It was fifty years ago today- Monday January 13, 1969- The Beatles released the Yellow Submarine soundtrack. The soundtrack to the animated film that had been released in July of 1968 included four new Beatles songs- two previously released songs- Yellow Submarine and All You Need Is Love on side 1. Side 2 was the orchestrated music to the film done by Beatles producer George Martin.
Even though The Beatles had minimal involvement in the film and were offering on this album only four new songs on the album charts it did well- going to #2 in the US and #3 in the UK. The new songs- the best was John Lennon’s- Hey Bulldog, two songs by George Harrison that had been lying around waiting for a home- Only A Northern Song and It’s All Too Much and a Paul McCartney children’s sing a long that had been recorded during the Magical Mystery Tour period “All Together Now.”
Yellow Submarine soundtrack has always been the ‘red headed step child’ of Beatles album to me. It really isn’t a Beatles studio album with only four new songs on it. Am I glad it exists- yes but it has been my least played Beatles album. Often I just play side 1 with The Beatles songs and don’t bother with the George Martin side- sometimes I listen to it all. My friend Helmut though- a Beatles fan but not fanatical like I am- told me recently that he had just purchased the album for the first time and was knocked out by the four ‘new ‘ to him Beatles songs. He had heard Hey Bulldog before but hadn’t heard the other three. Again I am glad it exists but.