The Beatles: Yellow Submarine


My Baby: That’s really an…interesting…record.
Me: Yeah, well, most of it’s the soundtrack…
My Baby: Oh, that’s why it sounds like a soundtrack.

Saying that most of it is a soundtrack probably isn’t right. The soundtrack part, as I understand it, is side two, which, according to Wikipedia,  was written and composed by George Martin and was not performed by The Beatles. It’s like a pops orchestra thing. It’s good, I mean in a pops classical way, not serious brow-furrowing stuff, but good is good.

And Side 1 is awesome.  I’ve got my problems with “Yellow Submarine” and “All You Need Is Love” that I’ve written about in the past. In between those, you’ve got the pretty good “All Together Now” and “It’s All Too Much,” and plus the brilliantly unstable “Only A Northern Song” and the rocking “Hey Bulldog.”

– “Only A Northern Song,” “Hey Bulldog”
– “All Together Now,” “It’s All Too Much,” “All You Need Is Love,” “Pepperland,” “Sea Of Time,” “Sea Of Holes,” “Sea Of Monsters,” “March Of The Meanies,” “Pepperland Laid Waste,” “Yellow Submarine In Pepperland”
– “Yellow Submarine”
Filed Between: The Beatles and Abbey Road
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Yellow Submarine – I can maybe appreciate parts of this enough to say it’s an open. It was on Revolver, and I gave it a one-star/ditch rating there, so I’ve got to really justify overcoming that in order to make it open. And I just don’t think I can.
  2. Only A Northern Song – love
  3. All Together Now – Ringo
  4. Hey Bulldog – So good. How is this not one of their most well know, most celebrated songs?
  5. It’s All Too Much – Good. The melody in the verses, like so many of Harrison’s later songs, kind of meanders looking for its purpose.
  6. All You Need Is Love –
  7. Pepperland –
  8. Sea Of Time – Sitar at start. Then it goes into a slow woodwinds staccato thing along with violins doing pizzicato. Goes to big sweeping strings at the end.
  9. Sea Of Holes – Definitely sounds like movie score material at beginning, especially movie score material of the time. The sounds at about 0:30 and then at end again are gorgeous.
  10. Sea Of Monsters – Pretty sure he quotes Mozart on this. Love the start.
  11. March Of The Meanies – The Wall would pull from this eight years later.
  12. Pepperland Laid Waste – Very high-pitched strings at start. You can just see the destruction everywhere. And some kind of wacky flangy-sounding thing. Sounds cool. And in the end there’s a dissonant bum bum bum up high followed by a low blaaaapppp on the brass. Pretty textbook, but it works.
  13. Yellow Submarine In Pepperland – The part of this that isn’t “Yellow Submarine” is pretty cool.

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