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Beatles Recovered – Yellow Submarine

January 14th, 2019 Leave a comment Go to comments

Coming just over six weeks after the release of the White Album, The Beatles released the soundtrack LP for the animated Yellow Submarine movie on 13 January 1969. Its release exactly fifty years ago yesterday was not massively popular, partly since Side 2 comprised only George Martin instrumentals, and in any case, it was always going to be overshadowed by the epoch-making double album.

The Beatles weren’t too keen either; they put together their contribution only because of a contractual obligation to United Artists, which was releasing the film.

Two of the six songs on Side 1 had been previously released on single (All You Need Is Love and the title track). George Harrison’s sarcastic Only A Northern Song was recorded during the Sgt Pepper’s sessions in February 1967, but rejected for that album.

All Together Now, which McCartney called “a throw-away track”, was recorded in May 1967 for the film project, as was John Lennon’s Hey Bulldog, recorded in February 1968. May 1967 also saw the recording of Harrison’s LSD-influenced It’s All Too Much.

A song that might have been included was Across The Universe, which was first recorded in February 1968, then appeared in its original version on a charity album in 1969, and then in a rearranged form on Let It Be in 1970.

A cover of Across The Universe, by folkie/poet Rod McKuen, is included in this collection of covers, as part of a putative Side 2, which might also have included single tracks and their b-sides that were released in 1968.

Ella Fitzgerald gives Hey Jude a whole new treatment (it was on the b-side of her cover of Sunshine Of Your Love by Cream), as does Richie Havens on his cover of Lady Madonna.

The most interesting interpretation here, however, is the jazzy slow-burn by Jimmy McGriff and Junior Parker of Harrison’s The Inner Light, which divests the song of its Indian sound.

Of the Side 1 stuff, it’s rather unexpected to have hirsute Tony Soprano-favourites Journey cover the formerly druggy It’s All Too Much, with a hard-rocking guitar solo.

But most surprising – other than a soul band deciding to cover the banal Yellow Submarine – is the fine version here of the otherwise pedestrian (and annoying) All Together Now by German soul band Joy Unlimited. The group was fronted by the late Joy Fleming, who had a mighty and soulful voice which the bland pretenders of the likes of Adele would kill for. And the band strips the Beatles song of its triteness and infuses it with a gospel vibe, supported by Fleming’s committed ad libbing.

I’ve posted Elvis Costello’s Live Aid version of All You Need Is Love before. Oddly, there aren’t many very good covers of that song.

One Beatles performance is included here. Not Guilty was one of several songs recorded during the White Album sessions that were rejected for inclusion. Those tracks were pretty bad; Not Guilty is the least bad of the lot.

1. The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – Yellow Submarine (1967)
2. Sun Dial – Only A Northern Song (1991)
3. Joy Unlimited – All Together Now (1970)
4. Bill Deal & The Rhondels – Hey Bulldog (1970)
5. Journey – It’s All Too Much (1976)
6. Elvis Costello – All You Need Is Love (1985)
7. Ella Fitzgerald – Hey Jude (1968)
8. Jimmy McGriff & Junior Parker – The Inner Light (1970)
9. Richie Havens – Lady Madonna (1968)
10. Rod McKuen – Nothing’s Gonna Change My World (Across The Universe) (1971)
11. The Beatles – Not Guilty (1968)
12. Sesame Street – Yellow Submarine (1976)

(PW in comments)


Beatles Recovered: Please, Please Me
Beatles Recovered: With The Beatles
Beatles Recovered: A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles Recovered: Beatles For Sale
Beatles Recovered: Help!
Beatles Recovered: Rubber Soul
Beatles Recovered: Revolver
Beatles Recovered: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club  Band
Beatles Revovered: Magical Mystery Tour
Beatles Recovered: White Album
Beatles Recovered: Yellow Submarine
Beatles Recovered: Abbey Road
Beatles Recovered: Let It Be

Wordless: Any Major Beatles Instrumentals
Covered With Soul Vol. 14 – Beatles Edition 1
Covered With Soul Vol. 15 – Beatles Edition 2

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1962-66

Any Major Beatles Covers: 1967-68
Any Major Beatles Covers: 1968-70
Any Bizarre Beatles

Beatles Reunited: Everest (1971)
Beatles Reunited: Live ’72 (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Smile Away (1972)
Beatles Reunited: Photographs (1974)
Beatles Reunited: ’77 (1977)
Beatles Reunited: Let It See (1980)

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  1. halfhearteddude
    January 14th, 2019 at 13:01 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. January 14th, 2019 at 18:06 | #2

    The Beatles did 100 different takes of “Not Guilty” but still didn’t use it. No wonder George felt slighted.

  3. menkesj
    January 16th, 2019 at 03:55 | #3

    Thanks for much for all these “recovered” posts (and other mixes). This one in particular has some gems, but the “Rod McKuen – Nothing’s Gonna Change My World (Across The Universe)” file is just 7 seconds of silent hum and vinyl crackle.

  4. Josh
    January 17th, 2019 at 02:48 | #4

    trying to download: “File does not exist on this server”
    Maybe a wee error somewhere?

  5. Batique
    January 17th, 2019 at 03:42 | #5

    The link says “File Not Found”. Maybe it was All Too Much for the server… Could you reload it?

  6. Little Bill
    January 17th, 2019 at 07:47 | #6

    Hey link deleted? Thanks for your taste!

  7. halfhearteddude
    January 17th, 2019 at 08:56 | #7


  8. Rhodb
    January 19th, 2019 at 03:47 | #8

    Great share looking forward to Ella Fitzgeralds version of Hey Jude



  9. February 2nd, 2019 at 04:55 | #9

    The link is dead again, dagnabit.

  10. Dave B
    February 6th, 2019 at 17:55 | #10

    Link is down; too bad
    BTW, there are good (in my opinion) versions of All You Need Is Love by Brandi Carlisle and Echo and the Bunnymen

  11. halfhearteddude
    February 7th, 2019 at 19:32 | #11

    The link is working now. The Brandi Carlisle version was on on the Nagical Mystery Tour revovery.

  12. pnicegreen
    March 2nd, 2019 at 18:27 | #12

    Great, thanks! Trying to catch up with your posts as I just discovered your site…

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