Song: "It's All Too Much"
Writer: George Harrison
Original Release: January 13, 1969
Band: The Beatles
Album: Yellow Submarine
Given the enormous fame of the Beatles, a fame that renews itself with rediscovery by each successive generation, few if any of their songs qualify as under-appreciated deep tracks. One could easily put together an album-length list of timeless masterpieces that were never even released as singles during the band's initial run. Such a list would certainly hold its own against the best work of nearly any other band in the world. And yet, there remain a few fringe classics. "It's All Too Much" is one of my favorites among them.
The Yellow Submarine album was one of the band's weaker sellers, one of very few to fail to top the charts in either the UK or the US, usually both. The original LP only contained six "Beatles" songs, two of them re-releases. The entire second side was orchestral theme music from the movie. I think it's fair to say that, in general, the new songs were not the band's best material, indeed castoffs from the Sgt. Pepper sessions. But "It's All Too Much" is a hidden gem.
"It's All Too Much" is one of the trippiest of all the Beatles' trippy songs and its featured scene in Yellow Submarine is one of the highlights of the film. Harrison wrote the song in 1967 as a celebration of his experiences with LSD, though by the time of the movie's release, he had disavowed the drug in favor of transcendental meditation. The Hammond organ is meant to mimic the harmonium used in Indian classical music. To me, the song's one glaring flaw is the fact that it's too long: 6:28. But initially, it was longer, a full eight minutes. So, I am grateful for the merciful edits.