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The Beatles Wiki

It's All Too Much is a song by The Beatles which first appeared on the 1969 Yellow Submarine film soundtrack album. It was written and sung by George Harrison. It was originally recorded in 1967, shortly before the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and had been slated to appear on the next EP, Magical Mystery Tour, but it was pushed back.


The song contains several lines taken from other works; the "With your long blonde hair and your eyes of blue" line was from The Merseybeats' "Sorrow", and the trumpets at many points emulate Jeremiah Clarke's "Prince of Denmark's March".


The song was recorded at De Lane Lea Studios, making it one of only a very few Beatles tracks not recorded at Abbey Road Studios. Harrison played organ, Lennon played bass, while McCartney played lead guitar on the song. Other than their earlier hit "I Feel Fine", this was the only other Beatles track to use feedback extensively. The track had the working title of "Too Much".

The opening line[]

There's been a debate about what either John Lennon or George Harrison says at the very beginning before the guitar feedback.

Some believe that it's "to Jorma," referring to Jorma Kaukonen, the former Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna lead guitarist and early experimenter in feedback. However, even though Paul did meet JA's other guitarists (Jack Casady and Marty Balin) in April 1967 (a month before the song's recording sessions), and George Harrison did visit the band's hometown in San Fransisco while they were touring in Canada, none of the Beatles had ever met Kaukonen.

Others believe that it's "To your mother," as if he were to either say, "Word to your mother," or as if he was making a “Yo mama” joke.

However, both versions of this line are unlikely, because when isolating the third channel (where the line is said) of the song's 5.1 mix for the Yellow Submarine DVD, there's a definite "fff" sound heard after the "mu--," making it sound like "To your muff".

The isolated opening line, as heard from the third channel of the song's 5.1 mix for the Yellow Submarine DVD.


Personnel per The Beatles Bible[1]

Different Versions[]

A mono mix, over eight minutes long and containing all of the lyrics plus a much longer ending than the eventual released versions, has never been released officially, but has been found on bootleg recordings.

The best-known version of the song was further edited down to over six minutes long and appears on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack album. The version of the song that appeared in the film itself is slightly different and contained a lyric that was cut from the album version:

"Nice to have the time to take this opportunity/Time for me to look at you and you to look at me." However, this lyric remains in the eight-minute mono mix. Just before this lyric is another refrain not used in either the movie or the soundtrack albums: "It's all too much for me to take/There's plenty more for everybody/The more you give, the more you get/The more it is and it's too much."

Cover versions[]

"It's All Too Much" has been covered by the Grateful Dead (live), Ratdog (live), The Church, All About Eve, Steve Hillage, Paul Gilbert, The Violet Burning, Yukihiro Takahashi, The House of Love, Rich Robinson, and in a heavily rewritten version by Journey.


External links[]