While John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr all played an important part in The Beatles music, John Lennon was usually the songwriter behind The Beatles most psychedelic songs (although there are a couple of exceptions to that rule.) What follows are the seven most psychedelic Beatles tracks that Lennon wrote.
1. “Revolution #9”
Has their ever been a more “far out” track included on a #1 album? (The White Album, my favorite Beatles album.) I really don’t think so. Some of the less interesting Beatles fans like to complain about this track, to them I say: Dig it! This is an amazing psychedelic journey. Open your mind and really listen to it.
2. “What’s the New Mary Jane”
This absolutely insane track wasn’t released until it was included as a part of Anthology 3. In some ways it has an even weirder vibe than “Revolution #9.” I particularly like the really spaced out section where it’s all echos and hard to describe sounds.
3. “I Am The Walrus”
The top two are really “sound experiments” more than songs. “I Am The Walrus” on the other hand is a truly awesome song. It may be the best example of The Beatles “kitchen sink” philosophy of recording music in 1967. There are so many things going on in this song that I still hear new things that I never heard before when I listen now, even though I’ve heard it hundreds of times in my life.
4. “Strawberry Fields Forever”
I consider this the “brother” to “I Am The Walrus.” They have a similar aesthetic as far as the “everything goes” studio experimentation. While “I Am The Walrus” is more of an insane stream of consciousness approach, “Strawberry Fields Forever” is much more introspective. It’s definitely one of The Beatles greatest songs.
5. “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”
The acronym for this song is LSD and while they always claimed that was a pure coincidence, I don’t believe ’em. This song sounds like an acid trip set to music.
This is a great example not only of John’s amazing songwriting skills and creativity (it was his idea to include the backwards vocals) but also of the importance of all of The Beatles in producing their remarkable sound. Paul McCartney’s bass playing on this track is a huge part of what makes it awesome, and this may be Ringo’s finest moment as a drummer.
7. “Tomorrow Never Knows”
It’s absolutely astonishing that this song was recorded in 1966. It sounds to me more like what people might be recording in 2066. And we must give McCartney his due on this one as well as the crazy tape loops were mostly his doing. Also, Ringo’s drums on this one are an integral part of the sound. And George Harrison’s sitar & tambura are essential to creating this song’s unique sound. While this was John’s baby, it’s a great example of how important all of The Beatles were to their music.