The Beatles - Yellow Submarine
Jul 21, 2020
In most videos I've seen ranking The Beatles' albums, "Yellow Submarine" ends up at the bottom almost if not every time. The main reason I hear from people being that this is barely even a Beatles album, which I do agree with to an extent, there are only 4 new Beatles songs out of the 13 presented here. And half of it is George Martin scores, which aren't bad, & they're not the weakest part about the album on their own. My main problem with "Yellow Submarine" is that it doesn't flow very well, it feels like a soundtrack more than a studio album, which makes sense, as this is for the animated movie of the same name. While I do agree that objectively it's the worst Beatles album, I'd still listen to it more than "Please Please Me" (at least there are great moments on here).

When it comes to the already released songs, there's nothing more I can say about the title track that I didn't state in my "Revolver" review. It's an ultra-forgettable song with nothing memorable beyond the listen. Although, it fits here way better than it did on "Revolver". "All You Need Is Love" is a great song, with a super catchy chorus, & an undeniably happy vibe. Although, I don't think it really fits here, it's a weird ending to the first part of the album. It does end up being my favorite track here though, as nothing really matches it (but one track is pretty close).

The new songs I think fare fine, but none of these songs are the best of the best when it comes to The Beatles. George Harrison's "Only A Northern Song" is pretty interesting. There's constantly a lot going on in the instrumental, which makes the track super cacophonous in a way, but none of it really interests me as much as something like "Tomorrow Never Knows" or "Within You Without You". "All Together Now" is a completely bland try at being what "Yellow Submarine" was, but infinitely more stupid, & quite frankly even MORE bland & forgettable. The song feels like there was no effort put into it, which isn't something I'd say about The Beatles a lot of the time. "Hey Bulldog" is the one great new song here, the chorus is super infectious, as well as the guitar & bass-line that plays after each chorus. The piano also adds a bounciness that the tracks on this album definitely needed. "It's All Too Much" is pretty uninteresting, the chorus doesn't do anything for me, nor do any of the guitar passages & brass arrangements. It gets to be almost a chore to sit through at 6 & a half minutes.

The string arrangements are different though. I think they fare fine, but I wouldn't return to any of them for any reason, I'd probably rather listen to them in context than by themselves. "Pepperland" gives me a lot of Christmas-y vibes (or I've just played too much Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games [2012 Vancouver to be specific]). The "Sea Of..." tracks flow very well together, which is one thing I like about the George Martin part of this album. There's not much noteworthy about these, but they're pretty okay on their own (for the most part). They have a very mysterious vibe, but there's not much that pulls me in to these pieces overall. "March Of The Meanies" gives me a little bit of a Psycho/Star Wars vibe, which is really weird, but I'll explain. The piece as a whole has a very horror-esque tone in the beginning, but quickly becomes a piece with more of the epic villain vibe than anything else, which is what something like the Imperial March is. These vibes make the piece pretty decent overall. The closer "Yellow Submarine In Pepperland" is a nice way to close the album, it feels like a triumphant victory where the theme (in this case the title track) is being played, but with a way more triumphant tone (mostly in the beginning & end of the piece). I actually think it's better than the original track, it's a pretty solid arrangement overall, & a nice way to bring back "Yellow Submarine" for use of a closing melody.

Overall, I'm feeling a pretty strong 5.5 on this album, it's pretty inessential in terms of albums by The Beatles, but if you like the movie, this might be a cool thing for you (I've never seen the movie).

Best Tracks (8.5,8/10): "All You Need Is Love", "Hey Bulldog"

Worst Tracks (4.5,5..../10): "All Together Now" (it's a very strong 4.5, but a 4.5 nonetheless), "Yellow Submarine", "It's All Too Much", "Sea Of Holes", "Sea Of Monsters", "Pepperland Laid Waste"

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