Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds: Wikis

  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...


More interesting facts on Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Include this on your site/blog:

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
Song by The Beatles

from the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Released 1 June 1967
Recorded Abbey Road Studios
1 March 1967
Genre Psychedelic rock
Length 3:28
Label Parlophone R6022
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band track listing
Music sample
"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
Single by Elton John
B-side "One Day (At a Time)"
Released 18 November 1974
Genre Psychedelic rock, Rock
Length 6:16
Label MCA (US/Canada)
DJM Records
Writer(s) Lennon/McCartney
Elton John singles chronology
"The Bitch is Back"
(1974)
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
(1974)
"Philadelphia Freedom"
(1975)

"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is a song by English rock band The Beatles, primarily written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon/McCartney) [1] for the group's 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.[1]

At the time of its release, the Beatles claimed that the inspiration for the song came from a drawing by John Lennon's son, Julian, which Julian called "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". The song sparked controversy when released, including being banned by the BBC because of the supposed reference to the drug LSD,[2] with the first letter of each noun in the title spelling LSD. Although Lennon denied that the L-S-D in the title was a reference to the drug,[3] McCartney later said it was "pretty obvious" that the song was inspired by LSD.[4]

Contents

Arrangement

The song has an arrangement typical of later Lennon/McCartney compositions; much of the song is in compound duple metre (6/8 time), except the chorus, where it switches to 4/4 time. The song also shifts between musical keys, using the key of A major for the verse, B♭ major for the pre-chorus or bridge section, and G major for the chorus.[5] It consists of a very simple melody (reminiscent of a nursery song), sung by Lennon over an increasingly complicated underlying arrangement which features a tamboura, played by George Harrison, and a counter melody on Lowrey organ played by McCartney being taped with a special organ stop to give it a sound like a celeste.[6]

Session tapes from the initial 1 March 1967 recording of this song reveal that Lennon originally sang the line "Cellophane flowers of yellow and green" as a broken phrase, but McCartney suggested that he sing it more fluidly to improve the song.[7]

Title and lyrics

Julian's drawing

According to the Beatles, one day in 1966 Lennon's son, Julian, came home from nursery school with a drawing he said was of his classmate, Lucy O'Donnell (later, Lucy Vodden) [8], whom Julian drew with diamond-shaped eyes. Showing the artwork to his father, young Julian described the picture as "Lucy — in the sky with diamonds".[9] Julian later said, "I don't know why I called it that or why it stood out from all my other drawings, but I obviously had an affection for Lucy at that age. I used to show dad everything I'd built or painted at school, and this one sparked off the idea for a song about 'Lucy in the sky with diamonds'".[10]

His son's artwork appears to have inspired Lennon to draw heavily on his own childhood affection for Lewis Carroll's "Wool and Water" chapter from Through the Looking-Glass. Carroll's work has also been cited as an influence upon Lennon's "I Am the Walrus" which refers to a character from Through the Looking-Glass and his two books, In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works. As well as Carroll, other influences on the song include popular skits on British radio comedy programme (The Goon Show) making references to "plasticine ties", which showed up in the song as "Plasticine porters with looking glass ties".[citation needed]

The original painting was for a time in the hands of Julian's mother Cynthia. As of June 2009, the whereabouts of the painting were unknown.[11] But in an interview with The Early Show in December of that same year, Julian revealed that the drawing "got lost. So how it was found or who may have taken it, I have no idea, but it's now been re-found and David Gilmour from Pink Floyd has it and kindly allowed us to use a copy of it for the art work" for "Lucy".[citation needed]

Lucy

Lucy O'Donnell Vodden (1963 - 22 September 2009) was the inspiration for the song.[12] She was born in Weybridge, Surrey, in 1963.[13] She was a classmate of Julian Lennon, son of John Lennon, at Heath House School.[13] Julian Lennon drew a picture of O'Donnell in 1966 and took it to his father, explaining to him that the picture he drew was, "That’s Lucy in the sky with diamonds."[12] The quote became the legend for the origin of the song.[12]

O'Donnell married her husband and "childhood sweetheart", Ross Vodden, in 1996.[11] In 2007 she acknowledged being the Lucy referred to in the Beatle song, during an interview with BBC Radio.[12] Lucy told the BBC, "I remember Julian and I both doing pictures on a double-sided easel, throwing paint at each other, much to the horror of the classroom attendant... Julian had painted a picture and on that particular day his father turned up with the chauffeur to pick him up from school."[12]

In 2009, Julian Lennon learned that Vodden, who lived in Surrey, England, suffered from the immune system disease lupus. Lennon sent her flowers with a personally written card.[2] After learning that Vodden was taking solace from gardening and looking at plants, Lennon also sent her gift vouchers for a garden centre. Vodden, who saw Lennon only once during the intervening years at a concert of his, responded, "It was lovely of Julian."[9][11] Vodden developed an infection on the second day of her first vacation with her husband in eight years.[11] She was rushed to a hospital in King's Lynn, Norfolk,[11] where she died on 22 September 2009, aged 46, with her husband, father, sister and brother at her bedside.[14][15] Julian Lennon and his mother, Cynthia, released a statement saying they were "shocked and saddened" by Vodden's death.[11]

On December 15, 2009, Julian Lennon released a single, "Lucy," dedicated to his late friend. Most of the proceeds are earmarked for lupus foundations.[16]

Reviews and legacy

Rolling Stone magazine described the song as "Lennon's lavish daydream"[17] and music critic Richie Unterberger said "'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' was one of the best songs on the Beatles' famous Sgt. Pepper album, and one of the classic songs of psychedelia as a whole. There are few other songs that so successfully evoke a dream world, in both the sonic textures and words."[18] In a review for the BBC, Chris Jones described the song as "nursery rhyme surrealism" that contributed to Sgt. Pepper's "revolutionary ... sonic carpet that enveloped the ears and sent the listener spinning into other realms."[19]

In later interviews, Lennon expressed disappointment with the Beatles' arrangement of the recording, complaining that adequate time was not taken to fully develop his initial idea for the song. He also said that he felt he didn't think that he sang it very well. "I was so nervous I couldn't sing," he told the journalist Ray Connolly, "but I like the lyrics."[20]

A 3.2 million year-old, 40% complete fossil skeleton of an Australopithecus afarensis specimen discovered in 1974 was named "Lucy" because The Beatles song was being played loudly and repeatedly on a tape recorder in the camp.[21]

Personnel

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[22]

Elton John version

In 1974, Elton John released a cover version as a single. Recorded at the Caribou Ranch, it featured background vocals and guitar by John Lennon under the pseudonym Dr. Winston O'Boogie. The single topped the Billboard pop charts for two weeks in January 1975 and also appeared on the 1976 musical documentary, All This and World War II.

The B-Side of the single was also a John Lennon composition, "One Day (At a Time)," a song from Lennon's 1973 album Mind Games. As with the A-Side, Lennon appears on the B-Side, playing guitar.

During their collaboration, Elton John appeared on John Lennon's song "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night". Lennon promised to appear live with John at Madison Square Garden if "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night" became a number 1 single.[23] It did, and on Thanksgiving Night, 28 November 1974, Lennon kept his promise. They performed "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night", and "I Saw Her Standing There". The Lennon-sung "I Saw Her Standing There" (credited to The Elton John Band featuring John Lennon) was originally released in 1975 on the B-Side of Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom" single. In 1981, all three live songs were issued on "28 November 1974," an Elton John EP. In 1990, the three songs were made available on the Lennon box set. In 1996, they were also included on the remastered edition of Elton John's Here and There album.

Elton John once said, "[Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds] is a song that I never do in a set at a concert simply because it reminds me too much of John Lennon. This is the same with Empty Garden".

Today, Elton John does occasionally perform it. The single was later released on the 1996 re-release of Elton John's album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.

Preceded by
"Angie Baby" by Helen Reddy
Billboard Hot 100 number one single (Elton John version)
4 January 1975
Succeeded by
"Mandy" by Barry Manilow

Other cover versions

See also

Notes

References


Simple English

"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
Song by The Beatles

from the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Released 1 June 1967
Recorded 1 March 1967,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Psychedelic rock
Length 3:28
Label Parlophone R6022
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band track listing


"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney [1] for the Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.[2]

Lennon's son, Julian, inspired the song with a nursery school drawing he called "Lucy — in the sky with diamonds". Shortly after the song's release, people realized that the first letter of each of the title's nouns spelled LSD[3]. Though Lennon denied and mocked the idea of a hidden LSD reference, the BBC banned the song.

Contents

Title and lyrics

Julian's drawing

According to the Beatles, Lennon's son, Julian Lennon showed his father a nursery school drawing he called Lucy - in the sky with diamonds, depicting his classmate, Lucy O'Donnell. Julian said, "I don't know why I called it that or why it stood out from all my other drawings, but I obviously had an affection for Lucy at that age. I used to show dad everything I'd built or painted at school, and this one sparked off the idea..."[4] [5] [6] Lucy Vodden née O'Donnell died of an immune system disease in 2009.[7]

Lennon was surprised at the idea that the song title was a hidden reference to LSD.[3]

It was purely unconscious that it came out to be LSD. Until someone pointed it out, I never even thought of it. I mean, who would ever bother to look at initials of a title? It's not an acid song. The imagery was Alice in the boat.

Reviews and legacy

Rolling Stone magazine described the song as "Lennon's lavish daydream"[8] and music critic Richie Unterberger said "'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' was one of the best songs on the Beatles' famous Sgt. Pepper album, and one of the classic songs of psychedelia as a whole. There are few other songs that so successfully evoke a dream world, in both the sonic textures and words."[9] In a review for the BBC, Chris Jones described the song as "nursery rhyme surrealism" that contributed to Sgt. Pepper's "revolutionary ... sonic carpet that enveloped the ears and sent the listener spinning into other realms."[10]

In later interviews, Lennon expressed disappointment with the Beatles' arrangement of the recording, complaining that inadequate time was taken to fully develop his initial idea for the song. He also said that he felt he didn't think that he sang it very well. "I was so nervous I couldn't sing," he told the journalist Ray Connolly, "but I like the lyrics."[11]

A 3.2 million year-old, 40% complete fossil skeleton of an Australopithecus afarensis specimen discovered in 1974 was named "Lucy" because the Beatles song was being played loudly and repeatedly on a tape recorder in the camp.[12]

The White dwarf star BPM 37093, which contains a core of crystallized carbon roughly 4000 km in diameter, is informally named "Lucy" as a tribute to the Beatles song.[13]

Personnel

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[14]

Notes

Other websites








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message