Yellow Submarine is the tenth studio album by English rock band the Beatles, released on 13 January 1969 in the United States and on 17 January in the United Kingdom. It was issued as the soundtrack to the animated film of the same name, which premiered in London in July 1968. The album contains six songs by the Beatles, including four new songs and the previously released “Yellow Submarine” and “All You Need Is Love”. The remainder of the album is a re-recording of the film’s orchestral soundtrack by the band’s producer, George Martin. Yellow Submarine reached the top 5 in the UK and the US. It has since been afforded a mixed reception from music critics, some of whom consider that it falls short of the high standard generally associated with the Beatles’ work. Another version of the album, the Yellow Submarine Songtrack, was issued on the film’s 30th anniversary. It dispenses with the George Martin orchestrations and includes the six Beatles songs from the original album, along with an additional nine songs heard in the film, all newly remixed. Here are all of Yellow Submarine’s songs ranked.
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6. All Together Now
“All Together Now”, written mainly by Paul, is a children’s counting rhyme with a singalong chorus. Fun, but not a great song. However, it’s worth buying this album just for John’s Hey Bulldog. The guitar solo and piano riffs are brilliant and it’s easily the best song on the album.”
5. Yellow Submarine
“Paul McCartney wrote this one. He explained shortly after it was released in 1966: “‘Yellow Submarine’ is very simple but very different. It’s a fun song, a children’s song. Originally we intended it to be ‘Sparky’ a children’s record. But now it’s the idea of a yellow submarine where all the kids went to have fun. I was just going to sleep one night and thinking if we had a children’s song, it would be nice to be on a yellow submarine where all your friends are with a band.” Paul purposely used short words in the lyrics because he wanted kids to pick it up early and sing along. Ringo sang lead, as he did on many of the lighter Beatles songs, including “Octopus’s Garden” and “Act Naturally.”
4. Only a Northern Song
“George Harrison wrote this. He called it, “A joke relating to Liverpool, the Holy City in the North of England.” Liverpool is north of London. Harrison used some real wit and humor in composing this (remember, out of all the Beatles, he was closest with Monty Python and Python alumnus Terry Gilliam, to the point of composing the closing theme to Time Bandits). In this song, he picks out a haphazard series of chords when he starts singing “it really doesn’t matter…”, with a B-melody note, E chord, B minor 7th, G chord, C-sharp 7th, F-sharp 7th. It sounds chaotic at first, but there’s order underneath, expressing that he felt that he was buried brilliance over-shadowed by the Lennon-McCartney dominance.”
See more: The Beatles Albums Ranked
3. All You Need is Love
“The concept of the song was born out of a request to bring a song that was going to be understood by people of all nations. The writing began in late May of 1967, with John and Paul working on separate songs. It was decided that John’s “All You Need Is Love” was the better choice because of its easy to understand message of love and peace. The song was easy to play, the words easy to remember and it encompassed the feeling of the world’s youth during that period.”
2. It’s All Too Much
“George Harrison wrote this. It was inspired by his wife, Pattie. A verse was edited out of album version, cutting time from 8 minutes to 6. The full version appears in film Yellow Submarine. This was by far the longest Beatles song until “Hey Jude” was recorded over a year later. Paul McCartney played lead guitar on this song and John Lennon supplied the guitar feedback, allowing George to be free to concentrate only on vocals during the recording of this song.”
See more: The Beatles Songs Ranked
1. Hey Bulldog
“The Beatles recorded this while they were filming the promotional video for “Lady Madonna.” Since they had to be in a studio while filming, Paul McCartney thought they should record a song. They started recording this as “Hey Bullfrog,” but Paul barked at the end and made John Lennon laugh. They kept in the barking and changed the title, even though there is no mention of a bulldog in the verses or chorus. “Hey Bulldog” is chanted 4 times before John and Paul’s playful banter and then twice during the fade-out. This was the first recording session John brought Yoko to.”