Welcome To AlbumLinerNotes.com
"The #1 Archive of Liner Notes in the World!"

Celebrating Our Shared Musical Heritage

Yellow Submarine (2009)

To buy this recording from Amazon.com, click here: Yellow Submarine

The Beatles
Yellow Submarine

EMI Records
0649 3 82467 2 5

The Beatles

1. Yellow Submarine

2. Only a Northern Song

3. All Together Now

4. Hey Bulldog

5. It's All Too Much

6. All You Need Is Love

Original Film Score Composed & Orchestrated by George Martin

7. Pepperland

8. Sea of Time

9. Sea of Holes

10. Sea of Monsters

11. March of The Meanies

12. Pepperland Laid Waste

13. Yellow Submarine in Pepperland


My name is Derek but that is what mother called me so it's no big thing, except that it is my name and I would like to say I was asked to write the notes for Yellow Submarine. Now Derek Taylor used to be the Beatles press agent and then, in America he became the former Beatles press agent (having left them) and now Derek Taylor is the press agent for the Beatles again so when he was asked to write the notes for "Yellow Submarine" he decided that not only had he nothing new to say about the Beatles whom he adores too much to apply any critical reasoning, and by whom he is paid too much to feel completely free, and also he couldn't be bothered, and also he wanted the people who bought the Yellow Submarine album to buy and enjoy the really wonderful "The Beatles" album out in the month of November '68 so here and now, unbought, unsolicited, unexpurgated, unattached, pure and immeasurably-favourable is a review of "The Beatles" (the new Apple/EMI album) from the London Observer by Tony Palmer, a journalist and film-maker of some special distinction:

“The Beatles' bull’s-eye"

If there is still any doubt that Lennon and McCartney are the greatest song writers since Schubert, then next Friday—with the publication of the new Beatles double LP—should surely see the last vestiges of cultural snobbery and bourgeois prejudice swept away in a deluge of joyful music making, which only the ignorant will not hear and only the deaf will not acknowledge. Called simply The Beatles (PMC 7067/8), it's wrapped in a plain white cover which is adorned only by the song titles and those four faces, faces which for some still represent the menace of long-haired youth, for others the great hope of a cultural renaissance and for others the desperate, apparently endless struggle against cynical so-called betters.

In The Beatles' eyes, as in their songs, you can see the fragile fragmentary mirror of the society which sponsored them, which interprets and makes demands of them, and which punishes them when they do what others reckon to be evil; Paul, ever-hopeful, wistful; Ringo, every mother's son; George, local lad made good; John, withdrawn sad, but with a fierce intelligence clearly undimmed by all that organised morality can throw at him. They are heroes for all of us, and better than we deserve.

It's not as if The Beatles ever seek such adulation. The extra-ordinary quality of the 30 new songs is one of simple happiness. The lyrics overflow with a sparkling radiance and sense of fun that it is impossible to resist. Almost every track is a send-up of a send-up, rollicking, reckless, gentle, magical. The subject matter ranges from piggies ('Have you seen the bigger piggies/In their starched white shirts'), to Bungalow Bill of Saturday morning film-show fame ('He went out tiger hunting with his elephant gun/ln case of accidents he always took his mom'); from 'Why don't we do it in the road' to 'Savoy Truffle.’

The skill at orchestration has matured with finite precision. Full orchestra, brass, solo violin, glockenspiel, saxophone, organ, piano, harpsichord, all manner of percussion, flute, sound effects, are used sparingly and thus with deftness.

Electronic gimmickry has been suppressed or ignored in favour of musicianship. References to or quotations from Elvis Presley, Donovan, Little Richard, the Beach Boys, Blind Lemon Jefferson are woven into an aural fabric that has become the Bayeux Tapestry of popular music. It's all there, if you listen. Lennon sings 'I told you about strawberry fields' and 'I told you about the fool on the hill'—and now?

The Beatles are competent rather than virtuoso instrumentalists—but their ensemble playing is intuitive and astonishing. They bend and twist rhythms and phrases with a unanimous freedom that gives their harmonic adventures the frenzy of anticipation and unpredictability. The voice—particularly that of Lennon—is just another instrument, wailing, screeching, mocking, weeping.

There is a quiet determination to be rid of the bogus intellectualisation that usually surrounds them and their music. The words are almost deliberately simple-minded—one song is just called 'Birthday' and includes lines like, 'Happy Birthday to you'; another just goes on repeating 'Good-night'; another says 'I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink.' The music is likewise stripped of all but the simplest of harmonies and beat—so what is left is a prolific out-pouring of melody, music-making of unmistakable clarity and foot-tapping beauty.

The sarcasm and bitterness that have always given their music its unease and edginess still bubbles out—'Lady Madonna trying to make ends meet—yeah/Looking through a glass onion.' The harshness of the imagery is, if anything, even harsher; 'The eagle picks my eye/The worm he locks my bone.' Black birds, black clouds, broken wings, lizards, destruction. And, most grotesque of all, there is a terrifying track just called 'Revolution 9,' which comprises sound effects, overheard gossip, backwards-tapes, janglings from the subconscious memories of a floundering civilisation. Cruel, paranoiac, burning, agonised, hopeless, it is given shape by an anonymous bingo voice which just goes on repeating ‘Number nine, number nine, number nine'—until you want to scream. McCartney's drifting melancholy overhangs the entire proceedings like a purple veil of shadowy optimism—glistening, inaccessible, loving.

At the end, all you do is stand and applaud. Whatever your taste in popular music, you will find it satisfied here. If you think that pop music is Engelbert Humperdinck, then the Beatles have done it better—without sentimentality, but with passion; if you think that pop is just rock 'n' roll, then the Beatles have done it better—but infinitely more vengefully; if you think that pop is mind-blowing noise, then the Beatles have done it better—on distant shores of the imagination that others have not even sighted.

This record took them five months to make and in case you think that's slow going, just consider that since its completion they've written another 15 songs. Not even Schubert wrote at that speed."


Somewhere during the hours between the years 700 and 750 (anno Domini), a brother from the Northumbrian monastery wrote of a youthful thane of King Hygelac (King of the Geats) named Beowulf...a hero. A super-hero who arrived from far by sea to rescue Heorot...a feasting hall built by a benevolent old king called Hrothgar...a feasting hall that exuded the pleasures of food and music and perpetual celebration and all that was raison d’etre...a feasting hall which for years had been ravaged by the villainy of an evil spirit named Grendel. Having already proven his metal as a good-guy combatant par excellence (by the conquering of a picturesque sea monster and a victory over Breca in a swimming match), Beowulf goes forth to rid the once beautiful Northumbrian landscape of destructive Grendel...a demon who indeed perishes when his arm is delicately dislodged from its socket by Mr. Wulf. The kingdom is saved (albeit after disposing of Grendel's mother who took unkindly to the action) and Heorot restored with the pleasures or rood and music and perpetual celebration and colorful beauty...a restoration which permits bigger and better glorias to be raised to the local gods addressed as Wyrds.

Some 465 years later (1215), an English king named King John signed a Magna Carta at a roost called Runnymede...an act of prodded royalty which liberated barons and bumpkins to roust with a greater degree of carefreedom.

Some 561 years later than that (1776), a Virginia gent named Jefferson quilled a Declaration of Independence in, of all places, Philadelphia and shipped it to a king called King George which hypothetically rid a small group of new-world colonies from crimson-frocked enforcers from a faraway land...taxations without representations vanished and the colonies flourished freely under a hero named after the colonies' capital, Washington. (Ruffled feathers on both sides of the sea have since been plucked.)

And in 1968—some 1,218 years anno Beo (A.B.); 753 years anno Magna (A.M.); 192 years anno Declaration (A.D.)—bad people (Blue Meanies) still force their wills on good people (Pepperlanders) and demolish the human and physical landscape of beautiful pleasure domes (Pepperland). And Agnes—the inquisitive baby sitter next door in California, United States of America—will be pleased to know that there are still heroes around of the calibres of Messrs. Wulf, John and Jefferson...there's John, Paul, George and Ringo and their attending Lonely Hearts Club Band who sail from one place (Liverpool) at the invitation of a benevolent but old leader of another place (the Lord Mayor of Pepperland) to rescue the pleasures of food and music and perpetual celebration and colorful beauty from the villainous hands of less-than-beautiful people (Blue Meanies) who act under the supreme guidance of the most evil spirit (Chief Blue Meanie).

The Beatles come by sea (through the Seas of Monsters, Time, Music, Science, Consumer Products, Nowhere, Green Phrenology and Holes—each puddle supporting a lively cast of characters) in a YELLOW SUBMARINE captained by Old Fred (also leader of Sgt. PLHCB) where they prove their heroic metal by outwitting a sea monster (Vacuum Man) and out-swimming competition (School of Whales) even before they reach the shores of the besieged undersea kingdom of Pepperland. Once arrived at target P., they triumph over the Chief Blue Meanie's primary evil-tempered henchmen (par example: the lanky Apple Bonker who assaults his prey with Baldwin apples; the corpulent Hidden Persuader with a penchant for underhanded unscrupulence; the abdominal Snapping Turtle Turk who chomps at the slightest bit; the belligerent Butterfly Stompers who perform the tasks that any evil butterfly stompers worth their soul would perform with supreme acuity). The good guys win…the hero-Beatles triumph once again and restore the pleasures of color and music and all that's beautiful...a restoration which permits bigger and better glorias to be sung to the reigning god of Pepperland addressed as Love.

Dan Davis

The Beatles' tenth album was released in the UK on 17th January, 1969 as a soundtrack companion to the animated film Yellow Submarine, which had premiered six months earlier in London and during November 1968 in the States. One side of the LP was devoted to six Beatles tracks and the other featured a new recording of the film's orchestral score composed by George Martin.

In addition to two hit singles from 1966 and 1967, side one presented four previously unreleased Beatles songs that were first heard in the movie. There was a plan to make those songs available on a seven-inch EP running at LP speed, which would also include another unreleased track, 'Across The Universe'. Although a mono master tape for the proposed record was compiled in March, 1969, the EP was never pressed.

When Yellow Submarine arrived in the shops, 'The White Album' was still at number one. On the British LP sleeve, Apple press officer Derek Taylor encouraged record buyers to purchase that recent album by introducing a review written by Tony Palmer. The US release of Yellow Submarine had different sleeve notes written by Dan Davis, who traced the heroic roots of the cartoon characters in the movie. Both sets of notes are included in this booklet.

Although never intended to be a high-profile Beatles release, the album reached number three in the UK and stayed in the Top 15 for ten weeks. In the USA, while 'The White Album' held at number one, Yellow Submarine reached its highest placing of number two. Its initial chart run in 1969 lasted for 24 weeks.


Produced by George Martin
Orchestrations by George Martin
Principal Engineer: Geoff Emerick

The four 'new' Beatles songs included on side one of Yellow Submarine had, in fact, been recorded a long time before the album's release in January, 1969. Three came from 1967 and 'Hey Bulldog' was completed in February, 1968. The most recent recording on the LP was the film score on side two, which George Martin had re-recorded with an orchestra of 41 musicians in Studio One of Abbey Road in October, 1968.

The songs that were introduced on Yellow Submarine were made in the period when only four-track tape machines were available to the group in Abbey Road. That was fine for “All Together Now' and 'Hey Bulldog', which were confined to four tracks. However, the other two songs required extra tracks and the usual method was to create them by 'bouncing down'. This process involved copying the first reel's completed four tracks to a new tape and simultaneously combining some of them to leave free as many tracks as were needed for additional overdubs. 'It's All Too Much' was begun and then 'bounced down' to a second tape at De Lane Lea Studios. Following a repeat of this process to a third four-track at Abbey Road, more overdubs were added so that nine tracks were used to complete the song.

In contrast, using just one four-track tape, 'Hey Bulldog' was recorded, overdubbed and mixed in a single ten hour session. Track one had drums, piano, guitar and tambourine; two contained bass, guitar and off-beat drum with reverb; a double-tracked vocal and guitar solo were on three; and the final track included John's lead vocal with Paul singing a backing vocal and an additional guitar solo.

Dating back to the sessions for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 'Only A Northern Song' had been recorded in a unique manner. Abbey Road's technical engineers had discovered a way of controlling the speed of two four-track tape machines so that they ran in perfect synchronisation. With no need for 'bouncing down', eight tracks were simultaneously available. Tape one consisted of bass, trumpet with glockenspiel, drums and organ and the second tape featured effects, piano, vocal and double-tracked vocal.

However, problems arose during mixing when, as the play buttons were pressed on the two machines, it became a process of trial and error whether they would, in fact, start at exactly the same time. It was such a haphazard and time consuming process that only a mono mix was completed and as a result an artificially enhanced—or fake—stereo version had to be created for the stereo album. Although this was common practice at the time, it subsequently fell out of favour and so the song is presented on this CD in mono.

Ironically, the original mix of 'Only A Northern Song' was never used because the mono LP was created during the cutting process by simply combining the left and right channels from the stereo master tape. Consequently, this previously unreleased mono version can now be heard for the first time.

This remastered album has been created from the original stereo analogue master tapes except for track 2, which is from the original mono analogue master.

Remastered by Paul Hicks, Steve Rooke and Guy Massey
Project Co-ordinator: Allan Rouse
Thanks to Simon Gibson

Historical Notes: Kevin Howlett and Mike Heatley
Recording Notes: Allan Rouse and Kevin Howlett
Project management for EMI Records Ltd: Wendy Day and Guy Hayden

Artwork © 2009 Subafilms Ltd.
All Illustrations © Subafilms Ltd.
Album Redesign: Drew Lorimer

All songs published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC.
Digital Remaster (P) 2009 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by EMI Records Ltd. © 2009 EMI Records Ltd. This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved.
Website Builder