Mellotrons in the '60s (Part 1) Not necessarily the first song to employ the Mellotron, but certainly the most well-known as well as the most influential, is "Strawberry Fields Forever" by a somewhat obscure band named the Beatles. The Mellotron is in essence a sampling keyboard developed in 1963, preceded a decade before by a similar instrument called the Chamberlain. Each key triggers a recording of an instrument, which produces sounds that imitate strings (the most common), woodwinds, brass, and even guitar, and can be confused with the actual instrument. Is it really so strange that it is primarily other Brit psych pop bands who jumped on the mellotron in the late '60s? This is a deep dive into those environs.
( ):Label, Year Rec/Rel
Background music, in order: (1) The Moody Blues - "Beyond" ("To Our Children's Children's Children," Threshold 1969) (2) Leigh Stephens - "Chicken Pot Pie" ("Red Weather," Philips 1969) (3+4) Syd Barrett - "Rhamadan" ("An Introduction to Syd Barrett" download only, recorded in 1969, Harvest/Capitol 2010) (5) Bread and Beer Band - " Dick Barton Theme (The Devil's Gallop)" (Single A-Side, Decca 1969) (6) Baba Scholae - "La Chasse Au Serpent A La Flûte" ("69," Ad Vitam 1969)