Friday, September 11, 2009

LP Love: Yellow Submarine

As I'm out of the country until September 15, my normal song-a-day listening schedule is being put on hold. Instead, rediscover your love for the LP format by enjoying a complete Beatles album per day. Try to keep your finger away from the "shuffle" or "skip" buttons for the ultimate retro experience! See you in September to wrap up the Beatles' catalog song by song, remastered-style.

Yellow Submarine

Release Date: January 17, 1969

The name of this mini-feature is LP Love, but there's not a lot of love out there for the Yellow Submarine LP, I don't think. Reason #1: Only side A actually has Beatles songs on it, as side B is taken up with instrumental pieces from the film score, which were arranged by George Martin. They are fine in the movie, but far less compelling when you're just trying to listen to a Beatles record. Reason #2: Of the six Beatles songs on side A, only four were actually new at the time of release. Reason #3: Those four original Beatles songs were not exactly the most ingenious songs they'd ever put out there. In fact, so deep was the Beatles' lack of enthusiasm for the film Yellow Submarine that they only contributed the dregs of what they'd been working on.

That last bit is conventional wisdom, anyway. We have to remember that one of those songs is the awesome "Hey Bulldog," which is worth the full price of an LP on its own. I also happen to feel that "It's All Too Much" has merit that is not always recognized. Nevertheless, let's nod in the direction of these songs without spending too much of our LP love on Yellow Submarine. It's canonical, and thus deserves a little love. But it probably should have just been an EP or something.

High Points: "Yellow Submarine," "Hey Bulldog," "All You Need Is Love"

My Secret Favorite: "Hey Bulldog"

The Song I'm Not Supposed to Love So Much But Totally Do Anyway: "It's All Too Much"

Track Listing:

"Only a Northern Song"

B (none of these are actual Beatles songs, but whatev, they're there)
"Sea of Time"
"Sea of Holes"
"Sea of Monsters"
"March of the Meanies"
"Pepperland Laid Waste"
"Yellow Submarine in Pepperland"


  1. I think It's All Too Much has a lot of big fans coming out of the woodwork these days. And clicking on your link seems to confirm that you're not crazy-go-nuts for All Together Now, which I enjoy a great deal.

    I tend (unless the opposite serves my purpose) to evaluate the albums by how high the highs are, not how solid the middle or lows are. I mean, I'll use the middles and lows for tiebreakers, but if Let It Be had Hey Jude on it, it would be essential listening. So with five really enjoyable originals on Yellow Submarine, regardless of two of them being originals from other records, me likey.

  2. Oh, and Frank: Went ahead and ordered the mono set off Amazon. I figure I can rip it and resell it at not-too-great a loss, although if I knew any fellow fanatics that wanted it, I would give them right of first refusal, even if they didn't love Tomorrow Never Knows ...