The earliest known recording of "Give Peace a Chance" is one of the many extras that are on theJohn Lennon/Plastic Ono Band– The Ultimate Collection, which is out on April 23rd.
The audio is taken from a film of John rehearsing the song at the Sheraton Oceanus Hotel in the Bahamas on May 25th, 1969.
The film features John humorously adlibbing lyrics for the verses before being joined byYokofor the chorus that became an anti-war anthem and remains an enduring protest song more than 50 years later.
Originally set for New York, the second Bed-In was relocated to the Bahamas after John and Yoko were denied entrance into the U.S. because of his 1968 cannabis conviction. However, due to the layout of the hotel and the sweltering Bahamian heat, they flew to Toronto on May 26th and eventually settled in Montreal, chosen for its close proximity to New York and the American press, which they were hoping to use to get the attention of President Nixon.
They set themselves up in a hotel suite for a week, where they allowed unlimited access and gave endless interviews, in order that their extended honeymoon serve as a “commercial for peace.” The event culminated with the recording on May 31st of John’s first solo single and the first to be credited to the Plastic Ono Band, “Give Peace a Chance.”
Released just a month later in July 1969, it reached number-two on the U.K.Singles Chart and number-14 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving John his first hit outside of The Beatles. Although credited to Lennon-McCartney, John later revealed the song was written by him and Yoko and she should have received the co-writing credit.
On April 24th, the day after the release of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – The Ultimate Collection, Yoko, her son Sean, bassist Klaus Voorman and others will join Tim Burgess of The Charlatans for a listening party on Twitter at 12pm Central.