Cellophane flowers: My favourite ‘Sgt Pepper’ moments

Surrealistic imagery, kitchen-sink drama and beautiful logic – the album has it all

The surrealistic imagery in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, inspired by Lennon’s childhood reading of Lewis Carroll’s classics and his adventures with hallucinogenic drugs. Cellophane flowers. Newspaper taxis. Rocking-horse people. Looking-glass ties.

The aching sadness of Sheila Bromberg's harp in She's Leaving Home, McCartney's kitchen-sink drama with strings, inspired by a tabloid newspaper story about a real life teenage runaway named Melanie Coe.

Lennon’s rejoinder to McCartney’s “I’ve got to admit it’s getting better, a little better all time” in the song Getting Better. He sings: “It couldn’t get much worse!” a line that perfectly encapsulates the yin and yang of McCartney’s happy positivity and Lennon’s innate contrariness.

The beautiful, logical simplicity of the call-and-answer section in With a Little Help from My Friends: “Do you need anybody? I need somebody to love. Could it be anybody? I want somebody to love.”


The orchestral bridge used to graft Lennon’s opening stanzas of A Day in the Life to an unfinished McCartney composition about smoking dope on the upper deck of a bus.