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The Beatles - Yellow Submarine CD (album) cover

YELLOW SUBMARINE

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

2.45 | 245 ratings

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thehallway
Prog Reviewer
2 stars What happened guys? You can't call this a 'lull', because it wasn't actually recorded as an album, but hodge-modged together from leftovers across '67-'69. That's the key word, leftovers. It's not like The Beatles weren't in a creative period during that time, but Yellow Submarine is quite literally a bin where they put all of their rubbish. It's a shame for George Martin, who's orchestral incidental music is brilliant for what it is.

'Yellow Submarine' is the centrepiece track, but we've heard it before. It was at number one three years prior, and it's on Revolver. It begs the question, why make this alb- no, why make the film in the first place? Why did they make so many films? 'It's Only a Northern Song' is George's self-referential take on Beatlemania. He was right, it didn't really matter what chords he played, especially on this song, because nobody with taste will listen to it. Next is 'All Together Now', a very easy song to sing along to. Children will enjoy it more. 'Hey Bulldog' is the one gem, written by Lennon with a nasty riff and very rough lyrics (both positives). At the end of the track we also hear something very strange and unique for The Beatles in 1969...... enjoyment.

'It's All Too Much' is another ironically bad George song where the title explains the problem, it is all too much. The piece could easily be shortened by 4 minutes, it only has two chords in it (that's right, two). Then, 'All You Need is Love', which is of course a great song, closes the first side. But like 'Yellow Submarine', it is available on better records and only proves that this one was unnecessary.

George Martin's composing is decent, especially here where he takes the eclecticism of the psychedelic era and works it into classically-orientated incidental music, while incorporating Beatle-esque melodies to appeal to the band's audience. Some of these cuts will work better in the film of course, but the Pepperland piece is almost worthy of being a single.

Overall, the orchestral pieces work well, and I prefer listening to them than the band's songs on Yellow Submarine, but that doesn't make it a good album. It really is an affair that only fans will want, and only easily-pleased listeners will love. So, as you'd expect from it being the only record The Beatles didn't actually "record", but rather, "put together", Yellow Submarine is their worst album. Thankfully, 1969 would bring the band their proper ending, and what would perhaps be the best album ever made.

thehallway | 2/5 |

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