1969 The Beatles – The Ballad Of John And Yoko
John Lennon and Yoko Oko got married in 1969 and went to Paris for their honeymoon. The pair also began some very publicized bed-in’s pleading for peace and love and such.
The media and much of the public did not react well, and the reactions inspired John to write the lyrics for The Ballad Of John And Yoko. When he and Yoko returned to England, he went to Paul’s home and insisted they begin work on the song. George was not in the country and Ringo was off filming The Magic Christian, so John and Paul spent five hours recording the single themselves.
The tapes of the recording sessions show John and Paul joking around and working well together and helping each other. There was no obvious tension or any of the anger and problems that were rumored that late in the group’s career.
In the past, they had created a mono mix for singles, and often a stereo mix followed. This time there was no mono mix at all, just the stereo version. John and Paul played all the instruments on the record and over-dubbed multiple tracks of vocals as needed.
The record did not come out immediately; instead, they delayed the release so they could release the single Get Back in April. The Ballad Of John And Yoko reached the charts in the US two weeks after Get Back reached the top of the Hot 100.
Many radio stations were reluctant to play the record because of the line, “Christ! You know it ain’t easy.” Not getting listed by major stations like WABC in New York and WLS in Chicago limited the record’s ability to climb the charts. The record stalled at #8 on the Hot 100 and never charted in Canada but still topped the charts in most other countries (including the UK and Australia).
I don’t recall ever hearing the song played by any radio station except the one I was working for in 1969, and it isn’t too surprising that it doesn’t get too much airplay on oldies stations now.
I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.
Please visit my author page on Amazon where I sell my paperbacks, eBooks, and audiobooks.
You can even read the books for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!