As album releases go, many rank this one as the weakest offering from The Beatles. However, what is important to note, the reason for this rating is usually the same. It’s only half of an album. Side one is comprised of Beatle songs and side two is classical music by George Martin.
In defense, The Beatles had almost no input on the film ‘Yellow Submarine’ (1968) and the latter soundtrack. They merely fulfilled a contractual obligation for four new songs for the movie. By the time the film was released, they had already embarked on their next studio project “The White Album” (not an official title but dubbed with that name by fans).
In 1999 there was a 30th Anniversary Soundtrack which featured all the Beatle’s music used in the movie. Yes, a much better version. Why wasn’t that done from the beginning?
What about the four new songs?
‘Hey Bulldog’ has John Lennon on lead vocals. A blues-based rocking ditty which seems to signal The Beatles moving away from the psychedelic era and into a blues-based rock, as evidenced by The White Album.
‘Only a Northern Song’ features George Harrison on lead vocals. A verry psychedelic track indeed that fits in well with the film. This one could have been added to the Sgt. Pepper or Revolver albums.
‘All Together Now’ is a Paul McCartney top 40 type ditty. This was the song used for the end credits of Yellow Submarine and featured a short cameo appearance by The Beatles.
‘It’s All Too Much’ has George Harrison on lead again. This is quite a ‘heavy’ track which (to me at least) signals the first rumbling of The Beatles inventing Heavy Metal. Let me explain, this song has one foot in psychedelic mode and the other one in Heavy Metal. There is distinct distortion sprinkled throughout this track.
Don’t be a music hating Blue Meanie – Take a moment and listen