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John Lennon - Give Peace A Chance (Original Video Tape) [HiQ]
April 27, 2011
"Give Peace a Chance" is a song written by John Lennon, originally under the moniker Lennon/McCartney, released as a single in 1,969 by the Plastic Ono Band on Apple Records, catalogue Apple 13 in the UK, Apple 1,809 in the US. It is the first solo single issued by Lennon, and became an anthem of the American anti-war movement during the 1,970s. It peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the British singles chart.
The song was written during Lennon's 'Bed-In' honeymoon: when asked by a reporter what he was trying to achieve by staying in bed, Lennon answered spontaneously "All we are saying is give peace a chance"; He sang the song several times during the Bed-In. Finally, on 1 June 1,969, in Room 1,742 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. The recording session was attended by dozens of journalists and various celebrities, including Timothy Leary, Rabbi Abraham Feinberg, Joseph Schwartz, Allan Rock, Rosemary Woodruff Leary, Petula Clark, Dick Gregory, Allen Ginsberg, Murray the K, Al Capp 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 1,969, the song was credited to Lennon/McCartney. On some later releases, only Lennon is credited; viz. the 1,990s reissue of the 1,972 album Live in New York City, the 2,006 documentary The U.S. vs. John Lennon, and the 1,997 compilation album Lennon 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." However, it has also been suggested that the credit was a way of thanks to McCartney for helping him record "The Ballad of John and Yoko" at short notice.
After its issue as a single, with Yoko Ono's "Remember Love" on the B-side, it appeared on album in a truncated form for the singles compilation Shaved Fish in 1,975. The track's first full-length album appearance was on the compilation The John Lennon Collection. Although technically the first "solo" single released by a member of the Beatles while the band was still intact, the artist credit was to the Plastic Ono Band, not John Lennon.
In the single version of the song, the 4th verse was omitted, and there is a count off of 1, 2, 3, 4, in German on the single. The original last verse of the song refers to: "John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary, Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper, Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, Hare Krishna and The Beatles" (The Beatles were stil together at that time until 1,970).
In the performance of "Give Peace a Chance" included on the Live Peace in Toronto 1,969 album, Lennon openly stated that he could not remember all of the words and improvised with the names of the band members sharing the stage with him and anything that came to mind: "John and Yoko, Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann, Penny Lane, Roosevelt, Nixon, Tommy Jones and Tommy Cooper, and somebody."
The third verse contains a reference to masturbation, but Lennon changed this to "mastication" on the official lyric sheet. He later admitted this was a "cop out" but wanted to avoid unnecessary controversy.