It Was 54 Years Ago Today – “A Hard Day’s Night” (What’s Old is New)

Well, well, another anniversary.

Yes, I know, there’s always another anniversary brewing but I think this one is pretty fun.

Fifty-four years ago today The Beatles’ first film entitled “A Hard Day’s Night” had it’s  premiere in theaters at the London Pavilion in front of thousands of screaming fans outside and none other then members of the royal family attending inside.

To say this film was influential is an understatement. Not only is it the best film made by
The Beatles, it’s also one of the best films made about music PERIOD!

Naysayers at the time were won over by the cheeky, down to earth and lovable “mop-tops” as The Beatles became known and to this day this film is still critically revered and a joy to watch.

And seeing as how this blog is about the joys of physical media, I thought it might be fun to take a look at three ancient (at least it seems that way now) ways of watching “A Hard Day’s Night” from the not so distant past – the first VHS Tape home video issue plus two CD-ROM’s (one Macintosh and one Windows).

The first time I was able to get a really good look at  “A Hard Day’s Night” was its original VHS Tape issue from 1984.

I remember ordering it from one of the local video rental stores and as I vividly recall it sure wasn’t cheap! It was somewhere around $80 or more and remarkably enough I  managed to scrap up enough to buy it and anxiously awaited its release.

Talking the tape out now to take photos I forgot that it was even labeled as first issue right on the silver label of the tape. It was also copied onto Maxell brand tape and looks very well made, much better than other tapes at time as I recall.

Of course the picture isn’t up to the latest issue on DVD or Blu-Ray but this release looks pretty good and sounds great still. It was a revelation to finally be able to pop this film in anytime I wanted to and see it uncut in all it’s glory!

(Note: In those days “A Hard Day’s Night” was rarely shown on television or cable so being able to own it was one of the only ways of getting to see it.)

Of course I have always loved the film but I had originally seen The Beatles second film “Help!” first and it took me a while to really fall head over heels for “A Hard Day’s Night” as “Help!” seemed much more akin to The Monkees TV show of which I was and am a big fan.

Nowadays I’d say I’m much more a fan of “A Hard Day’s Night”  because it really does capture The Beatles and Beatlemania so perfectly and it stands out as the best film work The Beatles ever did.

Cut to 1993 and the Voyager company’s CD-ROM issues of “A Hard Day’s Night” in both Macintosh and Windows format.

It’s been ages since I’ve popped these babies into a computer but as I remember you could watch the entire film as well as view the entire shooting script among other goodies.

Of course you had to have decent memory on your computer as I recall the film getting hung up quite often as I didn’t have a state of the art computer at the time but nevertheless I remember enjoying these CD-ROMs but they were no match for seeing the film as it exists today on Blu-Ray.

I just thought it might be fun to take a gander at photos of these artifacts from the past (above) and take a moment to celebrate one of my all-time favorite films (and groups!) and take a quick journey backward.

Makes me want to take out my “A Hard Day’s Night” Blu-Ray and give it a spin.

Until next time, enjoy the summer sun and be well!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We All Live in … Pepperland – Yellow Submarine picture disc plus two magazines

 

 

 

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, or at least never wants to end.

What better way is there to celebrate a warm summer day, two days after the 4th of July (a big celebration here in America of course) then to wake up to a new Beatles release!

And not just any release but a vinyl 45; a picture disc 45 no less!

Today a special limited edition picture disc 45 is being released of The Beatles classic 1966 single “Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby” from their superb album“Revolver”.

This groovy 45 is being put out to promote the 50th Anniversary release of The Beatles film “Yellow Submarine” which is due to hit theaters in a few days for limited screenings with a buffed up 4K scanned picture with a nice 5.1 surround mix for the soundtrack as well.

I hesitated about buying this release as while it is a nifty looking piece is it really necessary? Of course the collector in me won out – shocker I know – so I thought I’d share some photos of the picture disc (above).

This disc looks very nice and believe it or not (yes, I actually played it!) sounds really nice as well. It features the 2015 stereo remixes of both songs by Giles Martin and was surprisingly quiet and nicely pressed.

I was expecting the disc to sound less impressive then it does but if you decide to take this disc for a spin you won’t be disappointed in the sound as it sounds great and I really enjoy the 2015 remixes here as they aren’t as loud as the remixes Martin did for the 50th Sgt. Pepper release from last year.

There are also two really great import magazines from the UK (the Brits have MUCH better music magazines then we do Stateside!) which both feature The Beatles that have just hit this side of the world.

The first one is a recent issue of Record Collector Magazine (one of my all-time favorite publications) that has a really nice feature on The Beatles “White” album which is due to celebrate its 50th anniversary later this year with a deluxe box set much like last years Sgt. Pepper box set.

The other magazine is a special issue of Mojo Magazine called the Red Issue 1962-1966 which features some terrific articles about the group  in that time frame along with some really terrific photos and artwork.

There is to be a Blue Issue 1967-1970 coming out soon and that issue will fit nicely in the folder that comes with the Red Issue (see above).

Both of these magazines came out last month or so in Britain but are just in stores around the States this past couple of weeks – at least near where I live anyway.

(Note: All three items above can be found at Barnes & Noble stores nationwide while the “Yellow Submarine” picture disc can also be found at record stores worldwide.)

So sit back and take a trip to Pepperland for a few minutes. Though in all honesty it feels bit like we live in Pepperland full time in the States at the moment- Blue Meanies EVERYWHERE!

And be on the lookout for theaters near you that may be showing “Yellow Submarine” beginning on July 8th!

Until next time be well and play some music!!!