Lay Down All Thought Surrender To The Void

John Paul George Ringo

Here it is, the fab four's psychedelic recordings, recorded between 1966 through to 1969. Much of this has been documented in the past and for a full description, quote The Beatles & psychedelia from Record Collector issue 166.

Paul & Julian

'Twas a fair Summer's eve and eyelids hung low over San Fransisco's Haight Ashbury district as the pilgrim wandered unnoticed through Golden Gate Park. Dressed inconspicuously in denim jacket, flowered trousers and heart-shaped shades, and wearing buttons bearing a likeness of Bob Dylan and the message 'I'm the head of the household', the walrus-whiskered visitor finally called for a guitar and began to play and sing 'Baby You're A Rich Man'. That tipped it, of course, and instantly the troubadour was all but drowned out by a swarm of laughter, giggling flower children. "If it's all like this, it's all too much", said visiting Beatle George Harrison, 24, and as the children trailed, he strummed and strolled to the edge of the park, and disappeared into the night.

Time Magazine, August 18th 1967


Paperback Writer / Rain (Parlophone R5452)


The first Beatles song to include backwards vocals. Released as a b-side and ommitted from any of the original albums, wouldn't have sounded out of place on Revolver.

Great lyrics : "If the rain comes they run and hide their heads, They might as well be dead" & "Can you hear me that when it rains and shines, It's just a state of mind"

Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane (Parlophone R5570)


Possibly the greatest single ever made, a psychedelic masterpiece, again the backwards tapes came into use, this time occasionaly sped up. First single since Please Please Me not to hit the top of the charts, Petula Clark and Engelbert Humperdinck having the honour of that award.

Great lyrics : "Let me take you down, 'Cos I'm going to Strawberry Fields, Nothing is real" & "Living is easy with eyes closed, Misunderstanding all you see"

In 1967, John Lennon was asked to write this review of the record : "This is definately a double 'A' side record, we're adamant about that. 'Strawberry Fields Forever' took three weeks to record and 'Penny Lane' took two weeks. They are both places in Liverpool. Paul conceived the title 'Penny Lane' a year and a half ago. The song is the story of a street in Liverpool and the people there. For instance when we sing about the fireman, we have a clanging fire engine effect coming in. We now have much more time to spend on our recording, to get exactly what we want and try out new ideas. We're very pleased with the record."

Covered? Tomorrow ('68); Bee Gees

All You Need Is Love / Baby You're A Rich Man (Parlophone R5620)


You know the story, the BBC asked The Beatles to play the song live to the world.

Great lyrics : "Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be"

Covered? : Tears For Fears


More of a personal song, it's said that the brown paper bag line had Brian Epstein in mind.

Great lyrics : "How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people"

Hello Goodbye / I Am The Walrus (Parlophone R5565)

Magical Mystery TourMagical Mystery Tour (2 set EP) (Parlophone MMT 1)


Backward tapes and phasing bring out this excellent version of psychedelia.

Great lyrics : " friends have lost their way, we'll be over soon they said, now they've lost themselves instead"


Worth the admission for the nonsense lyrics alone.

Great lyrics : "Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come"; "Yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye" & "Semolina pilchards climbing up the Eiffel Tower"

Covered? Spooky Tooth; Oasis

Track Listings for Magicial Mystery Tour EP... Magical Mystery Tour / The Fool On The Hill / Flying Blue Jay Way / Your Mother Should Know / I Am The Walrus

Lady Madonna / The Inner Light (Parlophone R5675)


Another Harrison song recorded around the same time as the Wonderwall soundtrack.

Great lyrics : "The farther one travels, the less one knows. The less one knows without going out your door"


Revolver Revolver

(Parlophone PMC 7009)

Originally released in 1966

Featuring : I'm Only Sleeping; Love You To; She Said, She Said; Doctor Robert & Tomorrow Never Knows


Prime slice of early psychedelia with obvious LSD connections.

Great lyrics : "When I'm in the middle of a dream, Staying in bed float up stream"

Covered? : Suggs (from Madness)


One of the first British pop songs written for Indian instruments.

Great lyrics : "There's people standing around, who'll screw you in the ground, they'll fill you in with all their sins, you'll see"


Originally titled 'He said, He said', loads of acid style lyrics on offer here. Inspired from a chance meeting with Peter Fonda.

Great lyrics : "She said I know what it's like to be dead" & "I said who put all those things in your hair, things that make me feel that I'm mad"

Covered by : Lone Star (1976); The Driscolls & The Chords (So Far Away, 1980)


As the lyrics suggest Doctor Robert being the one who supplied the drugs. Keith Moon was said to have loved this.

Great lyrics : "If you are down he'll pick you up, Take a drink from his special cup" & "You're a new and better man, he helps you to understand"

Covered? : Didn't I see the lead singer of Haircut 100 doing this on some Saturday evening show?


A song that was recorded after purchasing Timothy Leary's The Psychedelic Experience and The Tibetan Book Of The Dead. Loads happening here including backwards tapes & distorted vocals.

Great lyrics : "Turn off your mind relax and float down stream"; "Lay down all thought surrender to the void" & "When ignorance and haste may mourn the dead"

Covered? : The Mirage (check out Circus Days vol.3) Phil Manzanera's 801 ('76) & Phil Collins

Track Listings for Revolver... Taxman / Eleanor Rigby / I'm Only Sleeping / Here, There And Everywhere / Yellow Submarine / She Said, She Said / Good Day Sunshine / And Your Bird Can Sing / For No One / Doctor Robert / I Want To Tell You / Got To Get You Into My Life / Tomorrow Never Knows

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandSgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

(Parlophone PMC 7027)

Originally released in 1967

Featuring : Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds; Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite; Within You, Without You & A Day In The Life


You can't escape the obvious LSD connections here, the lyrics are full of phrases. As the story goes, Julian did a drawing at school, when asked what the drawing was of, he replied, "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds", I have my doubts though.

Great lyrics : "Picture yourself in a boat on a river with tangerine trees and marmalade skies"; Cellophane flowers of yellow and green towering over our head" & "Picture yourself on a train in a station with plasticine porters and looking glass ties"

Covered? William Shatner (the same one); Bee Gees & Elton John


Inspired by an old circus poster re-writing the whole thing for the lyrics was this one. Again, the use of the studio equipment comes in very handy.

Covered? Bee Gees


Another Indian masterpiece from George Harrison.

Great lyrics : "When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find peace of mind is waiting there"


Great stuff, great finale ending, a total freak-out, banned by the BBC.

Great lyrics : "Found my way upstairs and had a smoke and somebody spoke and I went into a dream" & " I'd love to turn you on"

Covered? Bee Gees

Track Listings for Sgt. Pepper...Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band With A Little Help From My Friends / Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds / Getting Better / Fixing A Hole / She's Leaving Home / Being For The Benefit Of Mr.Kite / Within You, Without You / When I'm Sixty Four / Lovely Rita / Good Morning, Good Morning / Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) / A Day In The Life

Yellow SubmarineYellow Submarine

(Apple PMC 7070)

Originally released in 1969

Featuring : Only A Northern Song & It's All Too Much


A Harrison song recorded during the Pepper sessions, lay unreleased for 18 months. Again obvious LSD connections.

Great lyrics : "Sail me on a silver sun where I know that I am free, Show me that I'm everywhere and get me home for tea"

Covered? : Steve Hillage; Todd Rundgren & Journey


Another Harrison Pepper out-take and like the above track used for the soundtrack to Yellow Submarine, slowed up vocals and great sound effects sound out.

Great lyrics : "You think the chords are going wrong, But they're not, we just wrote them like that"

Track Listings for Yellow Submarine... Yellow Submarine / Only A Northern Song / All Together Now / Hey Bulldog / It's All Too Much / Hey Bulldog / It's All Too Much / All You Need Is Love / Pepperland / Sea Of Time / Sea Of Holes / Sea Of Monsters / March Of The Meanies / Pepperland Laid Waste / Yellow Submarine In Pepperland


Beatles & LSD


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