One of The Beatles most iconic songs and one with a beautiful and unique backstory. Strawberry Fields Forever was written by John Lennon and was originally intended to be one of the lead tracks on Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Strawberry Fields, as anyone reading this will know, didn't appear on the album and was later released as a double A-side with Paul McCartney's beautiful Penny Lane.
Strawberry Fields proved to be massively influentuial on the emerging psychedelic rock genre of the 1960s, including bands like Pink Floyd, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane.
What is Strawberry Fields About?
Lennon drew inspiration for the song from his own childhood memories of playing in the garden of Strawberry Field, a children's home run by the Salvation Army in Liverpool not far from Woolton where John grew up. Although the song refers to the actual place, The Beatles' producer George Martin described it as a “hazy, impressionistic dreamworld”. Certainly somewhere I'd be happy to be...
When was Strawberry Fields Recorded?
Towards the end of 1966, The Beatles spent a number of days in the studio recording the various parts of the song, including the iconic Melatron used in the intro. Three versions were created and two of those were combined to create the final, beautiful Strawberry Fields Forever. Those two versions were in a slightly different tempo and key to one another and so it fell to The Beatles' stellar audio engineers to work their musical magic and create the ultimate final version.
Covers of Strawberry Fields Forever
There aren't a lot of covers of the song, but there have been a few over the years. The most recent well known cover was in the 90's, by Candy Flip, who had a no. 3 hit with the song in 1990.
The Beatles have always been a huge influence in my life and on my music and their psychedelic rock influences are evident in a number of Indigo Daydream songs.
I started out by listening to the song on repeat for several days and really listening to every word and note. It's funny, you think you know the words to a song until you do this and realise you only actually knew the chorus and first verse!
I first came up with an acoustic finger picked version (that I'll probably publish on Instgram at some point). I then used this version as the foundation for recording the various instrument parts to the song. I play piano, but it took a little while to learn the famous Melatron intro and not having a Melatron lying around in my studio, I turned to technology and found an amazing synthesised version, then added delays and reverb to create a psychedlic, dreamlike sound.
I've been listening to a lot of Smashing Pumpkins and Slowdive lately and so I wanted to bring some of that kind of sound into it. I also really wanted to have a clear demarcation between the verses and the chorus so people could really hear Lennon's beautiful lyrics.
My favourite line in the song is "No one I think is in my tree." I think we all feel a bit like that sometimes. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my cover version of Strawberry Fields. It will be released everywhere on May 26th in support of the Little Free Trees Project.