Listen: Rare Version of "A Hard Day's Night" Up for Auction

A rare recording of the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night," featuring a count-in by John Lennon is up for auction in Wiltshire, England, according to news reports

It sounds to me like the same recording that's been circulating among bootleggers for many years, but this one is on an original acetate record featuring a Dick James Music center label.


For decades, The Beatles hit, which was the band’s third number one, has been instantly recognisable for George Harrison’s distinctive opening chord.

But the demo, which is expected to reach up to £1,000 at the auction at Draycot Cerne, near Chippenham, begins with John Lennon counting the group in with a “1,2,3,4”.

And that makes the disc, which is on the label of The Beatles music publisher Dick James instead of on that of their record company, Parlophone, a keenly-sought collectors’ item.

“This is a big one, it’s just amazing,” said Martin Hughes, vinyl record specialist at Wessex Auction Rooms.

...He explained: “This isn’t your typical ‘demo’ of A Hard Days Night that was sent to record stations to play. What is so fantastic about this particular record is that it is a publishing demo recorded in the studio for the band and producer to listen back to and make changes - then it was placed in the publishing archive and this version was never heard again - until now!”

“Hearing the '1,2,3,4' count at the start is absolutely magical.  I’m sure a mega Beatles fan will be delighted to get their hands on this piece of music history.”

 Listen to the count-in here: