Its been a bit since my last Throwback Thursday Vinyl, especially my last Beatles edition. So tonight I decided to go with something a bit quirky by the Fab Four.
The year was 1967. The Beatles were feeling the pressures of fame and had decided that their August 29, 1966 show would be their last. Rumors began to fly that the band was on the outs, but the band was only looking for an out from their boyhood.
We were fed up with being the Beatles. We really hated that fucking four-little-moptop approach. We were not boys, we were men. It was all gone, all that boy shit, all that screaming- we didn’t want any more.
– Paul McCartney
There had been quite the culture shift in the four or so years since the Beatles first entered the scene. The clean cut, good wholesome fun ideal had given way to a more forward thinking, civil rights fighting, anti-war, LSD “enlightened” era. And to get by, the Beatles would need a little help from their “friends.”
Their “friends”, were the Lonely Hearts Club Band, Sgt. Pepper’s that is. They band struggled to fight against the image that had made them successful, so Paul came up with the idea to take on the persona of a whole new band, writing the album through the perspectives of their alter-egos. Paul went straight to writing a song that would introduce the new band, and set the tone for the album. This would be the first known “concept album”, the style of which many arts would choose to adopt later on.
Tonight’s tune is one that can only fit within a concept album. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite is a nonsensical song that was only created as a way to tie up side 1 of the album. Almost all the lyrics come directly from an old circus poster that John found in an antique shop. In a 1980 Playboy interview John spoke of the song saying, “The song is pure, like a painting, a pure watercolour.” Perhaps a watercolor of psychedelic swirls. The sound of the song certainly suggests so!Enjoy!