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SoundTRAX: The Beatles "A Hard Day's Night"

Four partial photos of The Beatles appear on the soundtrack for "A Hard Day's Night."
United Artist Records
/
United Artists

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

59 years ago this month The Beatles exploded onto the big screen with A Hard Day's Night.

This was at the height of Beatlemania, with screaming bobbysoxers and music fans in general obsessed with all things John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

The movie involves a 36-hour period of the band trying to get to London to film a televised show. Along the way they are mobbed by zealous Fab Four fans, have to endure the shenanigans of Paul McCartney's fictional but trouble-making grandfather, and have to rescue Ringo Starr from a run-in with the law. You may also catch a glimpse of a young Phil Collins in the audience of the TV show taping, as well as actress Charlotte Rampling as a dancer and the future Mrs. George Harrison, Pattie Boyd, on a train.

Of course it's silly. It's also tremendous fun and a snapshot of a time that we'll never see the likes of again. Plus, there is tremendous joy in seeing the lads in the early days, joking and acting like naughty school boys together— before the tensions, before the breakup, and before the eventual tragedy that awaits.

The soundtrack, which was the band's third album, is a classic for a reason, with gem after gem: "Can't Buy Me Love," "And I Love Her," "If I Fell," "Things We Said Today" and "I Should Have Known Better," to name but a few of the 13 tunes produced by the legendary George Martin.

But I'm going with the title song because that opening chord ringing from Harrison's Rickenbacker is EVERYTHING.

Written primarily by John Lennon with a name supplied by Ringo— the king of quirky turns of phrase— the song topped the charts in both the U.S. and the UK, making the Fab Four the first act to do so.

For today's SoundTRAX selection, for the 59th anniversary of the film, it's The Beatles with the title song, "A Hard Day's Night."

Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.