It is rather strange going back and reading old threads.
I voted for 'Rain' many months ago - but now I am firmly waving the Psychedelic flag for 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.
Personally, this song not only embodies the Beatles at their most creative, but also aurally paints a distorted & dark Psychedelic perspective of the human condition (or rather Lennon's own battle of genius versus the indulgent drug-fuelled fool)
I feel Strawberry Fields Forever directly taps into the Sgt Pepper album imagery; their faces alluring toward some sort of deep drug induced purpose, yet also historically mixed with a deep overtone of Edwardian imagery - creatively bright and luxurious yet structurally stern and rigid in composition.
The song opens with the mellotron wavering down until it seemingly lands 'on its feet' where it signals Lennon's opening vocal. I always feel this very strong introduction could be likened to someone entering a dream or embracing a 'trip; their mind flowing with thought ... commanding their senses before the real 'journey' begins.
The distorted guitar echo, the constant low beat of the bass, the dramatic drums and finally the 'spaced out' vocal all combine to create a powerfully hypnotic feeling.
As the one minute mark passes, so does the light feeling of the song. The orchestra touch is dramatically brought in - the sound transcends into somehting more urgent and assertive. The cynical musical backdrop emphasises Lennon's "Nothing is real" vocal - creating a crisis of conscience to which the nostlagic context of the song seems to help pave the way to present & future undertanding of himself. The constant reminder of "Let me take you down" shows this trip is not a singular occurrence - that the trip is more - maybe a new way to view the world.
The musical interlude 2:57 to the end - marks the trip taking full flow - that the music is now talking - taking command instead of Lennon's very personal and booming vocal. The very end of the song sees a fading of sound into an instrumental celebration- and what sounds almost like a passing band. Maybe Lennon is following the band into a brightly starched horizon - toward a new understanding - maybe the passing sound hints to Lennon a new direction of lifestyle he could take ...