Saturday, August 20, 2016

"Across The Universe" takes 7 and 8

On February 04 1969, The Beatles continued work in Studio 3 of EMI Studios in London for the John Lennon composition "Across The Universe" using a different take from the previous take 2 mentioned in the previous post. This time work concentrated on take 7 which featured John on acoustic guitar, George Harrison adding tamboura and Ringo playing a single drum tom.
One of the ideas floating around was to have backing vocals on the chorus of the song. Since it was a last minute decision, it was decided to grab two fans waiting outside the EMI Studios and bring them inside to sing along to during the chorus. The two lucky teens were Lizzie Bravo and Gayleen Pease who sang their parts and then left the recording session.
Some experimentation followed when take 7 was reduced to take 8 and backwards bass/drums were added. Also added at this stage were backwards guitar/harp and the band humming a note during the "Om" section and near the end of the song as well. A mono mix was made of this and it was eventually released (without the backwards bass/drums) on various bootlegs including the LP  "The Lost Lennon Tapes Volume Three", the CD "Ultra Rare Trax, Volume 3" and "Unsurpassed Masters Volume 4" described sometimes as the "Hums Wild" version of the song.
Four days later on February 08 1969, the backwards tapes were taken off and replace with harmonies by Paul and George as well as adding some electric guitar swells from John, maracas by Ringo and piano by Paul. This version was mixed to mono with some animal effect used at the beginning of the song and it sat there for most of the year, unused.
Almost a year later in 1970, Glyn Johns started preparing an LP acetate of the "Get Back" sessions and decided to use the take 7 version of "Across The Universe" by mixing it in stereo using the guitar, tamboura, drum tom and the teenage backing vocals.This mix can be found on such bootlegs as the CD "Get Back Second Mix" and "Get Back: The Final Glyn Johns compilation".