Beatles – Across The Universe

When I became a Beatles fan way back when I was 8 years old…and up to my teenage years I hardly ever heard this one mentioned by people. I’ve seen its popularity grow through the years. My biggest problem with it is they should have spent more time on it. Lennon accused McCartney of subconsciously trying to destroy it. You could see Paul let out a big yawn while rehearsing in the Let It Be film but that probably had more to do with him being tired after hours of playing in a studio…but maybe Lennon had a point.

One of the reasons John got upset with Paul was because instead of getting professional backup singers or a choir…Paul went out the Abbey Road door and grabbed two “Apple Scruffs” to sing backup on the song. That version did not go on the Let It Be album, however. That version was on a charity album.

This first appeared on No One’s Gonna Change Our World, a 1969 charity album for the World Wildlife Fund. Bird noises were dubbed into this version to create a nature theme. It didn’t sound too bad.

No One's Gonna Change Our World (1969, Vinyl) - Discogs

When I bought the Let It Be album it took a few listens but soon this one intrigued me. The lyrics alone are enthralling because of the imagery. Since I first heard it, the song has taken on huge popularity.

It even had a movie that was made around its title and worked around Beatle lyrics in 2007. That alone boosted its popularity.

I always wondered about the Jai guru deva om phrase. “Jai guru deva, om” translates to “hail to the Heavenly Teacher” or “I give thanks to Guru Dev.” That was a mantra was invented by the Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – the late protégé of Guru Dev.

On February 4, 2008 “Across The Universe” became the first track to be beamed directly into space. It was transmitted through NASA’s antenna in the DSN’s Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex, towards the North Star, Polaris, 431 light-years from Earth. The broadcasting of the Beatles song was done to mark both NASA’s 50th birthday and the 40th anniversary of Across The Universe. Paul McCartney described the transmission as an “amazing feat” adding, “Well done, NASA. Send my love to the aliens!”

David Bowie also did a good version of this song. Liam Gallagher has cited this song as a huge influence on him starting to write songs.

John Lennon: “I was lying next to me first wife in bed, and I was irritated. She must have been going 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 sort of a cosmic song rather than an irritated song… it drove me out of bed. I didn’t want to write it, but I was slightly irritable and I went downstairs and I couldn’t get to sleep until I’d put it on paper.”

John Lennon: “It’s one of the best lyrics I’ve written. In fact, it could be the best.” He added: “It’s good poetry, or whatever you call it, without chewin’ it. See, the ones I like are the ones that stand as words, without melody. They don’t have to have any melody, like a poem, you can read them.”

John Lennon: “The Beatles didn’t make a good record of it. I think subconsciously sometimes we – I say ‘we’ although I think Paul did it more than the rest of us – Paul would, sort of subconsciously, try and destroy a great song… meaning we’d play experimental games with my great pieces, like ‘Strawberry Fields,’ which I always thought was badly recorded.”

The World Wildlife Fund

Across The Universe

Words are flowing out
Like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
Are drifting through my opened mind
Possessing and caressing me

Jai Guru Deva, Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Images of broken light
Which dance before me like a million eyes
They call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a
Restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe

Jai Guru Deva, Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Sounds of laughter, shades of life
Are ringing through my opened ears
Inciting and inviting me
Limitless undying love
Which shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on across the universe

Jai Guru Deva, Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva

Beatles – I’ve Got A Feeling

I’m glad the Let It Be album is getting a new life because of the Get back film.   It’s not Revolver by any means but it was never meant to be. Let It Be started off as an album that would feature minimum overdubs and get back to playing as a band. I’ve Got A Feeling is a mix of two unfinished songs, Paul McCartney’s “I’ve Got a Feeling” and John Lennon’s “Everybody Had a Hard Year.”

John Lennon did have a hard year. He got divorced, battled heroin addiction, police drug raid, Yoko had suffered a miscarriage and he was convicted of drug possession.

John had worked on this song earlier. After meeting with Paul at his St. John’s Wood home in London sometime in December of 1968 to merge both of their songs into one, John met with the others at Twickenham Studios on January 2nd, 1969, with an arrangement that was already formulated, right down to the synchronized vocals of both composers in the final verse. All that was left was to finalize the arrangement with George and Ringo and to rehearse it repeatedly before it was ready to record.

The Beatles recorded this live on the Apple rooftop, which was used in their movie, Let It Be. John Lennon’s guitar sounds downright nasty and George’s compliments that sound with clean licks off of his Fender.

The Let It Be album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, Canada, and The UK in 1970.

The version of I’ve Got a Feeling which was released on Let It Be was recorded during the rooftop concert. The studio take was released on the 1996 Anthology 3. Let It Be… Naked, which was a remix album that came out in 2003, patched two different rooftop concert takes.

I would have loved to hear Elvis do a cover of this song…but I can’t imagine him singing the “wet dream” part but it would have been interesting.

Pearl Jam also did a version of this song.

I’ve Got A Feeling

I’ve got a feeling, a feeling deep inside
Oh yeah, oh yeah.
I’ve got a feeling, a feeling I can’t hide
Oh no, oh no, oh no.
Yeah, I’ve got a feeling.

Oh please believe me, I’d hate to miss the train
Oh yeah, oh yeah.
And if you leave me I won’t be late again
Oh no, oh no, oh no.
Yeah, I’ve got a feeling, yeah.

All these years I’ve been wandering around,
Wondering how come nobody told me
All that I was looking for was somebody
Who looked like you.

I’ve got a feeling, that keeps me on my toes
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

I’ve got a feeling, I think that everybody knows
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah.
Yeah, yeah, I’ve got a feeling, yeah.
Yeah

Ev’rybody had a hard year
Ev’rybody had a good time
Ev’rybody had a wet dream,
Ev’rybody saw the sunshine
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Ev’rybody had a good year,
Ev’rybody let their hair down,
Ev’rybody pulled their socks up,
Ev’rybody put their foot down.
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Yeah I’ve got a feeling
A feeling deep inside
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

I’ve got a feeling, a feeling I can’t hide
Oh no
Oh no no no

Yeah yeah yeah yeah
I’ve got a feeling
I’ve got a feeling

Beatles – Dig A Pony

No, this is not the strongest song in the Beatles catalog or even the strongest on the Let It Be album but…I love that guitar riff! That riff is one of the most unorthodox riffs I’ve heard. Only the mind of John Lennon could have come up with that part. The same man that brought us the riffs of Daytripper and And Your Bird Can Sing.

The part that hooked me as a kid was the guitar riff as I’ve said and the I, I, I, I Iyeeeeeeeee that starts it out. The other strong part of the song is the chorus “All I Want Is You!” “Everything has got to be just like you want it to!” and right after that the riff comes in again. I also like John’s raw vocals in this one. Also…it’s hard not to like “I roll a stoney. “The orginal title was All I Want Is You.

John Lennon would often string words together to create nonsensical phrases for his lyrics. When asked about this song he said it refers to no specific person and the lyrics are “nonsense,” a lyrical technique he also attributes to Bob Dylan songs. John said he made it up as he went along.

The lyrics were brought up in the movie “Imagine” released in 1988.

This part below was in the Imagine movie.

In a clip after the Beatles broke up, a young man…obviousy on hard times ended up in John’s garden. The fellow’s name was Curt Claudio. He looked a bit lost and scarred. He latched onto John Lennon and his music, believing that he had some sort of connection to John and he traveled to England to find out if he really did. He was found sleeping on the grounds of Tittenhurst Park, John and Yoko’s home in Ascot. Claudio thought John was speaking to him through his songs. He mentions lyrics to Dig a Pony.

John took the time to go out and talk to Curt and very kindly told him that he was just a guy too, and that while Curt thought that John’s songs were written with Curt in mind, they were really just written from personal, everyday experiences. He then invited him in the house for something to eat.

Video below

Dig A Pony

I dig a pony
Well, you can celebrate anything you want
Yes, you can celebrate anything you want
Oh

I do a road hog
Well, you can penetrate any place you go
Yes, you can penetrate any place you go
I told you so

All I want is you
Everything has got to be just like you want it to
Because

I pick a moon dog
Well, you can radiate everything you are
Yes, you can radiate everything you are
Oh now

I roll a stoney
Well, you can imitate everyone you know
Yes, you can imitate everyone you know
I told you so

All I want is you
Everything has got to be just like you want it to
Because (woo)

Oh now
I feel the wind blow
Well, you can indicate everything you see
Yes, you can indicate everything you see
Oh now

I load a lorry
Well, you can syndicate any boat you row
Yeah, you can syndicate any boat you row
I told you so

All I want is you
Everything has got to be just like you want it to
Because

Beatles – Two Of Us

I’ve been watching Get Back on Disney Plus and this is one of the songs they have went over. I always thought Two Of Us should have been a single… It’s not slick or full of production…just John and Paul singing together like they did in the early years. It feels like they had come full circle.

Paul McCartney wrote this about enjoying his travels with his wife Linda. The song was on the album Let It Be recorded in January of 1969 but wasn’t released until 1970. It was the last studio album released of the Beatles career but not the last recorded.

After this album The Beatles embarked on recording the classic album Abbey Road in the summer of 1969. As the film Get Back shows…yes they would argue but it was not as bad as we have been led to believe or they would not have recorded Abbey Road. There was also talk of another possible album after Abbey Road but they decided to call it a day.

I always thought The Beatles ended at the right time. They never made a bad album like some other bands. I do think they had a couple of albums left in them but to end a career recording Abbey Road…its hard to top that.

It’s interesting to speculate if they would have got back together if John Lennon would not have been murdered. I don’t think they would have recorded again but I do think Lennon and McCartney would have written together again.

Linda McCartney: As a kid I loved getting lost. I would say to my father – let’s get lost. But you could never seem to be able to get really lost. All signs would eventually lead back to New York or wherever we were staying! Then, when I moved to England to be with Paul, we would put Martha in the back of the car and drive out of London. As soon as we were on the open road I’d say, ‘Let’s get lost’ and we’d keep driving without looking at any signs. Hence the line in the song, ‘Two of us going nowhere’.

Paul wrote ‘Two Of Us’ on one of those days out. It’s about us. We just pulled off in a wood somewhere and parked the car. I went off walking while Paul sat in the car and started writing. He also mentions the postcards because we used to send a lot of postcards to each other.

From Songfacts

Lennon and McCartney sang together on this song, which is something they did a lot in the early years of The Beatles, but not so much later on, when they started writing separately and restricting the lead vocal to whoever wrote the song.

This song is mostly acoustic, with Lennon and McCartney each playing acoustic guitar. George Harrison’s electric guitar is there, but low in the mix. There is no bass on the track.

This appears twice in the Beatles documentary movie Let It Be, first as a duet by John and Paul and then with the whole band.

John Lennon did the whistling on the fade-out.

Two Of Us

Two of us riding nowhere
Spending someone’s hard-earned pay
You and me Sunday driving
Not arriving
On our way back home
We’re on our way home
We’re on our way home
We’re going home

Two of us sending postcards
Writing letters on my wall
You and me burning matches
Lifting latches
On our way back home
We’re on our way home
We’re on our way home
We’re going home

You and I have memories
That stretches out ahead

Two of us wearing raincoats
Standing solo
You and me chasing paper
Getting nowhere
On our way back home
We’re on our way home
We’re on our way home
We’re going home

You and I have memories
That stretches out ahead

Two of us wearing raincoats
You and me chasing paper
Getting nowhere
On our way back home
We’re on our way home
We’re on our way home
We’re going home

We’re going home
Better believe it
Good-bye

Beatles Get Back Trailer

Just saw this a few minutes ago. Lately I’ve been living in a bubble because of work but this is the new Get Back trailer. This is not the sneak peak Peter Jackson released before. On November 25,26, and 27th… 6 hours of the Let It Be/Get Back music, comedy, and drama will all unfold on the Disney plus.

As a very young Beatle fan I read about these sessions and only saw still photographs. Later on I saw them do Get Back on MTV while on the rooftop and it was like photos coming to life…I read where they had 56 hours of video footage sitting in a vault from this album. Now we will see 6 hours out of that anyway…you what what? I would happily sit through 56 hours… Peter Jackson has done such a great job on the look of the film…it looks like it could have been filmed yesterday. Peter, need an assistant for free?

With the previews I’ve seen…it looks like it was a lot of fun and the bad drama was not prevalent through the filming. Ringo has said that people have focused on the negative but it was much more positive than that. What is great about Get Back is the good time they had and it wasn’t all doom and gloom. I can’t imagine the pressure they were under to deliver and be as good as their last album. In this case, when they filmed this, it was just a few months after they released The White Album…The Let It Be album didn’t get released until after their last studio album Abbey Road.

Enough of me talking…here is the preview.

Beatles – Get Back

John Lennon was primarily a rhythm guitar player but George Harrison briefly left the Beatles during the recording of Let It Be.  John took the lead guitar part on this song and made a memorable solo. John was a very aggressive guitar player and on this one he was on the mark.

McCartney got the idea for the title “Get Back” from the line “Get back to where you should be” from a song George Harrison wrote called “Sour Milk Sea,” which was eventually recorded by Jackie Lomax. McCartney changed the line to, “Get back to where you once belonged”.

Early versions include the line “I dig no Pakistanis.” The song began as a commentary about immigration, telling people to “get back” to their own countries. It was meant to mock Britain’s anti-immigrant proponents. Paul McCartney, who wrote the song and sang lead, thought better of it and made the lyrics more palatable.

At the end of this album version, we hear cheering, followed by McCartney saying, “Thanks Mo” in response to Ringo’s wife, Maureen, who was clapping. Lennon then says, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we’ve passed the audition.” This part came from the live rooftop performance.

This song went number 1  everywhere. #1 in the  Billboard 100, Canada, UK, New Zealand, The UK, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Ireland…and so on. The B side was Don’t Let Me Down…which personally I like more.

From Songfacts

“Get Back” was going to be the title of the album and the documentary film about making it. The Beatles stopped touring in 1966 and were worn thin by 1968, but they rekindled their passion for performance after shooting the “Hey Jude” promotional film in September that year before a live audience. Energized by the effort, they agreed to the documentary; the concept was The Beatles “getting back” to their roots and playing new songs for a live audience without any studio tricks.

The song “Get Back” came closest to capturing that spirit. Produced by George Martin, it was released as the follow-up single to “Hey Jude” in April 1969 (a month later in America) and was another blockbuster for the group, going to #1 in most territories.

The album became something completely different from the live set they planned. Glyn Johns, who engineered the sessions, was asked to put it together from what were really rehearsal tapes. After he assembled the album, it sat around while the Let It Be documentary was being edited from the film footage of The Beatles rehearsing in the studio and playing on the rooftop. During this time, The Beatles made the Abbey Road album, released it, and broke up.

Phil Spector, who had worked on John Lennon’s solo song “Instant Karma” (which George Harrison played on), was brought in to produce the Get Back album, which was re-titled Let It Be. Spector took the tapes and added orchestrations using his “Wall Of Sound” technique, and the album that was supposed to be the raw sound of The Beatles returning to their roots was released as a highly produced swan song on May 8, 1970, after they had broken up.

The Beatles famously performed this song from the rooftop of Apple Records on January 30, 1969, footage of which serves as the climax to their Let It Be documentary film. Knowing it would get shut down pretty quickly, the group kept mum about the performance, which was designed to promote the single and provide an ending for their film. They got in three takes of “Get Back” before police pulled the plug. The plan worked: Not only did they get their film ending, but the audio (including their banter) was used on various edits of “Get Back” to give it a live feel and add some character.

In their early days, The Beatles were musical warriors, playing in clubs for hours most nights. The “Get Back” single harkened to those days and was advertised as “The Beatles as nature intended.”

The single version runs 3:11 and contains a false ending at 2:34, after which McCartney comes back with a spoken verse:

“Get back Loretta, your mummy’s waiting for you, wearing her high-heeled shoes and her low-neck sweater, get back home, Loretta.”

The album version is a little shorter (3:09) and omits this section. It begins with a behind-the-scenes bit from the band tuning up during a session for the song on January 27, 1969. We hear John Lennon poke fun at the first line (“Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner, but he knew it couldn’t last”) by saying:

“Sweet Loretta fat she thought she was a cleaner, but she was a frying pan.”

Preston was a salve and a spark for the group. On January 10, 1969, George Harrison quit and almost left for good. He came back to work on January 21, but the tension lingered. Preston showed up the next day and galvanized the group; he played on “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” and participated in sessions for several other tracks.

The Beatles met Preston in 1962 when they were both playing in Germany, but they hadn’t seen each other since. It was Harrison’s idea to bring him in; after George left the Let It Be sessions, he saw Preston in concert with Ray Charles and arranged for him to join The Beatles. Having him in the studio eased the tension and made it easier for the group to put personal conflicts aside and record the album.

The press release to promote the single contains this quote from McCartney: “We were sitting in the studio and we made it up out of thin air… we started to write words there and then… when we finished it, we recorded it at Apple Studios and made it into a song to roller coast by.”

Lennon claimed this was basically a rewrite of their 1968 song “Lady Madonna.”

Beatles fans found lots of hidden meaning in their lyrics, and sometimes the band did too. In his 1980 Playboy interview, John Lennon claimed that Paul looked at Yoko in the studio when he sang the line “get back to where you once belong.” John was sure he was disrespecting her.

There was speculation that the character “JoJo” was based on Joseph Melville See Jr., Linda McCartney’s first husband, who was from Tucson, Arizona. McCartney denied this, explaining in his 1988 autobiography Many Years From Now that he and Linda were on good terms with See, who used the first name Melville, and that “JoJo” was “an imaginary character, half-man and half-woman.”

Linda attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, and in 1979 she and Paul bought a ranch there. As for Joseph Melville See, he never remarried, and in 2000 he killed himself in Tucson.

Billy Preston’s piano solo was spontaneous. he told New Jersey’s Asbury Park Press in 2000: “I was playing a Fender Rhodes on ‘Get Back.’ They just told me, ‘Take a solo!’ I wasn’t expecting to do a solo. When we were rehearsing, I wasn’t playing a solo.”

The last version of the song The Beatles played on the Apple rooftop can be heard in the widely bootlegged “rooftop sessions,” which finds McCartney mocking the police as they shut them down. You can hear him ad-lib the lines “You been out too long, Loretta! You’ve been playing on the roofs again! That’s no good! You know your mommy doesn’t like that! Oh, she’s getting angry… she’ll have you arrested! Get back!”

An edited version of the rooftop performances was released on the Anthology 3 collection in 1996.

Some of the artists to cover this song include: The Bee Gees, The Crusaders, Dizzy Gillespie, Al Green, Elton John, The London Symphony Orchestra, The Main Ingredient, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Billy Preston, Kenny Rogers, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Shadows, Status Quo, Rod Stewart, Ike and Tina Turner, and Sarah Vaughan.

In 2003, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr gave permission to Apple Records to rework the album and remove Phil Spector’s production. The result is the stripped-down version called Let It Be… Naked, which McCartney claims is what the group intended.

McCartney played this at halftime of the 2005 Super Bowl. This was the year after Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed during the halftime show, so the NFL insisted on an act that wouldn’t incite controversy or push the envelope. McCartney fit the bill.

Get Back

Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner
But he knew it wouldn’t last
Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona
For some California grass

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back Jojo, go home

Get back, get back
Back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Back to where you once belonged
Get back Jo

Sweet Loretta Martin thought she was a woman
But she was another man
All the girls around her say she’s got it coming
But she gets it while she can

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back Loretta, go home

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back, get back