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Monday, November 23, 2015

Extracts from the Album A Hard Day's Night

The second EP issued on November 6th, 1964 featured a title nearly identical to the first one, merely inserting the word "album" in place of the word "film," though that simple substitution accurately differentiates the contents of the two discs.  This release contained songs from the non-soundtrack side of the LP A Hard Day's Night, running them in the same order as they had originally appeared on that record.

SIDE ONE

Any Time at All
I'll Cry Instead

SIDE TWO

Things We Said Today
When I Get Home

On the back cover, once again, press officer Tony Barrow used some of his original liner notes from the album A Hard Day's Night, adding only a few new bits of information in reference to the specific contents of this disc.

The program begins with Lennon's tough but tender mid-tempo rocker Any Time at All.  This is followed by the Lennon rockabilly number I'll Cry Instead, which was always mistakenly listed as being part of the soundtrack in the US, yet never was in the UK, correctly so.

Side two opens with McCartney's beautiful and brooding Things We Said Today, which had also served as the B-side of the single A Hard Day's Night.  This, of course, begs the question as to whether or not this song should have been replaced by Lennon's equally beautiful and brooding album-closer I'll Be Back.  But that would have made for an all-Lennon lineup, as the final offering here is Lennon's When I Get Home, a wild recording that threatens go to off the rails both vocally and instrumentally until it comes to a satisfying conclusion.

While fans had been eager to obtain the soundtrack songs on the Extracts from the Film EP, thereby pushing that release to number one on the Record Retailer EP chart, they were decidedly less enthusiastic about this disc, causing it to peak at a disappointing number eight.  This would be the lowest chart performance of any EP issued by the Beatles during their career, which is surprising due to the quality of the material presented here.  Perhaps two releases on the same day forced fans, many of whom could not afford albums in the first place, to make a hard choice, and the well-known soundtrack songs made for a more attractive package. 

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