This album came out after both BeatleSongs and Tell Me Why were published. It is a compilation of songs that were featured in the film Yellow Submarine. This new songtrack omits the orchestration score that is in the film in favor of featuring all the songs that were featured, which is fine, but I also happened to enjoy the score parts as well, which is why I have both the soundtrack and songtrack.
The album as it was released in 1969 contained little new music. Even the title track is from 1966′s Revolver. Of the 4 new songs, Tell Me Why states they were “…all recorded before work on the ‘White Album’ began and considered unworthy of that project.” Ouch.
“Love You To”
“All Together Now”
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”
“Think for Yourself”
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
“With a Little Help from My Friends”
“Baby, You’re a Rich Man”
“Only a Northern Song”
“All You Need Is Love”
“When I’m Sixty-Four”
“It’s All Too Much”
An excerpt from “A Day In The Life” is played at one point in the film, but the song isn’t included here probably because it is considered orchestration and not an actual use of a Beatles song.
I could go on about the individual songs and what they mean, their significance, and lots more because this project is rich in Beatles history and lore. I won’t, however, and instead point my musings in a different direction. Let’s see if I can keep up.
I don’t remember when I originally saw the film, but I enjoyed it enough. It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I became aware of the group and their importance on the musical landscape, and it was then I saw the film on the big screen as part of an all day Beatles festival (which included Let It Be, concert performances, and lots more). It was then I saw the film as it was meant to be seen – on the big screen with a crowd. Even the last song is a bit of a singalong (“All Together Now”). Films such as Yellow Submarine really were never created to be seen on television. Yes, the animation can be seen as cheap, the colors garish, the songs disposable, but taken together, the sum is greater than its parts. No, it isn’t a cinematic achievement, but Yellow Submarine is a charming little fantasy about the power of love and music.
And my kids hate it.
Maybe you need to already be a bit of a Beatles fan to enjoy the film now, especially in the face of Pixar, Dreamworks, and the multitude of other animated film companies and offerings that cram multiplexes these days. I freely admit that Yellow Submarine isn’t the greatest animated film out there, but it is a charming product of its time, and still fun to watch. Even if most of the songs are available elsewhere in the Beatles catalog, there are some good ones. Heck, at least there’s an actual plot, unlike Magical Mystery Tour.