You and I Want To Hold You Hand but had free time, and recorded they're first song for the album
  •  It's said that The Beatles intended to have a 14th song on the album but Ringo Starr had gotten ill with tonsillitis and pharyngitis during a photo session the morning they were going to record. 
  • The Opening chord for "A Hard Days Night" was an Fadd9 for guitar (Rickenbacker 200/12 guitar played by George) and D note played on the 12th fret on the D string played by Paul on his Hofner violin bass. 
  • "You Know What To Do", "No Reply", and "It's For You" were recorded during this time period.
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