The Beatles -- ‘Across The Universe’

Wildlife version Across The Universe (3.50)

John Lennon: Lead vocal, backing vocal, lead guitar, acoustic guitar, hammond organ; Paul McCartney: Backing vocal, piano; George Harrison: Backing vocal, sitar, tambura; Ringo Starr: Maracas; Backing vocal: Lizzie Bravo, Gayleen Pease

John fancied this as a single instead of Paul’s ‘Lady Madonna’, but he could never get it sounding right. He later blamed Paul for “subconsciously trying to destroy a great song, by encouraging an atmosphere of looseness and casualness and experimentation.”

His claim centered around the fact that after deciding he wanted a couple of women in it, instead of hiring some professionals, like George Martin would, Paul simply went outside and plucked a couple of kids off the street. “We’d always play experimental games with my great pieces,” said John. “Like ‘Strawberry Fields’ – which I always felt was recorded badly. But that song got away with it and worked. But usually we’d spend hours doing little detailed clean-ups of Paul’s songs; but when it came to mine, especially if it …

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Phil Spector version Across The Universe (3.49)

John Lennon: Lead vocal, backing vocal, lead guitar, acoustic guitar, hammond organ; Paul McCartney: Backing vocal, piano; George Harrison: Backing vocal, sitar, tambura; Ringo Starr: Maracas; Viola: Unknown player; Violin: Unknown player; Cello: Unknown player

When Phil Spector came to re-make it for the ‘Let It Be’ LP he used the original wildlife version, deleted all the women and bird noises and dubbed on some extra orchestration. So the two versions sound completely different, but they’re actually the same song!

John later revealed that the line: “Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup” was actually written after an argument with his missus, and referred to her constant nagging. “I was lying next to her in bed,” he said. “And I was irritated. She must have been going on and on and on about something, and she’d gone to sleep and I kept hearing these words over and over, flowing like an endless stream. I went downstairs and it turned into a sort of cosmic song rather than an irritated song. It drove me out of …

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‘Let It Be… Naked’ version Across The Universe (3.38)

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Take 2 Across The Universe (3.28)

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Appears on albumsLet It Be The Beatles / 1967-1970 Rarities Rarities The Beatles’ Ballads Past Masters Volume 2 Anthology 2 Let It Be… Naked Mono Masters Past MastersAppears in box-‌setsThe Beatles Collection The Beatles Deluxe Box-Set The Beatles In Mono The Beatles Stereo Box-Set
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