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YELLOW SUBMARINE

The Beatles

Proto-Prog


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The Beatles Yellow Submarine album cover
2.55 | 378 ratings | 17 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Songs From The Film -
1. Yellow Submarine (2:40)
2. Only A Northern Song (3:24)
3. All Together Now (2:11)
4. Hey Bulldog (3:11)
5. It's All Too Much (6:25)
6. All You Need Is Love (3:51)
- Orchestral Film Score -
7. Pepperland (2:21)
8. Sea Of Time (3:00)
9. Sea Of Holes (2:17)
10. Sea Of Monsters (3:37)
11. March Of The Meanies (2:22)
12. Pepperland Laid Waste (2:19)
13. Yellow Submarine In Pepperland (2:13)

Total time 39:51

Line-up / Musicians

- George Harrison / lead & acoustic guitars, Hammond, violin, percussion, lead (2,5) & backing vocals
- John Lennon / lead & rhythm guitars, piano, harpsichord, ukulele, banjo, lead (4,6) & backing vocals
- Paul McCartney / bass, double bass, acoustic guitar, trumpet, percussion, lead (3) & backing vocals
- Ringo Starr / drums, percussions, lead (1) & backing vocals

With:
- George Martin / orchestration & arrangements (7-13), producer

Releases information

Six Beatles songs (tracks 1 & 6 already issued) and additionally the original film score composed & orchestrated by George Martin, re-recorded with a 41-piece orchestra specially for this release
NOTE: Not to be confused with "Yellow Submarine Songtrack" compilation (separate entry)

Artwork: Heinz Edelman

LP Apple Records ‎- PMC 7070 (1969, UK) Mono version
LP Apple Records ‎- PCS 7070 (1969, UK) Stereo version

CD Apple Records ‎- CDP 746452 (1987, Europe)
CD Apple Records ‎- 3 82467 2 (2009, Europe) Remastered by Guy Massey, Paul Hick & Steve Rooke; CD-ROM section includes Mini-Documentary video

Thanks to Certif1ed for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

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THE BEATLES Yellow Submarine ratings distribution


2.55
(378 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(7%)
7%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(16%)
16%
Good, but non-essential (37%)
37%
Collectors/fans only (31%)
31%
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)
9%

THE BEATLES Yellow Submarine reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This is, really, a "half album" by The Beatles, as only the Side One of the old L.P. had songs recorded and composed by them, with Side Two with instrumental orchestral music composed and conducted by George Martin for the film.

The title song, sung by Ringo, was previously released in the "Revolver" album and also as a single in the same year (1966). "Only a Northern Song" and "It`s All Too Much" are two George Harrison`s songs recorded in 1967, with "Only a Northern Song" being considered for a brief time to be released in the "Sgt. Pepper`s ..." album, but being destined later for this album. Both songs are a bit Psychedelic and a bit "noisy", IMO. "All Together Now" is a simple funny song, also recorded in 1967 specially for the film. "Hey Bulldog" was recorded in early 1968, and I agree with the previous reviewer: it is the best of this album.The last song on Side One, "All You Need is Love", was previously released as a single in July 1967, but in this album it was released for the first time in Stereo.

The film`s premiere was in July 1968, but this album was released until January 1969, because The Beatles gave more importance to the "White Album", and also because George Martin wanted to re-record his music for this album, which he did until late 1968.

IMO, now this album is more for "historic inclusion" in their discography, because in 1999 a new album with more songs for the film, the "Songtrack" album, was released, with new mixes of the songs (but without George Martin`s music), when the film was "re-released" in a new version which was restored with new digital technology.

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Beatles had an animated film made based off the song Yellow Submarine towards the end of 1968 and the beginning of 1969 (yet they actually didn't lend their voices to the film). The first half of the album is dedicated to the Beatles songs used in the film (all of which presented here are new songs except for Yellow Submarine and All You Need Is Love). The second half is comprised of George Martin's orchestral scores for the album, and for the most part they are really underwhelming for someone expecting two sides worth of Beatles songs. Still, the first side makes up for the second side with some really killer tracks.

For the two older songs, you can expect unchanged versions (in fact, they are the original versions), so there's nothing to really say about that. Only a Northern Song is a song that George Harrison wrote originally for Sgt. Pepper about how everything can go wrong in a song (the title is a pun on his then company, Northern Songs, before he started Harrisongs). It has a great hammond organ theme and some dynamic drum/bass interplay as well as some interesting leads and double tracked vocals from Harrison. Some out of tune horns and mixed percussion/sound effects are also played, and in the end the song is just brilliant. All Together Now is a simple and playful piece with extremely simple lyrics. It's a great sing-a-long song, especially for the younger listeners. Hey Bulldog has a really cool unison pounding piano/guitar motif and some precision drumming from Ringo as well as some great underlying bass work from McCartney. It's All too Much is another George Harrison track that was unused in the Sgt. Pepper sessions (as far as I know). It begins with some wavy feedback and some modulated organ/keyboards and it really has this nice trance feel to it. Add in some great horns and light strings and you have yourself one of the best longer songs from the Beatles (this is the only song of theirs that is within the 6 minute range).

The second side is a much more contrived and mainly boring affair, but there are some ok moments that save it from being a complete failure. There are majestic pieces, there are dissonant and somber pieces, and in the end a whole range of moods are reflected at specific times in the film. For the most part the tracks are concise and to the point, but often they meander around the same motif for a little too long. They aren't bad pieces, but they aren't even Beatles songs, so why are they on a Beatles album? Tracks worth mentioning are the majestic Pepperland, the mysterious Sea of Holes, and the triumphant yet forbidding March of the Meanies. They also have a definite Zappa feel to them in the orchestral bits, with odd percussion interludes and bombast and majestic melodies intertwining into a cohesive whole.

Overall, Yellow Submarine is half gold and half fool's gold, but there are some redeeming factors in the second half that raise the overall rating of the album from a 2 to a 3. It's an interesting soundtrack with some high quality Beatles songs, so that would be the main draw for this album. If you're interested in orchestral soundtracks, you'll also like the second side as well. As for me, well, I'm in the middle. 3/5.

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars This is the soundtrack for their animated movie of the same title.

I can't really be very enthusiastic about it. Two well known tracks of which "Yellow Submarine" has never been a fave of mine and of course the excellent "All You Need Is Love" already featured in their very good US compilation album "Magical Mistery Tour" sit here.

The rest is a collection of left overs, orchestral numbers (more than half of them) and some unreleased material of which the most interesting is the George one "Only A Northern Song". Its sound is rather bizarre mixing lots of different instruments : percussion, trumpet, mellotron.

It has often been seen as a criticism from George who was often less considered as a songwriter by John and Paul. The lyrics are VERY convincing. I quote :

"If you're listening to this song, You may think the chords are going wrong. But they're not; I just wrote them like that.

When you're listening late at night, You may think the words are not quite right. But they are, I just wrote them myself.

And it doesn't really matter what chords I play, What words I say or time of day it is As it's only a Northern song.

It doesn't really matter what clothes I wear, Or how I fare or if my hair is brown When it's only a Northern song.

If you think the harmony is a little off and out of key Then you're right, 'cause I sing it myself".

You couldn't be clearer as that, I guess. You just need to know that "Northern Song" was the Lennon / McCartney's publishing company.

"Hey Bulldog" is also a good song. Written by John, it features strong piano riff and some nice sound effects.

"It's All Too Much" is the second George's song. It does have a deep psychedelic influence. It's one of the few songs recorded outside the Abbey Road studios. It was almost featured on the "Magical Mystery Tour" album.

The last track from side one ("All Together One") is almost unbearable. Lots of rare instruments are used, which is fine but the vocals are so weak!!!

The second side is pure orchestration. It has never been a fave of mine. I only can stand "Yellow Submarine in Pepperland", the closing number.

One star as this is not really a Fab Four album, per se.

.

Review by J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars There really isn't much to this album (only half of it's even The Beatles). I really wouldn't recommend this album to anybody. None of the songs are good enough to make this worth a purchase. The first song, YELLOW SUBMARINE, is pretty overrated, and I don't like it. ONLY A NORTHERN SONG is a pretty good experimental song. It is followed by ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, which isn't really a great song. HEY BULLDOG is probably the best on the album, which is just a standard rocker. IT'S ALL TOO MUCH is an experimental piece written by George Harrison, and is also really great. I never listen to side two, as it's pretty awful. So for a 15-minute side that's not that great for the most part(and some of the songs can be found elsewhere), it's really not worth a purchase for anyone.
Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'Yellow Submarine' - The Beatles (5/10)

'Yellow Submarine' is the soundtrack to one of the most twisted and trippy cartoons I've ever seen in my life. The movie, despite being incredibly juvenile and childish is in fact incredibly entertaining and vivid. I honestly love it.

With this bias in mind, my views towards the Beatles' 'Yellow Submarine' soundtrack might be a bit more generous then some others. Still, while I enjoy the music on it alot (including the orchestral scoring) an entire half of the music isn't even the Beatles! They don't write the music, or even play the instruments. It is a symphonic arrangement by George Martin. I honestly would have loved it if one of the Beatles had written all the orchestral music; I would be much more open to rating this higher.

The actual Beatles songs here are really good, and some of their most psychedelic material they ever did. Because none of the songs (besides the title track) have anything necessarily to do with the storyline of the movie, its easier to think of this as an EP. The individual Beatles songs are great, with the possible exeption of 'All Together Now' which is a little annoying, to say the least!

The orchestral arrangements are pleasant enough, but not mind blowing. In the context of the film however, they did what they needed to. The bouncy Pepperland theme always stood out to be though, both on screen and on disc as being a really great piece of music.

Thinking about it, I can really see why some people may be harsh on this being that it's not really an actual Beatles album, but the music works with the movie, trust me. A decent, but non-essential record.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Yellow Submarine" is the 10th full-length studio album by UK rock act The Beatles. The album was released through Apple Records in January 1969. Itīs a soundtrack album to the animated film of the same name, which premiered in London in July 1968. The Beatles never counted it as a full-length studio album, but it is widely considered as that in the bandīs discography.

Side one of the original LP features 6 tracks by The Beatles including the title track which had already appeared on the "Revolver (1966)" album and "All You Need Is Love" which had appeared on the "All You Need Is Love (1967)" single and on the US/Canada only "Magical Mystery Tour (1967)" album release. Side 2 is a re-recording of the classical soundtrack to the "Yellow Submarine" movie composed and arranged by producer George Martin.

So if you exclude the classical music tracks there are actually only 4 new original Beatles tracks featured on the album. Those tracks are of the usual high quality that weīve come to expect from The Beatles, but 4 tracks arenīt much when you have to pay full price for the album. The George Martin material is well composed, but itīs also a bit too safe and nice. Somewhere between a 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Blue Meanies eh?

Released in January 1969 while White Album was still riding high in the charts, Yellow Submarine appears to be a case of getting out product. Brian Epstein sanctioned the film back in '67 and it was handled by a team of writers who were given an occasional guiding hand by John. It was a pleasant bit of psychedelia at the time and modestly entertaining fare. For viewing now it would be useful primarily for entertaining small children, or amusing big people with access to copious amounts of quality herb. The tracks on side one were recorded in 1967 and 1968 and are really only of average quality by Beatle standards. Side two consists of a re-recording of the orchestral film score by the wonderful George Martin.

Side one includes two previously released, smiling happy tracks in "Yellow Submarine" and "All You Need Is Love." The four "new" tracks consisted of the very weird "Only a Northern Song" which dates to the Pepper sessions. With lots of effects and a stoned-sounding Harrison vocal it's a decent track but nothing special. My favorite track here is probably the silly "All Together Now" which at the least has a catchy chorus. "Hey Bulldog" is a Lennon rocker with a nice groove but by John's own admission the track "means nothing." Martin's orchestral soundtrack takes up the whole of side 2 and is interesting for the occasional listen but unlikely to excite many rock fans. It certainly is not to the level of the superb Moodies work "Days of Future Passed" from the previous year but then it probably wasn't intended to be that conceptually compelling.

Yellow Submarine is not an album that needs a great deal of discussion or dissection. It's not awful but practically speaking it is the last album to check out in the entire catalog. It is the definition of "for fans only" and I really wouldn't bother unless you're buying the box set, in which case you'll get the remaster as part of the deal.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
2 stars It difficult to compile a successful soundtrack when your film is considered a flop, but the Beatles actually managed to make everyone see that it could be done with Magical Mystery Tour. This time when they had the odds on their side and Yellow Submarine turned out to be a successful film production the soundtrack release became an unexpected disappointment.

To be honest, Magical Mystery Tour wasn't all that exciting without the addition of side two bonus material featuring separately issued classics like Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane and All You Need Is Love. This time there was not much of a need to add bonus material to the album since the movie featured more than enough songs to fill an LP, which was also confirmed by the 1999 reissue of the soundtrack. For some odd reason this strategy was overruled in favor of adding 4 previously unreleased songs, mainly from the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band sessions, the previously released title track and All You Need Is Love. Side two of the LP is dedicated completely to George Martin's movie score with no input from the Beatles and even though there isn't anything wrong with these compositions they tend to pass by completely unnoticed.

I have been trying to read up on the reasons behind this poorly compiled soundtrack but haven't really found much information on this whole issue. Maybe the label/band wanted to make the public think that this was a completely new studio album? In which case I it becomes difficult to understand why two previously released track made it on the album. I can understand the reasons behind inclusion of the title track but why add All You Need Is Love when it was already released as a separate single and a part of Magical Mystery Tour?

This release feels more like a b-side album and that's probably what it, meaning that its not of much use to anyone but the fans. Now that we also have the Yellow Submarine Songtrack, this original version of the LP can't even really be considered of importance to the Beatles fans but rather to those of George Martin!

***** star songs: Yellow Submarine (2:42) All You Need Is Love (3:52)

**** star songs: Only A Northern Song (3:27) Hey Bulldog (3:14) All Together Now (2:13)

*** star songs: Pepperland (2:23) Sea Of Time (3:00) Sea Of Holes (2:20) Sea Of Monsters (3:39) March Of The Meanies (2:22) Pepperland Laid To Waste (2:15) Yellow Submarine In Pepperland (2:10)

** star songs: It's All Too Much (6:28)

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
2 stars It IS all too much!

Ok, this is the worst Beatles album and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Heck, it even features flamin' soundtrack music to the film from a badly performed orchestra that nobody cares about. If it was not a Beatles album it would have disappeared into obscurity. However The Beatles threw in all the songs from the movie saving it from complete oblivion. Best songs are Yellow Submarine, come on you sung it as a child and kids still adore it; Only A Northern Song, a really good tune with inspired lyrics; All You Need Is Love, the showstopper with feel good vibe and unforgettable lyrics; Hey Bulldog, especially that ending where the members start barking like dogs till Lennon tells them to shuttup; and finally All Together Now, with its simplistic lyrics and catchy musical phrases. The rest is rather dismal. Pepperland, Sea Of Time, Sea Of Holes, Sea Of Monsters....... you get the idea. The music is rubbish and who wanted to hear a bunch of soundtrack pieces? The US had the right idea when they replaced all these throwaways with Beatles songs on their version of the album. All the best songs are available on compilations so this is rather an obsolete release, though works as an absurd curio for Beatles fanatics.

Review by baz91
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars THIS IS NOT A PROPER BEATLES ALBUM

It really isn't. I can't stress that enough. This LP acts as the soundtrack to the animated film 'Yellow Submarine'. The actual Beatles had nothing to do with this film, and only guest star in it once. The Beatles donated some of their leftover studio tracks from other albums to the makers of the film, and these make up some of the tracks on the album. Side 2 is entirely devoted to George Martin's orchestral soundtrack to the film. It goes without saying that the orchestral music without the context of a film is really dull. All of these factors make 'Yellow Submarine' sound like a truly dire, worthless album, when compared to the other albums in The Beatles' catalogue. However, there are a couple of tracks on this disc that save the album from being lost in obscurity.

When I said leftover tracks, I meant four of them. There are just four tracks on this album totalling 15 mins that you wouldn't be able to hear anywhere else. These are all placed on Side 1, and are sandwiched between Yellow Submarine and All You Need Is Love.

Only A Northern Song is a psychedelic excuse for Harrison to spout some bizarre lyrics. Probably a good thing they left this off the other albums.

All Together Now is a fun children's song. As far as children's songs go, The Beatles have definitely done a lot worse!

Hey Bulldog is where it starts to get good. The main riff is superb, and the lyrics are great. The instrumental includes a brilliant guitar solo. I like everything about this song.

It's All Too Much is actually Harrison's second song here, but it's absolutely staggering. At 6:25, this is very long for a Beatles track indeed. In fact, this isn't the full version, which is about 2 minutes longer! This is an epic song, with a very rich sound. It's quite psychedelic in nature and very repetitive, but it's still awesome. You can see why The Beatles' longer tracks weren't commercial, but they were still brilliant. The song is played over a constant drone, which makes it even more fascinating and exciting. Ringo keeps a very strong beat here, and it's a shame that they never got to play this live, as it would make a brilliant live track.

I'm not even going to review the second side of this album, as I've only listened to it once, and frankly I wouldn't do it again, as I have better music to listen to. This was never going to be a great album, but tracks like Hey Bulldog and It's All Too Much are actually extremely worthwhile listens. However, the bulk of this album is very uninteresting, and those two songs just bring this album up to two stars.

Review by 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.

Latest members reviews

1 stars This one seems to be widely noted as The Beatles' worst effort, a statement for which I couldn't disagree. Firstly, half the album isn't even written by The Beatles; the second half is a classical score written by producer George Martin, which, while undoubtedly good material, is just another film ... (read more)

Report this review (#771420) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is an interesting and different album, which many feel is more for fans as there are only four Beatles songs here which are not found on the other original albums. However, there is still enough good work to be found. "All Together Now" is a fun song that captures the same mood of the song ... (read more)

Report this review (#577839) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Tuesday, November 29, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Rating: 5/10 An attempt from The Beatles and their producer George Martin on gaining new musical territory. The idea of this soundtrack for the movie of the same name, was to make a side 1 with Lennon-Mc Cartney-Harrison songs; and a 2nd side with all instrumental pieces written by George Har ... (read more)

Report this review (#458504) | Posted by Mattiias | Thursday, June 9, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars What happened to The Beatles in this album? Being preceded by the "White Album" and "Magical Mystery Tour", and followed by "Let it Be" and "Abbey Road", It's definitely a low point in the end of the band's career. The second half of the album is quite boring. Maybe as a soundtrack, I mean, wh ... (read more)

Report this review (#137276) | Posted by Proglodita | Saturday, September 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I bought this record primary to hear the 7th track and onwards, which I guesse were soundtrack music from the movie. Indeed it is soundtrack music, 60s soundtrack music. Arranged and conducted by George Martin it make use of different themes from some of The Beatles songs to a varying effect. ... (read more)

Report this review (#109106) | Posted by Frasse | Saturday, January 27, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars In 1968, when "Yellow Submarine" was released, the Beatles where already breaking up as a band. "The White Album", which came out about a month before "Yellow Submarine", had shown four individuals doing solo-works accompanied by fellow musicians. George Harrison had his own album "Wonderwall Mus ... (read more)

Report this review (#73826) | Posted by Guzzman | Sunday, April 2, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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