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'Strawberry Fields Forever'
The Beatles
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One of the defining characteristics of British psychedelia was a regression to childhood, and nowhere is this better illustrated than in Strawberry Fields Forever. John Lennon wrote the initial version on acoustic guitar while filming the Richard Lester film
The Beatles
Song facts
Composer Lennon/McCartney
Genre Pop
Album Magical Mystery Tour
Year of release 1967
UK Chart Position 2
How I Won The War in Spain during 1966. His ego battered by a steady diet of LSD, the lyrics drifted through various images of lost innocence, shattered reality and childhood alienation (“No-one I think is in my tree…”).
It was this initial version that Lennon played to George Martin on his return to London. Once back in the creative crucible of Abbey Road, however, it gradually took on its more familiar form. The finished version is actually a composite of various takes, vari-speeded to match the tempos, and furnished with layers of overdubs, including George Martin’s poignant brass and string arrangements.
The swooning melody and stop/start lyrics reinforce the atmosphere of dreamy reverie, while touches such as George Harrison’s Swordmandel (an Indian string instrument) and Eastern flavoured modal guitar licks enhance the exotic flavour.
Strawberry Fields Forever, along with Penny Lane, was supposed to form the basis of a concept album about the group’s Liverpool childhood. That idea gradually gave way to Sgt. Pepper, but this song remains one of The Beatle’s finest moments and possibly one of the greatest psychedelic singles ever released.


George Martin on Strawberry Fields Forever
George Martin
George Martin talks about recording Strawberry Fields Forever - "I regard Strawberry Fields as a very great song and probably one of the best records ever made".

 

Other versions
Tomorrow
 UK band Tomorrow recorded a version of John Lennon's classic piece of psychedelic pop for their one and only album Tomorrow.


It could be many things ...a lullaby to my daughter, a soundtrack to an altered state, an insight into Lennon's mood


Jerry

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Songwriting tips

Laying some ground rules can help make collaborating fun and create great songs. More in Working With Others
If you usually 'la la la' along to a strummed guitar, improvising words or vowel sounds can be very helpful. More in Lyrics
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