Solo Beatles single by single thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Haristar, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. Haristar

    Haristar Living in the Material World Thread Starter

    Southampton, UK
    Did some searching and it seems as if there's never been a solo Beatles single by single thread.

    While there must be well over a hundred solo Beatles singles released in either the UK or the US, I feel like it could be fun to go through and discuss each single relative to how the other Beatles were doing at the time.

    Due to the sheer amount of singles we will move on to a new single every few days.

    Plastic Ono Band - "Give Peace a Chance" (1969)

    B-side: Yoko Ono - "Remember Love"
    Released: 4 July 1969 (UK), 7 July 1969 (US)
    Charts: #2 (UK), #14 (US)

    The song was written during Lennon's 'Bed-In' honeymoon in Montreal, Canada.[2] When asked by a reporter what he was trying to achieve by staying in bed, Lennon answered spontaneously "Just give peace a chance". He went on to say this several times during the Bed-In.[2] Finally, on 1 June 1969, in Room 1742 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, André Perry recorded it using a simple setup of four microphones and a four-track tape recorder rented from a local recording studio.[3] The recording session was attended by dozens of journalists and various celebrities, including Timothy Leary, Rabbi Abraham Feinberg, Joseph Schwartz, Rosemary Woodruff Leary, Petula Clark, Dick Gregory, Allen Ginsberg, Roger Scott, Murray the K and Derek Taylor, many of whom are mentioned in the lyrics. Lennon played acoustic guitar and was joined by Tommy Smothers of the Smothers Brothers, also on acoustic guitar.

    When released in 1969, the song was credited to Lennon–McCartney.[4] On some later releases, only Lennon is credited; viz. the 1990s reissue of the album Live in New York City, the 2006 documentary The U.S. vs. John Lennon, and the 1997 compilation albumLennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon and its DVD version six years later. Lennon later stated his regrets about being “guilty enough to give McCartney credit as co-writer on my first independent single instead of giving it to Yoko, who had actually written it with me.”[1] However, it has also been suggested that the credit was a way of thanking McCartney for helping him record "The Ballad of John and Yoko" at short notice.[5]
  2. Haristar

    Haristar Living in the Material World Thread Starter

    Southampton, UK
    Always had a fondness for this song. Seems like a sequel of sorts to "All You Need is Love" two years earlier.
    Paulwalrus, qwerty, JLGB and 2 others like this.
  3. theMess

    theMess Forum Resident

    Kent, UK
    I tried something like this a couple of years ago and it didn't last long. Hopefully your thread will be much more successful.
  4. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    John certainly knew how to write an anthem. This one and Imagine.

    A simple song with a great message
  5. adm62

    adm62 Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    Great sentiment, terrible record.
  6. Culpa

    Culpa Forum Resident

    Philadelphia, PA
    A really cool 45 at the time, with a totally classic picture sleeve. Great little song for a one-off, but I think it just goes on too long. No reason for it to have been more than 3 minutes. (Hey Jude it ain't).

    Always liked the B-side too, with John's cool Beatley guitar playing and Yoko's hesitant whispered vocal. Of course that one goes on too long also!
  7. BEAThoven

    BEAThoven Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    OK -- so who overdubbed that bass-drum sound onto the on-beats? Was it just someone sitting behind a drum kit at Abbey Road doing the overdub? Is that tape echo added to it?

    Inquiring geek-minds wanna know!
  8. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    As well as the overdubs done in Canada by Andre Parry (who recorded the song at the bed-in), more overdubs seem to have been taped later at Trident in London.
  9. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    Great song. I wish there was a different recording of it, maybe a studio recording. Had he recorded it with the Beatles, it would have been THE anthem.
    ailgin, Paulwalrus and vitorbastos123 like this.
  10. moople72

    moople72 Forum Resident

    It's an effective song. Shame Paul tried to duplicate it.

    I'd never seen the picture sleeve before in all my Beatles-obsessing years. Cool.
    john lennonist likes this.
  11. majorlance

    majorlance Forum Resident

    Collingswood, NJ
    I remember the appearance of the Lennon & McCartney composer credit on GPAC made me think there was some legal agreement between them, since McCartney clearly had nothing to do with it! I guess the Lennon quote above indicates a gentlemen's agreement that later unraveled as so many other things did in BeatlesWorld in 1969-70. I have to admit that I've never understood the whole credits thing between them, especially as Macca's share of the songwriting increased as time went on.
  12. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Don't know that I have ever heard the b side. How is it?

    A side is clearly subpar with little going on musically, nonsense verses, and a single line chorus that is uplifting as a sing along but adds no real content to any discussion of issues.
  13. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    Check out the Hot Chocolate Band's reggae version released later in 1969. It was sent to Apple and Lennon liked it so much that it was released on Apple (and probably the inspiration for his own 1972 live version). I probably listen to this more often than the original:

    Culpa likes this.
  14. rjp

    rjp Forum Resident


    this thread either peters out.....or......gets over 10,000 posts.

    it could be interesting, and then again...............
    DrBeatle and zebop like this.
  15. rjp

    rjp Forum Resident

    love 'give peace a chance " a true anthem.
    Jimmy B. likes this.
  16. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Boise, ID.
    Go to 20mins, 15 seconds in this link:

    Have to say I LOVE this idea for a thread - over the last couple years, I've made it my mission to get all the original solo singles (and pic sleeves), and this would give me a chance to listen to them in order. My wish would be to do like 2 singles/week and this could really go for awhile...

    As to this song, I was only 4 when it was issued and I don't recall ever hearing it prior to Lennon's murder. By that point, I'd already picked up Shaved Fish in my local store many times, and been shocked by what I felt was a horrible album cover, but intrigued by this "unknown" Lennon/McCartney song. When I finally got the album, I was pissed off that the single was edited down to nothing, but it took some time before I landed an imported (UK) copy of the 45 in a plain black sleeve. In more recent years, I acquired an original US pressing with the pic sleeve. Happy to have it!
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
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  17. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    Going back to this question, it was discussed a lot in this thread: Does Macca sing on Give Peace A Chance?? »

    The Trident overdubs were done on 12 June (according to Chip Madinger), and a Trident tape box dated 30 June exists containing the mixes. Ken Scott was the engineer.


    If you listen to the centre channel of the Legend 5.1 mix, that seems to pretty much isolate the Trident overdubs. Some of my musings from that earlier thread:

    I've had a listen to the centre channel of the 'Lennon Legend' DVD mix. Very interesting. The tracks are laid out something like this:

    CENTRE: Overdubs of tom tom, tambourine, acoustic guitar and extra vocals (including the 'woos').
    LEFT FRONT: Sounds like the room mic(s) from the original recording.
    RIGHT FRONT & L/R REAR: Sounds like 3 tracks of Andre Perry's overdubs.

    John's original main vocal is mixed into all channels apart from the Centre channel (only leakage there).
    The tom tom is also mixed into some of the other channels, perhaps indicating it was recorded onto a separate track to the other overdubs during the Trident session. I'm positive it is a Trident overdub though.

    ...the overdubs seem to be tom tom, tambourine, acoustic guitar and extra vocals. In fact, the released mix doesn't seem to include that much of the original room mics, 3 of the 5 main channels of the 5.1 mix seeming to feature Andre Perry's fixups, with only one channel of original room noise (plus John's original vocal mixed into 4 of the channels).

    I think that John may be misremembering just why the tape-echo was added. At no time does he switch from the off-beat to the on-beat. At one point he does skip TWO beats, but that wouldn't make any difference to the timing. Here's Ken Scott's description of the tape-echo on the drum (which seems to be an overdub anyway):

    "He could get very impatient. He wanted things different. There’s a thing that occurred when we were mixing “Give Peace A Chance.” There’s this repeat echo on the thumping that’s going on in the background, and as the record goes on, the repeat gets louder and louder and that was John just wanting to change it constantly. It was sort of, “Push it up, push it up, push it up, push it up all the time.” With “Cold Turkey” he knew what he wanted, he knew how he wanted that vocal to be and he just did it. From what I remember, it was a very quick session."
  18. Scott S.

    Scott S. Indie Music Curator

    Walmartville PA
    I have always hated Give Peace A Chance. The melody sounds like it was not only written by a child but by a dopey child. Or Yoko.
  19. Haristar

    Haristar Living in the Material World Thread Starter

    Southampton, UK
    Plastic Ono Band - "Cold Turkey" (1969)

    B-side: Yoko Ono - "Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking for a Hand in the Snow)
    Released: 20 October 1969 (US), 24 October 1969 (UK)
    Charts: #14 (UK), #30 (US)

    According to Peter Brown in his book The Love You Make, the song was written in a "creative outburst" following Lennon and Yoko Ono going "cold turkey" from their brief heroin addictions.[1][2] However Lennon's personal assistant in the late 1970s Fred Seaman claimed otherwise, stating that Lennon confided in him that the song was actually about a severe case of food poisoning suffered by John and Yoko after eating Christmas leftovers "cold turkey". Lennon thought people would laugh at him if they knew the truth about the song's origin, so he said it was inspired by his recent heroin withdrawal.[3] Brown states that Lennon presented the song to Paul McCartney as a potential single by The Beatles, as they were finishing recording for their Abbey Road album,[4] but was refused and released it as a Plastic Ono Band single with sole writing credits to him.[1]

    "Cold Turkey" was the first song Lennon wrote for which he took sole credit; his previous compositions, including his first single release, "Give Peace a Chance",[5] were attributed to the Lennon–McCartney partnership, although the credit for "Give Peace a Chance" was later changed to Lennon alone.[6] It was recorded in Abbey Road Studio 2, and features Eric Clapton.[4] There are other versions besides the single, several of which are acoustic, and a live version included on Live in New York City that features Ono adding vocalizations.[7]
  20. Haristar

    Haristar Living in the Material World Thread Starter

    Southampton, UK
    "Cold Turkey" could be considered the first proper solo Beatles single as "Give Peace a Chance" is little more than a chant. Love the guitar by Clapton on this song, an appearance from Ringo, and kind of an early hint at the style that Lennon would use on some of the songs on his debut studio album.
    JonnyKidd, supermd and majorlance like this.
  21. Victor/Victrola

    Victor/Victrola Makng shure its write

    The one-minute version of Give Peace A Chance on Shaved Fish is enough of the song for me. As others have stated, great sentiment, terrible record. It's practically a throwaway song at this point of its composition.

    Cold Turkey, on the other hand, is a masterpiece. I had the 45 (but not the cool picture sleeve above - just the generic black Apple sleeve) and the guitars jumped out of the speakers. Great song, great record - almost sounds like a sequel to Come Together. I don't think I ever made it all the way through Don't Worry Kyoko. About 30 seconds is all I can take.
  22. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    That would have to be Christmas 1968 then - I don't believe that.
    vitorbastos123 likes this.
  23. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Forum Resident

    The turkey was indeed cooked for Xmas 1968 festivities. But due to their heroin addiction and the business problems at Apple, John and Yoko didn't get around to actually eating the "cold turkey" until August 1969. True story...

    And if you believe that, can I interest you in a vial of Julius Caesar's blood? ... ;)
  24. Victor/Victrola

    Victor/Victrola Makng shure its write

    If Cold Turkey was about food poisoning, then the chorus would be "cold turkey has got me with the runs"
    JonnyKidd, supermd, ailgin and 12 others like this.
  25. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Cool song but not an easy listen.

    The picture cover is um ..interesting if a tad creepy. This one and the one for GPAC are strange and very un-Beatley
    Paper Wizard likes this.

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