100 Greatest Beatles Songs

From 'Helter Skelter' to 'Sgt. Pepper's,' ranking of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison's output

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'Yellow Submarine'
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74. 'Yellow Submarine'

Main Writer: McCartney
Recorded: May 26 and June 1, 1966
Released: August 8, 1966
9 weeks; No. 2

The Beatles' most beloved kiddie song was written for — who else? — Ringo. As McCartney explained, "I thought, with Ringo being so good with children — a knockabout-uncle type — it might not be a bad idea for him to have a children's song." Years later, "Yellow Submarine" remains the gateway drug that turns little children into Beatle fans, with that cheery singalong chorus. It inspired the Beatles' 1968 animated film, as well as Starr's unofficial sequel on Abbey Road, "Octopus' Garden."

George Martin drew on his experience as a producer of comedy records for Beyond the Fringe and The Goon Show, providing an array of zany sound effects to create the nautical atmosphere. Lennon blew bubbles, while he and McCartney shouted out orders to the faux submarine crew ("Full speed ahead!") through a filter. A few friends even came by the studio to help out with sound effects, including Marianne Faithfull and the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones.

Appears On: Revolver

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