Recording "Yellow Submarine"

Thursday, May 26, 1966 • For The Beatles

Part of

Recording "Revolver"

April 6 - June 22, 1966 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Revolver (UK Mono)

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Revolver (UK Mono) LP.
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Master release

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From Wikipedia:

The Beatles began recording “Yellow Submarine” during the eighth week of the sessions for Revolver. The project was characterised by the group’s increased experimentation in the studio, reflecting the division between their recording output and the music they made as live performers. The first session for the song took place at EMI Studios (now Abbey Road Studios) on 26 May 1966, but without producer George Martin, who was unwell. Author Ian MacDonald views Bob Dylan’s contemporaneous hit single, “Rainy Day Women ♯12 & 35”, as a possible inspiration on the Beatles. The two songs share a similar marching rhythm and a festive singalong quality.

The band spent much of the afternoon and evening rehearsing the song. They recorded four takes of the rhythm track, with Starr playing drums, Lennon on acoustic guitar, McCartney on bass, and Harrison on tambourine. The performance was taped at a faster tempo than appears on the completed track, which is in the key of G♭ major.

Following a reduction mix of take 4, Starr recorded his lead vocal and he, Lennon, McCartney and Harrison sang vocals over the choruses. The vocal parts were again treated with varispeed; in this instance, they were recorded a semitone lower. Harrison’s contribution is especially prominent, departing from his bandmates’ to sing an f1 note on the word “submarine”. The recording was given another reduction mix, reducing the four tracks to two, to allow for the inclusion of nautical and party-like sound effects.

Last updated on September 16, 2022

Songs recorded


Yellow Submarine

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 1


Yellow Submarine

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 2


Yellow Submarine

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 3


Yellow Submarine

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 4


Yellow Submarine

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 4 into take 5


Production staff

Geoff Emerick:
Phil McDonald:
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 2 - Help! through Revolver (1965-1966)

The second book of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC)-nominated series, "The Beatles Recording Reference Manual: Volume 2: Help! through Revolver (1965-1966)" follows the evolution of the band from the end of Beatlemania with "Help!" through the introspection of "Rubber Soul" up to the sonic revolution of "Revolver". 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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