A treasury and a place to meet people of all ages with various interests from all over the World
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1] 2

Author Topic: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.  (Read 3154 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Kevin

  • That Means a Lot
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 5432
Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« on: February 15, 2010, 10:48:55 AM »

Back in the 70's when us Beatle fans still believed in Raymond Jones and The Beatles smoking dope in Buckingham Palace, this duo was often touted as the Greatest Single In The History Of Pop, a title made all the more glorious by it famously not hitting number one in the UK. And by Beatle standards it didn't sell particularly well, but then none of the preceeding two singles did either. Seems the great British public wasn't too keen on all this childhood whimsy. Not too sure it continues to hold that title now though.
I think like the singles before it Penny Lane is a fantasticly constructed piece of music. But again something about it leaves me a little cold. I have no trouble recognising it's songwriting and production perfection, but there's nothing to connect with in it. But that's a problem I have with a lot of McCartneys work. Coldly clever best sums it up for me.
SFF is a great song but I think it was a mistake to have it as a A side. It's not immediate enough to be played on the radio - I'm not sure it would Pass The Old Grey Whistle Test. Great songs don't always make great singles. Great production work by Martin, especially the splicing. And great simple, evocative lyrics by Lennon.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 11:51:30 AM by Kevin »
Logged
don't follow leaders

I_Will

  • A Thousand Pages
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 1838
  • "Doesn't the blood rush to your stomach?"
    • My Beatles Tumblr!
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2010, 02:57:16 PM »

Most people cite both of these songs in their top Beatles songs, but I don't put EITHER that high. I appreciate what both of the songs stand for, and what they did for music, but I'm not personally crazy about either of them. When it comes to comparing the two, it really depends on what mood I'm in.
Logged

The name's Emily :)

tkitna

  • That Means a Lot
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 6873
  • I'm a Moondog,,,,,are you?
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2010, 04:45:23 PM »

'Penny Lane' has gotten better with age for me. When I was younger, it was always a song I could take or leave. I like the song a lot now though and its one of those that leaves a smile on my face when I hear it. Its an upbeat, happy song for me. I love the bass line how it pulls the song along. All in all, its pretty cool pop tune with a fair touch of psychedelia added on. I like it.

'Strawberry Fields' has the exact opposite effect on me. When I was younger, I liked the song because everybody was suppossed to like it. I truly think I fooled myself into liking the song. Now, I dont care for it at all. It just sounds depressing, dragging, and dull to me (like a lot of Lennons stuff unfortunately). The double tracked drums with the timpani is pretty cool, but the rest leaves me cold. John wanted to take us on a trip with this song, but its a voyage I never wanted to go on in the first place. This song is always skipped when listening to the cd or turned off if it comes on the radio.

emmi_luvs_beatles

  • A Thousand Pages
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 2914
  • I'm an Expert.
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2010, 04:48:52 PM »

Wow, well I really like both songs. SFF is one of the songs that actually got me to like The Bealtes. And Penny Lane is to me, a great McCartney song. But I guess we don't all have the same opinions, nor do we need to.
Logged

The Swine

  • Getting Better
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 729
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 09:20:35 AM »

its been discussed much that it shouldnt have been a double a side. pl is the better single me thinks and should have had 64 on the back. but probably johns ego was too big to give paul the a and b side of a single.
Logged
THE INTERNET IS NOT A PLACE FOR 13 YEAR OLDS

Kevin

  • That Means a Lot
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 5432
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 09:47:28 AM »

its been discussed much that it shouldnt have been a double a side. pl is the better single me thinks and should have had 64 on the back. but probably johns ego was too big to give paul the a and b side of a single.

Again, as per our earlier conversations, I don't think neither John or Paul had any real say in the matter. The decision to release them as singles, let alone as double A sides, was George Martin's and Brian Epstein's, as it always had been.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 12:59:59 PM by Kevin »
Logged
don't follow leaders

Mairi

  • That Means a Lot
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 7882
  • The owls are not what they seem
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 06:07:22 PM »

Penny Lane, to me, is really representative of the Beatles. It's got this very upbeat melody and it's very well produced. It's also a bit melancholy in a way though, because it's about looking back to a time that you cannot return to. It's one of the first Beatles songs that I ever really loved.

As for Strawberry Fields, I recognize that it is a well-written song but I never really loved it the way other people do. It kinda strikes me as one of those songs that non-fans love because it's so psychedelic and ~deep~. Still good though.
Logged
I am posting on an internet forum, therefore my opinion is fact.

stevie

  • Getting Better
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 330
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2010, 12:10:05 AM »

Back in 1995, for some reason, 'Penny Lane' became my favorite beatle song! After hearing it for years, I suddenly realised how good it was.
My housemates at the time suffered stoicly; I would come home drunk on weekends and play it non stop on the stereo!!

Backed with SFF, this is justifiably the best single released in musical histroy(IHMO). And I would rank 'Penny Lane' as the best SONG of all time (again, IHMO).
It just seems to be the complete Beatle track. Maybe the subject matter gives it that nostalgic feel. It's funny too, as I never feel George is a part of it, even though he's obviously playing something on it. You hear Paul's singing and wonderful bass, John's backups, Ringo's beautiful beat, but George? It always strikes me as odd.

In 1997, I did the Magical Mystery Tour of Liverpool. When the bus drove down Penny Lane, and they played this song...i was crying.
Funnily enough, the date I did the tour was July 6, 1997. So we went past the Woolton church, exactly 40 years to the day John and Paul met.
Logged

The Swine

  • Getting Better
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 729
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2010, 03:05:12 PM »

Again, as per our earlier conversations, I don't think neither John or Paul had any real say in the matter. The decision to release them as singles, let alone as double A sides, was George Martin's and Brian Epstein's, as it always had been.


ok. sorry sir.
Logged
THE INTERNET IS NOT A PLACE FOR 13 YEAR OLDS

Jane

  • A Thousand Pages
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3760
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2010, 08:23:35 PM »

Both songs are great. But I prefer SF and love it more. To me it is very emotional, with a mysteriously personal touch and strangely tangible. It is as if I could really touch it. It makes wonders!
Logged

Kevin

  • That Means a Lot
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 5432
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2010, 09:37:00 AM »

Logged
don't follow leaders

Bobber

  • Administrator
  • Sun King
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13490
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2010, 08:54:53 AM »

It's interesting to see that Beatlesfans usually complain that 'this best single ever' did not get to #1. Obviously, looking at the sales scales, Beatlesfans of 1967 didn't think it was the best single ever. Other Beatles singles sold much better. Penny Lane is singlewise the better choice and a great song. SFF used to be my favourite for a long long time, but I've grown a bit tired of it. Either way I think it shouldn't have been a double a-side at all.
Logged

maywitch

  • A Beginning
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 79
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2010, 09:30:08 PM »

Again, as per our earlier conversations, I don't think neither John or Paul had any real say in the matter. The decision to release them as singles, let alone as double A sides, was George Martin's and Brian Epstein's, as it always had been.


They didn't have the final say but the whole reason for the "double a side" thing in the first place was basically because they were trying to placate John's ego after wanting to choose I think it was "We Can Work It Out" for the single instead of "Daytripper", because he'd been pushing "Daytripper".  They did take his ego into account in how they did these things sometimes.

However in the case of PL/SF I think it was mainly because those were the songs that seemed to go best together at the time.  They have a similar theme between them(and it's funny but there is an interview earlier in 1966, wish I could remember exactly where it was, where Paul talks about wanting to do a song about the places in Liverpool he grew up around and he specifically mentions Penny Lane, so he obviously had been thinking about doing it for a while). 
Logged

Almighty Doer of Stuff

  • A Beginning
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 144
    • The Almighty Website of Stuff
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2010, 10:38:24 PM »

I like the combination. Even if one isn't as good as the other (and I'm not saying that's the case), they still go well together. It's sort of like a concept album, except it's a concept single. Not only are they about similar themes, but they're also perfect counterpoints to each other. It's sort of a tantalizing taste of the album that was about to come after it: Both discs are extremely psychedelic and experimental, and the Sgt. Pepper album is a sort of expanded version of the single, where each song is a strong counterpoint in one way or another to the songs before and after it.

Basically, I think the people who say PL/SFF is the best single ever are the same people who say Sgt. Pepper is the best Beatles album. If you like that sort of high-concept, carefully-planned-to-fit-together-perfectly music experience sort of thing, then that's probably the case. If that's what you want, there's no better Beatles album than Sgt. Pepper, and likewise, there's no better Beatles single (or anyone's single, probably; I can't think of another like it) than PL/SFF.
Logged
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster - ARRRGH! Join the realest, most logical, and TASTIEST religion around!

The Almighty Website of Stuff - My personal website, with various artistic, musical, and other endeavors.

Kevin

  • That Means a Lot
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 5432
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2010, 09:20:26 AM »

I deleted a post here. I completely missed Maywitch's point.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 10:21:33 AM by Kevin »
Logged
don't follow leaders

nyfan(41)

  • Getting Better
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 669
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2010, 02:46:17 AM »

two great songs !
penny lane feels so good to hear. i especially like the bassline
this song feels so good i actually believe it could cure someone of an illness ! !
.
the thing is though - this song is basically a tin pan alley type "ditty". probably the kind of music paul was exposed to by his dad.
it's 'old timey' - though well produced and masterfully executed
.
.
strawberry fields is just more original.
in its lyrics , its melody and instrumentation, the tone of voice of the lead vocal . .the way the song changes as it goes on . .
-plus it just sounds more personal and naked/raw - like youre reading a really creative person's diary uncensored
.
penny lane is kind of like a feelgood hallmark card by comparison.

it should be noted that the opening keys in SFF that define the final version were played by and composed by paul
.
. . . and oh yeah, ringos drumming is WAY better on SFF ! !
--------------------------
as far as the double a side - that just helped to sell it because it made people feel like they were getting more for their money . . which they were ! :)
Logged

Kevin

  • That Means a Lot
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 5432
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2010, 09:29:43 AM »


as far as the double a side - that just helped to sell it because it made people feel like they were getting more for their money . . which they were ! :)

But it didn't. I know chart positions arent true indicators of units shifted, but the average number of weeks spent at #1 by the 14 chart toppers of 1967 was 3.78. The Beatles were less than average at 3 with PL/SFF.
George Martin believed double A siding was a huge mistake as it split airplay. I personally can't see how anything is gained.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 09:31:38 AM by Kevin »
Logged
don't follow leaders

nyfan(41)

  • Getting Better
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 669
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2010, 11:28:24 AM »

oh wow i didn't know that
but can it be said that 'double a side' is almost a promotional gimick? i mean it's just a letter written on the record label - - kind of a "our singles go to eleven"  ha2ha
.
.
also, can't the success of the pl/sff single be measured by the fact that it 'set the stage' for the sgt pepper album and may have contributed to pepper's good reception??
Logged

Kevin

  • That Means a Lot
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 5432
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2010, 11:50:18 AM »

oh wow i didn't know that
but can it be said that 'double a side' is almost a promotional gimick? i mean it's just a letter written on the record label - - kind of a "our singles go to eleven"  ha2ha
.
.
also, can't the success of the pl/sff single be measured by the fact that it 'set the stage' for the sgt pepper album and may have contributed to pepper's good reception??

Good points. I don't know how it worked. Did radio stations play both songs next to each other (I doubt it) or divide airplay equally between them? If a station thought, for instance, that SFF wasn't suitable for their audience would they ignore it completely in favour of Penny Lane? Either way I can only see it as a burden to sales, and as a gimmick (which in a way I thiink you're right) I can only see it as a bad one. Seems a silly pretence to me.
None of The Beatle double A sides formed particulally well (in the Beatles context.) Except WCWIO/Day Tripper. But most folk seem to regard WCWIO as a defacto A side?

This from Wiki:
A "double A-side" is a single which has two featured songs. This practice was introduced by The Beatles in 1965 for their single "Day Tripper" which appeared on the same single with "We Can Work It Out," as the band and their label, Parlophone Records, found both songs to be equally marketable, and decided not to relegate one to B-side status.[citation needed] Following "We Can Work It Out" b/w "Day Tripper," the Beatles released a number of other double A-sided singles, namely "Yellow Submarine" b/w "Eleanor Rigby", "Strawberry Fields Forever" b/w "Penny Lane", and "Come Together" b/w "Something."

Some singles have also been designated double A-sides in retrospect, such as Elvis Presley's 1956 "Don't Be Cruel" which appeared on the same single with "Hound Dog"; this was done in retrospect because both sides became chart hits independently of one another. In fact[citation needed], "Hound Dog" was the B-side of the single as originally released.

Queen released We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions as a double A-side in 1977 in the US (not in the UK) and then Fat Bottomed Girls/Bicycle Race in 1978. Their earlier double A-side, Killer Queen/Flick Of The Wrist, in 1974, saw Flick Of The Wrist fail to chart despite Killer Queen reaching #2 on the UK charts.

Oasis' song "Half The World Away" was originally a B-side to "Whatever", but later featured on their Greatest Hits collection Stop The Clocks .

« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 12:36:38 PM by Kevin »
Logged
don't follow leaders

peterbell1

  • Getting Better
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 690
Re: Singles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields.
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2010, 04:16:03 PM »

The chart situations were different in the UK and the US in the 60s (not sure if the US is still the same today) - in the UK a single only got one entry in the chart, whereas both sides of a single were given chart placings in the US. Presumably this must have affected the chart placings of double A-side singles in the US? I assume that normally most people would have bought a record based on the A-side and so the A-side would have had the highest chart placing, but with a double A-side the sales would have been split more evenly between the two tracks.
One example of this is Yellow Sub/Eleanor Rigby - YS only got to #2 in the US chart and ER got to #11. The single went to #1 in most other countries.

I'm still not convinced that Something/Come Together is a double A-side.
This looks like a B-side to me!! ...


Besides the reason given in that Wiki article, that both sides of the record are equally as strong, another possible reason for having a double A-side might be as an insurance policy, in case one side flops.
Mull of Kintyre/Girls School was issued as a double A-side and I always wondered if this was because the record company (or Macca himself) were unsure whether Mull would sell as an out-and-out A-side.
They needn't have worried in the UK - it spent 9 weeks at #1 and was the first UK single to sell more than 2 million copies. I can't remember ever hearing Girls School played on the radio or seeing it on the TV - all the promotion centred on Mull.
From what I've read, however, Mull wasn't so popular in the US and Girls School received the bulk of the airplay, meaning the double A-side ploy was a mini-success in that instance (Girls School got to #33 in the charts while Mull only reached #45 - according to Wiki).
Logged
Pages: [1] 2
 

Page created in 1.584 seconds with 26 queries.