The Beatles song that John Lennon considered a “Real piece of garbage”

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The Beatles are an incredibly important band that played a vital role in shaping contemporary music.

They were known for their innovative recording techniques and their ambivalence towards their own songwriting.

One of the Beatles’ members, John Lennon, often criticized his own songs despite their success. One such song is “Across The Universe,” which appeared on the group’s final album, ‘Let It Be,’ released in 1970.

Interestingly, this song is beloved by fans, but Lennon himself referred to it as “a piece of rubbish.”

John Lennon once commented, “The original song was terrible. I was singing out of tune, and instead of getting a decent chorus, we got fans from outside who came in and sang everything out of tune. Nobody was interested in doing the original tune.”

Despite Lennon’s negative opinion, “Across The Universe” has been reinterpreted multiple times and even served as the inspiration for a 2007 film of the same name.

Ironically, this tranquil and pure track emerged from a moment of personal tension in Lennon’s life. It originated from an argument with his first wife, Cynthia.

John Lennon explained, “I was lying in bed next to my first wife, feeling irritated. She kept talking about something, and even when she fell asleep, those words kept echoing in my mind like an endless stream.

I went downstairs, and the song transformed from an irritated rant into a cosmic piece… It compelled me to get out of bed. I didn’t want to write it down, but I couldn’t sleep until I put it on paper.”

Despite the song’s sublime energy, recording it proved to be a real challenge.

Tensions were mounting between John Lennon and Paul McCartney during this period, with both feeling that their songs were not receiving the care and attention they deserved.

Although they had agreed to sing the harmonies in falsetto for “Across The Universe” during a recording session at Abbey Road in 1968, Lennon believed that Paul McCartney’s harmonies were off-key and didn’t hesitate to express his dissatisfaction.

In an attempt to appease Lennon, McCartney hired two members of the Beatles’ fan club, known as the Apple Scruffs, to provide the necessary falsetto harmonies. However, Lennon remained unconvinced by this strategy.

John Lennon reflected, “The Beatles didn’t make a good recording. I think sometimes, unconsciously, we—I say ‘we,’ although I think Paul did it more than the rest of us—Paul was somehow unconsciously trying to ruin a great song…

We were playing around, experimenting with my brilliant pieces, like ‘Strawberry Fields,’ which I always felt was poorly recorded.”

In 1971,  Lennon admitted that “Across The Universe” had always been one of his favorite songs he had written with the Beatles.

He stated, “It’s one of the best lyrics I ever wrote. In fact, it might be the best.” He added, “It’s good poetry, or whatever you call it, without the need for melody. You see, the ones I like are the ones that stand on their own as words, without music. They don’t need any melody, like a poem that can be read.”

In a way, despite its troubled recording process and initial reception, “Across The Universe” foreshadowed the future for Lennon.

The Beatles disbanded a couple of years later, freeing Lennon from the creative restraints that had confined him within the Liverpool quartet.

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