It’s All Too Much (Harrison)
Its sound and lyric mostly drug-influenced, George’s It’s All Too Much is about the pressures of everything in everyday life, consuming oneself. Only later after meeting with the Maharishi did George decide that drugs weren’t the answer – rather meditation, yoga, the spiritual completeness.
The song was recorded at De Lane Lea Studios, 129 Kingsway, making it one of only a very few tracks by the Beatles that were not recorded at EMI Studios.
Jorma Kaukonen gets name-dropped
The opening line is often misinterpreted as “to your mother” but is, in fact, “To Jorma”, as in Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane, with whom George had made friends with recently.
“It’s All Too Much was written in a childlike manner from realizations that appeared during and after some LSD experiences and which were later confirmed in meditation.” – George Harrison
“I just wanted to write a rock ‘n’ roll song about the whole psychedelic thing of the time. Because you’d trip out, you see, on all this stuff, and then – whoops! – you’d just be back having your evening cup of tea! ‘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 that Prince of Denmark bit was played. And Paul and John just came up with and sang that lyric of ‘your eyes of blue’.” – George Harrison
“John and Paul’s backing, meanwhile, started to waver a little, the chanted ‘too much’ eventually becoming ‘tuba’ and then ‘Cuba.’ It was that sort of a song.” – Mark Lewisohn, from The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions
- George Harrison – lead vocal, Hammond organ, lead guitar, backing vocal, handclaps
- John Lennon – harmony vocal, lead guitar, handclaps
- Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass guitar, cowbell, handclaps
- Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine
- David Mason – trumpets
- Paul Harvey – bass clarinet
- Uncredited session musicians – 3 trumpets