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UK Release date : Friday, January 17, 1969

Yellow Submarine (Mono)

By The BeatlesLP • Part of the collection “The Beatles • The original UK LPs

Last updated on May 1, 2021


  • UK release date: Jan 17, 1969
  • Publisher: Apple (Parlophone) (UK)
  • Reference: PMC 7070


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This album was recorded during the following studio sessions:

Track list

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Side 1

  1. Yellow Submarine

    Written by Lennon - McCartney

    2:40 • Studio versionB1 • Mono • Mono mix made from [B]

    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 Boyd / 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 22, 1966 • Studio EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

  2. Only A Northern Song

    Written by George Harrison

    3:25 • Studio versionA2 • Mono

    Paul McCartney : Bass, Effects, Trumpet Ringo Starr : Drums John Lennon : Effects, Glockenspiel, Piano George Harrison : Effects, Organ, Vocals George Martin : Producer Geoff Emerick : Recording engineer

    Session Recording: Feb 13, 1967 • Studio EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

    Session Overdubs: Feb 14, 1967 • Studio EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

    Session Overdubs: Apr 20, 1967 • Studio EMI Studios, Abbey Road

    Session Mixing: Oct 29, 1968 • Studio EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

  3. All Together Now

    Written by Lennon - McCartney

    2:11 • Studio versionA1 • Mono • Mono made from [A]

    Paul McCartney : Acoustic guitar, Bass, Lead vocals Ringo Starr : Backing vocals, Drums, Percussions John Lennon : Harmonica, Lead vocals George Harrison : Acoustic guitar, Backing vocals Geoff Emerick : Recording engineer Unknown musician(s) : Backing vocals, Cog rattle, Handclaps, Horn, Tambourine

    Session Recording: May 12, 1967 • Studio EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

    Session Overdubs: May 12, 1967 • Studio EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

    Session Mixing: Oct 29, 1968 • Studio EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

  4. Hey Bulldog

    Written by Lennon - McCartney

    3:11 • Studio versionA1 • Mono • Mono made from [A]

    Paul McCartney : Bass, Tambourine, Vocals Ringo Starr : Drums John Lennon : Guitar, Piano, Vocals George Harrison : Guitar George Martin : Producer Geoff Emerick : Recording engineer

    Session Recording: Feb 11, 1968 • Studio EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

    Session Overdubs: Feb 11, 1968 • Studio EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

    Session Mixing: Oct 29, 1968 • Studio EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

  5. It's All Too Much

    Written by George Harrison

    6:25 • Studio versionA1 • Mono • Mono made from [A]

    Paul McCartney : Backing vocals, Bass, Handclaps Ringo Starr : Drums John Lennon : Backing vocals, Handclaps, Lead guitar George Harrison : Hammond organ, Lead vocals, Vocals George Martin : Producer David Mason : Trumpet Paul Harvey : Bass clarinet Dave Siddle : Recording engineer Unknown musician(s) : Cowbell, Maracas, Tambourine, Trumpets

    Session Recording: May 25, 1967 • Studio De Lane Lea Music Recording Studios, London, UK

    Session Overdubs: May 26, 1967 • Studio De Lane Lea Music Recording Studios, London, UK

    Session Overdubs: Jun 02, 1967 • Studio De Lane Lea Music Recording Studios, London, UK

    Session Mixing: Oct 16-17, 1968 • Studio EMI Studios, Abbey Road

  6. All You Need Is Love

    Written by Lennon - McCartney

    4:02 • Studio versionB1 • Mono • Mono made from [B]

    Paul McCartney : Backing vocals, Bass, Double bass Ringo Starr : Drums John Lennon : Banjo, Harpsichord, Vocals George Harrison : Backing vocals, Guitar, Violin George Martin : Piano, Producer Geoff Emerick : Recording engineer Eric Clapton : Backing vocals, Handclaps Mike McCartney / McGear : Backing vocals, Handclaps Mal Evans : Backing vocals, Handclaps Sidney Sax : Violin Pattie Boyd / Harrison : Backing vocals, Handclaps Marianne Faithfull : Backing vocals, Handclaps David Mason : Trumpet Lionel Ross : Cello Eddie Kramer : Recording engineer Mick Jagger : Backing vocals, Handclaps Patrick Halling : Violin Eric Bowie : Violin John Ronayne : Violin Jack Holmes : Cello Rex Morris : Tenor saxophone Don Honeywill : Tenor saxophone Stanley Woods : Trumpet Evan Watkins : Trombone Harry Spain : Trombone Jack Emblow : Accordion Keith Richards : Backing vocals, Handclaps Jane Asher : Backing vocals, Handclaps Keith Moon : Backing vocals, Handclaps Hunter Davies : Backing vocals, Handclaps Gary Leeds : Backing vocals, Handclaps Mike Vickers : Conductor Rose Nash : Backing vocals, Handclaps

    Session Recording: Jun 14, 1967 • Studio Olympic Sound Studios, London

    Session Overdubs: Jun 19, 23, 24, 1967 • Studio EMI Studios, Abbey Road

    Session Overdubs: Jun 25, 1967 • Studio EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

    Session Mixing: Oct 29, 1968 • Studio EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

  7. Pepperland

    2:21 • Studio version • Mono • Original orchestral piece by George Martin. Performed by the 41-piece George Martin Orchestra, conducted by George Martin, with John Burgess and Ron Richards co-producing.

  8. Sea of Time

    3:00 • Studio version • Mono • Original orchestral piece by George Martin. Performed by the 41-piece George Martin Orchestra, conducted by George Martin, with John Burgess and Ron Richards co-producing.

  9. Sea of Holes

    2:17 • Studio version • Mono • Original orchestral piece by George Martin. Performed by the 41-piece George Martin Orchestra, conducted by George Martin, with John Burgess and Ron Richards co-producing.

  10. Sea of Monsters

    3:37 • Studio version • Mono • Original orchestral piece by George Martin. Performed by the 41-piece George Martin Orchestra, conducted by George Martin, with John Burgess and Ron Richards co-producing.

  11. March of the Meanies

    2:19 • Studio version • Mono • Original orchestral piece by George Martin. Performed by the 41-piece George Martin Orchestra, conducted by George Martin, with John Burgess and Ron Richards co-producing.

  12. Pepperland Laid Waste

    2:13 • Studio version • Mono • Original orchestral piece by George Martin. Performed by the 41-piece George Martin Orchestra, conducted by George Martin, with John Burgess and Ron Richards co-producing.

  13. Yellow Submarine in Pepperland

    2:14 • Studio version • Mono • Original orchestral piece by George Martin. Performed by the 41-piece George Martin Orchestra, conducted by George Martin, with John Burgess and Ron Richards co-producing.

From Wikipedia:

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 1969 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” (1966) and “All You Need Is Love” (1967). The remainder of the album was a re-recording of the film’s orchestral soundtrack by the band’s producer, George Martin.

The project was regarded as a contractual obligation by the Beatles, who were asked to supply four new songs for the film. Some songs were written and recorded specifically for the soundtrack, while others were unreleased tracks from other projects. The album was issued two months after the band’s self-titled double LP (also known as the “White Album“) and was therefore not viewed by the band as a significant release. Yellow Submarine 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. It reached the top 5 in the UK and the US, and has been reissued on compact disc several times.

Background and recording

The album arose from contractual obligations for the Beatles to supply new songs to the soundtrack to United Artists’ animated film Yellow Submarine. Having recently completed their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in April 1967, the group showed minimal enthusiasm for the project. Along with the music for their Magical Mystery Tour TV film, the Yellow Submarine soundtrack was part of a period that author Ian MacDonald later described as the band’s “regime of continuous low-intensity recording … it had a workaday quality about it – an intrinsic lack of tension which was bound to colour the resulting material.

Soundtrack songs

There was a commitment for The Beatles to do four songs for the film. Apparently, they would say, this is a lousy song, let’s give it to Brodax. – Al Brodax, producer of the Yellow Submarine film

Only one side of the album contains songs performed by the Beatles; of the six, four were previously unreleased. “Yellow Submarine” had been issued in August 1966 as a single, topping the UK chart for four weeks, and had also been released on the album Revolver. Following the Beatles’ performance of the song on the Our World international television broadcast, “All You Need Is Love” had also been issued as a single, in July 1967.

Of the unreleased tracks, the first to be recorded was George Harrison’s “Only a Northern Song“, taped in February 1967 but rejected for inclusion on Sgt. Pepper. The group performed overdubs on this basic track in April, immediately after completing the stereo mixes for that album. Among the sounds added during what Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn describes as “a curious session“, were trumpet, glockenspiel and spoken voices. Harrison’s lyrics reflect his displeasure at being merely a contracted songwriter to the Beatles’ publishing company, Northern Songs.

All Together Now” was recorded in a single session on 12 May 1967, specifically for the film project. The title came from a phrase Paul McCartney had heard as a child, to encourage everyone to sing music hall songs. He later described the song as “a throwaway“.

The band recorded Harrison’s “It’s All Too Much” in late May 1967 at De Lane Lea Studios in central London. Inspired by its author’s experimentation with the drug LSD, and originally running to over eight minutes in length, the song reflects the Summer of Love philosophy of 1967 and makes extensive use of guitar feedback. As with the later recorded “All You Need Is Love“, the track includes musical and lyrical quotations from other works – in this case, a trumpet passage from Jeremiah Clarke’s “Prince of Denmark’s March” and a lyric from the Merseys’ 1966 hit “Sorrow“.

John Lennon’s “Hey Bulldog” was recorded on 11 February 1968 and evolved from an initial intent to shoot a promotional film for the single “Lady Madonna“. Like “All Together Now“, it was specifically recorded with the film soundtrack in mind. The track’s ending featured a jam session after the point where a fade-out was intended in the final mix, which was kept in the finished version. Lennon later described the song as “a good-sounding record that means nothing“.

George Martin orchestrations

Side two features a re-recording of the symphonic film score composed by the Beatles’ producer, George Martin, specifically for the album. The recording took place with a 41-piece orchestra over two three-hour sessions on 22 and 23 October 1968 in Abbey Road, and edited down to the length on the LP on 22 November.

In some of his arrangements, Martin referenced his past work with the Beatles; for example, “Sea of Time” includes what MacDonald terms “an affectionate quotation” from the Indian-styled “Within You Without You“, from Sgt. Pepper, and “Yellow Submarine in Pepperland” reprises the film’s title track. In “Sea of Monsters“, Martin adapted part of Bach’s Air on the G String, while in other selections he parodies works by Stravinsky.


The film received its worldwide premiere in London in July 1968, by which time the Beatles were busy working on their eponymous double album, The Beatles, commonly called “the White Album”. Ultimately, the Beatles were enthusiastic about the finished film, and did more to associate themselves with it after release. Having been delayed so that it would not clash with the release of The Beatles, and to allow for the re-recording of Martin’s contributions, Yellow Submarine was issued by Apple Records on 13 January 1969 in the US and on 17 January in the UK. The album was issued in stereo only in the US, while the UK album was available in both stereo and mono, although the mono version is simply a fold-down (a combination of two stereo channels into one mono) rather than a specific mix. Since “All You Need Is Love” had been rush-released a single, it did not have an official stereo mix. Although the track was released on the US LP Magical Mystery Tour, an official stereo mix of the track was not made until 29 October 1968 for the album. In the US, 8-track tape versions featured “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” as an extra song on side two.


The artwork on the sleeve contains a drawing of the Beatles as featured on trailer posters, created by Heinz Edelman. The same basic design was used for the UK and US covers, though the UK jacket contains the words “Nothing is Real” (taken from “Strawberry Fields Forever“) just below the album’s title, while the US version did not.

On the back of the cover, the UK album contained a review of the White Album written for The Observer by Tony Palmer. The review was introduced by a few liner notes by Apple press officer Derek Taylor. The US cover contained a fictitious illustrated biography by Dan Davis of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, in which the ensemble’s battle with the Blue Meanies was compared to three other epic struggles in the history of the English-speaking world: Beowulf’s struggle to save the Heorot mead hall, King John’s signing of the Magna Carta and Thomas Jefferson’s writing of the Declaration of Independence.

Unreleased EP

An EP containing the new songs had been considered for release in September 1968, but any plan to issue the soundtrack music from Yellow Submarine was then postponed to allow for the White Album’s unveiling. Following the delayed release of the soundtrack album, however, Lewisohn writes that the Beatles were “mildly criticised” for having ceded a full LP side to Martin’s music and thereby failing to provide their customary “excellent value-for-money“. As a result, the band considered issuing Yellow Submarine as a five-track mono EP, without the film score but including the then-unreleased “Across the Universe” as a bonus track. This EP was mastered in March 1969 but never issued. The original running order for the EP was “Only a Northern Song“, “Hey Bulldog” and “Across the Universe” on side one, with “All Together Now” and “It’s All Too Much” on side two.

Lennon later dismissed Martin’s contributions as “all this terrible shit” and blamed Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager, for allowing Martin to participate in the project. According to author and music journalist Peter Doggett, neither the proposed EP format nor an expanded soundtrack album (containing other previously issued Beatles songs that appear in the 1968 film) was possible at the time, since “both options would have denied George Martin his contractual right to appear alongside The Beatles – and robbed him of potentially the largest royalty payment of his career.


The first compact disc release appeared in August 1987. It is consistent with the English version of the LP. The running order is the same, with “Sea of Time” and “Sea of Holes” as separate tracks; the “Nothing Is Real” subtitle remains intact, and the review of the White Album with Taylor’s introduction is included inside the CD insert.

The album appeared in a revised version on 13 September 1999, coinciding with the remastered re-release of the film. Titled Yellow Submarine Songtrack, it dispenses with the George Martin orchestrations, and includes the six Beatles songs from the original album, along with an additional nine songs, all completely remixed for this disc.

The original album was remastered and reissued, along with the rest of the Beatles’ catalogue, on 9 September 2009. This release included both the UK and US sleeve notes. The mono mixes of the four songs that were intended for the unreleased EP (along with “Across the Universe“) were released for the first time on the Mono Masters collection as part of the box set The Beatles in Mono.

Critical reception

In contrast to the animated film, Yellow Submarine was not generally considered to be a significant release. Issued two months after The Beatles, it was one of the few Beatles releases that failed to top the charts in either the United Kingdom or the United States, peaking instead at number 3 and number 2, respectively. In Canada, Yellow Submarine topped the RPM national albums chart for two weeks, ending the White Album’s 12-week run at number 1. On America’s Billboard Top LPs chart, it was kept from the top by the same album.

Recalling the release in a special-edition issue of Mojo magazine, Peter Doggett writes that “The papers got all trippy for Yellow Submarine“. Beat Instrumental bemoaned the paucity of new material by the band, but added: “be not of bad cheer. The George Martin score to the film is really very nice, and two tracks by George Harrison redeem the first side. Both [songs] are superb pieces, considerably more enthralling than the most draggy All Together Now, a rather wet track.” In a review for International Times, Barry Miles considered Martin’s score “superbly produced” and, of the songs, wrote only of “It’s All Too Much“, which he described as, variously, “Endless, mantric, a round, interwoven, trellised, tessellated, filigreed, gidouiled, spiralling” and “Happy singalong music“. Writing in their book The Beatles: An Illustrated Record (1975), NME critics Roy Carr and Tony Tyler bemoaned the commercial considerations that resulted in a full soundtrack album, saying that the four new songs “would have made a superb EP“.

More recently, AllMusic critic Richie Unterberger has written of Yellow Submarine: “The album would have been far better value if it had been released as a four-song EP … with the addition of a bonus track in “Across the Universe” … No one would argue that there’s a huge amount more than meets the eye (or ear) there, but listening to the original album anew 40 years on, one is still struck by how mostly second-rate, and recycled and rejected Beatles material still sounds so good.” Writing for Pitchfork Media, Mark Richardson opines that “the Yellow Submarine soundtrack is like the work of a supremely talented band that couldn’t really be bothered” and describes “Hey Bulldog” as “a tough and funky piano-driven rocker, [and] by a good margin the best song here“. Richardson concludes: “But as an album it’s ultimately forgettable, which is something the Beatles so rarely were otherwise.

PopMatters’ David Gassman views Martin’s selections as “kind of twee and inconsequential” and the four new songs on side one as “fascinating“, adding that “The material’s tossed-off origins give it a character unlike any other Beatles album.” While noting that the soundtrack was superseded with the 1999 release of Yellow Submarine Songtrack, Gassman writes: “No matter how you get them, though, the otherwise unavailable songs on this album ought to be part of any thinking Beatles fan’s collection.” Alex Young of Consequence of Sound writes: “as a whole, Yellow Submarine is a delightful album, even if it’s still a less-than-acceptable inclusion in the Beatles canon“, though he criticised the inclusion of Martin’s score, which he felt should have been sold as a separate release. […]


Original 1969 cover notes:

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.”

Paul McCartney writing

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