It's All Too Much

Album: Yellow Submarine (1969)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • George Harrison wrote this. It was inspired by his wife, Pattie.
  • A verse was edited out of album version, cutting time from 8 minutes to 6. The full version appears in film Yellow Submarine.
  • This was by far the longest Beatles song until "Hey Jude" was recorded over a year later. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adrian - Wilmington, DE
  • Paul McCartney played lead guitar on this song and John Lennon supplied the guitar feedback, allowing George to be free to concentrate only on vocals during the recording of this song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jonathon - Clermont, FL
  • The line, "With your long blond hair and your eyes of blue" was taken from the song "Sorrow," originally recorded by the McCoys but popularly covered by The Merseys in 1966 and David Bowie in 1973.
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Comments: 48

  • Johan from Stockholm, SwedenThese are the top fourteen songs voted 2012 by MOJO readers and Beatles fans. It´s All Too Much by Harrison is no 8 !! :
    1. Tomorrow Never Knows
    2 Hey Bulldog
    3. Rain
    4. Happiness Is a Warm Gun
    5. And Your Bird Can Sing
    6. For No One
    7. Dear Prudence
    8. It´s All Too Much
    9. Long Long Long
    10.I´m Only Sleeping
    11.You Know My Name
    12.Helter Skelter
    13.I Want You
    14.She Said She Said

    That is 10 Lennon, 2 McCartney and 2 Harrison It´s All Too Much is one of the Beatles best from the year 1967. It could have been placed in Sgt Pepper, some of McCartney´s there are not good.
  • Meocyber from Alma, Co I think this was one of George's finest compositions. It was quite underrated . I liked it was a reprieve from his heavy sitar period. Yet it kept George's spirituality and mysticism. I loved the guitar riffs in this. Ringo's drumming were a great fit in the song. Finishing w/ the too much chant was damned cool. WHAT A BAND!
  • Jennifer from Long Beach, CaAccording to George's book, "I, Me, Mine" this song, "was written in a childlike manner from realizations that appeared after some LSD experiences which were later confirmed in meditation."
  • Eddie from Long Beach, NyAt around the 4:36 mark, they sing "we are dead..." Can anybody figure out what they say immediately after that? Also, on the bootlegged 8 plus minute version, John and Paul chant "too much, too much" at the end, which then morphs into "tuba" and then "Cuba".
  • Lee from Alameda, CaMy band Chandrama just released a cover of this song on iTunes and YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj0Lc5_0oCo I've always loved the original, but elected to make a fairly different version. The singer is an adorable girl from Nepal who sings most of the lyrics in Nepali. I played around 15 instruments on the track including sitar, harmonium, various guitars, bass and percussion. I've heard that Journey did a cover as well. I used the short trumpet line in the middle of the song as our opening sitar melody, after the Tibetan singing bowls, and I reprise it later in the song on electric guitar. Instead of opening the track with a loud guitar chord into feedback, we started it really quietly and exotically. Ours is not as long as even the shorter Beatles version, clocking in at barely over the 5 minute mark.
  • Sanjay from Owasso, OkFirst of all, it is not George who expurgates the intro, it's John. I still don't know what he's saying, but typically he injects a sardonic quip to tracks which he either despises or envies. This is one of the most trippy, hypnotic, quintessentially transcendent tracks in the Fab's repertoire. It is prominent in my go-to list when I'm out there and connecting with the Universal Mind. George was the most spiritually enlightened Beatle, and his humility and musical dedication cemented a crucial element in the band's integrity. I still want to know what John said, which blasts this song into the kingdom of psychedelic supremity.
  • Sasha from Perth, Australiai love that noise that is in every beat- it sounds like clapping at the start, but becomes really echoeing and distorted...wtf is it?
  • Rodrigo from Asuncion, ParaguayI LOVE this song!! this is one of my favorites of all time!
  • Donna from New Jersey, NyGeorge Harrison himself, in an interview done in Billoard Magazine in 1999 by Timothy White, says that Paul played the guitar feedback. He'd have no reason not to say he thought John played it if John played it. The question was specifically about the feedback on It's All Too Much and that is how George answered it. Paul played the feedback, George said he was playing the organ, that's why he had Paul play it.
  • Riley from Adelaide, AustraliaGreat Song Have to agree with comment below me it is another good trip song but George harrison is a great singer even better in his solo career.
  • Nick from Seattle, Albaniaok not trying to be "that guy".....but next time your super stoned listen to this full blast on headphones. WOW
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Moone of my favorite songs by george. every time I listen to it, I end up playing it again two or three times. And no matter what it is he does say, my inner ten year old will always find it amusing how it sounds like he's yelling "To YOUR MOM!!"
  • Helbs from Liverpool, AustriaI recently came across this song, having not known it, and I absolutely love it! I've heard also that the sounds of it have been influenced by LSD.
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaRight on, Gez! As a follower of all things Beatles in the studio and out, I have always found it amusing what a big deal everyone makes of George & Paul's tiff in Let It Be. Come on! They're in a band together since their teens and you think that's a significant fight!?!? I think it's interesting to watch, but not particularly significant. Yes, George felt somewhat frustrated over John & Paul's dominance of the band, but hey, they were there first! George's creative arc reach it's peak just about the time the Beatles broke up.
  • David from Norfolk, VaDuring a very emotionally troubling time in my life, I happened to listen to this song. And, then came the lyric, "All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much." Sometimes the right words come to you at precisely the right time, and that was the case here. George spoke directly to me that day, and not a day goes by in which I do not think about what he said. You can live a life around that lyric.
  • Gez from Lincoln, United KingdomI find it a bit condescending when people start valuing their own opinions above others because they are "Trained "Musicians" ? Personally , i think the definitive ( and most detailed and enjoyable - not just a series of facts and figures ) book on the Beatles songs is " Revolution In The Head " by Ian MacDonald , this book gives a track by track analysis of who played what and what was special about the track. Over the years they have had " fall outs " , in a band like the Beatles with all that craziness i'm amazed they made it last ten years .I love George Harrisons solo work ( i have them all ) and i think " All Things Must Pass " sits quite comfortably with " Imagine " ," Band On The Run ",and " Tug Of War " but you can't put his Beatles work above McCartneys ? Yeah , they fell out on camera on " Let It Be" ( something they both expressed regret over on the " Anthology " , but that happens in bands every other week ! The fact remains that McCartney always gave his best on any Beatles recording whether it be that bass line in " Taxman " that The Jam copied note for note with the track " Start "or " While My Guitar Gently Weeps " with that great intro that George liked so much that on the Japanese tour with Eric Clapton we told the keyboard player to play it note for note .Also , McCartney played the guitar solo in " Taxman " -Quote from Revolution In The Head "McCartneys startling guitar solo, a savage seven bar affair that picks up the octave jump in the riff, adding a scintillating pseudo Indian passage en route "- if Harrison did'nt like McCartneys guitar style i don't think he would have trusted him with the one on " Taxman " . I am well read on the Beatles and you have to be fair to ALL of them , they were all very special .Things are fine when everyone agrees ( Harrison suggested the waltz time at the end of the verses on " We Can Work It Out ") but differences of musical opinion can and do happen , like Harrison wanting to put little guitar parts at the end of each line of " Hey Jude " , McCartney did'nt want that so what is he supposed to do ?- give in to Harrison on such a massive song ? As for respect , there is never a shortage of rock stars coming on stage at McCartneys gigs and from his Revolver , Pepper , White album , Abbey Road period you can clearly hear in a lot of todays music , The Kaiser Chiefs new song is very " Get Back "I am not going to compare McCartney against Harrison because Harrison did'nt really start untill '66-'67 and you only have to pick up the albums i've just mentioned to see who wrote what .To much is made of the odd time when the Beatles have fallen out , they made great music that has stood the test of time and beyond .-All The Best -Gez .
  • Albert from New York, NyPaul Mc Cartney did NOT play "lead" guitar on this track. The definitive guide as to who played what on the beatle tracks -- Mark Lewisohn's "Complete Beatles Recording Sessions" (Hamlyn, 1988) --listed GEORGE HARRISON as the lead guitarist, with backing by John Lennon.

    George Harrison did NOT "admire" Paul McCartney's so-called "ferocious" style, and often found himself cut out of tracks by the egoist McCartney, who most certainly admired himself above all others*. Sadly,George Martin and the musical illiterate,Geoff Emerick, often agreed, going so far as to reject Harrison's "Something" in 1968, only to agree to put it on Abbey Road as an afterthought the following year.

    This GEORGE HARRISON song, of course, went on to become one of the greatest of the Beatles' love songs, and the GEORGE HARRISON guitar solo one of the enduring classics of the era and rock genre.

    *Harrison's frustration with McCartney's unseemly and overweening bullying boil over in a now-famous scene in "Let it Be." Given that Harrison's signature idiosyncratic slide guitar and eclectic, Indian and Jazz-inflected stylings (e.g., "Old Brown Shoe," "Learning How to Love You) have earned the respect of TRAINED musicians( of whom I am one), let alone the likes of Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, and Jimmy Page,the McCartney worship irritates not only because of the lack of musical knowledge on the part of his acolytes, but also because of the lack of historical knowledge on the part of same said.
  • David from San Marcos, TxGeorge does NOT say "to your mother" at the beginning

    He says "To Jorma" as in Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane, with whom he'd made friends with that year. And given the nature of the words and the psychedlic references, this makes much more sense!
  • Susan from Toronto, CanadaThe following exchange is from a George Harrison interview in the June 19, 1999 issue of BILLBOARD MAGAZINE: Question -- "At the End of `It's All Too Much' there are snippets of Jeremiah Clarke's `Prince of Denmark's March' and the Mersey's 1966 [No. 4 U.K.] hit `Sorrow.'" GEORGE HARRISON: "You mean on the fade out? Yeah, with `Your long blond hair/And your eyes of blue.' That was all just this big ending we had, going out. And as it was in those days, we had the horn players just play a bit of trumpet voluntarily, and so that's how the `Prince of Denmark' bit was played. And John and Paul just came up with and sang that lyric of `your eyes of blue.' But just a couple of years ago somebody suddenly tried to sue us for that!" Incidentally, the "Prince of Denmark's March" was composed in 1699 and was later played at Prince Charles's and Princess Diana's wedding in 1981.
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiThis was originally recorded during Magical Mystery Tour.
  • Forrest from Rochester, MnTo me it sounds like George says "To your mother!" at the beginning. This is one of the heaviest Beatles songs if that is what you are into.
  • Ricky from Tustin, CaI L-O-V-E this song. It brings tears to my eyes, because I can feel George thru the music and lyrics. "Floating down the stream of time, from life to life with me..." Huh? Exactly! As for production, this was produced beautifully. It sounds live and free, which I believe was the intention and "Beatle-y". With this and "If I Needed Someone", another favorite, George Harold Harrison, single-handedly created the "Sixties Sound". God Bless you, George. I miss you!!!
  • Ryan from La, CaI got a bootleg of this song that is almost 40 minutes in length. I've only heard of a 8 minute version being the longest... can anyone explain??
  • Sharon from Nashville, TnRegarding Heywood's comment, The Beatles recorded on two tracks until they recorded I Want to Hold Your Hand which was on four tracks. Plus the whole recording system at Abbey Road was different than we know today. The artist didn't get to pick and chose their engineer. Abbey Road employed, well, employees. Each employee made a salary and had a specific job. It was quite some time before The Beatles actually could call the shots in the studio. If George Martin thought they had already spent too much time on a guitar solo, or a vocal and what they had was already passable, they moved on to the next project. Amazing what they did with only 4 tracks!
  • Sharon from Nashville, TnListen to the drums at the first of the song - brilliant! Ringo was WAY ahead of his time. I don't like the remix of the song, though. John's vocals are too up front. I liked them when they were a part of the music. They learned about feedback by accident. They were in the studio at Abbey Road, John leaned his guitar against his amp with the volume pot still up, Paul hit an "A" on his bass, and they had feedback. They learned to control the sound and the first time they used it was on I Feel Fine.
  • Daniel Celano from Philadelphia, PaI can download the song It's All Too Much which is 8 minutes longer.
  • Paul from Cincinnati, OhThis song almost sounds garage-y and is unlike almost any other Beatles song in that respect. Its length, especially its unnecessary and droning length, is also a little unusual...of course, however, there are three Beatles songs longer than this one- I Want You (She's So Heavy), Hey Jude, and Revolution 9.
  • Sal from Bardonia , NyThe introduction of the song is actually feedback that is recorded backwards and it also the feedback acts like a drone and with the combination with the distored organ and trippy horn section another song that sounds unique in it's time it was recorded.
    Sal,Bardonia,NY
  • Tim from Sitka, AkJourney recorded a version of this song on there Second Album (Look into the Future).
  • Jonathon from Clermont, FlI'm pretty sure it sounds exactly the way the beatles wanted it to sound. There's nothing wrong with the production of the song at all. They wanted it to have a lot of horns and overdubbed sounds to make it cartoony and give it a celebratory sound. By the way, John plays feedback and Paul plays lead guitar. George also gave away guitar duty to Paul on Taxman, because he wasn't a very confident singer, and it allowed him more freedom, as well as the fact that he admired McCartney's raw and often ferocious guitar style.
  • Heywood from Harrisburg, PaI love this song, but it has to be one of their worst in terms of production. I know that the Beatles weren't quite Steely Dan in the studio, but this is pretty bad.
  • Ro~jo from Unknown, CaI've heard that the original version of this song is 25 minutes long. It would be awesome if that ever saw the light of day...
  • Melissa from Fairborn, OhI love the song and it is a psychedelic-like song which it features a lead guitar plays a strange psychedelic-like tone.
  • Kelsi from Rowlett, TxVinny- George is saying "To your mother".
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI thought Yellow Submarine was released in 1968, not 1969. I don't have the album, but it was, wasn't it?
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoRecorded in 1967, released in 1969 per http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/DATABASES/AWP/iatm.html
  • Jonathon from Clermont, FlI'd really like to know what George says at the beginning of the song, because a a friend of mine was wondering and we got into a long discussion about all the weird stuff you can find in their music.
  • Jordan from Ontario, Canadagreat song which i'm pretty sure is from 68 not 69
  • Olivia from Perth, AustraliaI love this song....it's one of those songs by a band that not everyone talks about, or is well known....and then you discover it on an album...and it turns out really really good!!! wonderful....I love it.
  • Vinny from Revere, MaDoes anyone know what George says at the beginning? I know that after he says it, you can hear Paul whispering, "What was that, George?" and George responds, "I don't know," so it may be gibberish, but I want to know what you people think.
  • Barry from New York, NcActually the Grateful Dead didn't start performing this until March of 1995. Vince Welnick took the lead vocal (Welnick did not join the Dead until 1990)
  • Steve from Hamilton, CanadaInteresting cover of this song by Steve Hillage on his "L" album (1976), with some killer guitar licks.
  • Roger from Bristol, TnThe intro instrumental on this song sounds exactly like U2...
  • David from Lansing, MiThe verse that was in the movie but not on the album version is "Nice to have the time to take this opportunity/Time for me to look at you and you to look at me"
  • Alan from New Baltimore, MiI love at the end where they are saying "too much." At first it is funny but after awhile it is too much but then they carry it on so long that it's funny again. I can imagine them having to come up with x amount of musical minutes for the Yellow Sub film and stretching this out appropriately.
  • Katie from Miami, FlThis song was performed live by the Grateful Dead at Philly Spectrum in 1988. Awesome song!!!!
  • Michael from San Francisco, CaJohn Lennon plays that feedback-drenched guitar that's especially prominent in the introduction.
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeThe full version doesn't appear in Yello Submarine, just a very edited version that includes the verse that was edited out on the 6-minute recording
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