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All You Need Is Love

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“All You Need Is Love”
“All You Need Is Love” cover
Single by The Beatles
B-side "Baby, You're a Rich Man"
Released 7 July 1967 (UK)
17 July 1967 (US)
Format 7"
Recorded Olympic Studios: 14 June 1967
Genre Psychedelic rock / Experimental rock
Length 3:47
Label Parlophone (UK)
Capitol (U.S.)
Writer(s) Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
The Beatles singles chronology
"Strawberry Fields Forever" / "Penny Lane"
"All You Need Is Love" / "Baby, You're a Rich Man"
"Hello, Goodbye" /
"I Am The Walrus"

'All You Need Is Love' was perfect if you're going to say any message. That's a fine and wonderful message to say, really. So we just put the track down and the we did the vocal. So we've still got mine, ready to do for the next one, which is of a similar nature in its simplicity, but with a different message.

—Paul McCartney, 1967

We just put a track down, because I knew the chords. I played a harpsichord and George played a violin, because we felt like doing it like that and Paul played a double bass. They can't play them, so we got some nice noises coming out and then you can hear it going on, because it sounded like an orchestra, but it's just those two playing the violin. So then we thought, 'Ah well, we'll have some more orchestra around this little three-piece with a drum.' There was no conception about how it should sound like at the end until we did it that day. Until the rehearsal, it still sounded a bit strange then.

—John Lennon, 1967

When it came to the end of their fade-away as the song closed, I asked them, 'How do you want to get out of it?' 'Write absolutely anything you like, George,' they said. 'Put together any tunes you fancy, and just play it out like that.'

—George Martin, 1967

If you notice at the end of 'All You Need Is Love,' there's 'Greensleeves' and "In The Mood' and all sorts of different tunes coming over the end. I know Paul just thought of it at the time and then just started singing 'She Loves You.'

—George Harrison, 1967

George Martin always has something to do with it, but sometimes more than others. For instance, he wrote the end of 'All You Need Is Love' and got into trouble because the 'In The Mood' bit was copyrighted. It was a hurried session and we said [to Martin], 'There's the end, we want it to go on and on.' Actually, what he wrote was much more disjointed, so when we put all the bits together, we said, 'Could we have "Greensleeves" right on top of that little Bach thing?' And on top of that, we had the 'In The Mood' bit. Sometimes, George [Martin] works with us, and sometimes against us. But he always looks after us. I don't think he does as much as people think. He sometimes does all the arrangement and we just change them.

—Paul McCartney, 1967

I think if you get down to basics, whatever the problem is, it's usually to do with love. So I think 'All You Need is Love' is a true statement. I'm not saying, 'All you have to do is...' because 'All You Need' came out in the Flower Power Generation time. It doesn't mean that all you have to do is put on a phoney smile or wear a flower dress and it's gonna be alright. Love is not just something that you stick on posters or stick on the back of your car, or on the back of your jacket or on a badge. I'm talking about real love, so I still believe that. Love is appreciation of other people and allowing them to be. Love is allowing somebody to be themselves and that's what we do need.

—John Lennon, 1971

We had been told we'd be seen recording it by the whole world at the same time. So we had one message for the world-- Love. We need more love in the world.

—Paul McCartney, 1967

All You Need Is Love was John's song. I threw in a few ideas, as did other members of the group, but it was largely ad libs like singing "She Loves You" or "Greensleeves" or silly little things like that at the end, and we made those up on the spot.

—Paul McCartney, 1994


Watch the live broadcast from Olympic Studios (June 14, 1967):

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