The Paul McCartney Project

Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields Forever

By The Beatles7" Single• Part of the collection “The Beatles • Singles

Timeline See what happened in February 1967
UK release date:
Feb 17, 1967
US release date:
Feb 13, 1967
Sessions This album has been recorded during the following sessions

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Track list

Disc 1


1.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Written by Lennon - McCartney

4:11 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Bongos, Electric guitar, Mellotron, Timpani
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Percussion
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Bongos, Mellotron, Piano, Vocals
George Harrison:
Electric guitar, Maracas, Svarmandal, Timpani
George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Mal Evans:
Tambourine
Derek Simpson:
Cello
Norman Jones:
Cello
Neil Aspinall:
Guiro
Terry Doran:
Maracas
Tony Fisher:
Trumpet
Greg Bowen:
Trumpet
Derek Watkins:
Trumpet
Stanley Roderick:
Trumpet
John Hall:
Cello

Session Recording:
Nov 29, 1966
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Dec 08, 1966
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
29 Nov 1966 and 8, 9, 15, 21 Dec 1966
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Dec 22, 1966
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


2.

Penny Lane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

2:58 • Studio versionB • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmonium, Percussion, Piano, Tambourine, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Handbell
John Lennon:
Backing vocals, Congas, Guitar, Handclaps, Piano
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Guitar
George Martin:
Piano, Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
David Mason:
Flugelhorn, Trumpets
Ray Swinfield:
Flutes, Piccolos
P Goody:
Flutes, Piccolos
Manny Winters:
Flutes, Piccolos
Dennis Walton:
Flutes, Piccolos
Leon Calvert:
Flugelhorn, Trumpets
Freddy Clayton:
Flugelhorn, Trumpets
Bert Courtley:
Flugelhorn, Trumpets
Duncan Campbell:
Flugelhorn, Trumpets
Dick Morgan:
Cor anglais, Oboes
Mike Winfield:
Cor anglais, Oboes
Frank Clarke:
Double bass

Session Recording:
Dec 29, 1966
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
30 Dec 1966 and 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12 Jan 1967
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jan 25, 1967
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

About

From Beatles Bible:

A key date in The Beatles’ career came with the UK release of perhaps their finest single of all, the double a-side Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever.

Although heralded upon its release as a major advance for the group – and, indeed, for Western music – the single failed to reach number one in the UK, the first time this had occurred since Love Me Do in 1962.

Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever entered the charts on 23 February 1967, and climbed to number two. It was held off by Engelbert Humperdinck’s Release Me, and spent 11 weeks on the charts.

The failure to reach the top was because many chart compilers counted the double a-side as two individual releases; it did, in fact, outsell Release Me by nearly two to one. […]

From RollingStone, May 26, 2017:

[…] Upon its release on February 17th, 1967, the double-A-sided “Penny Lane”/”Strawberry Fields Forever” became the first Beatles single since 1962’s “Love Me Do” that failed to reach Number One in the United Kingdom. Adding insult to injury, it was blocked from the top spot by Engelbert Humperdinck’s overblown cover of the Forties chestnut “Release Me.” Martin believed the chart success was hampered by the fact that record compilers counted the two sides as individual entries, thus splitting the sales. In fact, the Beatles’ release outsold Humperdinck’s by nearly double. Still, Martin remained guilt-ridden for his part in breaking the so-called “roll” of Number Ones. “We would have sold far more and got higher up in the charts if we had issued one of those [songs] with, say, ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ on the back,” he later lamented. […]

From paulmccartney.com, May 25, 2017:

PMc: So another question we quite often see is, in hindsight, do you wish ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Strawberry Fields’ had been included on the album? And if so, where would you have placed them?

PM: No, I was happy. So we won’t even get into placing them! I was happy that it was the precursor to ‘Sgt. Pepper’. And the thing was, you know, we always liked to release things fresh. We had just made those tracks, so the thought of waiting until we had completed the whole album would not have appealed to us. You know, we liked that as soon as it’s made, at the nearest point to the actual making of the song and the record, we would like to put it out. So I was glad how we did it and it was like a fanfare, that single. Another thing we liked about it was it was simple value for money. You really got two A-sides. But it kind of heralded what was to come.

Last updated on June 4, 2017


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