To drop "Within You and Without You" is SACRILEGE!!! (not just because George has always been my favorite Beatle, but the song is so representative of the meditation kick they were on at the time)
..but Penny Lane and SFFE (2 of my fave tracks of all time) were both from those famous "preliminary" Pepper sessions (near the end of '66 Oct/Nov when John was just back from Spain where he was filming "How I Won The War"--and where he wrote SFFE during a break in the shooting) The sessions for the album really took off in momentum by Jan '67 (onwards to early Spring)--I don't blame Sir George Martin so much as probably pressure from the brass at EMI at the time to get the new single out...as a possible "teaser" before the Magnum Opus was sprung on the world (the Pepper album itself) Remember during the months building up to the June '67 release of the LP, The Fab were not only working diligently on the masterpiece but purposely keeping a low profile so as not to reveal too much to the press about the great musical "surprise" they were getting ready to present to an unsuspecting world ! (I remember the IMPACT of the album--what a memory !! I was 14 at the time..it was fantastic !!...I also remember the Monkees "Headquarters" was released the VERY SAME TIME---haha..it NEVER STOOD A CHANCE !! lol) Yes, I agree w/ most that these two classics BELONGED on Pepper..always felt they were SO indiginious to the work. But at LEAST they EXIST!!
if I had my way....(and THIS isn't tough), I'd HALF-RELUCTANTLY drop "Fixing A Hole" and put George's strange, but fitting "Only A Northern Song" in it's place (sorry Paulie, "Fixing A Hole" seems better suited to the "Yellow Submarine" soundtrack somehow..(also in the film..doesnt it FIT w/ little "Jeremy" in The SEA of Holes" fixing one" while the song played???....DUH !!!..why didnt THEY think of that
lol) Then I'd happily put "Penny Lane" right after "Good Morning,Good Morning" (right after "fox chase" fade-out..just then in chimes McCartney with the first lines of P. L....nice, huh ? I think so...) Next I'd place "Strawberry Fields" directly after "When I'm Sixty Four"...I think this juxtapositioning would be mind-blowing ...emotionally powerful. Of course, the way things stand ALREADY is pretty damn amazing too !!!! wow..