To begin with, “Pepperland”, is the first track on side two of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine album from 1969. In fact, side 2 of this album contains only orchestral pieces by George Martin. The tunes allow for the vibrant graphics of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine film from 1968. Therefore, Pepperland represents part of the soundtrack to that movie.
Recorded: 22nd – 23rd October, 1968
Studio: EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Genre: Classical, orchestral
Track Duration: 2:21
Record Label: Apple
Composer: George Martin
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick
George Martin wrote the score for the animated Yellow Submarine film from 1968. “Pepperland” is a classic instrumental that starts off the film and is also the first track on side 2 of the soundtrack album. Indeed, it is an emotional piece which wonderfully sets the scene for the film.
This is the most serious instrumental in the film and it’s melody repeats itself a few times. There are no sound effects within the piece like some other incidental pieces. Martin also incorporates his brief piano piece and a dramatic ending which concludes a marvellous piece of music.
Although these instrumental pieces by George Martin are not Beatles’ songs, they are on the band’s album and in the film. As such, they play an important role in the Yellow Submarine project so we are highlighting them here.
Most people won’t remember the film for George Martin’s music, of course. This is because the film has so many Beatles’ songs throughout. For example, “Eleanor Rigby“, “When I’m Sixty-Four” and “All You Need Is Love” to name but a few. However, George Martin contributed so much to make the film a success.
Pepperland itself is a music paradise 80,000 leagues beneath the sea. Protected by the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the inhabitants are content and full of happiness. However, the film is all about the day their paradise came under attack only for The Beatles to come to the rescue.
On the 22nd and 23rd October, 1968, George Martin was arranger and conductor of a 41 piece orchestra at the EMI Studios. Martin hired the orchestra in order to record the score for the Yellow Submarine film. The Beatles themselves had no involvement with these arrangements, of course.
Just to point out that all these instrumentals are on the film’s soundtrack album from 1969. However, this album only has 6 Beatles’ songs. Thirty years later, in 1999, The Beatles released the Yellow Submarine Songtrack album that has 15 Beatles’ songs from the film and none of George Martin’s instrumental pieces.