A Metamorphosis of iTunes Yellow Submarine Renders It Unrecognizable!


(Verse 2) “Child-like, no one understands. Jack knife, in your sweaty hands. Some kind of innocence is measured out in miles. What makes you think you’re something special when you smile? (Chorus) You can talk to me, You can talk to me, If you’re lonely you can talk to me.” Hey Bulldog – The Beatles

The red-velvet cake recording light is on! We’re (‘I am he as you are he’) in the studio making our next record. Will this take be a keeper? Yes, it’s a keeper! Hey Bulldog is the best song on Yellow Submarine, but the only problem I can see, is that The Beatles’ classic rocker is not included on the newest version, which was just made available on itunes on December 9th.

yellow submarine

I purchased it anyway, but added on some of my own obvious favorite omissions, that more accurately simulate the original release, which hit the record bins on January 17, 1969. Forty-two years have passed since its premiere, so this is a great deal of time for evolution (of editions) ever gradually to take place. Nevertheless, it’s still considerably shocking how very transformed this new itunes reissue is from the initial 1969 release.

This morning I had to do some retracing (of the stages) of Yellow Submarine editions, which we might safely call: ‘Provenance of a Proper Pristine Apple Record.’ The YS record album was the soundtrack for the sensational animated movie, which we use to interpret as an underground film, and often was shown at midnight at your local Art House Cinema (such as the Highland Park Village in an opulent district of Dallas).

Wikipedia does a not too awfully shoddy job for you, in explaining the many variations of repackaging of said Yellow Submarine, which is a Long and Winding Yellow Brick Road unto itself, lined with kaleidoscopic ‘plasticine porters and looking glass ties.’

Wiki is a likeness of Karnak the Magnificent, with some trivia provided on an unreleased vinyl acetate EP of YS (never saw the light of day). This included Only a Northern Song, Hey Bulldog, and Across the Universe on Side 1, and All Together Now and It’s All Too Much on the Second Side.

I have my own twisty/turnie, rickety path of personal provenance (ala YS), of which I’ll grab out (of a surprising magic hat) a few priceless memories of cultural baggage to satisfy your ravenous lust for Beatles trivia, no matter how banal-breathed (splitting the King’s English into a million splinters of nonsensical Carroll-isms) it might appear.

I had the first American vinyl edition, but it was purloined by a crazy junkie from my run-down crash pad of a flat, that had been rented here in Austin, way back in about 1974. I lost all my Beatles’ albums then, as well as all my Stones’ albums, Sam the Sham, The Raiders, The Turtles, The Standells, Troggs, in short, the whole nine yards – all my vinyl!

Later in the late ’70s, I had an 8-track version of YS and then (much later), a cassette copy in the early ’80s. These examples of ‘outmoded format paraphernalia’ included Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds, which was my favorite song (with mesmerizing psychedelic animation) of many from the animated movie (a brainstorm of George Dunning’s). LSD is not on this new itunes edition. I have nearly ten different copies of Lucy already, so I don’t really much need it again. Also, I own a VHS version of the film, along with a Nowhere Man action figure and action figures of The Fab Four spruced up in their Sergeant Pepper gear.

These action figures, which are valuable collectors’ items, are locked away safely in my Public Storage unit, along with a 1999 CD edition of Yellow Submarine, which has a ‘fake stereo’ mix of Only A Northern Song. These Fab Four Figurines (purchased at the ever zany Spencers’ Gift Store) rested prominently on my fireplace mantle for a bunch of years, as a constant reminder of a ‘Sui Generis Forgotten Era’ – the Electric Late Sixties!

Oddly enough, this song is omitted from this new itunes release, so I had to pick up a single (of ONS) from the all-inclusive Beatles Black Box Set. I listened carefully to Only A Northern Song with some crummy headphones, just to be certain it was ‘real stereo,’ and sure enough, I could hear verifiable separation of backwards tapes right at George’s line: ‘it doesn’t really matter what chords I play.’

John and Paul Hey Bulldog

One more bit of trivia, (no, two more tidbits), is that a number of George Martin’s film- score tracks are missing here. Sea of Time, March of the Meanies, and Pepperland Laid Waste were excluded (for reasons unknown). Eureka! So, furthermore, It’s All Too Much has vanished into thin air, but Help! and Think For Yourself have popped up (unsuspectedly) out of nowhere. ‘Doesn’t have a point of view. Knows not where he’s going to. Isn’t he a bit like you and me?’

I don’t recall either of these songs existing in the movie? This is practically an entirely new record! And once a re-tweaked rendition of the movie comes out, I’ll have to get it too, since I don’t own a VHS player anymore. Yet I’m glad I experienced Yellow Submarine, a long time ago, in all its multi-snake-skin permutations! A light just comes on (barely)?

The Blue Meanies, in this context, are symbolic of our rapidly mutating technology, that forces us to buy the newest gadget available (to Man), in order to enjoy the nostalgia of a bygone (by-golly) era. An ignominious irony, and as George use to say: ‘It’s All Too Much.’ It would be easier, it might work out better, to remain frozen in time (transcending the changes in technology) just like Austin Powers did (me thinks).