January Beatles Roundup – 4K/Blu-Ray “A Hard Day’s Night” and Japanese “Let it Be … Naked” CD

Not only is January the month of snow and cold in my part of the world but since my birthday is January 14th it’s also the time of year I usually gather all my accumulated Amazon gift cards and go shopping online.

You see I always get a few gift cards at Christmas and on my birthday so inevitably that leads to new music purchases and, more often than not, new Beatles music purchases. And it seems like 2022 is right on target for my normal January binge.

This week I received two of these new January Beatles beauties in the mail – the new 2022 4k/Blu-Ray set of The Beatles’ first film “A Hard Day’s Night” and a 2013 Japanese CD reissue of the 2003 CD “Let it Be … Naked”.

The “A Hard Day’s Night” set comes from The Criterion Collection and features a newly transferred version of that company’s 4k scan of the film, the 1964 film that was originally issued by Criterion in 2014. Criterion’s original release was only on DVD/Blu-Ray while this new set contains a 4k Ultra HD disc and a regular blu-ray disc as well.

(Note: 4k is the amount of screen resolution which equates to 4000 pixels. That’s may times more resolution than a regular DVD or blu-ray thus it usually has more details, color, etc. than other versions.)

All of the content and features are the same on this new 2022 set I believe but the film has been transferred in its native 4k format on the 4k Ultra HD disc which does provide a better picture than the standard blu-ray disc. I believe the blu-ray disc is very similar to the 2014 version but with maybe a touch better picture but it looks pretty much the same to me.

The main reason I bought this though was that even though I don’t own a 4k player or TV I do know a friend who does so I’m going to try and watch it on their set in the future. I was hoping that the newer transfer on the regular blu-ray may be better too and though it may look a tad bit better both it and the 2014 version both look terrific so if there’s a difference it’s negligible, to me anyway.

I would say the main reason to buy this 2022 version is if you own a 4k set-up or if you’re one of those nutty Beatles completists like me. I’ve always loved “A Hard Day’s Night” and this Criterion transfer blows away any previous version not only picture wise but it’s the only release that contains the original theatrical mono soundtrack along with the newer 5.1 remix as well as a stereo soundtrack.

Of course I prefer the original mono soundtrack so along with the picture this Criterion Collection transfer is a must have for any Beatles fan. If you own the 2014 version I’m sure that will be plenty enough for most people but if you do have a 4k set-up than this new set may be something you would enjoy.

The other lovely Beatles nugget I got this week is a 2013 Japanese reissue of the The Beatles stripped down remix of their “Let it Be” album from 2003 entitled “Let it Be .. Naked”.

“Let it Be .. Naked” exists to show how the “Let it Be” album would sound without the Phil Spector touch (or heavy touch depending on your tastes) that many feel hampered the original “Let it Be” album that was released in 1970.

I for one have always really enjoyed “Let it Be .. Naked” and though I really do love the new 2021 Giles Martin remix of the “Let it Be” album I think that this “Naked” version is well worth owning and I really love some of the remixes on this collection.

I know a lot of Beatles fans online really crap on “Let it Be … Naked” but to me its an essential release and well worth owning.

I read somewhere that “Let it Be … Naked” was remastered around 2013 for streaming services so I was hoping that this 2013 Japanese CD may contain that remastering. After listening to it I don’t think it’s a remaster but as usual with Japanese issues I did feel that this disc sounded a bit more open and full than my original US 2003 CD thus I am very happy with it.

Is it worth upgrading from a UK or Us 2003 CD? For most people I’m guessing not but I personally love this Japanese issue and really also enjoy the huge case that comes with it and the usual superb packaging that the Japanese are known for with their CD issues.

After all part of the fun of collecting physical media is the presentation and hands down the presentation of this 2013 Japanese issues wins hands down thus this CD for me is a great purchase.

Well there you have it. I know that this particular post will appeal mainly to all the
Beatle nerds out there but that’s one of the reasons I do this blog. I love to see photos of releases like this as there are precious view sites that do that out there in Webland.

As usual take a gander at the photos of these items above.

Until next time be well and happy and see you soon!