Firstly, “It’s All Too Much” is a Beatles’ song that appears on their “Yellow Submarine” album. It is obviously on their “Yellow Submarine Songtrack” album too.
Release Date: 13th January, 1969
Recorded: 25th, 26th May and 2nd June, 1967
Studio: De Lane Lea Studios, London
Genre: Psychedelic rock, acid rock
Track Duration: 6:28
Record Label: Apple
Songwriter: George Harrison
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Dave Siddle
George Harrison: lead vocal, Hammond organ, lead guitar, backing vocal, also handclaps
John Lennon: harmony vocal, lead guitar, also handclaps
Paul McCartney: harmony vocal, bass guitar, cowbell, also handclaps
Ringo Starr: drums, also the tambourine
David Mason and three uncredited session players: trumpets
Paul Harvey: bass clarinet
It’s All Too Much
Written and sung by George Harrison in 1967, he obviously gets all the credit for the song. This is one of the four new songs that The Beatles would record specifically for inclusion on the 1968 cartoon film “Yellow Submarine“.
This was the psychedelic period and The Beatles were not only experimenting with music, but they were messing with drugs at the time too. In fact, this was almost a celebration of Harrison’s experiences with the hallucinogenic drug.
“It’s All Too Much was written in a childlike manner from realizations that appeared during and after some LSD experiences and which were later confirmed in meditation.”
In 1966, The Merseys had a massive hit with “Sorrow” and Harrison quotes a line from it in his song. That line is “With your long blonde hair and your eyes of blue”. Meanwhile, the trumpeters in “It’s All Too Much” play part of Jeremiah Clarke’s “Prince of Denmark’s March”.
“I just wanted to write a rock ‘n’ roll song about the whole psychedelic thing of the time. Because you’d trip out, you see, on all this stuff, and then whoops! you’d just be back having your evening cup of tea! ‘Your long blond hair and your eyes of blue’ – that was all just this big ending we had, going out.
And as it was in those days, we had the horn players just play a bit of trumpet voluntarily, and so that’s how that Prince of Denmark bit was played. And Paul and John just came up with and sang that lyric of ‘your eyes of blue’.”
The tune is memorising with the drone-like humming of a Hammond organ throughout. Together with just the right amount of guitar, bass, percussion and other instrumentation the sound is more akin to Indian music but without Indian instruments!
Moreover, the film sequence attached to the song almost conveys a hallucinogenic experience. Here at the Cavern Club we don’t endorse drugs in any form, of course. So, to get an amazing experience without drugs, listen to the song at a high volume while tired but with your eyes shut.
The Beatles began recording “It’s All Too Much” on the 15th May, 1967, in the De Lane Lea Music Recording Studio, London, where they recorded 4 takes.
In addition to the trumpets and bass clarinet overdubs, further tweaking allowed the song to be complete on the 2nd June, 1967. The song is on the original Yellow Submarine Soundtrack album from 1969 and it is also on the 1999 Songtrack album too.