Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Hard Day's Night LP

The soundtrack to the Beatles' first major motion picture was released by United Artists on or about June 26 1964 in Canada and the United States. The catalogue number for the LP was UAL 3366 for mono copies and UAS 6366 for stereo copies.

The front cover of the LP features four large photographs of each individual Beatle from the nose up. This differs from the UK copy which features 20 smaller photos with full head shots of the individual Beatles. The background colour on the front cover is various shades of red depending on the printer."Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" and the album title are in black while "The Beatles" is shown in white. Mono copies have "high fidelity" and the UA logo in white on the bottom while stereo copies have a black banner at the top of the cover with "stereo" artist/title/catalogue number and the UA logo within the banner.

The back cover features 15 black and white photographs of each individual Beatles in various poses from the chest up. Mono copies have the artist/title at the top. Underneath are the credits for the movie and at the right in a black trimmed box is the musical director credit for George Martin. All song by Lennon and McCartney is written underneath the box along with publishing information in small black print. Mono copies have the UA logo at the bottom left with the catalogue number and UA adress at the bottom. Stereo copies have the same information on the back cover as mono copies with the exception of having the logo at the top left with tyhe catalogue number and UA adress at the top.

Original pressings of the LP were on the "United Artists" label which has the four coloured dots at the top perimeter (blue/gold/white and red) and the "United Artists" logo within a white box in gold and white. The bottom perimeter print reads: "High Fidelity" and the New York address. Stereo copies are the same with "High Fidelity Stereo" along the bottom perimeter. Some copies misspelled the song "I'll Cry Instead" as "I Cry Instead". There are also white lable promotional copies in the United states with the four dots and UA logo in black.

Canadian copies have the four dots (all silver) and the silver "United Artists" logo underneath. There is no "High Fidelity" print and the labels were either red or blue or black whereas stereo copies were strictly black. All original Canadian copies were pressed by Compo in Lachine, Quebec.

There are six songs on side one and six songs on side two: Side one starts with two songs from the film; the title track and "Tell Me Why", then "I'll Cry Instead" is featured although it was eventually dropped from the movie by Richard Lester (the director of the film). Next is an instrumental of "I Should Have Known Better" by George Martin and his orchestra, "I'm Happy Just to Dance With You" by the Beatles and side one ends with an instrumental version of "And I Love Her" by the George Martin Orchestra. Side two opens with "I Should Have Known Better", "If I Fell" and "And I Love Her" by the Beatles; "Ringo's Theme (This Boy)" by the George Martin Orchestra, "Can't Buy Me Love" by the Beatles and the LP ends with an instrumental version of the title track by the George Martin Orchestra.

All of the Beatles material was sent to United Artists in mono only from Abbey Road in June 1964. This means that the stereo LP does not contain true stereo versions of the Beatles songs but contains the "duophonic" process and some left and right panning in some cases. The George Martin and his Orchestra instrumentals are in true stereo on the stereo LPs.

Some US copies came with an inner sleeve (either white or checkered) with the United Artists logo and the blurb "The Proudest Name in Entertainment" printed on them.

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