On February 4th 1968, two days after recording Lady Madonna, The Beatles recorded John Lennon’s masterpiece. At this session the band worked out the basic track along with acoustic guitar, percussion and tambura. Two teenage fans, Lizzie Bravo and Gayleen Pease were invited from off the street to provide backing vocals.
“There was a whole crowd of girls outside and Paul went out to find a couple of suitable ones. They were so excited. They couldn’t believe they’d actually been invited by Paul not just inside the building but into the studio itself, to sing with The Beatles.” – Martin Benge, engineer
Lennon wasn’t happy with the feel of track, so several sound effects were added, including: humming, a harp-like sound and guitar. None of these were included in the final mix. The song was mixed to mono and as the band were due to travel to India they put it aside for the time being.
Even after The Beatles returned from India they had so many new songs to record that Across the Universe was still kept on the shelf.