A 1964 vintage U.K. promotional poster advertising the Beatles’ new LP at the time, A Hard Day’s Night.
It’s amazing to note that this was the only Beatles album ever issued that was comprised entirely of John Lennon-Paul McCartney songs. All other Beatles LPs had either cover versions or George Harrison songs (or even Ringo’s) filling out the mix.
And as if to celebrate that, this Hard Day’s Night record-store poster is the Beatles’ only U.K. promotional poster which listed all of the songs contained on the record it was advertising.
Thirteen songs are listed on the poster, separated into Side One and Side Two. Remember, this was long before compact discs came along and eliminated the need for sides!
One of the most appealing things about this Beatles 1964 EMI/Parlophone point-of-purchase poster is the catchy colors and fonts used in the top half of the poster… the headlines that scream the new album’s arrival. Some EMI graphic artist had great fun laying this out.
Notice the way the bright orange and black colors alternate back and forth, and how the most important words are in orange. It’s a highly effective advertising piece in driving home its message to potential consumers.
The other compelling feature of this Hard Day’s Night merchandising poster is the LP cover itself, displayed in its actual colors. Obviously, the appearance of twenty small Beatles portraits was enough to make any music fan take notice.
And record collectors surely love the fact that EMI used a stereo album cover for this poster, as opposed to the much more common mono LP sleeve.
If you look at my video closely, you can see that this Beatles 1964 EMI/Parlophone retail poster was folded and creased over the years. This is not uncommon for old paper display posters.
I’m just glad this piece wasn’t made of cardboard, because those same creases and folds probably would have “broken color” everywhere and seriously affected its appearance.
If I’m not mistaken, this Hard Day’s Night in-store promotional poster was a rare marketing piece for the Fabs in their first couple of years on EMI… for example, and glaringly, no such poster was made for the band’s other 1964 waxing, Beatles For Sale.
For that matter, no such poster was made for Please Please Me or With The Beatles, either… their first two LPs. So that leaves this poster as sort of a lone wolf in the Fabs’ first two years of glorious fame.
Although no date is given down in the fine print of this Beatles 1964 EMI/Parlophone promo poster, we can pinpoint it pretty easily: the record first debuted on England’s album charts on July 18, 1964.
And it’s not a poster that had a long shelf life. You couldn’t post it in advance, because it clearly says “Now!” Imagine the disappointed faces if you posted this even one day early! <grin> And based on its wording, in just a few short weeks it would’ve started to look old and dated. So I would estimate its full life at about one month.
Some might think that this Hard Day’s Night album promo poster is plugging a soundtrack LP, but that really wasn’t the case. Notice from the poster itself that only the seven songs on Side One were lifted from the movie; the other six tracks (on Side Two) were simply new recordings.
But in the U.S., consumers were treated to a genuine soundtrack album, courtesy of United Artists Records. That LP even included four George Martin instrumentals from the film’s soundtrack, something I’ve always felt cheated British consumers, because they’re delightful.
Check out the copious fine print in the lower left-hand corner of this Beatles 1964 EMI/Parlophone store poster… a lot of information is presented there, even the record label’s street address in London.
In fact, this poster is chock full of references to EMI and Parlophone… not surprising for a record-company promo poster.
Oops, I almost forgot to relate the exact wording located at the top of this Hard Day’s Night poster, which reads:
“No More Hard Day’s’ Nights waiting for The Beatles’ great new LP – It’s On Sale Here Now!”
And then there’s the modest (ahem) EMI Records logo at the very top of this Beatles 1964 EMI/Parlophone promotional poster: “The Greatest Recording Organisation in the World.” Complete with British spelling.
Little ol’ Parlophone, EMI’s bastard stepchild of a label, is relegated down to the lower left-hand corner. But before the Beatles were done, Parlophone had become one of the most recognizable record companies on the planet.
This Hard Day’s Night in-store poster is enthusiastically put in historical context by long-time Beatles poster collector Peter J. Howard of California. That’s me, and I can be contacted at either firstname.lastname@example.org or (in the U.S.) 805-540-0020. And by the way, I will pay TOP DOLLAR for a copy of this poster, if you know of one, or any original ’60s Beatles posters.
To see a few more important, seminal Beatles U.K. posters, please see this page right here on my Web site – http://www.postercentral.com/beatles.htm