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3 stars "Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby" is a single release by British pop/rock act The Beatles. The single was released through Parlophone Records (EMI) on the 5th of August 1966 which is the exact same day that the "Revolver (1966)" album was released. Both single tracks are culled from "Revolver (1966)".

While the rather silly "Yellow Submarine", which features drummer Ringo Starr on vocals, displays the more humourous side of The Beatles, "Eleanor Rigby" is a string driven track featuring a beautiful melody, a melancholic atmosphere, and sad lyrics about loneliness to boot. The track is sung by Paul McCartney. While the tracks were credited to the Lennon/McCartney songwriting team, both tracks were in reality written by Paul McCartney.

Singles are always a bit hard to rate, as you might enjoy one track and not appreciate the other as much. It will almost always be a very subjective rating, and that´s pretty much the case for me with "Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby", as I´ve always found "Eleanor Rigby" to be a wonderful high quality track, and "Yellow Submarine" to be it´s silly and quite tedious counterpart. So take my 3 star (60%) rating with a grain of salt, as it´s probably an aquired taste if you find "Yellow Submarine" worth the price of admission. You can add an extra star if you do.

Report this review (#225638)
Posted Friday, July 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am sadly prohibited from enclosing the lyrics due to the copyright infringement rules. Sadly because it is one of the best piece of lyrics ever written in a pop song. But please find the lyrics yourself and read it.

What possess a human being to write lyrics like these ?


That's what they were, Lennon/McCartney. Brilliant geniuses.

The song is driven by the lyrics with a smattering of strings. Cello and all that. It is a very simple song structure. But this song was still way ahead of it's time. It was also the best song on Revolver, an album that re-wrote the ABC of song making. Partly because of Eleanor Rigby. They set a new standard The Beatles perhaps bettered with a couple of songs from the Sgt Peppers album. A Day In Life springs to mind. But never mind.

The lyrics, sung in a sombre mode, is the driving force in this song. And did they touch a raw nerve with this lyrics. We are all scared of being alone and then dying alone. A funeral attended only by the priest and his/her dog. A person's life is measured in how many people attended his/her funeral. That's how it is. In the case of Eleanor Rigby, "nobody came". That's the ultimate defeat and the ultimate humiliation. That is you and mine's angst. That is why Eleanor Rigby touch such a raw, raw nerve. This song alone is a five star plus song.

The B side though is Yellow Submarine and the less said, the better. It is not an awful song. It is merely a joke taken too far. But the song is OK. That leaves us with four stars and a pretty shaken up reviewer. I challenge anyone to listen to Eleanor Rigby without facing their own mortality........... and fears.

4 stars

Report this review (#273848)
Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Fifty years (to this day) have passed since the "Revolver" album was released in 5-August-1966. This single was also released in that day. And both things were remembered today in Facebook by the band's official page there and also by other Beatles-related pages. That gave me the idea to write a review for this single, as I wrote a review for the full album some years ago.

"Revolver" still is one of the best albums that the band recorded. And it marked a change in their music, with it sounding more "matured" and more influential for other bands of the same period. It also reflected that the band wanted to be taken more "seriously" as musicians by the critics and by the fans. It also was released when the band was doing their last tours before deciding in late August 1966 that it was enough because they were tired of touring then at a time when the fans didn't care very much to listen to their music in the concerts, because they were always screaming! The 1966 tours were problematic for them due to several things. And it seemed that they really didn't care very much about their concerts then much because they didn't play a song from "Revolver" in concert, despite they could have played at least some songs like "Here, There and Everywhere" and "Taxman", which were only originally recorded with guitars, bass, drums and vocals. They were tired and they only wanted to stop touring to concentrate in recording studio albums. A thing that they did since late 1966. Despite some changes in their music could be anticipated in their "Rubber Soul" album from 1965, I think that it was with "Revolver" that the band made the final "leap" that led them to their most interesting period (at least for me): the so-called "studio years". Their music became more interesting, with them (and producer George Martin) taking even more musical risks and doing more experiments in the recording studio.

Both songs of this single were taken from the "Revolver" album. This single was released with both songs as "Side A", so both songs were considered as important to be played in the radio.

"Eleanor Rigby" shows Paul McCartney (the composer of the song) accompanied by a string section arranged by George Martin and by backing vocals from John Lennon and George Harrison. With serious lyrics about lonely people, it marked a change from the love songs that the band very often released as singles in the previous years. Thanks to having a producer like George Martin the band could develop better the musical ideas that they couldn't develop alone due to not having the same formal musical knowledge that Martin had. They were very lucky to have met Martin and to have him as producer. He had an "open mind" for their ideas and also contributed his very good music ideas to their songs.

"Yellow Submarine", composed by McCartney and sung by Ringo Starr, is more a song for children, full of sound effects, and almost psychedelic in content. If I remember well, it was even included in some children TV programmes to be sung by children (like in "Sesame Street" in the early seventies, I think).

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Posted Friday, August 5, 2016 | Review Permalink

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