Recording "It's All Too Much"

Thursday, May 25, 1967 • For The Beatles

Part of

“Yellow Submarine” soundtrack sessions

Feb 13, 1967 - Oct 29, 1968 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Yellow Submarine (Mono)

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Yellow Submarine (Mono) LP.
De Lane Lea Music Recording Studios, London, UK

Master release

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On this day, The Beatles held a recording session at the independent De Lane Lea Studios. The band was there to record “It’s All Too Much,” a song written by George Harrison, which would be used for the soundtrack of the “Yellow Submarine” animation film.

The recording session was managed by the studio’s in-house engineer, Dave Siddle, and the tape operator, Mike Weighell, as George Martin was absent on this occasion. The band had rehearsed extensively and recorded the rehearsals before proceeding with the actual recording.

The backing track for “It’s All Too Much” was recorded in four takes with George on the organ, John Lennon on distorted electric guitar, Paul McCartney on bass, and Ringo Starr on drums. Take 4, which lasted 8:09, was considered the best and was subjected to overdubs on May 31, still at De Lane Lea Studios.

Authors like Mark Lewisohn and Jerry Hammack credit John Lennon as the lead guitar player on “It’s All Too Much.” It’s interesting to note that George Harrison suggested Paul McCartney may have played it in the following 1999 interview:

The guitar feedback on the intro to “It’s All Too Much” was done in May of ’67, so it was pre-Hendrix, before he started to go wild with that stuff, since his “Are You Experienced?” album hadn’t come out yet.

But, now, I don’t think I was playing the guitar feedback; as I say, I was playing the organ, so I think that was probably Paul that did that. But it was, like, manufactured, meaning that it wasn’t like an accident or anything; it was part of the arrangement.

I just wanted to write a rock’n’roll song about the whole psychedelic thing of the time: “Sail me on a silver sun / Where I know that I am free / Show me that I’m everywhere / And get me home for tea.” [Laughs.] Because you’d trip out, you see, on all this stuff, and when whoops! you’d just be back having your evening cup of tea!

But we also had that feedback on “I Feel Fine” [in 1964], and John always claimed it came about from playing an acoustic Gibson with a pickup in it, and it had a big round sound hole, and it just used to feedback very easily if you faced it toward the amplifier.

But then I’ve heard other people say that wasn’t the first feedback either, “1897, we had feedback on such and such!” [more laughter]

George Harrison – Interview with Billboard, 1999

From Wikipedia:

Warner Bros. De Lane Lea Studios is a recording studio, based in Dean Street, Soho, London.

Although the studios have mainly been used for dubbing feature films and television programmes, major artists such as the Animals, the Beatles, Soft Machine, Queen, the Rolling Stones, Bee Gees, the Who, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, Wishbone Ash, Renaissance, Electric Light Orchestra, Slade and Deep Purple recorded songs there, particularly at the studio’s former premises at 129 Kingsway, Holborn, London, and at Engineers Way, Wembley, where Queen recorded demos in 1971.

Major William De Lane Lea, a French intelligence attaché for the British government, founded De Lane Lea Studios in 1947 to dub English films into French. The studios were adapted according to the demands of the market, and expanded significantly on various sites in the 1960s and 1970s. Music recording increased dramatically, and the growth of commercial radio and TV also led to new work in advertising. De Lane Lea was succeeded on his death in 1964 by his son Jacques, who was also a film producer, director and writer. He left the company in 1978. […]

Last updated on May 12, 2024

Songs recorded


It's All Too Much

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 1


It's All Too Much

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 2


It's All Too Much

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 3


It's All Too Much

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 4


Musicians on "It's All Too Much"

Paul McCartney:
Ringo Starr:
John Lennon:
Electric guitar
George Harrison:

Production staff

Dave Siddle:
Mike Weighell:
Second engineer

Going further

The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions • Mark Lewisohn

The definitive guide for every Beatles recording sessions from 1962 to 1970.

We owe a lot to Mark Lewisohn for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - the number of takes for each song, who contributed what, a description of the context and how each session went, various photographies... And an introductory interview with Paul McCartney!

Shop on Amazon

The Beatles Recording Reference Manual: Volume 3: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band through Magical Mystery Tour (late 1966-1967)

The third book of this critically - acclaimed series, nominated for the 2019 Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) award for Excellence In Historical Recorded Sound, "The Beatles Recording Reference Manual: Volume 3: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band through Magical Mystery Tour (late 1966-1967)" captures the band's most innovative era in its entirety. From the first take to the final remix, discover the making of the greatest recordings of all time. Through extensive, fully-documented research, these books fill an important gap left by all other Beatles books published to date and provide a unique view into the recordings of the world's most successful pop music act.

Shop on Amazon

If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.

Read more on The Beatles Bible


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