For the promotional film, the band used experimental techniques such as reverse effects, jump-cuts and superimposition. The song was the first track the Beatles recorded after completing Revolver and was intended for inclusion on their forthcoming Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Instead, with pressure from their record company and management for new product, the group were forced to issue the single, and then adhered to their philosophy of omitting previously released singles from their albums.
The double A-side peaked at number 2 on the Record Retailer chart, thereby breaking the band's four-year run of chart-topping singles in the UK. Lennon viewed "Strawberry Fields Forever" as his finest work with the Beatles. In , the discarded first version of the song was issued on the outtakes compilation Anthology 2 ; in , a new version was created for the remix album Love. Strawberry Field was the name of a Salvation Army children's home close to John Lennon 's childhood home in Woolton , a suburb of Liverpool.
He could see it from his window … He used to hear the Salvation Army band [playing at the garden party], and he would pull me along, saying, 'Hurry up, Mimi — we're going to be late.
Lennon revised these words to make them more obscure, then wrote the melody and part of the lyrics to the chorus which functioned as a bridge and did not yet include a reference to Strawberry Fields. After returning to England in early November, he added another verse and the mention of Strawberry Fields. A half- bar complicates the metre of the choruses, as does the fact that the vocals begin in the middle of the first bar.
The first verse follows the chorus and is eight bars long. The verse starts with an F major chord, which progresses to G minor, the submediant , serving as a deceptive cadence. According to musicologist Alan Pollack , the deceptive cadence is encountered in the verse, as the leading-tone never resolves into a I chord directly as expected. In the middle of the second chorus, brass is introduced, emphasising an ominous quality in the lyrics.
The song fades back in after a few seconds for what Everett terms a "free-form coda ". George Harrison , who had been travelling in India during the Beatles' lay-off, recalled there being a "more profound ambience" in the band when they reunited to record "Strawberry Fields Forever". Seeing them made me feel normal again. Pepper project — namely, a nostalgic look back at the band members' childhoods in northern England.
After Lennon played the song for the other Beatles on his acoustic guitar, on 24 November, he changed to his Epiphone Casino electric guitar for the recordings. McCartney played Mellotron,  which, following Lennon's lead, the other three Beatles had acquired their own examples of, through Moody Blues keyboardist Mike Pinder.
Take 1 opened with a verse, starting "Living is easy with eyes closed", instead of the chorus, which starts the released version. The first verse also led directly to the second, with no chorus between. Lennon's vocals were automatically double-tracked from the words "Strawberry Fields Forever" through the end of the last verse.
The last verse, beginning "Always, no sometimes", has three-part harmonies, with McCartney and Harrison singing "dreamy background vocals". On 28 November, the band reassembled to try a different arrangement. The second version of the song featured McCartney's Mellotron introduction followed by the chorus. The second take that day was chosen as best and subjected to overdubs,  such as vocal and bass guitar.
Lennon's vocal was recorded with the tape running fast so that when played back at normal speed the tonality would be altered, giving his voice a slurred sound. After recording the second version of the song, Lennon wanted to do something different with it. He asked me if I could write him a new line-up with the strings.
So I wrote a new score with four trumpets and three cellos At the start of the 9 December session, parts of two of the fifteen new takes were edited together into one performance, which was then mixed down to a single track on the four-track master.
With regard to the main piano part, he describes it as the Mellotron's "'piano riff' tape", rather than a genuine instrumental contribution. The session for Martin's brass and cello arrangement took place on 15 December. After reviewing the acetates of the new remake and the previous version, Lennon told Martin that he liked both the "original, lighter" take 7 and "the intense, scored version",  and wanted to combine the two.
On 22 December, Martin and Emerick carried out the difficult task of joining takes 7 and 26 together. During the editing process, the portion towards the end of take 26, before the arrival of the reversed Mellotron flutes and siren-like trumpet blasts, was faded out temporarily, creating a false ending.
On the completed take from 15 December, however, the swarmandal and other sounds were interrupted by the abrupt entrance of the coda's heavy drum and percussion piece. By January , Epstein was under pressure from the Beatles' record company to release a new single by the group. The clip was directed by Peter Goldmann,  a Swedish television director who had drawn inspiration in his work from Lester's style in the Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night.
The clip presented the Beatles' new group image, since all four now sported moustaches,   following Harrison's lead when he left for India in September Instead of a performance of the song, the clip relies on abstract imagery and features reverse film effects, long dissolves , jump-cuts including from day- to night-time, superimposition and extreme close-up shots.
Beautifully and spookily lit … much attention is given to close-ups of The Beatles' faces and facial hair, as if the viewer is invited to contemplate the significance of the newly furry Fabs.
There's an appropriately surreal air about the film … which, when experienced simultaneously with The Beatles' extraordinary new music, is deliciously disorientating. The final scene of The Beatles pouring pots of coloured paint onto the "piano" is oddly shocking, but brilliantly memorable as a statement of iconoclastic artistic intent.
Pepper , music critic Greil Marcus later wrote: "If this extraordinary music was merely a taste of what The Beatles were up to, what would the album be like? The promotional film for "Strawberry Fields Forever" was the more experimental of Goldmann's clips and underlined the Beatles' ties to the avant-garde scene. Among contemporary reviews of the single, Melody Maker said that the combination of musical instruments, studio techniques and vocal effect on "Strawberry Fields Forever" created a "swooping, deep, mystic kaleidoscope of sound", and concluded, "The whole concept shows the Beatles in a new, far-out light.
Quite honestly, I don't really know what to make of it. They have become contemplative, secretive, exclusive and excluded — four mystics with moustaches. In the United States, the single's experimental qualities initiated an upsurge in the ongoing critical discourse on the aesthetics and artistry of pop music, as, centring on the Beatles' work, writers sought to elevate pop in the cultural landscape for the first time.
Wherever they go, the pack follows. And where they have gone in recent months, not even their most ardent supporters would ever have dreamed of.
They have bridged the heretofore impassable gap between rock and classical, mixing elements of Bach, Oriental and electronic music with vintage twang to achieve the most compellingly original sounds ever heard in pop music. Time concluded by saying that the multitude of "dissonances and eerie space-age sounds" on the track were partly the product of altered tape speed and direction, and commented: "This is nothing new to electronic composers, but employing such methods in a pop song is electrifying.
Pepper in June , William Mann of The Times recognised the Beatles as the originators of the vogue for "electronically-manipulated clusters of sound", and he added: "In some records, it's just a generalised effect. But in 'Strawberry Fields', it was poetically and precisely applied.
He rues the single's failure to top the now-official UK chart as "arguably the most disgraceful statistic in chart history". In the June issue of Mojo magazine, Jon Savage included "Strawberry Fields Forever" in his list "Psychedelia: The Greatest Classics" and wrote: "When this first came on radio in early , it sounded like nothing else, with its wracked vocal, out-of-tune brass section and queasy strings.
In Lindsay's recollection: "When the song ended we both just looked at each other. I said, ' Now what the fuck are we gonna do? Brian Wilson , who had been struggling to complete the Beach Boys ' Smile album, first heard "Strawberry Fields Forever" on his car radio  while under the influence of barbiturates.
Maybe it's too late. The song was influential on psychedelic rock  and, in Chris Ingham's description, it established "the standard and style for the entire psychedelic pop movement that would follow". Although the Mellotron had been a feature of Manfred Mann 's late hit single "Semi-Detached Suburban Mr James",  its appearance on "Strawberry Fields Forever" remains the most celebrated use of the instrument on a pop or rock recording.
Walter Everett identifies the song's ending as an example of the Beatles' continued pioneering of the "fade-out—fade-in coda", further to their use of this device on the B-side "Rain". He also says that the single heralded the group's brand of Romanticism as a central tenet of psychedelic rock, which ensured that "The Beatles' vision dominated the entire rock music world.
Further to the band's pioneering use of promotional films since , the clip for the song served as an early example of what became known as a music video. Strawberry Field became a popular visiting place for fans of Lennon and the Beatles as a result of the song. In July , the Salvation Army began raising funds — through the sale of T-shirts and mugs emblazoned with "Nothing is real" and other lines from Lennon's lyrics — to help finance the construction of a new building at Strawberry Field.
The purpose of the building is to help provide job opportunities for young adults with learning difficulties, and to commemorate Lennon, in both an indoor exhibition and a "garden of spiritual reflection". In keeping with the Beatles' usual philosophy that tracks released on a single should not appear on new albums, both "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were left off Sgt.
The stereo version of the Magical Mystery Tour LP contained a 29 December mix of "Strawberry Fields Forever", in which the trumpets and cellos pan abruptly from left to right at the point where takes 7 and 26 are joined. This version appeared on CD in on the two-disc and six-disc 50th-anniversary editions of Sgt.
Pepper , together with a selection of outtakes from the "Strawberry Fields Forever" sessions, including a complete take Bill Coleman from Billboard commented that the remake was "a stroke of genius", adding: "It's one of those records that make you say to yourself 'how come I didn't think of that' An esoteric reading and tasteful production carried by a lazy hip-hop beat. If picked up stateside this could and deserves to be massive!
She said that the track was an "instantly likable cover" on which "Relatively sparse accompaniment, in the form of Pet Shop Boys ' keyboard sounds mixed with that now 'classic' house drum sound, lends a cool flavor to the old Fab Four workhorse. Tomorrow , a band that, along with Pink Floyd and Soft Machine , spearheaded the British psychedelic scene,  drew heavily from the Beatles' work in their February release Tomorrow and included a cover of the song on that album.
Highlighting the line "Living is easy with eyes closed", Gabriel's recording accompanies newsreel footage of British prime minister Neville Chamberlain 's " Peace for our time " declaration after his meeting with Adolf Hitler in Munich in According to Ian MacDonald,  except where noted:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Song by The Beatles. For other uses, see Strawberry Fields.
I was different all my life. The second verse goes, "No one I think is in my tree. Nobody seems to be as hip as me is what I was saying. Therefore, I must be crazy or a genius — "I mean it must be high or low" The reaction when you played "Strawberry Fields [Forever]" to people was weird Featuring backwards cymbals, cascading Indian harp … guitar solos, timpani, bongos, trumpets and cellos, this was the lushest music The Beatles had recorded up to then … From its weird Mellotron opening to its fake drum forward reprise where John's voice could be heard saying "Cranberry sauce", "Strawberry Fields Forever" inaugurated like no other song on earth.
Pepper that are "too persuasive to ignore". These include evocations of the postwar Northern music hall tradition, references to Northern industrial towns and Liverpool schooldays, Lewis Carroll-inspired imagery, the use of brass instrumentation in the style of park bandstand performances such as at Sefton Park ,  and the album cover's flower arrangement akin to a floral clock.
Pepper , with a section of the original warm-up added. Its publisher, Joe Pope, organised the prototype for the official Beatles fan conventions such as Beatlefest with an event held in Boston, Massachusetts in July The History of Rock. Available at Rock's Backpages subscription required. The Beatles, 'Strawberry Fields Forever ' ".
The idea of a double A side came from me and Brian , really. Brian was desperate to recover popularity, and so we wanted to make sure that we had a marvellous seller. What have you got? We could put the two together and make a smashing single.
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section. Another reason for not getting a No. Some charts had split up double A sides in the past, but that practice had stopped by I had over 45s gathered from various sources, mainly in the s. The records were kept without their sleeves in computer card trays so over time their condition deteriorated quite a bit. When I emigrated from England to Australia in I took the records with me.
Last year I gave them all to a charity shop. I was so lucky to have been a teenager during the Beatles era. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website.
With his childhood friends, John Lennon would roam the gardens of Strawberry Fields, and he would especially look forward to a garden party held each summer at the grounds. The song is resonant with the memories of McCartney and Lennon meeting at Penny Lane junction to catch a bus into the city centre.
They created a brand-new sound,A modern guitar style was found. John, Paul, Ge. No other recording artist influenced the young Beatles quite as much as Elvis Pr. Read More. Blog Archive December 0. November 0. October 2 Memorabilia: Eleanor Rigby Grave. Memorabilia: John Lennon's Velvet Jacket. Memorabilia: Blue vinyl White Album. Interview: Pete Best talks drumming, Ham. December 1 Song Facts: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts. Interview: Klaus Voormann visits The Bea. May 1 Allan Williams: A citizen of honour.
April 2 Memorabilia: The Cynthia Lennon drawings.