Yellow Submarine / Eleanor Rigby (UK)

By The Beatles7" Single • Part of the collection “The Beatles • Singles

UK release date:
Aug 05, 1966
Publisher:
Parlophone
Reference:
R 5493

Master release


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Track list

Side 1


1.

Yellow Submarine

Written by Lennon - McCartney

2:39 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Vocals
John Lennon :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals
George Harrison :
Backing vocals, Tambourine
George Martin :
Backing vocals, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Backing vocals, Recording engineer, Tape loop (marching band)
Mal Evans :
Backing vocals, Bass drum
Neil Aspinall :
Backing vocals
Pattie Harrison :
Backing vocals, Laughter
Brian Jones :
Backing vocals, Ocarina, Sound effects (clinking glasses)
Marianne Faithfull :
Backing vocals
Alf Bicknell :
Backing vocals, Sound effects (rattling chains)
Unknown musician(s) :
Brass band
John Skinner :
Sound effects (chains in bathtub)
Terry Condon :
Sound effects (chains in bathtub)

Session Recording:
May 26, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 01, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 03, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Side 2


1.

Eleanor Rigby

Written by Lennon - McCartney

2:07 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney :
Vocals
John Lennon :
Harmony vocals
George Harrison :
Harmony vocals
George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Tony Gilbert :
Violin
Sidney Sax :
Violin
John Sharpe :
Violin
Jürgen Hess :
Violin
Stephen Shingles :
Viola
John Underwood :
Viola
Derek Simpson :
Cello
Norman Jones :
Cello

Session Recording:
Apr 28, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Apr 29, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 06, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 22, 1966
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

About

From Wikipedia:

The Beatles chose to break with their previous policy by allowing album tracks to be issued on a UK single. The “Yellow Submarine” single was the Beatles’ thirteenth single release in the United Kingdom and the first to feature Starr as lead vocalist. It was issued there on 5 August 1966 as a double A-side with “Eleanor Rigby“, and in the United States on 8 August. In both countries, Revolver was released on the same day as the single. The pairing of a novelty song and a ballad devoid of any instrumentation played by a Beatle marked a considerable departure from the content of the band’s previous singles. Unusually for their post-1965 singles also, there were no promotional films made for either of the A-sides.

According to a report in Melody Maker on 30 July, the reason for the Beatles breaking with precedent and releasing a single from Revolver was to thwart sales of cover recordings of “Eleanor Rigby”. When Harrison was asked for the reason, he replied that the group had decided to “put it out” rather than watch as “dozens” of other artists scored hits with the songs. In his NME interview in August, Martin said:

“I was keen that the track be released in some way apart from the album, but you have to realise that the Beatles aren’t usually very happy about issuing material twice in this way. They feel that they might be cheating the public … However, we got to thinking about it, and we realised that the fans aren’t really being cheated at all. Most albums have only 12 tracks; the Beatles always do 14!”

Commercial performance

The single topped sales charts around the world. The double A-side was number 1 on Record Retailer‘s chart (later adopted as the UK Singles Chart) for four weeks during a chart run of 13 weeks. On Melody Maker‘s singles chart, it was number 1 for three weeks and then spent two weeks at number 2. It was the band’s twelfth consecutive chart-topping single in the UK. Despite the double A-side status there, “Yellow Submarine” was the song recognised with the Ivor Novello Award for highest certified sales of any A-side in 1966.

In the US, the single’s release coincided with the Beatles’ final tour and, further to the controversy over the “butcher cover” originally used for the Capitol Records LP Yesterday and Today, public furore over Lennon’s “More popular than Jesus” remarks, originally published in the UK in his “How a Beatle Lives” interview with Cleave. The “Jesus” controversy overshadowed the release of the single and the album there; public bonfires were held to burn their records and memorabilia, and many radio stations refused to play the Beatles’ music. The group were also vocal in their opposition to the Vietnam War, a stand that further redefined their public image in the US. Capitol were wary of the religious references in “Eleanor Rigby”, given the ongoing controversy, and instead promoted “Yellow Submarine” as the lead side. The song peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (behind “You Can’t Hurry Love” by the Supremes) and number 1 on the charts compiled by Cash Box and Record World.

In Gould’s description, it was “the first ‘designated’ Beatles single since 1963” not to top the Billboard Hot 100, a result he attributes to Capitol’s caution in initially overlooking “Eleanor Rigby”. During the US tour, Beatles press officer Tony Barrow asked Leroy Aarons of The Washington Post to remove mention of the band’s “latest” single slipping on the charts when Aarons presented his article for their approval. In author Robert Rodriguez’s view, the radio bans were responsible for the song’s failure to top the chart. The single sold 1,200,000 copies in four weeks and, on 12 September, earned the Beatles their twenty-first US Gold Record award, a total they had achieved in just over two-and-a-half years. […]


NEW SINGLE ON AUGUST 5

The boys’ surprise new single consists of two of the hottest tracks from their “Revolver” L.P. out on the same day. The titles are “Yellow Submarine,” with Ringo vocalizing on a single for the very first time, and “Eleanor Rigby” featuring Paul.

From The Beatles Monthly Book – August 1966
From The Beatles Monthly Book – August 1966

Ringo sings on Beatles’ new single

RINGO gets the solo vocal spot on “Yellow Submarine,” one side of the Beatles’ surprise new single out next Friday (August 5). The other side is “Eleanor Rigby.” Both are from the boys’ new album “Revolver” – out on the same day.

It’s the fist time the drummer has sung on a single in this country — and the first time the Beatles have put out LP tracks as a single — although their “Ticket To Ride” hit single was featured on the “Help!” album.

At the moment no promotion spots have been fixed for the boys — and there’s no specific topside for the record.

“Eleanor Rigby,” which features a string octet consisting of four violins, two violas and two and cellos, and “Yellow Submarine,” a sea shanty-styled song, are the Beatles’ own favourite LP numbers.

The final chorus of “Submarine,” apart from featuring all four Beatles also includes road managers Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans, recording manager George Martin, and assorted studio staff and technicians. Submarine sound effects on the record were produced live in the studio and pre-recorded.

The last Beatles single “Paperback Writer” – this week down six place to 21 in the chart —was released on June 10.

Rumours that the Beatles had turned down a South African tour on racial grounds were this week denied by Nems Enterprises.

From Disc And Music Echo – July 30, 1966
From Disc And Music Echo – July 30, 1966

BEATLES: Leave the pirates alone

A BEATLE view of the Government’s ban-the-pirates plan: “I can’t understand their attitude. Why don’t they make the crummy BBC illegal as well — it doesn’t give the public the service it wants, otherwise the pirates wouldn’t be here to fill the gap. The Government makes sick. This is becoming a Police State. They should leave the pirates alone. At least they’ve had a go, which is more than the BBC has done…”

George Harrison’s attitude towards pirate radio was as logical as the Beatles’ thoughts about their new single. “Yellow Submarine” and “Eleanor Rigby,” out this week.

It is the first time the group have taken an LP track and issued it as a single. This comes from the new “Revolver” album.

“We just thought we may as well put it out instead of sitting back and seeing dozens of cover versions all getting hits,” said George. “Well, we might as well cop the hit as well as anybody else. I believe there are about 93 versions of ‘Good Day Sunshine’ being put out! “Apart from that, we all think it’s a good commercial single. I like them both — ‘YeIlow Submarine’ will appeal to old-age pensioners and that kind of mob, whereas ‘Eleanor Rigby’ will probably only appeal to Ray Davies-types…”

Harrison was commenting here on Ray Davies’ review of the Beatles’ new LP in last week’s Disc and Music Echo. But although the Kinks’ leader criticised one or two aspects of the album, he thought the entire production was good. It was ONLY the “Submarine” track that he regarded as a “load of rubbish.”

Back to the Beatle: “He’s entitled to his opinion. But I think if Ray Davies met us, he might change his tune. I’m sure he’s more like us. and thinks more alike than he thinks. I think Ray Davies and the Beatles would have plenty in common.”

Beatles’ plans bulletin: “Not doing much — we’ve got to go and get beaten up in America in a fortnight. I’m not looking forward to it much, except for California, which comes at the end of the tour. There, at least. we can swim and get a bite to eat!”

From Disc And Music Echo – August 6, 1966
From Disc And Music Echo – August 6, 1966

From Disc And Music Echo – August 6, 1966

Last updated on October 26, 2022

Going further


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Read more on The Beatles Bible

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