Sunday, January 15, 2006

Across The Universe

AUTHORSHIP Lennon (1.00)
LENNON: "I was lying next to me first wife in bed, you know, and I was irritated. She must have been going on and on about something and she'd gone to sleep and I'd kept hearing these words over and over, flowing like an endless stream. I went downstairs and it turned into sort of a cosmic song rather than an irritated song. . . . It drove me out of bed. I didn't want to write it, I was just slightly irritable and I went downstairs and I couldn't get to sleep until I put it on paper. . . ." September 1980, All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono

McCARTNEY: "'Across The Universe' is one of John's great songs. It had special words." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now

February 4, 1968, at Abbey Road, with overdubbing February 8. This recording then lay unused for several months until, in different forms, it appeared on a charity album for the World Wildlife Fund (released December 1969) and Let It Be. For the charity album, the original recording was speeded up and wildlife sound effects were added during the mixing process on October 2, 1969. For Let It Be, producer Phil Spector removed some sounds from the original tape, slowed it down, and overdubbed an orchestra and choir.

Lennon and McCartney decided during the February 4 session that they wanted falsetto harmonies on the song. McCartney went out to the fans gathered outside the studio, talked to them and invited two in for a try. The Complete BEATLES Recording Sessions; The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years 1962-1970

LENNON: "The original track was a real piece of shit. I was singing out of tune and instead of getting a decent choir, we got fans from outside . . . Apple Scruffs or whatever you call them. They came in and were singing all off-key. Nobody was interested in doing the tune originally." Lennon : The Definitive Biography

McCARTNEY: piano
LENNON: acoustic guitar, lead guitar, organ, vocal
STARR: maracas
GEORGE MARTIN: organ (with Lennon)
SESSION MUSICIANS: strings and choir (overdubbed)
LIZZIE BRAVO and GAYLEEN PEASE: falsetto background vocals (on "Nothing's going to change my world" - not used on Let It Be)

The first version of this song was originally meant to be the A side of the March 1968 single, but "Lady Madonna" replaced it at the last minute.
Work on it began one day after "Lady Madonna" was recorded. The Complete Beatles Chronicle
David Bowie later recorded this song for his Young Americans LP with Lennon's guitar accompaniment.

LENNON: "Did I play on that too? Oh yeah, my God, jeeze, I did too. I didn't remember that. . . . I only remember the Fame session." December 6, 1980, The Last Lennon Tapes

LENNON: "This was one of my favourite songs, but it's been issued in so many forms that it's missed it as a record. I gave it at first to the World Wild Life Fund, but they didn't do mcuh with it, and then we put it on the Let It Be album." Beatles in Their Own Words
"One of my best songs. Not one of the best recordings, but I like the lyrics." Hit Parader (April 1972)

LENNON: ". . . The Beatles didn't make a good record of it. I think subconsciously sometimes we - I say 'we,' though I think Paul did it more than the rest of us; Paul would . . . sort of subconsciously try and destroy a great song . . meaning that we'd play experimental games with my great pieces, like 'Strawberry Fields' - which I always felt was badly recorded. That song got away with it and it worked. But usually we'd spend hours doing little detailed cleaning-ups of Paul's songs; when it came to mine, especially if it was a great song like 'Strawberry Fields' or 'Across The Universe,' somehow this atmosphere of looseness and casualness and experimentation would creep in." September 1980, All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono

LENNON: "Phil [Spector] slowed the tape down, added the strings. . . . He did a really special job." Lennon : The Definitive Biography


Location London, South Kensington; Sale Date: Apr 30, 2003
Lot Number: 192; Sale Number: 9616
Lot Title: The Beatles And Donovan

Estimate 300 - 500 British pounds
Special Notice VAT rate of 17.5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer’s premium
Lot Description: The Beatles And Donovan
A PHILIPS C-60 Compact Cassette tape partly recorded in India at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's academy in Rishikesh, India, between February and April, 1968 -- the A-Side label inscribed in blue ballpoint pen in an unknown hand Donovan Across The Universe, Maharishi/Happiness Runs, Wedding Of Shiva, vedic Chants, Maharishi Speech, the B-side label inscribed in black felt pen [faded] in an unknown hand Chant/Oobla Dee/Rocky Racoon -- [the Beatles songs taped from a record] -- the tape includes a rendition of the Beatles' song Across The Universe by Donovan (approx. 4 mins. long), in which Lennon, the Maharishi and others can be heard in the background, the Maharishi laughs at the song's chorus Nothing's gonna change my world.. at which point Lennon can be heard saying That's why I want to do it again - change that line..... at the end of the song Lennon comments ..We've all been humming that in our meditation..; Donovan also sings a song he's written about the Maharishi (approx. 2 mins. long) to the approval of the guru himself and a group of his students - running time approx. 56 mins. long

No comments: