The title was taken from an expression Ringo used to say. In a 1964 interview with DJ Dave Hull, Ringo explained: "We went to do a job, and we'd worked all day and we happened to work all night. I came up still thinking it was day I suppose, and I said, 'It's been a hard day...' and I looked around and saw it was dark so I said, 'Night!' So we came to 'A Hard Day's Night.'" John Lennon used the phrase "A hard day's night" in a his book In His Own Write before it was used as a song or movie title. He used it in the short story (more of a vignette) titled "Sad Michael." An excerpt: "There was no reason for Michael to be sad that morning, (the little wretch): everyone liked him, (the scab). He'd had a hard day's night that day, for Michael was a Cocky Watchtower."
John Lennon wrote this song, which contains long, repeating notes that are uncommon in Pop music. Even more unusual, Lennon sang it in glissando: "haaaard days night...". The melody resembles the Irish folk song "Donall Og," with the same pentatonic, and small glissandos. Such glissandos you even find in the English ballad "Three Babes." Albert Goldman wrote in his 1980 book The Lives of John Lennon, "The whole composition is written in mixolydic key, an old key which was abandoned in the beginning of the seventeenth century, but is maintained in English and Irish folk music."
This was the title song to the first of five Beatles movies. It got two Oscar nominations and was a hit with critics and audiences. At the time, a lot of movies were made starring musicians, but most were showcases for the singers and not very good (think Elvis movies). A Hard Day's Night was a surprise because it actually had cinematic value. It even sold well when it was released on DVD many years later. When the deal was made to make the movie, The Beatles had not yet caught on in America and there were fairly low expectations for the film, as The Beatles were thought of as a fad that would soon pass. By the time filming began, The Beatles were huge and it was clear that a lot of people would see the movie. The studio considered putting more money into the film, but they decided to stick with the original modest budget. In order to save money, it was shot in black and white.
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