After looking at The Beatles, otherwise known as The White Album (Part One and Part Two), it’s time for Yellow Submarine!
Yellow Submarine is another soundtrack album, to the rather psychedelic film of the same name. After the disaster that was Magical Mystery Tour, the Beatles weren’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of yet another film, but they were interested in the idea of it being animated. They only actually appear in the film at the very end, as the voices of their animated selves are not their own voices. It was a huge hit in theaters, and today is generally regarded as one of the best films of the band’s.
The album itself, like Magical Mystery Tour, is much less of a cohesive whole than others - the songs were collected from a relatively wide span of time. In fact, there are only four truly new songs on the album - “It’s All Too Much,” “Only a Northern Song,” “All Together Now,” and “Hey Bulldog.” Despite this, I’ve decided to include all the songs in the poll, repeats or not.
Fun fact: all the tracks on the second side, with the exception of “Yellow Submarine in Pepperland,” were composed by George Martin.
The Beatles made a deal with UA for 3 movies. A Hard Day’s Night and Help were 2/3s of the deal. Magical Mystery Tour was mostly one of Paul’s ideas. After it was completed, they offered it to UA to finish their part of the deal. UA said “No way”. I don’t know if it aired in the UK, but there was an animated Beatles cartoon series every Saturday morning on TV. It was sort of like The Monkees but animated with English accents and at least 2 Beatles songs. So, the people who made that got signed up for Yellow Submarine. The pop artist Peter Max was really hot then, so there’s a serious Peter Max flavour to the animation. Other than agreeing to it, all the Beatles did was put on their circa 64 collarless suits and appear for maybe 20 minutes at the end. And I suspect they only did that much so UA would have to accept it as the last movie in their deal.
And yeah, all the music by the Beatles were either outtakes, or previously recorded stuff (Yellow Submarine and All You Need Is Love)
I wasn’t going to vote in this one – not really a Beatles album, IMHO – but I decided, what the heck, it gives me a chance to vote for my favorite Beatles sing when I was three years old – the title track, naturally.
I seem to be out of step with majority opinion on George Harrison’s songwriting, because I don’t like many of his more popular songs such as “Something” or “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, but I utterly love the rather overlooked “It’s All Too Much”. Superb psychedelic wig-out.
Do you like “The Inner Light”? I love that one. I’ll consider it when we wrap up this series with the Past Masters discs* – though it will of course have a ton of juicy competition, so I don’t expect it to get any votes.
*Please, let’s not do “Anthology” just so we can include “Free as a Bird,” “Real Love,” and “You Have Reached The Lennon-Ono Residence, Please Leave a Message After the Beep.”
The album is very underrated. Yes, the second side is worthless, but “Hey Bulldog” is a classic and the two George Harrison songs are among his best work. “Only a Northern Song” deserved to be on “Sgt. Pepper” instead of “Within You Without You.”
Not that familiar with “The Inner Light” to be honest. Just listened to it and it’s not bad, might grow on me.
*Anthology *could be fun - I imagine the “new” songs will get a savaging, but I’m actually rather fond of “Real Love”, although of course it sounds more like a Lennon solo song, which is what it is. They should have released that one first rather than “Free as a Bird”.
[oh, just realised you said let’s *not *do Anthology! I’m OK with that too.]
I want to vote for YS because (a), it’s their best children’s song, bar none, and (b), it’s another vote for Revolver, and (c) Ringo needs love.
I want to vote for OANS because (a) it’s a vote for George, and (b) I don’t know how the hell I’m going to vote on the Abbey Road list, so may as well give him props, and (c) it’s a good song in its own right.
I want to vote for HB because (a) I went to the University of Georgia, home of the single greatest mascot in the history of college sports, (b) because it’s probably the best song on the album, and (c), one miraculous night I scored 100% on Rock Band Beatles on Hard difficulty level on this song… and I suck at Rock Band.
On the other hand, AYNIL (can we pronounce this “anal”?) is trite crap. There, I said it. Easily the worst of the Beatles #1 hits, it wishes it could be the song Hello/Goodbye is.
I voted “Hey Bulldog,” but “All You Need is Love” would probably be my number two. I really enjoy the somewhat odd beat/timing of the song (alternating four beats and three beats in the verses), the slight “misquote” of the Marseillaise in the intro, the joyful anthemic quality of the song, and the musical stream of consciousness/non-sequitors at the end, quoting Bach, Glen Miller, the Beatles themselves, etc. It’s a nice little post-modern pop patchwork.