25 June 1967: “All You Need Is Love”, the Beatles’ anthem of peace, was beamed to the World via a global television broadcast from the EMI studios in London.
The sheer logistical immensity of the broadcast, coupled with the over-loaded production, gave the song a certain cachet, although it is essentially a condescending, lumpen hymn to an utopian Neverland, with lyrics that are the purest dross. Yet it lingers, like a piece of old furniture one intends to put out in the hard rubbish but never does, which says something for its unabashed sincerity and heartfelt elements.
Perhaps the better way to sell this “old Northern English folk song” is with a smile and a snarl, as Elvis Costello did at Live Aid on 13 July 1985:
In the final analysis, all the philosophers and revolutionaries and leaders in the world have never come up with a remedy better that this.