The one Beatles song often cited as the most kid-friendly is without a doubt “Yellow Submarine.” There are kids’ books, toys, and even pretty rad magnetic puzzles focused on that brightly painted ship. But what if the most kid-oriented Fab song was actually a deeply moving ballad? With the new release of Revolver (Super Deluxe edition), we’ve suddenly got a ton of new bonus tracks to dissect. And now that we’ve been able to listen to this version of “Yellow Submarine,” some Beatles fans will surely be obsessed with one controversial question: Why did the Beatles ruin this song?
According to Giles Martin, the producer who oversaw the new version of Revolver, the alternate takes of the Paul McCartney-penned song stem from the idea that John Lennon assumed “Yellow Submarine” was a protest song. In an interview with Variety, Martin puts it like this: “[John Lennon] sings it as a sort of almost like Woody Guthrie-type, maudlin kind of thing.”
This is accurate, but what is even more true is that when you listen to it, John Lennon actually sings it in a very post-Beatles John Lennon-ish way, which will remind you more of “Mind Games” or “#9 Dream.” In one of the “Yellow Submarine” outtake tracks, Lennon sings “In the town where I was born, no one cared, no one cared.” As you listen to each version of “Yellow Submarine,” and the song gets closer to the version we actually remember, on some level, there’s a sense that it’s getting a bit cheesier with each revision.
Famously, the released version of “Yellow Submarine” was sung by Ringo, even though it was co-written by Paul. So, the idea that it was basically a John song at some point is really mind-blowing, and even more haunting when you hear it.
Now, as some fans claim, Revolver is kind of the greatest Beatles album for Ringo fans. Not only is some of his best drumming on this album, but his vocal on “Yellow Submarine,” is, undeniably, wonderful. And yet, did we need this version of “Yellow Submarine” for Ringo to be awesome? The Beatles have many career-defining songs and albums, but, for the utterly uninitiated, the children’s ditty “Yellow Submarine” tends to eclipse some of the better songs. Maybe there was a version of history where we don’t have colorful “Yellow Submarine” toys, and maybe that universe is still awesome.
For many fans, Revolver is the best Beatles album ever, because it’s right smack in the middle of the discography history. Before the high-concept meta-ness of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the psychedelia of Magical Mystery Tour, the Beatles released two back-to-back albums — Rubber Soul and Revolver — that bridge our perceptions of the “before” and “after” of the Fab Four. The early Beatles were lovable mop-tops singing “Love Me Do” and “Can’t Buy Me Love.” The later Beatles are “I Am the Walrus,” and “Helter Skelter.” The brilliance of Revolver, with stand-outs like “Tomorrow Never Knows,” and “Eleanor Rigby,” stands right at the center of the Beatles continuum.
As many pop historians have stated many, many times, The Beatles were really only putting out albums between 1962 and 1970 — and there’s an astounding amount of variety in those eight years. The Let It Be-era documentary proved that you can’t really ever hit the bottom when it comes to new revelations about the Beatles, and the new version of Revolver seems to double down on that notion.
Just when you think you know everything there is to know about the Fab Four, new truths come to light. Nobody thought we would get a new version of “Yellow Submarine” in 2022, but here we are. In the town where “Yellow Submarine” was born, no one cared.
Revolver Special Edition release date
The new special edition of Revolver, complete with tons of bonus tracks and alternate takes, it out now, as of October 28, 2022. The super-deluxe version will be a 5-CD set. You can order that set for $139.00 at the official Beatles store right here.
Revolver Special Edition Tracklist
As per Variety, here’s the full tracklist for the super-deluxe new 2022 Revolver.
CD1: Revolver (New stereo mix)
2: Eleanor Rigby
3: I’m Only Sleeping
4: Love You To
5: Here, There And Everywhere
6: Yellow Submarine
7: She Said She Said
8: Good Day Sunshine
9: And Your Bird Can Sing
10: For No One
11: Doctor Robert
12: I Want To Tell You
13: Got To Get You Into My Life
14: Tomorrow Never Knows
CD2: Sessions One
1: Tomorrow Never Knows (Take 1)
2: Tomorrow Never Knows (Mono mix RM 11)
3: Got To Get You Into My Life (First version) – Take 5
4: Got To Get You Into My Life (Second version) – Unnumbered mix – mono
5: Got To Get You Into My Life (Second version) – Take 8
6: Love You To (Take 1) – mono
7: Love You To (Unnumbered rehearsal) – mono
8: Love You To (Take 7)
9: Paperback Writer (Takes 1 and 2) – Backing track – mono
10: Rain (Take 5 – Actual speed)
11: Rain (Take 5 – Slowed down for master tape)
12: Doctor Robert (Take 7)
13: And Your Bird Can Sing (First version) – Take 2
14: And Your Bird Can Sing (First version) – Take 2 (giggling)
CD3: Sessions Two
1: And Your Bird Can Sing (Second version) – Take 5
2: Taxman (Take 11)
3: I’m Only Sleeping (Rehearsal fragment) – mono
4: I’m Only Sleeping (Take 2) – mono
5: I’m Only Sleeping (Take 5) – mono
6: I’m Only Sleeping (Mono mix RM1)
7: Eleanor Rigby (Speech before Take 2)
8: Eleanor Rigby (Take 2)
9: For No One (Take 10) – Backing track
10: Yellow Submarine (Songwriting work tape – Part 1) – mono
11: Yellow Submarine (Songwriting work tape – Part 2) – mono
12: Yellow Submarine (Take 4 before sound effects)
13: Yellow Submarine (Highlighted sound effects)
14: I Want To Tell You (Speech and Take 4)
15: Here, There And Everywhere (Take 6)
16: She Said She Said (John’s demo) – mono
17: She Said She Said (Take 15) – Backing track rehearsal
CD4: Revolver (Original mono master)
Album tracklist (same as above)
CD5: Revolver EP
1: Paperback Writer (New stereo mix)
2: Rain (New stereo mix)
3: Paperback Writer (Original mono mix remastered)
4: Rain (Original mono mix remastered)
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