One small area in which the Beatles characteristically took the lead was their peculiar affinity for using fruit as a theme in their songs. While Donovan's "Mellow Yellow" (with its infamous "electrical banana") predated "Strawberry Fields Forever" by several months (it came out in the US in October '66 and in the UK in February '67, at the same time as the Beatles smash), Lennon's classic meditation on childhood and reality seems to have opened the floodgates: soon, psychedelic songs with fruit-related titles (not to mention bands named after fruit) would abound. From the nonsense "cranberry sauce" uttered in the song's breakdown to the band's Apple record label, fruit would become a byword for psychedelic song form.
Further posts will cover the best fruit-psych songs I've managed to track down. As a nod to John Lennon, today's serving will contain strawberries. First up is a cover of the song that started it all by the short-lived group Tomorrow, whose excellent (and lone) 1968 album features Steve Howe (later famous in Yes), the Nuggets II classic "My White Bicycle", and a song called "Revolution" which supposedly provoked Lennon's song of the same title.
Tomorrow cover "Strawberry Fields Forever":
Next up is another cover, this time by Balsara & His Singing Sitars. I know nothing about this band, other than that they seem to follow the trend of doing exploito-covers of Beatles tracks. This instrumental cover is pretty good, in my opinion. I found it on Volume 8 of the wondrous series Electric Psychedelic Sitar Headswirlers.
Balsara & His Singing Sitars cover "Strawberry Fields Forever":
Finally, a cut by the Apples In Stereo, a modern retro act whose Beatles-worship extends from their band name to their close attention to late-60s production techniques. This track, "Strawberryfire", is from their excellent 1999 mini-album Her Wallpaper Reverie.
The Apples In Stereo, "Strawberryfire":