A Hard Day's Night
- John Lennon – double-tracked vocal, electric and acoustic rhythm guitars
- Paul McCartney – double-tracked vocal, harmony vocal, bass
- George Harrison – lead guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums, bongos, cowbell
- George Martin – piano
This song is the title track of the Beatles' third UK album. It was released on July 10, 1964 to accompany their first movie, of the same name. United Artists released their "sound track" album from the movie in the US earlier, on June 26, with a different track list (for reasons of permissions, rights and copyrights). John Lennon was the sole composer of A Hard Day's Night, though the credits state "Lennon-McCartney" as usual. Lennon wrote the song on April 13-15, 1964 on a matchbook cover, and then on a birthday card. He was inspired by a what might be called another bit of "creative nonsense" from Ringo, who, after a tiring day, and, not knowing it was already dark, had declared it to have been "a hard day's night." On April 13, 1964, this phrase was chosen as the title for the movie (substituting for "Beatlemania.") Lennon then wrote the song, and it was recorded at Abbey Road on April 16, even while final changes were being made. Most of the other songs for the album had already been taped. Lennon sings the song, but McCartney's higher voice is heard solo in the bridge. Harrison (guitar) and George Martin (piano) double up on the solo section. The structure of the song is like many in the Beatles' catalog: intro, verse, verse, bridge, verse, with a repeat of the bridge and an extended final verse to the end (or fade). This song is notable for the dissonant, loud opening chord in the intro, actually a G11-sus4. It's function was to kick off the movie -- and the song -- with a bang.
April 16, 1964 in nine takes.
- An instrumental version of A Hard Day's Night arranged and performed by George Martin & His Orchestra appears on the US release of the album A Hard Day's Night - 2:06.