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*6.03-IT'S ALL TOO MUCH (Beatles)

George Harrison
George Harrison

LISTEN

To your mother!

[Feedback break]

     It's all too much ...(2x)

When I look into your eyes
Your love is there for me
And the more I go inside
The more there is to see.

     It's all too much for me to take--
     The love that's shining all around you.

     Everywhere, it's what you make
     For us to take, it's all too much.

Floating down the stream of time
Of life to life with me
Makes no difference where you are
Or where you'd like to be.

     [Chorus]
     All the world is birthday cake,
     So take a piece but not too much.

[Break]

Sail me on a silver sun,
For I know that I'm free.
Show me that I'm everywhere,
And get me home for tea.

     [Chorus]
     The more I learn, the less I know
     And what I do is all too much.

     [Chorus]
     Everywhere, it's what you make
     For us to take, it's all too much.

     It's too much (2x)

[Horn break]

          With your long blonde hair and your eyes of blue(2x)
          You're too much...

     Too much [Repeat and fade to end]


It’s All Too Much extensively features an aggressive feedback guitar close to the style of Jimi Hendrix. It is the only Beatles song to do so to such extremes, and unfortunately was released 18 months after it was recorded, when the public's ear was less shocked than it would have been were it released, as planned, on the album Magical Mystery Tour. (Instead the song was used as part of the animated film Yellow Submarine released in 1969.) The electronic feedback is even more striking in that it accompanies what appears to be a religious song. Its intent seems to be to describe the LSD feeling of "seeing the face of God" as an overstimulation, as more than mortal senses can handle. If the C section toward the end is not meant to deflect attention from God to make the claim the song is about a blonde woman, the face of God in this song is like the Northern European Jesus Christ surrounded by a bright halo.

The cry that opens the song, and sounds like "To your mother!" hurled with guitar distortion, seems a curse in the context of the rest of the song, and suggests to me the agony of birth. But I discovered in the website songfacts that someone claimed the dedication was "To Jorma", that is Jorma Kaukonen of the Jefferson Airplane, and I am inclined to believe it. Kaukonen was, during this time, exploring the use of guitar feedback, which would become evident in the album After Bathing at Baxter's, released around the time of Magical Mystery Tour.

All Too Much has several different trumpet and clarinet improvisations over the basic drone of the song and the juba juba beat is similar in fact to that used upon closing bars of I Am the Walrus. This was the first recording we have by the Beatles that lasted longer than 6 minutes. Taking what they used as chant in All You Need Is Love, the idea is extended further with other sorts of guitar feedback and horn improvisations swirling around it. In the Summer of 1968, Paul McCartney would release the seven minute Hey Jude in which he changed chant into a lengthy singalong to great popular success.

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