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"Sgt Pepper Inner Groove"

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An irritatingly acute electronic whistling and snatches of unintelligible vocal babble which just keeps going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and...

The plan was just to do people's 'eads in a bit. (And dogs'). Given the fact that most record players were still not equipped with an auto-lift stylus arm back then, some bright Beatle spark came up with the idea of filling up the playout groove to play a stoned prank on all the other stoned hippies who listened to it, and on their four-legged friends. The second objective, at least, was John's.

None of them had the slightest notion of the furore that it was going to cause at the time — and they certainly can't have imagined the near-pathological investigation it would continue to be subjected to from then on: still less that it would be granted full track status on the US Rarities album! It wasn't included on Capitol's original Pepper vinyl: and for the CD release, on both sides of The Pond, it was reduced to a faded-out 25 seconds.

Meanwhile, back in The Summer Of Love, some stoned hippie — as well as finding the inertia to finally get up off his beanbag and lift the arm — also decided to stick his finger on the record and revolve it anti-clockwise to hear the snippet backwards. A typically stoned hippie decision, it must be said: and easy enough to do with any old turntable deck, or no stoned hippie would've bothered to've actually done it. And, behold! Thus it was revealed that The Beatles were really saying:

We'll fuck you like you're Superman!

Or something like that.

McCartney's immediate reaction upon having it demonstrated was "Oh my God!"

Lennon's — unrecorded — was probably to roll round the floor laughing.

None of them could really remember exactly what bits of gibberish they'd recorded, and no amount of high-tech diagnosis has definitively and indisputably revealed what was being said, either forwards or backwards. Of course, unless you have a swanky DJ-style player, it's pretty difficult to mess about with on CD: though at least it does turn itself off.

"Inner Groove" or track in its own right, just for being the first to get all those freaky fundamentalists actually purchasing records in order to discover so many hilarious supposed back-masked messages, I give it five stars!

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