In 1967, as many as 700 million people worldwide watched Our World, the first ever live international satellite broadcast. The show featured segments by 14 different countries, presenting scenes of their choice (Japan showed the construction of the Tokyo subway system, while Canada showed a rancher herding cattle).
The United Kingdom won the night by offering up The Beatles, at the height of their popularity, debuting a new song. John Lennon wrote ‘All You Need Is Love’ for the occasion, deliberately penning a tune so simple that anybody in the world could easily sing along.
Here’s the other half of the one-two punch I alluded to yesterday.
John Lennon’s ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ is also rooted in nostalgia, though not as overtly as McCartney’s ‘Penny Lane.’ Strawberry Field is the name of a Salvation Army house near Lennon’s childhood home, but the song isn’t really an exploration of that period of his life.
What it is is one of the band’s very best songs.
This weekend I’m highlighting one of the best one-two punches in music history, a pair of songs released on a “double-A-sided” single that are among the best The Beatles ever recorded.
Today’s track comes courtesy of Paul McCartney. ‘Penny Lane’ is his remembrance of a street in Liverpool, where he and John grew up. I don’t know if the fireman, banker, barber and nurse were actual people Paul encountered as a lad or inventions for this song, but he certainly paints a lovely picture.