The second song on the "A Hard Day's Night" soundtrack is another Lennon/McCartney original entitled "I Should Have Known Better" which is sung and mainly written by John. The song is featured in the movie when the Beatles are holed up in a cargo cage of a train. Also in the scene is a certain Miss Patti Boyd who would later become George Harrison's wife.
The first attempt to record the song was on Tuesday February 25 1964 (George Harrison's 21st birthday, by the way). There were three takes taped at that session, but they remained unsatisfactory and the tune was left for the next session. This happened to be the next day on February 26 1964 when "I Should Have Known Better" was completed at take 22. The distinct harmonica and the double-tracked vocals were overdubbed at the same session.
"I Should have Known Better" was mixed for mono on March 03 1964. A tape copy of the current mono mix was given to United Artists (for the soundtrack) and Capitol (for the single) on June 09 1964. Finally, a stereo mix was completed in Studio One on June 22 1964. Initially, there was a gap in the harmonica intro on the stereo mix that was not apparent on the mono mix. This was later fixed by the time the LP "Reel Music" was released in 1982. The gap in the harmonica was once again present by the time the remastered stereo version of "A Hard Day's Night" was released in 2009 !
"I Should Have Known Better" is available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "A Hard Day's Night", the United Artists US soundtrack LP "A Hard Day's Night", also on the Apple US LP: "Hey Jude/The Beatles Again" and on the EMI/Capitol LP "Reel Music". This song was the B-side to "A Hard Day's Night" in North America only.
"I Should Have Known Better" was performed twice on BBC radio. Once on "Top Gear" and once on "From Us to You".