The Beatles - Penny Lane 1967
"Penny Lane" is a song by The Beatles, written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon/McCartney. Recorded during the Sgt. Pepper sessions, "Penny Lane" was released in February 1967 as one side of a double A-sided single, along with "Strawberry Fields Forever". The song was later included on the Magical Mystery Tour LP (1967). The single was the result of the record company wanting a new release after several months of no new Beatles releases. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the song at #449 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The song's title is derived from the name of a street in the band's hometown, Liverpool. The area that surrounds its junction with Smithdown Road is also commonly called Penny Lane. Locally the term "Penny Lane" was the name given to Allerton Road and Smithdown Road and its busy shopping area. Penny Lane is named after James Penny, an 18th century slave trader. McCartney and Lennon grew up in the area and they would meet at Penny Lane junction in the Mossley Hill area to catch a bus into the centre of the city. The street is an important landmark, sought out by most Beatles fans touring Liverpool. In the past, street signs saying "Penny Lane" were constant targets of tourist theft and had to be continually replaced. Eventually, city officials gave up and simply began painting the street name on the sides of buildings. This practice was stopped in 2007 and more theft-resistant "Penny Lane" street signs have since been installed though some are still stolen. The Abbey Road sign is also frequently stolen for the same reason.
The original US promo single mix of "Penny Lane" had an additional flourish of piccolo trumpet notes at the end of the song. This mix was quickly superseded by one without the last trumpet passage, but not before a handful of copies had been pressed and sent to radio stations. These recordings are among the rarest and most valuable Beatles collectibles. A stereo mix of the song with the additional trumpet added back in was included on the US Rarities compilation in 1980, and is included on an alternate take of the song released on Anthology 2 in 1996. * Paul McCartney -- lead vocal, harmony and background vocals, three pianos and bass. * John Lennon -- harmony and backing vocal, two pianos, congas and handclaps * George Harrison -- backing vocal, handbell and hand claps * Ringo Starr -- drums, tambourine * George Martin -- piano, production, orchestration * David Mason -- piccolo trumpet solo * Ray Swinfield, P. Goody, Manny Winters -- flutes, piccolos * Leon Calvert, Freddy Clayton, Bert Courtley, Duncan Campbell -- trumpets, flugelhorn * Dick Morgan, Mike Winfield -- oboes, cor anglais * Frank Clarke -- double-bass