Sunday, July 12, 2015

Composing Tape 2 For "Stawberry Fields Forever"

Sometime probably in early to mid November of 1966, John Lennon made a cassette with experimental instrumentation - mainly electric guitar and mellotron and vocals - for arrangement purposes and composing purposes related to the song "Strawberry Fields Forever" which would be the first song recorded for the new (at the time) Beatles LP sessions at Abbey Road. It was eventually released on a single with "Penny Lane" and issued on LP until the end of 1967 when it was included on the North American version of "Magical Mystery Tour".
These takes were likely home recordings from "Kenwood" - John Lennon's home in Weybridge near London, England.
The first seven takes consist of John playing both guitar and lead vocals while strumming the guitar in various ways while searching for words to fill out the melody. There is another set of takes that have John overdubbing mellotron over takes 3 to 7.
Most of these demos could be heard on the "Lost Lennon Tapes" radio series in the late 1980s and were copied onto various volumes of the "Lost Lennon Tapes" bootleg vinyl LP series (namely, volumes one, three and nine). Take 6 and an edit of take 7 were commercially issued on the Beatles Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2" albums. You can also find the complete demos on the bootleg CD "It's Not Too Bad".
I've included a part of the demoes listed at takes 2 to 7 from the youtube site:

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