The first song on side two of A Hard Day’s Night, ‘Any Time At All’ was written by John Lennon and recorded during the final session for the album.

An effort at writing ‘It Won’t Be Long’ – same ilk: C to A minor, C to A minor – with me shouting.
John Lennon
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

Although the song was first released in the UK on A Hard Day’s Night, in the US it appeared on the Something New LP. Both albums were released in July 1964.

On 8 April 1988 John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics for ‘Any Time At All’ were sold for £6,000 at an auction held at Sotheby’s in London.

In the studio

‘Any Time At All’ was in an unfinished state when John Lennon brought it to the studio on the afternoon of 2 June 1964. The Beatles initially recorded seven takes of the rhythm track, plus vocals by Lennon.

The group moved on to record ‘Things We Said Today’ and ‘When I Get Home’ before returning to ‘Any Time At All’ from 7-10pm.

That evening they recorded four further takes. Onto the last of these, take 11, they overdubbed piano, guitar and vocals. It was first mixed for mono on 4 June 1964, but this was discarded and new mono and stereo mixes were made on 22 June.

The last-minute composition of ‘Any Time At All’ meant that The Beatles never got around to writing lyrics for the middle eight. Paul McCartney suggested a set of piano chords, to which they intended to add lyrics but failed to write any. The deadline for the album’s final mixes meant it went on release in its unintended state.

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Next song: ‘I’ll Cry Instead’
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