Wednesday, March 9, 2016
(Seems like I'm writing more and more of these "tribute" posts nowadays . . .)
My words of respect for Martin's work and my regret at his passing will no doubt be inadequate . . . so I'll enlist some assistance. My friend, the writer and Beatles expert Colin Fleming, penned a piece for Rolling Stone earlier today in remembrance of Mr. Martin - it superbly and succinctly sums up the man's life and the nature and importance of his interactions with the most influential rock band of all time. Check out Colin's article here.
I can't add much more to that, so I'll leave you all with this: The Beatles' Yellow Submarine, the soundtrack album to the animated film of the same name, issued by Apple Records on January 13th, 1969. In addition to the previously released songs "Yellow Submarine" and "All You Need Is Love", this album includes four other Beatles tunes of second-rate quality that the band admittedly put minimum effort into, to satisfy their contractual obligation of United Artists for new music to use in the film (still, you've got to admit - "second-rate" Beatles music is still pretty doggone good).
The last half of the album is a re-recording of the incidental orchestral music used in the film, composed by George Martin himself. At first listen, the Martin songs seem lightweight and out of place on this disc. But further listening reveals hidden gems and surprises Sir George placed in his music, like his references to other Beatles songs (for instance, "Sea Of Time" briefly and quietly quotes "Within You Without You") and tucking in nods to works by Stravinsky and Bach.
Since its release, Yellow Submarine has generally been slagged by critics as a "meh", mostly inconsequential album, and it really isn't considered a major or important addition to The Beatles' overall canon, due to the inclusion of older and/or "filler" material like the Martin orchestral tracks (Magical Mystery Tour is another Beatles release that gets slammed for similar reasons). Some have gone so far to say that this album would have made a superb 4-song EP, with the other songs left off entirely or perhaps relegated to a separate release.
But I think by now that the Yellow Submarine album, as it is, has been with us so long that most people are sort of used to the juxtapositions inherent within it. For example, I recall how
Yup - I agree wholeheartedly. And I KNOW you're ALL thinking Beatles fans. So, here ya go. Enjoy this version of the original Yellow Submarine (remastered and reissued on September 9th, 2009), and as always, let me know what you think.
R.I.P., Sir George.
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