Evening Standard, Hulton Archive LONDON (AP) - Miles and Jimi. Jimi and Miles.…
- Posted on Oct 5th 2010 5:30PM by Ed Berenhaus
B-side of 1967 single 'Hello Goodbye'
When I first heard the pulsating, hypnotic sound of 'I Am the Walrus' in 1967, John Lennon was well into a mind-bending musical journey that helped usher in the psychedelic rock era. The Beatles ruled rock 'n' roll, and Lennon was determined to push the limits of music production to create new sounds. Like many other musicians Lennon was experimenting with the drug LSD and producer George Martin helped transform John's hallucinatory visions into layers of kaleidoscopic sounds. Lennon's 'Tomorrow Never Knows,' 'Strawberry Fields Forever,' 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' and 'A Day in the Life' quickly became instant classics, decades before multi-track recording and digital production were invented.
When Lennon recorded 'I Am the Walrus,' I practically wore out my LP listening to this delightfully strange masterpiece! John's intense and urgent singing demands your attention as he practically shouts out the strange and confusing lyrics. A playful arrangement of orchestral strings and horns surround Lennon's vocals as a powerful chorus of voices chant silly, syncopated phrases and make shrill whooping sounds whenever Lennon proclaims, "I am the Eggman." Added to the mix is a seemingly random assortment of sound effects and a long snippet of Shakespeare's 'King Lear.'
'I Am the Walrus' will never grow old for me. Its many musical facets keep it sounding vital and fresh and will easily attract new fans for generations to come. Goo goo g'joob!
Ed Berenhaus is associate producer of the John Lennon 30th Annual Tribute, which will take place on Friday, Nov. 12, at the Beacon Theatre in New York. More information about the program can be found at lennontribute.org.