"Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" came out in 1967, a result of the Beatles’ famous open-ended recording sessions at Abbey Road. The group recorded the first versions of the song late one night, working through the arrangement as they went. Now, you can listen to the first take of the classic song thanks to NPR.
The first recording, debuted online by All Things Considered, includes plenty of quirks that were smoothed over by the final version, like one of the band members’ hacking coughs at the beginning of the track. You can also hear them talking through some parts of the song, a rare opportunity to witness the group’s artistic process.
Giles Martin, son of George Martin, the famed producer who worked on almost all of the Beatles’ records, recently remixed Sgt. Pepper, which was rather hastily thrown together at the time. John Lennon later called the "Lucy" recording "abysmal." In an interview in 1980, he complained that "the track is just terrible. I mean, it is a great track, a great song, but it isn’t a great track because it wasn't made right."
Take a listen to the first take here.