The final track on The Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Credited to Lennon/McCartney, the song comprises distinct segments written independently by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, with orchestral additions. While Lennon’s lyrics were inspired by contemporary newspaper articles, McCartney’s were reminiscent of his youth. The decisions to link sections of the song with orchestral crescendos and to end the song with a sustained piano chord were made only after the rest of the song had been recorded. The supposed drug reference in the line “I’d love to turn you on” resulted in the song initially being banned from broadcast by the BBC. It was arranged for the orchestral session to be filmed by NEMS Enterprises for use in a planned television special. The film was never released in its entirety, although portions of it can be seen in the “A Day in the Life” promotional film, which includes shots of studio guests Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richards, Donovan, Pattie Boyd and Michael Nesmith. Reflecting the Beatles’ taste for experimentation and the avant garde at this point in their careers, the orchestra players were asked to wear or were given a costume piece on top of their formal dress. This resulted in different players wearing anything from fake noses to fake stick-on nipples. George Martin recalled that the lead violinist performed wearing a gorilla paw, while a bassoon player placed a balloon on the end of his instrument. In April 1967, McCartney played a tape of the song to Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, in Los Angeles. The song deeply affected Wilson, who was suffering growing emotional problems. Soon after, Wilson abandoned his work on the Beach Boys’ album Smile, and would not return to complete it until 2003. Van Dyke Parks later said, “Brian had a nervous collapse. What broke his heart was Sgt. Pepper.”
[via Bo Hr. Hansen]
One Reply to “The Beatles – A Day In The Life (1967)”
one of the reasons why Smile never came out (then).
Read the interview with Brian Wilson where he tells about his frustration regarding the above in Mojo’s ’60 Edition. Deluxe Edition w. 7” yellow Beach Boys Single: A) Cabin Essence and B) Wonderful… both by BW and VDP