Today marks the 45th anniversary of the US release of The Beatles’ soundtrack album, “Yellow Submarine!”
Yellow Submarine was released in the United States in stereo format on January 13, 1969. It was the soundtrack album to The Beatles-starrer animated musical fantasy film of the same name that premiered in the US and the United Kingdom the previous year.
The album was recorded between May 26, 1966 and February 11, 1968 by The Beatles and on October 22 and 23 also in 1968 by frequent Beatles collaborator and renowned producer, composer, conductor, and musician George Martin. It contained 13 tracks in all: on side A were songs by The Beatles, and on side B was the orchestral film score. With the exception of Beatles tracks “Yellow Submarine” and “All You Need is Love”, the songs on the A side were all released for the first time via this album. These were “Only a Northern Song”, “All Together Now”, “Hey Bulldog” and “It’s All Too Much”. Meanwhile, on the album’s B side were tracks “Pepperland”, “Sea of Time”, “Sea of Holes”, “Sea of Monsters”, “March of the Meanie”, “Pepperland Laid Waste”, and “Yellow Submarine in Pepperland”. All these were written by Martin except for the last track which was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and then arranged by Martin.
Just four days it was issued in the US, Yellow Submarine was released in the United Kingdom, this time both in mono and in stereo formats. It was said that while the film was a hit among critics and the public alike, the album is generally regarded as one of The Beatles’ “weakest” releases. In the US, it peaked only at #2, with their earlier release White Album holding on to the top spot, although it reached the #1 spot on Canada’s RPM magazine’s national albums chart and held it for two weeks. The album was reissued a few times in the years that followed – first in 1987, in 1999, and in 2009 – and eventually received Gold, Silver, and Platinum certifications from Music Canada, the British Phonographic Industry, and the Recording Industry Association of America.
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