The Beatles are back with their fifth number one of the year (with one more to go). You can’t talk about the song “A Hard Day’s Night” without talking about the movie of the same name. The movie was meant to be a look into the lives of the four guys, sort of “a few days in the life of the Beatles.” The movie looks really silly and dated today, but in 1964, when it first came out, people loved it. The film was originally going to be called Beatlemania, but none of the guys liked that. Paul came up with some other suggestions but, finally it was Ringo who named the movie, which ultimately named the song.
Ringo was famous for providing several titles and ideas for songs which the group wrote and recorded. They became know as “Ringoisms” and were phrases that were just a little bit off. “A Hard Day’s Night” was first said by Ringo just in passing and Paul picked up on the phrase and turned it into the movie and song. Alun Owen wrote the screenplay for the film, writing it from the viewpoint of the guys themselves and inferring that they were prisoners of their own fame, which, I’m sure that’s how they felt.
The Beatles were so popular that the movie would have to have been truly terrible not to succeed. As it was, it was nominated for two Oscars, Best Writing, Story and Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen and Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment. One critic, Andrew Sarris of The Village Voice, called the movie, “the Citizen Kane of jukebox musicals.” High Praise for their first movie.
George met his first wife during the filming of their movie A Hard Day’s Night. Patti Boyd was a former model and a photographer. She had one line in the movie and George was taken with her right from the beginning. The first thing he said to her on the set was “Will you marry me?” Patti was sort-of engaged to another guy and refused him. So, next he asked her to have dinner with him. She once again refused. A few days later, Patti was called back to the set to do another take and George asked her out again. This time she accepted. They were married in January, 1966.
The song, like all the songs in the movie, was written by Paul and John. This particular song was written on a grand piano in a suite in the George V Hotel in Paris, France. It was recorded on April 16, 1964 and on April 25, the film was wrapped up, allowing the guys to go on to other projects.
The single and the album held down the number one spot both in America and in England during the same two weeks in April, 1964, the first time any artist had ever done this.
“A Hard Day’s Night” debuted on the pop chart in America on July 18, 1964 and spent two weeks at number one.
This is the first time I have had trouble finding a video for the song. For some reason, there is no single video of this song that I can find, so I am linking to a full album recording of “A Hard Day’s Night.” The title song is first one to play and if you desire, you can stop listening after it.