Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds context

Links to the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds structure timeline.

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Unusual features

  • Three different keys - A major for the verses- B♭ major for the pre-chorus- G major for the chorus- Doesn't end in the same key as the beginning- Harmonic interest- Chromatically ascending.
  • Verses and pre-chorus are written in triple metre (3/4) and the chorus in quadruple metre (4/4).
  • Uses unconventional instruments: Lowrey organ, Tambura, Maracas.
  • Unique/ strange instruments
  • Experimental song writing because of the above features.
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Key facts

  • Sung at a moderate tempo.
  • Song has provoked discussion over the Beatles' drug use.
  • 'Lucy with in the Sky with Diamonds'- A play on the letters of LSD.- Lennon says it was completely coincidental.
  • Classified as psychedelic pop.- Linked to drug users.
  • McCartney added the fanciful phrases 'cellophane flowers', 'kaleidoscope eyes', 'newspaper taxis' and 'plasticine porters with looking glass ties'.
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Instrumentation

  • John played acoustic guitar and sang most of the lyrics- some were double tracked.
  • Paul sang part of the song, added harmonies, played bass and a Lowrey organ using a celeste bell-like sound.
  • Ringo played drums.
  • George Martin (manager) played piano.
  • George Harrison played distorted lead guitar (through a Leslie speaker- warmer sound) and also maracas and a drone on the tambura.
  • Echo effect (reverb) added which adds to the 'spacey' feel to the song.
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Structure

  • Intro
  • Verse 1
  • Pre-chorus
  • Chorus
  • Verse 2
  • Pre-chorus
  • Chorus
  • Verse 3 
  • Chorus
  • Outro-chorus
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