All You Need is Love – Valentine’s Day with The Beatles

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Well, here we are on the day of hearts, flowers and candy (and indigestion for some).

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this heart-filled day of love than to look at it through vinyl-covered glasses … and Beatles music!

I’m not sure that Valentine’s Day has an official song but I’m going to propose one now.

In fact, one Beatles song in particular would make the perfect soundtrack for Valentine’s Day – “All You Need is Love”. Seriously, can you think of a better song?

Anyway, I thought I’d celebrate this Valentine’s Day by sharing a few of my “All You Need is Love” 45’s and a cool promo CD single that was released by Capitol Records in 1997.

For anyone out there who may be reading this and doesn’t know what a 45 is let me explain.

A 45 is a small record that has two songs, one on each side, and is played at 45 r.p.m. on a turntable (thus the name 45).

They are also known as singles and usually had the hit song (the song played on the radio) on the A-Side and a groovy tune (especially in The Beatles case) on the B-Side.

The 45 record ruled the Top Forty era from the 1950s until it’s demise somewhere in the 1990s. Nowadays you just have digital tracks that are released online and to radio but back in the day you had several nice 45’s of your favorite hit songs and some of them came with fun picture sleeves that held the record.

(Note: the above promo CD single of “All You Need is Love” has a small replica of the original 45 picture sleeve for the US “All You Need is Love” Capitol Records 45.)

Now besides it being Valentine’s Day and all the commercial who-ha that goes with it, I’ve always had a fascination with the song “All You Need is Love” since the early 1970s.

The first single version of “All You Need is Love” that I owned was the 1976 re-release of the 45 that came out in the UK in a green cardboard picture sleeve (see photo above).

There’s something magical to me about Lennon’s vocal performance on this song. It’s hopeful yet non-sentimental. It sounds like Lennon just assumes that the listener understands that truly all you need is love and that’s always been a comforting feeling for me. Plus the music is great and I love the orchestration on the song.

The B-Side of the 45, “Baby, You’re a Rich Man”, is equally beguiling to me as well with it’s thumping bass and psychedelic feel and lyrics. One of my favorite Beatles tunes and I never get tired of hearing it.

So, as usual, I’ve posted photos above of some of my “All You Need is Love” singles with all the labels, pictures sleeves, etc. in all their mono glory.

Of course all the “All You Need is Love” pictured above are in mono. And as I’ve said before mono is the preferred way of hearing The Beatles hits, for me anyway. The stereo mixes of the two songs on the single are good but I prefer the thickness and punch of the 45 versions.

I’d say for this year you should buy your loved one a record – it’s not fattening, it will last for years and its purdy to look at going round and round on a turntable! (Yes, you have reached the record collector’s Twilight Zone!)

Enjoy and have a most Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

TTFN for now. See you on the flip side!




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