Today’s music video is Penny Lane and the song is performed here by the English super group The Beatles.
This video was posted to You Tube by TheBeatlesVEVO
It’s so hard to believe that this song is fifty years old this Month, originally released in February of 1967.
A year earlier, in 1966, The Beatles had released the Revolver album, and, something that began with the earlier album Rubber Soul, The Beatles had stopped playing their most recent songs for live concerts as , again starting with Rubber Soul, the songs from these latest albums were all done in the studio with effects that could not be reproduced during live performances. After the release of Revolver, the band decided not to tour any more, as their concerts had become chaotic, and loud screaming matches from the fans, and, in the main, the band could not hear what they were actually playing. This was also a decision that involved the band wanting to experiment more with their music, something that could only be done in the studio, and not able to be reproduced on stage at a live concert.
After one final, and not very successful tour, the band decided that was it for touring and live concerts, and they all had a holiday prior to going to the studio to start work on their next album.
That album was to become what is undoubtedly the album that changed music history, and is arguably the best album ever released, that fabulous Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
The recording Company, and the band’s manager were getting itchy that nothing new had been released by the band in Months, and knowing what had now become a very fickle market, the band were pressed for something new, so the public would not forget the band or think they had retired, as if that would have ever happened.
The band was in the process for getting the songs down in the studio, and their producer George Martin said that they had two songs ready, Strawberry Fields Forever, and Penny Lane, the first songs actually recorded for this new album. He was persuaded to release both of these songs on a Double A Sided Single, because the album was still a way off into the future.
The band agreed, and, as expected, the pair of songs shot up the charts, new music from a band who was extending the boundaries of music with every song they produced.
While the record was released in the UK first, in early February of 1967, it arrived here in Australia around six or so weeks later, as was the case with virtually every song which was a hit in the UK at that time. On its release here in Australia, it took three weeks to reach Number One on the National Charts, not just the one song, but both of them, and they received pretty constant airplay on radio at that time. Both songs stayed at Number One for Five weeks, and then fell to Number Two for a further five weeks. They stayed in the Charts for almost 20 weeks.
Not long after that, the album, Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band was released and the World took a breath. Nothing like this had ever been released before. It was rumoured at the time that some of the biggest bands in modern popular music took a pause, and said that anything they brought out in the future would be wasted, as this was supposedly the pinnacle of modern popular music at that time.
Inexplicably, The Beatles producer George Martin made the decision to leave Penny Lane off this amazing album, and later, he said that this was perhaps his one big regret when it came to his handling of the music from this extraordinary band.
While both songs were attributed to Lennon/McCartney, Strawberry Fields was mainly written by John Lennon, and Penny Lane was mainly written by Paul McCartney.
Producer George Martin said that both songs were the epitome of the work done by The Beatles at that time.
The instrument mainly associated with this song is a Piccolo Trumpet, the smallest of the Trumpet class of instruments. The solo for this song was done by a session musician called David Mason, and he was paid the princely sum of 27 Pounds and ten Shillings for his work. George Martin said that this was perhaps the first time this instrument had been played on a rock recording, and that the unique sound produced then set the standard for what was to come later in rock music.
The video clip accompanying this song is the original clip done for TV at the time, also a first, as this was one of the first time a video clip of this nature was brought out.
Fifty years on, this song still stands the test of time, as perhaps still one of the best songs the band produced.