The final show
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final concert ever (with the exception of the unannounced
roof top concert in 1969) took place in Candlestick Park,
San Francisco, on August 29 1966. At that point, the Beatles,
and in particular George Harrison, were sick of touring
and decided to put and end to it.
news was that the band could now spend more time in the
1966, the Beatles started recording the album that would
become the legendary Sgt.
Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Beatles spent more
than four months recording this album, which was unheard
of at the time (the Beatles' first record, Please
Please Me had been recorded in just 9 hours).
worth pointing out that there had been a shift in the group's
leadership at this point.
Sgt. Pepper, John Lennon had been the natural leader of
the Beatles. It was Lennon who formed the Quarry Men back
in the late 1950s, and he had also been the group's most
dominant song writer.
1966, this had changed. McCartney now wrote most of the
songs, and seemed to have most of the ideas, while Lennon,
for the first time, appeared to be more in the background.
(It was, for example, McCartney's idea to perform as the
fictional Sgt. Pepper band on the album's opening and closing
have said Lennon was constantly taking the drug LSD during
this period, and that this made him passive and less bossy.
Lennon had also recently met the Japanese artist Yoko Ono,
who he married in 1969, and whom many have said that took
his attention away from the Beatles.
dubious if Yoko Ono had any direct influence on Lennon's
career at this stage, since he was still living with his
first wife, Cynthia Lennon (born Powell).
Lennon may not have been as proactive during the Sgt. Pepper
sessions as before, but he still delivered some awesome
songs for the album. A
Day In The Life, the album closer, was a fifty-fifty
Lennon and McCartney collaboration, although it had been
written as two separate songs. Lennon also penned Lucy
In The Sky With Diamonds, Good
Morning Good Morning and Being
For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite. He also wrote the superb Strawberry
Fields Forever, which was released as single together
with McCartney's Penny
Lane (the two songs were not included on Sgt. Pepper).
Interestingly, in the US, Penny Lane shot to number 1 on
the billboard charts, while Strawberry Fields Forever only
made it to number 8.
Lonely Hearts Club Band turned out to be a huge success,
and it is probably the most famous pop record ever made.
The album topped the charts for 15 weeks in the US and for
27 weeks in the UK.
devoted to studio recording gave unusual results, and the
Beatles once again broke new barriers in their quest for
new and exciting sounds. Classical orchestras and brass
bands were ambitiously used to enhance the arrangements
of songs like She's
Leaving Home and A Day In The Life. The distorted vocal
and organ on Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds created a whole
new experience for the listener, while Harrison's Within
You Without You blended Indian and western classical
instruments, which never before had been recorded together.
>> Next Chapter - An unexpected death
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