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Strawberry Fields Forever


  • This was the first song recorded for the historic Sgt. Pepper's sessions, but was, along with "Penny Lane," left off the final album. This was standard Beatles practice at the time, done in order to give fans more to buy, but producer George Martin has always counted leaving these two songs off as his greatest regret from the Beatles days.
  • It was rumored for many years by "Paul Is Dead" fanatics that John says "I buried Paul" at the very end of SFF, just before the last fade-out (at 3:57 and again at 4:03). Unearthed copies of take 26 prove, however, that he actually says "cranberry sauce," as he had always claimed, followed by a direction to his drummer, who was flailing away like mad: "All right, calm down, Ringo, calm down."
  • There's also an odd arrhythmic buzzing sound in the beginning of the song (at about fifteen seconds in, after the first "Let me take you down") that was rumoured to be morse code spelling out the initials "J.L." (for John Lennon). The sound is actually an anomaly produced by holding down the mellotron keys. (If it were morse code, as experts have pointed out, it would spell "KAKTTEA.")
  • This double a-side was the first Beatles single not to go to Number One in the UK, stalling out behind Englebert Humperdinck's "Release Me." (It did, however, top Melody Maker's chart.)
  • This is the first UK Beatles 45 to feature a unique Beatles sleeve, one of only two to appear in that country. (The other is for "Let It Be".)
  • On January 31, 1967, the Beatles shot a promotional video for "Strawberry Fields Forever" in Knole Park, located near Sevenoaks in Kent. Featuring several clever visual gimmicks to match the audio experimentation in the song, it is often regarded as the first "conceptual" video.
  • This song ended the friendly creative rivalry existing for years between the group and the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson. The Rubber Soul album inspired the Boys' Pet Sounds, which in turn inspired the Beatles' follow-up, Revolver, but after hearing this single, Wilson shelved plans for his masterpiece, Smile, figuring that the Beatles had already bested him.
  • Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is rumored to have purchased the Mellotron used on this recording.
  • During his life and in his will, Lennon donated money to the real Strawberry Field (no s) orphanage, a tradition carried on by his widow, Yoko Ono, after his death. However, foster homes and other programs have rendered orphanages largely obsolete, and John's beloved childhood retreat was closed for good in 2005.
  • After his shocking and violent death, John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono created Strawberry Fields, a section of New York City's Central Park, as a place for fans to gather, mourn, and celebrate Lennon and his ideals. It is a major mecca for Lennon fans, and is the site of official mourning every December 8 (the day of his murder).
Covered by: John Bayless, The Bee Gees, The Bobs, Candy Flip, Eugene Chadbourne, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Sandy Farina, Ben Harper, Richie Havens, Laurence Juber, David Lanz, Cyndi Lauper, Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, R. Stevie Moore, Mother's Finest, Odetta, Andy Partridge, Jorge Rico, Todd Rundgren, The Shadows, Tomorrow, The Ventures, Cassandra Wilson
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