Monday, February 17, 2014

All You Need Is Love (Single) 1967

1. All You Need is Love
- Written by Lennon. It's said that the song was written on commission by the BBC, who asked for the Beatles to contribute a song to their live Our World special, an unprecedented global broadcast. They asked for a song that had a simple message many nationalities could understand. McCartney later said that Lennon had already written this song and that it was tailored to this effect after they were asked, but Lennon, Ringo and George Martin all maintained that the song was written entirely from scratch for this special. The vocals for the single were (mostly) recorded live from this special. Some pilot instrumentation was pre-recorded beforehand, and a few other things were later fixed up afterwards.
- Lennon used his previous song The Word as a starting point, in terms of the kind of message he wanted to write about.
- The song was released as a single in the UK the day before the band's performance of it went to air on the Our World special, on the 7th of July, 1967. Its B-side is the track Baby You're a Rich Man.
- This was the last song that the band wrote before their manager, Brian Epstein, commited suicide.
- The live performance featured the band sitting around on stools, surrounded by friends such as Mick Jagger. Lennon was nervous about the performance, and parts of it were later re-recorded for the single. McCartney was caught offguard by some of the instrumentation during the performance, and he also went out of his way to wear a red rose after Lennon specified that McCartney should only wear the colour green. 

- It is unclear and unconfirmed as to whether McCartney also attempted to write a song for the Our World special.
- Due to the 'world' theme of the special, the song was given a few international touches - such as the French national anthem at the beginning, and the various snippets of other European classicial pieces and famous standards during the long fade out (including the earlier Beatles hit She Loves You). One piece of music included was from the American song In The Mood by Glen Miller, which resulted in an out-of-court settlement due to the fact that it was still in copyright.
- Usually McCartney is thought of as the more boundary-pushing Beatle in terms of songwriting structure, but here Lennon employs some very unusual time signatures (for pop songs anyway)... the verses are in 7/4 (and in one case, 8/4), and some of the choruses are in the more usual 4/4 (though it gets mixed back and forth as the song goes on... one chorus is in 6/4, etc, etc). Aside from Pink Floyd's Money, this is the only song written in 7/4 to reach the Top 20 in the US charts.
- The song was later included on the Magical Mystery Tour album/EP.
- An remixed, edited version of the song was also included on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack.
- Lennon played the banjo and the harpsicord for the recording.
- McCartney performed his usual bass duties, and also played the double-bass.
- Harrison did lead guitar, as well as a violin track. His guitar solo had some mistakes in it due to the live nature of some of the recording, but it was one of the few elements of the song left uncorrected in the
- Starr added some additional percussion as well as his drum track. It's not really clear what percussion Starr added.
- George Martin played a piano track and wrote the orchestration, which included session musicians playing a variety of string, wood and brass instruments, and an accordian, all of which was conducted by Mick Vickers.
- Various other people sang backing vocals and clapped their hands - among these were Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithful, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jane Asher and Patti Harrison.

- The song runs for nearly 4 minutes, and took a staggering 58 takes to complete. 

2. Baby You're a Rich Man
- B-side to All You Need is Love and later included on the Magical Mystery Tour album/EP.
- Like A Day in the Life, this song was created by joining two songs together. The verses were from a Lennon song One of the Beautiful People and the choruses were an unfinished McCartney song called Baby You're a Rich Man

- Some have suggested that the song was written by Lennon about Brian Epstein, and that one of the lines is (or was in earlier versions) "Baby you're a rich fag jew". 
- Recorded for use in the Yellow Submarine movie/soundtrack but was eventually left off (and later reinstated for subsequent re-releases). Eventually used as this B-side and also included on Magical Mystery Tour (though it wasn't intended for that release).
- Lennon does all the main vocals, a piano track and provides the strange Indian-oboe like sound (which is a clavioline, an early kind of synthesizer).
- McCartney plays a piano track. 

- Both McCartney and Harrison provide harmony vocals.
- Harrison and Ringo provided the handclaps, and Ringo also overdubbed some maracas and tambourine. 

- Some extra instrumentation on a vibraphone was also provided by Eddie Kramer.
- It's possible that Mick Jagger sang some of the backing vocals, as his name is sometimes included in the session credits for this song and he was present at the recording. Also, fellow Rolling Stone Brian Jones is sometimes erroneously thought to have played the clavioline part, but this isn't true.

- First track completely recorded at the band's new 'home base' studio at Abbey Road.
- Runs for just over 3 minutes and took 12 takes to complete.

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