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Friday, November 20, 2015

Extracts from the Film A Hard Day's Night

Hard on the heels of the EP Long Tall Sally in June of 1964 came the release of the soundtrack album A Hard Day's Night in July.  Parlophone bided its time before issuing any material from that album in the EP format, then took the unprecedented step of releasing two EPs on the very same day, November 6th.  The first of these featured four tracks from side one of the LP (the soundtrack side) in the order as listed on the front cover pictured above.

SIDE ONE

I Should Have Known Better
If I Fell

SIDE TWO

Tell Me Why
And I Love Her

On the back cover, press officer Tony Barrow simply reused some of the liner notes he had written for the album to promote the film, though he did add a few more detailed descriptions of the songs included here.  He refers to these four songs as the "highspot items" from the album, obviously overlooking the two smash singles Can't Buy Me Love and A Hard Day's Night.

Lennon's I Should Have Known Better gets the program off to a joyous, rollicking start.  Most of these soundtrack songs were good enough to be singles (and, with the lone exception of Tell Me Why, all of them were issued on singles in the US) and this number fits into that mold perfectly.  This is followed by the stunning ballad If I Fell, also a Lennon composition.  Apart from John's vocal intro, it is sung as a duet by John and Paul - easily one of the most gorgeous of their entire career.

Side two opens with yet another offering from Lennon, the rousing Tell Me Why which launches the concert sequence at the end of the film.  This number features those trademark three-part harmonies of John, Paul and George which fans had already come to expect as a staple of the group's act.  As on the first side, we are then treated with a ballad, McCartney's beautiful acoustic tune And I Love Her, an example of a second-tier song that went on to become a well-loved standard in its own right, with numerous cover versions by other artists.

This oddly-titled release went to the number one spot on the Record Retailer's EP chart.  The same could not be said, however, of the companion disc also issued on that day.

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