“We all live in a Yellow Submarine.” Okay, so maybe we don’t all live in a yellow submarine, but unless you live under a rock, you are no doubt familiar with this iconic song lyric. The Beatles’ John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr released this single on their seventh studio album Revolver in 1966. It went to No. 1 on every major British chart for four weeks straight, as well as peaking at No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Although initially intended as a nonsense song for children, many at the time tried to find social and political interpretations within the lyrics.
“It’s a happy place, that’s all. You know, it was just…We were trying to write a children’s song. That was the basic idea. And there’s nothing more to be read into it than there is in the lyrics of any children's song,” McCartney once clarified.
Along with becoming one of the most successful Beatles song to feature Starr as lead vocalist, the song won an Ivor Novello Award “for the highest certified sales of any single issued in the UK in 1966.” It also earned the Beatles their 21st U.S. Gold Record award, beating the previous record set by Elvis Presley.
Drawing inspiration from the song, United Artists and King Features Syndicate released the animated Yellow Submarine fantasy film in 1968. The psychedelic feature saw The Beatles protecting the music-loving paradise of Pepperland from the music-hating Blue Meanies. This smash hit received widespread acclaim and has since been credited with bringing more interest in animation as a serious art form. Did you know it has now been 50 years since the initial release of this musical comedy?
In honor of the anniversary, Titan Comics is publishing The Beatles Yellow Submarine graphic novel adaptation, written and illustrated by Bill Morrison (The Simpsons, MAD). More information on this fully authorized adaptation can be found on Scoop.