Friday, January 23, 2009

Across the Universe

This Lennon composition was, according to Lennon himself, written after lying in bed with a talkative Cynthia, her words "flowing like an endless stream." Irritated, Lennon got up and began working on the song. Recorded on February 4, 1968 at Abbey Road, it was released on Let it Be and The World Wildlife Fund's No One's Gonna Chane Our World.

Although this was one of Lennon's favorite songs, he felt that it was far from one of the best Beatles' recordings, believing that Paul had by this time grown into the habit of perfecting his own songs and rushing through the songs of the others. In the course of the February 4 session, McCartney went outside the studio and procured some fans (Apple Scruffs) to help in the background chorus, which Lennon detested. The song was originally supposed to be a 1968 single but was replaced with "Lady Madonna."

Under the heading of intersting Beatle facts, the original version, done for the World Wildlife Fund, was faster and used wildlife sounds, such as the flapping of birds at the beginning. For the Let It Be LP, Phil Spector removed these sounds, slowed the tape speed, and added strings. Lennon believed this version was by far the best. Some sources say that there are two completely different recorded versions, while others maintain that the basic vocal track was simply modified by Spector.

Lennon sings lead vocal and plays acoustic guitar. Harrison plays sitar. George Martin and Lennon play organ. Starr plays maracas. Lizzie Bravo and and Gayleen Pease do falsetto backing vocals, although these were not used on Let It Be.

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