‘March Of The Meanies’ was one of seven original orchestral pieces by George Martin, which appeared in the soundtrack to the Yellow Submarine animated film.
Although the film had its world premiere at the London Pavilion on 17 July 1968, the soundtrack LP didn’t emerge for a further six months. Among the reasons were that The Beatles wished to concentrate on the White Album; another was that George Martin insisted in re-recording the score, which was done over two sessions at Abbey Road on 22 and 23 October 1968.
The seven instrumentals were performed by the 41-piece George Martin Orchestra, conducted by the composer himself, with John Burgess and Ron Richards co-producing.
‘March Of The Meanies’ is based around an insistent rhythm, driven initially by a marimba, over which strings and brass are given strident melodic passages.
Once all the music had been recorded, we dubbed it onto the film, and even then there was more messing about. In some places we cut out the music because sound-effects worked better – in others we eliminated sound effects because what I had written sounded better. Yet, in spite of everything, that score proved enormously successful and earned me a load of fan mail.
All You Need Is Ears
Other than this LP being released on one of my Birthdays, I just can’t get into any of these George Martin songs as it hardly represents a Beatles LP. “March Of The Meanies” and the rest of side 2 shouldn’t be here. It should have been an EP as originally planned along with the “Across The Universe” single.
The only thing on this album worth bothering with (the title track was 2 years old by the time of this release)
is “Hey Bulldog”. Don’t own it; never have, never will.
This is okay classicalish music–it reminds me a bit of The Rite of Spring with less dissonance. It doesn’t really appeal to me and I can’t imagine it appeals to other Beatles fans. I bought the LP of Yellow Submarine way back when and I doubt that I’ve listened to this side of the record more than a couple of times.