It was not, as some Beatles fans might remember, an easy transition right away. Some of their fans, it turned out, were fickle, easily swayed by gossip as the latest TV trends. Here, they debuted their new psychedelic look, and in the singles they demonstrated the new direction their music would go. Thematically, both songs are nostalgic trips through childhood, with Lennon taking a mystical, psych-rock approach and McCartney diving headlong into his sentimental music hall ambitions. This was a version approaching proto-metal.
The Story of Strawberry Fields Forever
It was released on 13 February as a double A-side single with " Penny Lane ". It represented a departure from the group's previous singles and a novel listening experience for the contemporary pop audience. While the song initially divided and confused music critics and the group's fans, it proved highly influential on the emerging psychedelic genre. Its accompanying promotional film is similarly recognised as a pioneering work in the medium of music video. Lennon based the song on his childhood memories of playing in the garden of Strawberry Field , a Salvation Army children's home in Liverpool. Starting in November , the band spent 45 hours in the studio, spread over five weeks, creating three versions of the track. The final recording combined two of those versions, which were entirely different in tempo , mood and musical key.
Strawberry Field is a Salvation Army property and visitor attraction in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton. It operated as a children's home between and The house and grounds had originally been built as a private residence in the Victorian era , before being acquired by the Salvation Army in the s. The house was demolished in due to structural problems and replaced with purpose-built units. After being closed as a children's home, the site has continued to be used by the Salvation Army for other purposes. The location gained worldwide fame following the release of the Beatles ' single " Strawberry Fields Forever ". The song's writer, John Lennon , had grown up nearby and played in the grounds of the home as a child. In time, the old red-painted entrance gates on Beaconsfield Road became a place of pilgrimage for Beatles fans. In , Strawberry Field was opened to the public for the first time, with an exhibition on its history, cafe, and shop, alongside a training centre for young people with special educational needs.
With long waits between shooting scenes, Lennon had plenty of time to write. When he was a baby, his banjo-playing father Alf was rarely home and often away at sea as a merchant. Later, biographers would write that he had a hard time making friends. The history of Strawberry Field dates back to , when the property was owned by a wealthy English ship owner named George Warren. In , another wealthy ship magnate named Alexander C. Mitchell purchased the mansion and property. On July 7, , the home was opened as a orphanage for up to forty girls. Lennon also often alluded to how Strawberry Field was representative of his childhood, on the outside foreboding but once he climbed over that wall, full of wildflowers and secretive gardens. When John Lennon brought the song back to the band in November of , it was met with awe. It is widely thought of as the most complicated recording the Beatles ever did.