The Beatles Top 60 Solo Songs: #28: ” Whatever Gets You Thru The Night”- John Lennon. Who would have thought when The Beatles broke up that John would be the final of the four to have a #1 hit in the US- but he was. John’s first #1 and only solo #1 while he was living- was “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” from his fine Walls and Bridges album of 1974- his final album of new material until 1980’s Double Fantasy.
According to May Pang- John’s girlfriend during his 18 month “long weekend’ away from Yoko Ono–“‘At night he [Lennon] loved to channel -surf and would pick up phrases from all the shows. One time, he was watching Reverend Ike a famous black evangelist, who was saying, ‘Let me tell you guys, it doesn’t matter, it’s whatever gets you through the night.’ John loved it and said, ‘I’ve got to write it down or I’ll forget it.’ He always kept a pad and pen by the bed. That was the beginning of “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night”.’
Lennon’s friend Elton John contributed harmony vocals and piano on the hit and made a bet with John that the song would go to the top of the charts. Elton secured a promise from John that if it did get to #1 that John would appear on stage and perform it- which he ended up doing on Thanksgiving 1974 at Madison Square Garden in New York- the final concert performance of John Lennon’s career.