The Beatles ‎– It's All Too Much / Only A Northern Song

Capitol Records ‎– S7-18893, CEMA Special Markets ‎– S7-18893
Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM, Jukebox, Stereo, Blue Transparent

Tracklist Hide Credits

A It's All Too Much
Written-By – George Harrison
B Only A Northern Song
Written-By – George Harrison

Companies, etc.



For Jukeboxes Only!
B side is in mock stereo, as on the Yellow Submarine album.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (A side etched runout): S7-18893-A F-1 1-1 Wally SP
  • Matrix / Runout (B side etched runout): S7-18893-B F-1 1-1 Wally SP
  • Matrix / Runout (Stamped on both sides): MASTERED BY CAPITOL



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March 9, 2017
edited about 1 year ago

I’ve always been amazed at how much sonic layering The Beatles were able to squeeze into such a short slot, though “It’s All Too Much” does time in a nearly six and a half minutes [the original version was over eight minutes] of jubilant psychedelic bliss.   What’s most a shame is that by this stage of their career, people were seldom purchasing the singles from The Beatles anymore, focused more on the concepts that surrounded the album, though turning up on blue vinyl, there was no way I could pass up the opportunity to not only spin this coloured masterpiece, but to show it off as a heady status symbol of sorts.

Created as a celebration of his experiences on LSD [first taken in 1965], George Harrison has laid down one of the unquestionably best psychedelic masterpieces of the era, finding its way onto the soundtrack for the animation Yellow Submarine.  Written in 1967, at the tail end of the Summer of Love, shortly after finishing work on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, this gem materialized, showing what a prolific force Harrison was, especially when one looks back, and comes face to face with the fact that he was also responsible for “Blue Jay Way,” “Within You and Without You,” “Here Comes The Sun,” “Taxman,” along with “Savoy Truffle,” and many others.

One of the things that makes this single so special, aside from the blue wax, was that it was the first time I became aware of that droning effect, an effect that would be championed by many musicians years later with the revival of psychedelic music, though here, created with the use of a Hammond B3 organ, accompanied by guitar feedback and overdubs that opened the door for one of the finest musical freak-outs of all time, causing me to wonder why this track, along with others such as “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” had never managed to find their way onto the Sgt. Pepper album, where the concept could have been expanded to a double disc solely devoted to all things tripped out.  Sadly, the song also did not turn up on Magical Mystery Tour, where it would have fit in equally as well.

The phrase ‘too much,’ which is repeated over and over, is attributed to the beat generation, meaning an experience that was so exceptionally mind blowing, that what could one say other than ‘it’s all too much,’ and if you were lucky enough to have taken a dose of the real deal, LSD-25, while it was legal, then you are acutely aware of what I’m saying.  This is one of those songs that is impossible not to listen to over and over again, searching for secret clues, in that Harrison claims that he was attempting to write a song that encompassed the entire span of the psychedelic age.  Along with exuberant and pleasantly haunting background vocals and banter, the number also features the line, “With your long blonde hair and your eyes of blue …” referencing the song “Sorrow” by The Merseys, along with Jeremiah Clarke’s “Prince Of Denmark” being played out on trumpets.  It’s worth noting that the version used as part of The Yellow Submarine soundtrack was heavily edited, and shortened to a mere two an a half minutes, so if you know the song from the movie, you really don’t know it at all.

All and all, there’s something mystical and magic about listening to this track outside of its album acquired concept, where it has the ability to stand on its own, like a beacon, reminding the world of a time long past, never to be repeated again, other than in a few hidden places, that still glow with warmth and colour.

Review by Jenell Kesler