“All Together Now” is a Beatles’ song from their 1969 “Yellow Submarine” album. Although Paul McCartney describes the song as a “children’s sing-along”, it can draw the attention of all those who play it.
Release Date: 17th January, 1969 in the United Kingdom, also 13th January, 1969 in the United States
Recorded: 12th May, 1967
Studio: EMI Studios, London
Track Duration: 2:10
Record Label: Apple
Producer: Geoff Emerick, Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney: lead vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, handclaps, also percussion
John Lennon: double-tracked lead vocals (middle eight), backing vocals, ukulele, banjo, harmonica, also handclaps
George Harrison: backing vocals, acoustic guitar, also handclaps
Ringo Starr: backing vocals, drums, zill, triangle, also handclaps
All Together Now
Written primarily by Paul McCartney but credited to the Lennon-McCartney partnership, “All Together Now” features heavily in the 1968 animated film, “Yellow Submarine“. In fact, the band recorded this song during the “Magical Mystery Tour” project. However, the song remained unreleased for a while. But, it perfectly suited the light-hearted theme of their next project, “Yellow Submarine”.
“It’s really a children’s song. I had a few young relatives and I would sing songs for them. I used to do a song for kids called Jumping Round The Room, very similar to All Together Now, and then it would be ‘lying on your backs’, all the kids would have to lie down, then it would be ‘skipping round the room’, ‘jumping in the air’. It’s a play away command song for children. It would be in G, very very simple chords, only a couple of chords, so that’s what this is. There’s a little subcurrent to it but it’s just a singalong really. A bit of a throwaway.”
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
While McCartney wrote the main lyrics and chorus, Lennon had a little input with the middle section, “Sail the ship, chop the tree, skip the rope, look at me”.
Recording took place on 12 May 1967 at the Abbey Road studios. The version we hear is the ninth take out of nine which the band recorded in Studio Two of the EMI Studios, London, during the 7.00pm-12.30am session. George Martin was not available at the time so Geoff Emerick, together with Paul McCartney, both became producers for the day.
Mixing began on the same day but the track lay idle for almost 2 years. Thus, it became a ready-made recording for when they needed it.
Yellow Submarine Song
“All Together Now” became an important part of the 1968 Yellow Submarine film of course. This is because it appears twice in the film. The first time is just after Old Fred picks up The Beatles in the Yellow Submarine to take them to Pepperland in order to defeat the Blue Meanies. They all start looking for a switch to start the submarine and the song appears once Ringo Starr pushes a button (between 0:23:25-0:25:55).
Then, at the end, the song gives the animated film a truly international feel. This is because translation of “All Together Now” into various languages flash up on the screen. Although the animated film features cartoon images of the band, the Fab Four do make a brief personal appearance when they introduce this final song (between 1:27:15-1:29:00).