A Hard Days Night

I saw this many years ago, but had pretty much forgotten a lot of it, and with my recent Beatlemania I thought I would watch it again.

This is a pretty weird one actually, at least by 2010’s standards. In the 1960’s, when The Goons were the kings of British comedy, the humour in this was probably normal. For today’s youth though this is probably a real head-scratcher. Can you imagine any of today’s boy bands making a film like this (I can’t think of one single boy band to name… is Kayne in a boy band)?

Which makes this a unique and very fun film to watch. The Fab Four while not the best actors are still just plain fun to watch, and as we know they were already funny anyway. With the weird script, sometimes bizarre dialogue, and general chaos it was a hoot. And of course there are several songs throughout. Seeing John, Paul, George, and Ringo at such a young age (Ringo was 23 at the time) was also interesting to see.

Ringo Starr accidentally came with the film title, and the title song was quickly written eight days before filming finished.

The name “The Beatles” is never spoken throughout the entire film, it is only seen written. Phil Collins played a schoolboy watching the Beatles play on TV (he was 13 at the time).

This film is listed in a few top 100 films of all time, and Roger Ebert gave it a four out of four stars. It influenced the Monkees TV series, as well as British spy films for some reason.

Good ol’ Beatles.

Date watched: October 21st
Score: 9/10
Film count 2017: 119


I have bought only four CDs recently, but unfortunately due to the spreadsheet record of my music collection not being complete I have doubled up on two of them.

I bought The Offspring’s “Splinter” album and Green Day’s “Bullet in a Bible” (a great live album) only to find out they are already sitting on my shelf. I keep a record of everything I buy, and when I go CD hunting I check whether I have an album or not, thanks to Google Sheets. I am bummed, but it will be fun giving those two CDs away to any of my university students who might like them.

I did not double-up on the following though:

¡Forward, Russia! – Life Processes

I have not listened to this yet, but I think it will be good. I first heard this band on the fantastic soundtrack of the game “Burnout Dominator” on PSP many years ago, along with a few other good bands like Billy Talent and Saosin.

The Beatles – Yellow Submarine

James and I went to Book Off on Sunday and I was chuffed to find this for only 280 yen. “Yellow Submarine” is one of my all-time favourite songs, such a simple, sing-a-longable, and happy song in the history of happy songs. There are also some other great Beatles tracks as well.

The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
I already have this on CD, but when I found it on vinyl I could not pass it up, especially as it is a Japanese pressing. It is in very good condition too. While I do have a turntable, it hooks up to my computer only, so one day when I get an amp, and large speakers I will be be able to appreciate it the way intended. Still, it is nice to look at the cover and admire the nice grooves.

Album count 2017: 103 (not including doubles)

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper & Beyond

While this was a good documentary about The Beatles, the title is rather misleading.

It starts off looking at their touring years, the end of the touring years, the Maharishi (they did not have good things to say him after they moved on from all that business), the Apple Boutique, and a few other sundry things. What it does not do is look in depth at how Sgt. Peppers was made, or even feature any music whatsoever from the album. There are a few photos, possibly from the recording of the album, but no proper footage. So that was a disappointment.

However, the rest of the documentary was interesting, and there were plenty of interviews which included Steve Diggle (The Buzzcocks, he is a big fan), Brian Epstein’s ex-secretary, John Lennon’s sister, Patty Boyd’s sister, a fan club member, Pete Best, and a few other people in the know. There were no interviews with either Paul or Ringo, except for archive stuff.

Quite a lot of time was spent on the album cover, which was interesting, but not overly so. There was some good gossip about John and Paul, the most interesting for me was that John was bit of a lazy bum, and Paul was the one who was more into getting psychedelic elements into their music.

So it was a bit of a mess really, but a well made one that still managed to be interesting.

Date watched: October 8th
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2017: 114

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years

The next film I watched on the plane was this Ron Howard documentary about the touring that The Beatles did, which was a lot.

And Ronnie did a darn good job of it I must say. There was lots of footage of course, some of it I had never seen before, and plenty of interviews with Paul and Ringo, along with old interviews with George and John.

There was also plenty of back story about each member, as well as George Martin and Brian Epstein.

I knew The Beatles were big in their day, but I learned from this documentary that they were much more than big, they were jolly-well liked.

Good stuff.

Date watched: March 8th
Score: 10/10
Film count 2017: 47

Last CD of the Year

Yesterday I bought what is definitely the last CD of the year, The Beatles’ “Let It Be… Naked”, which is a remastered and remixed re-release.

It also comes with a second CD that has studio outtakes and conversations. The problem with this CD is that instead of being normal audio tracks, it is a software program that runs a music player, and my Windows 10 computer cannot run software intended for XP computers. So, I dragged my old XP laptop out of the closet, installed Audacity, and recorded the whole thing in FLAC format. I guess future proofing a release was just not considered when Apple Corp made this release.

It comes with a nice cover and booklet with lots of juicy Beatles tidbits about the recording of the album.

So my final music count for the year comes to 148, not a bad number but I was hoping to go higher. Next year, money permitting I may be able to hit 1000 CDs and downloads.

Album count 2016: 148



I decided recently it was time I watched a The Beatles film, I had been meaning to for some time.

Right from the outset this was pretty silly stuff, quite cringe worthy actually. The Goons were an influence apparently.

The Beatles themselves though were funny, and apon reading Wikipedia I found that their love of marijuana at the time was one of the reasons:

“We showed up a bit stoned, smiled a lot and hoped we’d get through it. We giggled a lot. I remember one time at Cliveden (Lord Astor’s place, where the Christine Keeler/Profumo scandal went on); we were filming the Buckingham Palace scene where we were all supposed to have our hands up. It was after lunch, which was fatal because someone might have brought out a glass of wine as well. We were all a bit merry and all had our backs to the camera and the giggles set in. All we had to do was turn around and look amazed, or something. But every time we’d turn round to the camera there were tears streaming down our faces. It’s OK to get the giggles anywhere else but in films, because the technicians get pissed off with you. They think, ‘They’re not very professional.’ Then you start thinking, ‘This isn’t very professional – but we’re having a great laugh.'”

— Paul McCartney

It is good to watch though just as a kind of time capsule, to see what John, Paul, George, and Ringo were like in 1965, right in the middle of Beatlemania. They seemed to be a very happy bunch of chaps, enjoying their success and having fun.

I will watch A Hard Day’s Night next.

Date watched: April 3rd
Score: 6/10
Film count 2016: 64