“For the first time,” says Mark Lewisohn in today’s entry in The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, “there was no real pressure on the Beatles to deliver a product to a preset deadline. They could, and would, work on a song until they and only they were satisfied with it.”

The three takes of “Strawberry Fields Forever” recorded today — restructured and in a different key from Friday’s Take 1 — were just the beginning of the long journey the song would take before finally seeing the light of day in February. In the process it would be completely rethought and rerecorded several times.

The ability to work with complete freedom is, of course, a double-edged sword. You get the chance to make everything just how you want it, and also to overthink and procrastinate and fuss neurotically over every little detail. Brian Wilson, for instance, had gone famously overboard on the Beach Boys’ recently released single “Good Vibrations.” Over the course of six months or so, Wilson expended hundreds of hours, tens of thousands of dollars, and a certain amount of his own mental health in pursuit of an elusive sonic nirvana.

Was it worth it? Well, “Good Vibrations” is a great fucking song. Who’s to say that it wasn’t worth it? Not me, jack.