Monday, February 2, 2009

Yellow Submarine: The Album

There are several interesting (and somewhat lamentable) Beatles facts about this album. The Beatles did not have much interest in the film Yellow Submarine (until it proved commercially successful). They therefore put minimal effort into assembling the tracks. As George Martin said, the Beatles always tried recording bits and pieces of songs to be used at a later date. For the Yellow Submarine LP, they tapped into these earlier snippets and rough versions (scraping the bottom of the barrel, as George Martin put it) to issue what is thought to be the Beatles' weakest album. While Lennon's "Hey Bulldog" is thought to be a decent rock and roll song, the rest of the material is thought to be either fluff or downright bad. "All Together Now" is regarded as fairly lightweight even by the standards of many Beatles fans, and "Only a Northern Song" (written in twenty minutes by Harrison) is considered to be one of the worst set of lyrics he ever penned. Harrison himself is on record as saying that album was not "any good." "All You Need is Love" is the exception, being included since it had not been used on any previous LP.

The material for the album was recorded between February 13, 1967 and February 11, 1968. The LP was released in the UK on January 13, 1969, and in the U.S. on January 11, 1969. In the U.S., The White Album was in the number one slot at this time.

George Martin's orchestartions make up over forty minutes of the soundtrack. The orchestrations include:

Sea of Time
Sea of Holes
Sea of Monsters
March of the Meanies
Pepperland Laid Waste
Yellow Submarine in Pepperland

The Beatles' tracks include:

Yellow Submarine
Only a Northern Song
All You Need Is Love
All Together Now
It's All Too Much
Hey Bulldog

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