Saturday, January 4, 1975

Elton John’s cover of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” hit #1 in US

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

The Beatles

Writer(s): John Lennon, Paul McCartney (see lyrics here)

Released: June 2, 1967 (album cut)

First Charted: --

Peak: 3 CL (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 29.6 video, -- streaming

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Elton John

Released: November 18, 1974

First Charted: November 22, 1974

Peak: 12 US, 11 CB, 12 HR, 11 RR, 1 CL, 10 UK, 14 CN, 3 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, -- video, -- streaming

Awards (The Beatles):

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The Beatles chose not to release any singles from their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band because “the entire album was meant to hang together as a whole.” SG “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “possibly the most enduring song on the album,” SG has “a fragile spaced-out dreaminess to it” SG which led to rumors that it was an acid song. The initials spelled out “LSD” and the “lyrics are all dazed, hallucinatory meditations on a girl who keeps disappearing and a world where things don’t make sense.” SG Paul McCartney said “drugs did influence some of the group’s compositions…including ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’…[but it’s] easy to overestimate the influence of drugs on the Beatles’ music.” WK

John Lennon claimed the song was inspired by a painting by his son. SG He said, “My son Julian came in one day with a picture he painted about a school friend of his named Lucy. He had sketched in some stars in the sky and called it ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.’” FB Julian reconnected with the drawing’s muse, his nursery school classmate Lucy O’Donnell, in their adult lives before she died of complications from lupus in 2009. WK

John also explained that “the images were from Alice in Wonderland.” FB The title of the drawing reminded John of the chapter “Which Dreamed It?” in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, in which Alice floats in a “boat beneath a sunny sky.” WK McCartney explained, “We did the whole thing like an Alice in Wonderland idea, being in a boat on the river…Every so often it broke off and you saw Lucy in the sky with diamonds all over the sky. This Lucy was God, the Big Figure, the White Rabbit.” WK

Elton John referred to it as “one of the best songs ever written.” SGSG


  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for The Beatles
  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Elton John
  • FB Fred Bronson (2007). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (4th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 388.
  • SG Stereogum (6/20/2019). “The Number Ones” by Tom Breihan
  • WK Wikipedia

Related Links:

First posted 7/1/2022; last updated 7/17/2022.

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