The Beatles Top 60 Solo Songs: #49: “Give Peace A Chance”- Plastic Ono Band. Written by John Lennon [although credited to Lennon-McCartney in the songwriting credits- The Beatles were still a band and had yet to record one more album- Abbey Road before breaking up and John would later say he felt guilty and gave it the Lennon-McCartney instead of Lennon-Ono as it actually was.} This anti-war anthem was recorded during the famous John and Yoko honeymoon bed -in in Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel. There were dozens of journalists and celebrities in the room when this was recorded and the acoustics in the room was poor in the room. Among those in the room Petula Clark, Timothy Leary, Dick Gregory, Allen Ginsberg, Murray the K, Derek Taylor. John Lennon and Tommy Smothers played acoustic guitar. The song was recorded on June 1, 1969 and released as a single in the following month- going to #14 in the US and #2 in the UK.
Musically speaking, it’s perhaps not Lennon’s best song but certainly one of his signature tunes. The lo-fi sound quality and spontaneous feel is charming.
I remember being surprised that it did as well as it did on the charts- very unpolished which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The fact it was by John Lennon undoubtedly helped. Plus, it was a message that resonated at the time.
Have always loved this song. I’m surprised to learn that Petula Clark was in the room when this was recorded. She seems like an unlikely person to have been there, but what do I know?
John wanted things done now. This and Instant Karma…. written and produced so fast. The Canadian producer who edited together did a great job. I think John would have loved the internet…he could have recorded something and released it at that moment all over the world if he wanted to.
Maybe John and Neil Young could have gotten together- recorded an album one day- and released it all the next!
Hans I would have bought that!
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