Yellow Submarine (song)

Yellow Submarine (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Yellow Submarine

Artist = The Beatles
from Album = Revolver
A-side = "Eleanor Rigby"
Released = 5 August 1966 (UK) 8 August 1966 (U.S.)
Format = 7"
Recorded = Abbey Road Studios
26 May, 1 June 1966
Genre = Rock
Length = 2:38
Label = Parlophone (UK) Capitol (U.S.)
Writer = Paul McCartney, John Lennon
Producer = George Martin
Last single = "Paperback Writer" (1966)
This single = "Eleanor Rigby" / "Yellow Submarine"
Next single = "Strawberry Fields Forever" / "Penny Lane"
Misc = Extra musicsample |filename=Beatles yellowsubmarine.ogg |format=Ogg |title=Yellow Submarine |Type=singleExtra tracklisting
Album = Revolver
Type = studio
Tracks = ;Side one
# "Taxman"
# "Eleanor Rigby"
# "I'm Only Sleeping"
# "Love You To"
# "Here, There and Everywhere"
# "Yellow Submarine"
# "She Said She Said";Side two
# "Good Day Sunshine"
# "And Your Bird Can Sing"
# "For No One"
# "Doctor Robert"
# "I Want to Tell You"
# "Got to Get You Into My Life"
# "Tomorrow Never Knows"
Extra tracklisting
Album = Yellow Submarine
Type = studio
this_track = "Yellow Submarine"
track_no = 1
next_track = "Only a Northern Song"
next_no = 2
Extra tracklisting
Album = Yellow Submarine Songtrack
Type = soundtrack
this_track = "Yellow Submarine"
track_no = 1
next_track = "Hey Bulldog"
next_no = 2

"Yellow Submarine" is a 1966 song by The Beatles (credited to Lennon/McCartney) which was recorded by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Although it had previously been released on the Revolver album, it became the title song for the 1968 animated United Artists film, also called Yellow Submarine. It is also the title for the soundtrack album to the film, released as part of The Beatles' music catalogue.

The song was better received in Britain than in the United States. The single went to #1 on every major British chart, remained at #1 for four weeks and charted for 13 weeks. It won an Ivor Novello Award for the highest certified sales of any single issued in the UK in 1966. However, it failed to reach #1 on the American charts. A contributing factor may have been the "Bigger than Jesus"">"bigger than Jesus" controversy.cite web |url= |title=The Beatles Bible: Yellow Submarine |accessdate=2008-10-11]


McCartney was living in Jane Asher's parents' house when he found the inspiration for the song: Miles, "Many Years From Now" (1998) p106] "I was laying in bed in the Asher's garret... I was thinking of it as a song for Ringo, which it eventually turned out to be, so I wrote it as not too rangey [too many notes] in the vocal, then started making a story, sort of an ancient mariner, telling the young kids where he'd lived. It was pretty much my song as I recall... I think John helped out. The lyrics got more and more obscure as it goes on, but the chorus, melody and verses are mine." In 1980, Lennon talked about the song: "'Yellow Submarine' is Paul's baby. Donovan helped with the lyrics. I helped with the lyrics too. We virtually made the track come alive in the studio, but based on Paul's inspiration. Paul's idea. Paul's title... written for Ringo." Donovan added the words, "Sky of blue and sea of green". McCartney also said: "It's a happy place, that's all. You know, it was just... We were trying to write a children's song. That was the basic idea. And there's nothing more to be read into it than there is in the lyrics of any children's song."cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=Yellow Submarine (quotes) |publisher=Geocities |accessdate=2008-09-09]


Produced by George Martin and engineered by Geoff Emerick, "Yellow Submarine" was finished after five takes on 26 May 1966, in studio two at Abbey Road Studios, with special effects being added on 1 June 1966.cite web |first=Robert |last= Fontenot|url= |title= Yellow Submarine: The history of this classic Beatles song |publisher=Oldies About |date=1999-08-20 |accessdate=2008-09-09] On the second session the studio store cupboard was ransacked for special effects, which included chains, a ship's bell, tap dancing mats, whistles, hooters, a tin bath filled with water, wind and thunderstorm machines, as well as a cash register, which was later used on Pink Floyd's song "Money". Spitz, "The Beatles" (2005) p612]

Lennon blew through a straw into a pan of water to create a bubbling effect, McCartney and Lennon talked through tin cans to create the sound of the captain's orders, and Abbey Road assistant engineers John Skinner and Terry Condon twirled chains in a tin bath to create water sounds. After the line, "and the band begins to play", Emerick found a recording of a brass band and changed it slightly so it could not be identified, although it is thought to be a recording of Georges Krier and Charles Helmer's 1906 composition, "Le Reve Passe". To stay with the children's story theme, the original recording had a spoken intro by Starr, but the idea was abandoned on June 3 1966. "Yellow Submarine" was mixed on the 2nd and 3rd of June, and finished on 22 June 1966.cite web |first= |last=|url= |title=Yellow Submarine Lennon/McCartney |publisher=Steve's Beatles |accessdate=2008-09-09]


*John Lennon – acoustic guitar, sound effects, backing vocals
*Paul McCartney – bass guitar, sound effects, backing vocals
*George Harrison – tambourine, sound effects, backing vocals
*Ringo Starr – lead vocals, drums, sound effects, spoken vocals (on a 1995 version)

Various people unofficially contributed to the recording: Neil Aspinall, Pattie Boyd, Mal Evans, Marianne Faithfull, and Brian Jones (providing sound effects and "party" noises; laughter, clinking glasses, and background chatter) as well as chauffeur Alf Bicknell, and studio engineers Skinner and Condon. When the overdubs were finished, Evans strapped on a marching bass drum and led everybody in a line around the studio doing the conga dance whilst banging on a bass drum.

Promotion and chart positions

The "Yellow Submarine" single was the Beatles' thirteenth UK single. It was released in the UK on 5 August as a 'double A side' with "Eleanor Rigby", and in the United States on 8 August. The "Revolver" album was released the next day. Spitz, "The Beatles" (2005) p629]

In the United States, the single was #2 on the "Billboard" "Hot 100", #1 in "Record World", and #2 in "Cashbox", where it was held off #1 by The Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love".

The single went to #1 on every major British chart, remained at #1 for four weeks and charted for 13 weeks. It won an Ivor Novello Award for the highest certified sales of any single issued in the UK in 1966. No promotional film clip was made, so some TV programs (including the BBC's "Top Of The Pops") created their own clips from stock footage.

The single was released during the controversies about the "Butcher Cover" (the Yesterday and Today album cover) and , Spitz, "The Beatles" (2005) p627] and are cited as part of the reason the song failed to reach #1 on all US charts. Despite this, it sold 1,200,000 copies in only four weeks and earned the Beatles their twenty-first US Gold Record award, beating the record set by Elvis Presley.

The Yellow Submarine film, cover versions and tributes

The Beatles themselves were not enthusiastic in participating in a motion picture at the time, as their enthusiasm waned after the TV special "Magical Mystery Tour." They saw an animated film as a way to honour their commitment to United Artists for a third film. Actors were hired to imitate their voices in the film. The Beatles were impressed after seeing a rough cut of the film, and agreed to make a live-action cameo appearance in the final scene.cite web |first=Karl |last=Cohen |url= |title=The Beatles' Yellow Submarine Turns 30 |publisher=Animation World Magazine |accessdate=2008-09-09]

In 1968, Apple Records issued a single by the Black Dyke Mills Band, which featured a cover version of "Yellow Submarine" as the B-side. In 1966 Maurice Chevalier recorded a version in French ("Le sous-marin vert").cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=Maurice Chevalier - de "Valentine" à "Yellow Submarine" |publisher=cd database |accessdate=2008-09-10] The song was also covered by Roots Manuva in 2002, on his "Badmeaningood 2" album.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=Badmeaningood 2 |publisher=MTV |accessdate=2008-09-09] It has entered popular usage as a children's song, such as in Fun Song Factory, when it was once combined with colourful props and actions.

In 2005, a 51-foot long yellow submarine metal sculpture was placed outside Liverpool's John Lennon Airport, which was was built by apprentices from the Cammell Laird shipyard, and had been used as part of Liverpool's International Garden Festival in 1984.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=Standing outside the terminal building at Liverpool's John Lennon airport |publisher=Icons |date=1999-08-20 |accessdate=2008-09-09]

See also

*List of fictional submarines



*Miles, Barry] | title=Many Years From Now | publisher=Vintage-Random House | year=1997 | id=ISBN 0-7493-8658-4

External links

* []
* [ Song facts]

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