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Author Topic: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds  (Read 227 times)

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nimrod

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Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« on: April 09, 2014, 02:28:43 AM »

"..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."
Richie Unterberger 


Picture yourself in a boat on a river,
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green,
Towering over your head.
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes,
And she's gone.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ahh...

Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain
Where rocking horse people eat marshmellow pies,
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers,
That grow so incredibly high.

Newspaper taxis appear on the shore,
Waiting to take you away.
Climb in the back with your head in the clouds,
And you're gone.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ahh...

Picture yourself on a train in a station,
With plasticine porters with looking glass ties,
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstyle,
The girl with the kaleidoscope eyes.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Ahh...


"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is a song written primarily by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney, for the Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. This album became the biggest selling album of the 1960s
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, speculation arose that the first letter of each of the title nouns intentionally spelled LSD. Although Lennon denied it, the BBC banned the song. In a 2004 interview, Paul McCartney said that the song is about LSD, stating, "A song like 'Got to Get You into My Life', that's directly about pot, although everyone missed it at the time ... Day Tripper", he says, "that's one about acid. 'Lucy in the Sky,' that's pretty obvious. There's others that make subtle hints about drugs, but, you know, it's easy to overestimate the influence of drugs on the Beatles' music."

Most of the song is in simple triple metre (3/4 time), but the chorus is in 4/4 time. The song modulates between musical keys, using the key of A major for verses, B♭ major for the pre-chorus, and G major for the chorus. It is sung by Lennon over an increasingly complicated underlying arrangement which features a tamboura, played by George Harrison, lead electric guitar put through a Leslie speaker, played by Lennon, and a counter melody on Lowrey organ played by McCartney and taped with a special organ stop sounding "not unlike a celeste". Session tapes from the initial 1 March 1967 recording of this song reveal 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

Rolling Stone magazine described the song as "Lennon's lavish daydream" 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."  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."

Personnel

John Lennon – double-tracked vocal, acoustic guitar, piano
Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass guitar, Lowrey organ
George Harrison – lead guitar, sitar, tambura
Ringo Starr – drums, maracas
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stevie

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2014, 04:47:02 AM »

Yeah it still sounds good. Great bass line and Ringo's drums sound full on too.
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Normandie

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2014, 06:07:34 AM »

"..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."
Richie Unterberger 

That quote nails it!  :)
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Klang

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2014, 08:31:44 AM »


One of my faves. Music reinvented again.

 :)

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Moogmodule

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2014, 10:15:18 AM »

It's never been one of my favourite Beatle tunes. I can't really explain why. It's well put together with a musically interesting verse and catchy vibrant chorus. Maybe the lyrics were just too trippy for me. I love the surreal lyrics of Strawberry Fields and the consciously out there ones of I am the Walrus.  This comes across to me as  striving too hard to be psychedelic. Rather than being effortless about it.

Still a good song though and fits Sgt Peppers very well.
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Dcazz

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2014, 11:31:56 AM »

Probably the ultimate pshycadelic song! I like how it starts by bringing you into the song. "Picture yourself..." so he's not singing to you but bringing you into the song in a sense. This gives it a personal feel like you are there. I think this is one reason it makes it a great one!
The instruments are right on as Paul's bass is a bit understated during the verse while John is taking you away but comes in strong during the chorus and Ringo's drums back that up perfectly with some excellent tom-tom work. I think Georges Indian instruments are what makes the song complete as they truly make it into a dreamy trip. The Indian sound is always in the back round weaving through the song. Just right!
Perfect song for Sargent Pepper and 67's summer of love!
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nimrod

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2014, 11:50:50 AM »

It's never been one of my favourite Beatle tunes. I can't really explain why. It's well put together with a musically interesting verse and catchy vibrant chorus. Maybe the lyrics were just too trippy for me. I love the surreal lyrics of Strawberry Fields and the consciously out there ones of I am the Walrus.  This comes across to me as  striving too hard to be psychedelic. Rather than being effortless about it.

Still a good song though and fits Sgt Peppers very well.

That's interesting Moog as I always felt this was written in an effortless and flowing manner, almost as if in a dream...................telling also is the greatness that is often reached when John & Paul worked together, for me this is one of Johns best songs, a classic of Lewis Carroll proportions, Paul helps make it so with his dreamy celeste keyboard and great bass line, not to mention how well he sings the chorus.
Yes I like what George does and I like Johns Leslie guitar lines.
Im convinced Paul played his Hofner on this due to the complete lack of sustain of the notes and the woody sound, surely its not a Rickenbacker.
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In My Life

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2014, 07:04:27 PM »

a classic of Lewis Carroll proportions

Well put! That's the name I was going to mention. And the term sonic texture is perfect. I love everything about this song. The way the music meanders along through the imagery is so calming to me. The line about the cellophane flowers always makes me think of the flowers I was really into making when I was about 8 or 9. They were made with wire that I bent then dipped in some kind of liquid plastic stuff. When it dried it looked like a bit like cellophane. I had those things all over my room for a while. LOL
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Kelley

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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2014, 08:11:53 PM »

A masterpiece. The essential psychedelic song. The best song from Sgt. Pepper's in my opinion.
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tkitna

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2014, 11:49:03 PM »

The quintessential John song in my opinion. Not sure why, but I associate him in the Beatles with this tune for some reason. Love it and cant find too many faults with it.

blmeanie

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2014, 02:00:15 AM »

Fantastic song that oddly I don't hear that often.  Will get some play tomorrow for sure.

Bass play always stood out to me, always imagined Paul having fun playing it too.

I have always been annoyed at the LSD/schoolmate named Lucy argument.   Part of me wants it to be whimsical and about a classmate of Julian's and part of me wants it to be a clever and (not too well) hidden reference to LSD by John.  I just don't want to always read about it...
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2014, 02:27:38 AM »

I agree with a lot of what Moog said about this song.  When I first heard the song in 1967 it frightened me a bit.  I grew to like it because of the instrumentation. 

I never cared much for how they sped up John's vocals.  I would have preferred it sounding a bit more like this...


Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds // Anthology 2 // Disc 2 // Track 10 (Stereo)


Why mess withat beautiful voice of his?!
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Moogmodule

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2014, 03:53:12 AM »


I never cared much for how they sped up John's vocals.  I would have preferred it sounding a bit more like this...

Why mess withat beautiful voice of his?!

It's interesting to hear it like that. John sounds more like 90s Britpop like Oasis or Pulp or something. I also find the sped up version makes Johns voice too thin.

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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2014, 04:16:24 AM »

...like Oasis or Pulp or something.

Never heard of 'em.  Wait.  Oasis.  Isn't that the group with the bald drummer?  You know, the guy who was in the audience in A Hard Day's Night?
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In My Life

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2014, 04:23:53 AM »

Never heard of 'em.  Wait.  Oasis.  Isn't that the group with the bald drummer?  You know, the guy who was in the audience in A Hard Day's Night?

Wrong sis!
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Kelley

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Dcazz

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2014, 02:15:49 AM »

Never heard of 'em.  Wait.  Oasis.  Isn't that the group with the bald drummer?  You know, the guy who was in the audience in A Hard Day's Night?
Hey! All those are excerpts from my posts!  ;D You've been paying attention after all!
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Dcazz

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2014, 02:34:00 PM »

Killed that thread! Lol!
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Snoopy66

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Re: Song Of The Week - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
« Reply #17 on: Yesterday at 06:54:15 PM »

Fantastic song that oddly I don't hear that often.  Will get some play tomorrow for sure.

I have always been annoyed at the LSD/schoolmate named Lucy argument.   Part of me wants it to be whimsical and about a classmate of Julian's and part of me wants it to be a clever and (not too well) hidden reference to LSD by John.  I just don't want to always read about it...
I love that song too, even more because of the special lyrics than the music.

Yeah, the never-ending discussion about the LSD/schoolmate theory gets on my nerves too. I personally think it's a mix of both, though I don't really care. The song is just outstanding.

Snoopy
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