All You Need Is Love / Baby You're A Rich Man

Timeline More from year 1967
UK release date:
Jul 07, 1967


All You Need Is Love / Baby You’re A Rich Man” was the fifteenth UK single from The Beatles.

From Wikipedia:

“All You Need Is Love” was issued in the UK on 7 July 1967, on EMI’s Parlophone label, with “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” as the B-side. The US release, on Capitol Records, took place on 17 July. In his contemporary review for Melody Maker, Nick Jones said the Beatles represented the “progressive avant-garde” in their approach to singles releases, and that “All You Need Is Love” was “another milestone in their very phenomenal career”. He described the song as a “cool, calculated contagious Beatles singsong” that was more immediate than “Strawberry Fields Forever“, and concluded: “The message is ‘love’ and I hope everyone in the whole wide world manages to get it.” The single entered the Record Retailer chart (subsequently the UK Singles Chart) at number 2 before topping the listings for three weeks. In the US, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a week. The song was a number 1 hit in many other countries. It was also the subject of a copyright dispute between EMI and KPM, the publisher of “In the Mood”, later in July. Since Martin had not checked the copyright status of Miller’s piece before incorporating it into the coda, EMI were obliged to pay royalties to KPM. On 11 September, “All You Need Is Love” was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The single coincided with the height of the Beatles’ popularity and influence during the 1960s, following the release of Sgt. Pepper. In his retrospective feature on the song in Rolling Stone, Gavin Edwards writes that “All You Need Is Love” provided “the sing-song anthem for the Summer of Love, with a sentiment that was simple but profound”. According to historian David Simonelli, such was the band’s international influence, it was the song that formally announced the arrival of flower power ideology as a mainstream concept. The Beatles followed up the utopian spirit of Our World in their activities over July and August, during their first summer free of tour commitments. In late July, the band investigated the possibility of buying a Greek island with a view to setting up a hippie-style commune for themselves and members of their inner circle. After sailing around the Aegean Sea and approving a location on the island of Leslo, the Beatles decided against the idea and returned to London. In early August, Harrison and a small entourage made a well-publicised visit to the international hippie capital of Haight-Ashbury, in San Francisco.


ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE was the most sudden single The Beatles have ever made! Mostly John and Paul take much longer to compose new songs — an idea hangs about in their minds, it’s set aside while they work on something else, it’s fetched back to their attention and, at last, it takes the form of a finished tune and some lyrics. They’ve been known to leave a gap of many months between the first and last parts of the operation.

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE was written at the end of May. Recording was completed on Sunday June 25 and the single was rushed into the shops only days later. Shops all over the world, that is, not just here in Great Britain.


But for the special worldwide TV programme “Our World” this single wouldn’t have happened. In fact John and Paul had already written and recorded the backing track to another song which was in line for the main side of The Beatles’ second single of 1967. When the group accepted an invitation to represent Great Britain in the “Our World” TV show they agreed to compose a special number which would be suitable for the occasion — something with simple words and short phrases so that as many people as possible in foreign lands would understand what they were singing about. That’s the basis John and Paul worked on when they settled down to write the new song.

Twenty-four hours before “Our World” went on the air they made the decision to release ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE as a sudden single — so sudden that within hours of the recording session master tapes were put on a jet plane to New York to make sure American and British release would be more or less simultaneous.

BABY YOU’RE A RICH MAN was originally intended for the soundtrack of the full-length Beatles cartoon film, which went into production a few weeks ago. You won’t see the film at your local cinema until spring of next year, but this was to have been one of the three new songs which The Beatles arranged to supply to the producers. The song started life under another title. It was “One Of The Beautiful People”.


The Beatles began recording BABY YOU’RE A RICH MAN on May 11 at the Olympic studios in Barnes. In fact this was the very first session they have ever had outside the EMI studios and all their amplifiers, instruments and session gear had to be moved from St. John’s Wood to Barnes. Incidentally Mick Jagger was one of several friends who dropped in that night to watch the recording work.

The instrument heard at the very beginning of BABY YOU’RE A RICH MAN is a Clavioline, which has a keyboard and an amplifier. Unlike a piano, it can’t play more than one note at once, and if you hit two keys the Clavioline always decides to play only the higher of the notes. That’s why it sounds a bit like some sort of pipe instrument and you might not guess it had a keyboard at all. So John plays Clavioline, John and Paul play pianos and a studio engineer at Olympic obliged by playing a bit of vibes! You know by now that the lead voice is John with George and Paul joining in. Paul does the very high falsetto voice bits.


The first part of ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE was recorded at Olympic on June 14. That night they made the first backing track — just instrumental stuff — with John playing a harpsichord (sounds like a very tinny piano sound on the record), Paul using an Arco string bass, which he played with a bow and Ringo on drums as usual. Plus George playing the violin for the first time in his life!

Then, when we moved over into the main EMI studios at St. John’s Wood to complete the record, Paul played his ordinary bass guitar, Ringo was on drums again, George was on guitar (he does the middle solo) and John didn’t play anything. He just sang. The orchestral accompaniment consisted of 13 instruments played by session musicians.


The list was 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, 2 saxophones, an accordion, 4 violins and 2 cellos. Oh yes, George Martin joined in by playing piano at the very beginning of the record and quite a bit later on as well.

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE finished up by running for around 6 minutes, the longest recording the group has made to date — about one minute more than “A Day In The Life”.

Earlier on we said that The Beatles were not planning to make this their new single and, in fact, had something else ready. So what is going to happen to that “something else” which exists at the moment as a backing track on tape but no vocal? well, The Beatles are going to make this the theme song for the 60-minute colour television Special they’ve been waiting to do. The first idea was to build the Special around “Sgt. Pepper” but work on their own TV project had to be postponed to let them get on with ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE in time for the “Our World” programme. And, as you know, they only just finished that in time.


It’s too early for us to let you into the secret and tell you the title of the other song. It may be The Beatles’ next single a month or two from now, or it may be a track on their next LP. But, either way, it will be the main number for their TV Special which John, Paul, George and Ringo will jointly produce. By the time you read this issue work on the TV Special —intended for showing all over the world later on this year — will be well under way. They’ve never done this before, but John and Paul have decided NOT to make up their minds about a final version of the lyrics until they finish actual filming of the whole TV Special. The idea is that they might want to make last-minute changes in the words of their theme song to fit in with changes of plan regarding the actual programme content. We’re pretty sure we can tell you more about all this next month, but that’s about as far as we can go for the moment.


Last updated on April 1, 2023

Related films

All You Need Is Love

1967 • For The Beatles • Directed by Derek Burrell Davis

Related sessions

Recording and mixing "Baby, You're A Rich Man"

May 11, 1967 • Songs recorded during this session appear on All You Need Is Love / Baby You're A Rich Man (UK)

Recording "All You Need Is Love" #1

Jun 14, 1967 • Songs recorded during this session appear on All You Need Is Love / Baby You're A Rich Man (UK)

Recording "All You Need Is Love" #2

Jun 19, 1967 • Songs recorded during this session appear on All You Need Is Love / Baby You're A Rich Man (UK)

Mixing "All You Need Is Love"

Jun 21, 1967 • Songs recorded during this session appear on All You Need Is Love / Baby You're A Rich Man (UK)

Recording "All You Need Is Love" #3

Jun 23, 1967 • Songs recorded during this session appear on All You Need Is Love / Baby You're A Rich Man (UK)

Recording "All You Need Is Love" #4

Jun 24, 1967 • Songs recorded during this session appear on All You Need Is Love / Baby You're A Rich Man (UK)

Mixing "All You Need Is Love"

Jun 26, 1967 • Songs recorded during this session appear on All You Need Is Love / Baby You're A Rich Man (UK)

Related interviews

Paul McCartney talks about love

Jul 22, 1967 • From New Musical Express

Launching a new Beatles hit: all you need is speed

Jul 15, 1967 • From Disc And Music Echo


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