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38 | Top 100
'A Day In The Life'
The Beatles
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With Lennon’s opening and closing verses book-ending McCartney’s piano led mid-section, A Day in the Life shows how seemingly disparate elements can be fitted together into a cohesive and powerful whole. Lennon was a voracious
The Beatles
Song facts
Composer Lennon/McCartney
Genre Pop
Album Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
Released 1967
assimilator of information from books, newspapers and TV, turning the smallest observations into song ideas. The Daily Mail provided the inspiration for the line about the holes in Blackburn, which was then given a suitably surreal twist, while the death of Guinness heir Tara Browne in a car crash inspired the man who ‘blew his mind out in a car’. Meanwhile the line ‘I’d love to turn you on’ was enough to get the song banned by the BBC.
The apocalyptic string crescendo was McCartney’s idea, influenced by his knowledge of avant garde composers such as Stockhausen and his wish to create what he saw as ‘a happening’. The orchestra was instructed to play every note on their instruments, starting at the lowest and finishing at the highest, over the course of 24 bars – listen closely and you can hear Beatles roadie Mal Evans counting them down in the background.
A Day in The Life marks one of the last flowerings of Lennon and McCartney’s collaborative spirit – henceforth they would generally write alone. There would be many more Fab moments, but few would match this for sheer unbridled power and adventurousness.


George Martin on recording A Day In The Life
George Martin
Beatles producer George Martin reveals how "the boys" created that amazingorchestral crescendo found in the middle of A Day In The Life.

 

Other versions
Barbara Dickson
 Barbara Dickson version was originally recorded for the musical John Paul George Ringo ... & Bert, Willy Russell's musical homage to The Fab Four.

if Beethoven were alive, and not deaf, he would give up music entirely after listening to this.


Mark

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Songwriting tips

Being on stage is nervewracking but part of the process. And, you never know who's watching. More in Performing
Try the stream of consciousness approach. More in Writing Lyrics.
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