A Hard Day's Night

1964 studio album by the Beatles

A Hard Day’s Night was a 1964 album by The Beatles, released on 10 July of that year. It was the soundtrack to the movie of the same name, starring the Beatles and directed by Richard Lester. It was their third album. It is said that the title was accidentally said by Ringo Starr during the filming of the movie.

A Hard Day's Night
Studio album by
Released10 July 1964
Recorded29 January – 3 June 1964, Abbey Road Studios and Pathé Marconi Studios
ProducerGeorge Martin
The Beatles chronology
With The Beatles
A Hard Day's Night Beatles for Sale
Singles from A Hard Day's Night
  1. "Can't Buy Me Love"/"You Can't Do That"
    Released: 16 March 1964
  2. "A Hard Day's Night"/"Things We Said Today"
    Released: 10 July 1964
  3. "And I Love Her"
    Released: 20 July 1964
  4. "I'll Cry Instead"
    Released: 20 July 1964

The movie was made because United Artists, a movie company, wanted to sell a soundtrack album. Many movies that included rock and roll were not good movies. The Beatles did not want to star in a movie unless it was well made, with a good plot. United Artists agreed, and a playwright, Alun Owen, was hired.

Alun Owen travelled with the Beatles on a concert tour. He was to write a fictional story at first, based on how the band interacted with other people, but Owen decided the best story to tell was real, based on what he saw. The "grandfather" character (played by Wilfrid Brambell) was added to appeal to older viewers. Brambell was a popular television actor, who starred in Steptoe and Son (a forerunner of Sanford and Son) as a "dirty old" junk dealer.

Even with a script, the Beatles improvised (made up) some of their own dialogue in the movie. They also acted out ideas from the director, Richard Lester.

Movie overview


In the movie's storyline, the Beatles go to London to perform in a television program. Paul's family send along his grandfather, so he and Paul can keep each other company. The grandfather is a "mixer", and likes to cause trouble between people. (He is also noticed often as being "very clean"; a play on Brambell's "dirty" television role.)

The Beatles enjoy breaking rules and expectations, and playing jokes. Their manager Norm and road manager "Shake" try to make things run smoothly, but have a busy time keeping up with both the Beatles and Paul's grandfather, and making sure the television show goes as planned. (Norm and Shake were based loosely on road managers Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans.)

Songs on the album


This is the only Beatles album on which all songs are by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and their first to only have only songs written by the Beatles.

  1. A Hard Day’s Night
  2. I Should Have Known Better
  3. If I Fell
  4. I’m Happy Just To Dance With You
  5. And I Love Her
  6. Tell Me Why
  7. Can’t Buy Me Love
  8. Any Time At All
  9. I’ll Cry Instead
  10. Things We Said Today
  11. When I Get Home
  12. You Can't Do That
  13. I'll Be Back

The first seven songs were used in the movie.