Indeed, the title of this track, “Sea Of Time”, tells us that it is part of the Yellow Submarine project. Of course, again we see George Martin conducting a 41 piece orchestra for this instrumental. In short, his work makes allowances for the vibrant visuals in the film. Obviously, he does this with great effect like all tracks on side 2 of the album. However, this instrumental piece incorporates Indian classical instrumentation unlike the other pieces.
Recorded: 22nd-23rd October, 1968
Studio: Abbey Road, London
Genre: Psychedelic, Indian classical, orchestral
Track Duration: 3:00
Record Label: Apple
Producer: George Martin
Co-producers: John Burgess and Ron Richards
Engineer: Geoff Emerick
George Martin: Composer and conductor of a 41 piece orchestra
Sea Of Time
In 1968, an animated film featuring The Beatles called “Yellow Submarine” came to our screens. In effect, this was The Beatles’ fourth film. However, the band members became cartoon characters. This was not unique since there was a cartoon series featuring The Beatles in 1965!
Just like The Beatles’ cartoon series, the Yellow Submarine movie also incorporated plenty of Beatles’ songs. But, being a film, it needed plenty of incidental music and “Sea Of Time” is one such piece.
Music Maestro, George Martin was responsible for all the incidental music in the film, of course. The unique thing about the “Sea Of Time” piece was that it included Indian instrumentation. At the time, The Beatles had already distanced themselves from the Maharishi but Indian music was still fresh in the minds.
Be that as it may, the track opens with a tampura drone and a winding melody. We heard something similar on “Within You Without You“, a George Harrison composition, but this was from a time when the band had faith in the Maharishi.
Soundtrack Album Recordings
Side 2 of the Yellow Submarine soundtrack album only has George Martin’s instrumental pieces from the film. Just to point out that the American album lists both “Sea Of Time” and “Sea Of Holes” as one track. While on the UK album and the 1987 international CD reissue, they are separate tracks.
Of course, all recording for these incidental music track took place at the Abbey Road Studios in London on the 22nd and the 23rd October, 1968.