And here´s the soundtrack to the comic book (*smile*)
Yellow Submarine is the tenth studio album by English rock band the Beatles, released on 13 January 1969 in the United States and on 17 January 1969 in the United Kingdom. It was issued as the soundtrack to the animated film of the same name, which premiered in London in July 1968. The album contains six songs by the Beatles, including four new songs and the previously released “Yellow Submarine” (1966) and “All You Need Is Love” (1967). The remainder of the album was a re-recording of the film’s orchestral soundtrack by the band’s producer, George Martin.
The project was regarded as a contractual obligation by the Beatles, who were asked to supply four new songs for the film. Some songs were written and recorded specifically for the soundtrack, while others were unreleased tracks from other projects. The album was issued two months after the band’s self-titled double LP (also known as the “White Album”) and was therefore not viewed by the band as a significant release. Yellow Submarine has since been afforded a mixed reception from music critics, some of whom consider that it falls short of the high standard generally associated with the Beatles’ work. It reached the top 5 in the UK and the US, and has been reissued on compact disc several times.
The album arose from contractual obligations for the Beatles to supply new songs to the soundtrack to United Artists’ animated film Yellow Submarine. Having recently completed their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in April 1967, the group showed minimal enthusiasm for the project. Along with the music for their Magical Mystery Tour TV film, the Yellow Submarine soundtrack was part of a period that author Ian MacDonald later described as the band’s “regime of continuous low-intensity recording … it had a workaday quality about it – an intrinsic lack of tension which was bound to colour the resulting material.”
There was a commitment for The Beatles to do four songs for the film. Apparently, they would say, this is a lousy song, let’s give it to Brodax.
Only one side of the album contains songs performed by the Beatles; of the six, four were previously unreleased. “Yellow Submarine” had been issued in August 1966 as a single, topping the UK chart for four weeks, and had also been released on the album Revolver. Following the Beatles’ performance of the song on the Our World international television broadcast, “All You Need Is Love” had also been issued as a single, in July 1967.
Of the unreleased tracks, the first to be recorded was George Harrison’s “Only a Northern Song”, taped in February 1967 but rejected for inclusion on Sgt. Pepper. The group performed overdubs on this basic track in April, immediately after completing the stereo mixes for that album. Among the sounds added during what Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn describes as “a curious session”, were trumpet, glockenspiel and spoken voices. Harrison’s lyrics reflect his displeasure at being merely a contracted songwriter to the Beatles’ publishing company, Northern Songs.
“All Together Now” was recorded in a single session on 12 May 1967, specifically for the film project. The title came from a phrase Paul McCartney had heard as a child, to encourage everyone to sing music hall songs. He later described the song as “a throwaway”.
The band recorded Harrison’s “It’s All Too Much” in late May 1967 at De Lane Lea Studios in central London. Inspired by its author’s experimentation with the drug LSD, and originally running to over eight minutes in length, the song reflects the Summer of Love philosophy of 1967 and makes extensive use of guitar feedback. As with the later recorded “All You Need Is Love”, the track includes musical and lyrical quotations from other works – in this case, a trumpet passage from Jeremiah Clarke’s “Prince of Denmark’s March” and a lyric from the Merseys’ 1966 hit “Sorrow”.
John Lennon’s “Hey Bulldog” was recorded on 11 February 1968 and evolved from an initial intent to shoot a promotional film for the single “Lady Madonna”. Like “All Together Now”, it was specifically recorded with the film soundtrack in mind. The track’s ending featured a jam session after the point where a fade-out was intended in the final mix, which was kept in the finished version. Lennon later described the song as “a good-sounding record that means nothing”.
Side two of the album contained George Martin’s orchestral score for the film, leading with “Pepperland”.
Side two features a re-recording of the symphonic film score composed by the Beatles’ producer, George Martin, specifically for the album. The recording took place with a 41-piece orchestra over two three-hour sessions on 22 and 23 October 1968 in Abbey Road, and edited down to the length on the LP on 22 November.
In some of his arrangements, Martin referenced his past work with the Beatles; for example, “Sea of Time” includes what MacDonald terms “an affectionate quotation” from the Indian-styled “Within You Without You”, from Sgt. Pepper, and “Yellow Submarine in Pepperland” reprises the film’s title track. In “Sea of Monsters”, Martin adapted part of Bach’s Air on the G String, while in other selections he parodies works by Stravinsky. MacDonald also detects the influence of Mozart and Webern among the “classical allusions” in Martin’s score. (by wikipedia)
The only Beatles album that could really be classified as inessential, mostly because it wasn’t really a proper album at all, but a soundtrack that only utilized four new Beatles songs. (The rest of the album was filled out with “Yellow Submarine,” “All You Need Is Love,” and a George Martin score.) What’s more, two of the four new tracks were little more than pleasant throwaways that had been recorded during 1967 and early 1968. These aren’t all that bad; “All Together Now” is a cute, kiddie-ish McCartney singalong, while “Hey Bulldog” has some mild Lennon nastiness and a great beat and central piano riff, with some fine playing all around — each is memorable in its way, and the inclusion of the Lennon song here was all the more important, as the sequence from the movie in which it was used was deleted from the original U.S. release of the movie (which had no success whatever in the U.K. and quickly disappeared, thus making the U.S. version the established cut of the film for decades. George Harrison’s two contributions were the more striking of the new entries — “Only a Northern Song” was a leftover from the Sgt. Pepper’s sessions, generated from a period in which the guitarist became increasingly fascinated with keyboards, especially the organ and the Mellotron (and, later, the synthesizer). It’s an odd piece of psychedelic ersatz, mixing trippiness and some personal comments. Its lyrics (and title) on the one hand express the guitarist/singer/composer’s displeasure at being tied in his publishing to Northern Songs, a company in which John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the majority shareholders; and, on the other, they present Harrison’s vision of how music and recording sounded, from the inside-out and the outside-in, during the psychedelic era — the song thus provided a rare glimpse inside the doors of perception of being a Beatle (or, at least, one aspect of being this particular Beatle) circa 1967. And then there was the jewel of the new songs, “It’s All Too Much.” Coming from the second half of 1967, the song — resplendent in swirling Mellotron, larger-than-life percussion, and tidal waves of feedback guitar — was a virtuoso excursion into otherwise hazy psychedelia, and was actually superior in some respects to “Blue Jay Way,” Harrison’s songwriting contribution to The Magical Mystery Tour; the song also later rated a dazzling cover by Steve Hillage in the middle of the following decade.
The very fact that George Harrison was afforded two song slots and a relatively uncompetitive canvas for his music shows how little the project meant to Lennon and McCartney — as did the cutting of the “Hey Bulldog” sequence from the movie, apparently with no resistance from Lennon, who had other, more important artistic fish to fry in 1968. What is here, however, is a good enough reason for owning the record, though nothing rates it as anything near a high-priority purchase. The album would have been far better value if it had been released as a four-song EP (an idea the Beatles even considered at one point, with the addition of a bonus track in “Across the Universe” but ultimately discarded). (by Richie Unterberger)
George Harrison (vocals, guitar, organ, percussion, handclaps, violin)
John Lennon (vocals, guitars, piano, handclaps
Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, guitars, trumpet, handclaps, percussion)
Ringo Starr (drums, percussion, handclaps, background vocals, vocals on 01.)
George Martin (piano on 06.)
Unknown orchestra conducted by George Martin
01. Yellow Submarine (Lennon/McCartney) 2.35
02. Only A Northern Song (Harrison) 3.20
03. All Together Now (Lennon/McCartney) 2.08
04. Hey Bulldog (Lennon/McCartney) 3.09
05. It’s All Too Much (Harrison) 6.17
06. All You Need Is Love (Lennon/McCartney) 3.42
07. Pepperland (Martin) 2.18
08. Sea Of Time (Martin) 2.59
09. Sea Of Holes (Martin) 2.15
10. Sea Of Monsters (Martin) 3.34
11. March Of The Meanies (Martin) 2.16
12. Pepperland Laid Waste (Martin) 2.08
13. Yellow Submarine In Pepperland (Lennon/McCartney) 2.09