“Give Peace a Chance” was recorded by John Lennon and Yoko Ono on the 1st June 1969 during their infamous Montreal “Bed-in”held in rooms 1738 and 1742 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel.

The couple had held first bed-in Amsterdam following their marriage. The intention was to promote the idea “make love, not war” and be a focal point for the anti-Vietnam war protest action. 

Following a one-night “bed in” in the Bahamas the couple moved to Montreal as it was too hot in the Bahamas. Asked by a reported what they were trying to achieve Lennon replied “all we are saying is give peace a chance”. 

He liked the phrase and wrote a song around it. (As an aside although the original release credited the song to “Lennon/McCartney” it was later changed to reflect the real situation.) 

He sang the song several times during the Bed-In, and finally, on 1 June 1969, recorded it in the hotel room using a simple setup of four microphones and a four-track Ampex tape recorder rented from RCA Victor in Montreal. 

The “Give Peace A Chance” single (with Yoko Ono’s “Remember Love” as the b-side) was released on 45 RPM vinyl in the UK on Friday, July 4, 1969 and Monday, July 7, 1969 in the U.S. It was the first “solo” single released by a member of the Beatles while the band was still intact, though, technically, the artist was credited as Plastic Ono Band, not John Lennon. 

It reached number 14 in the US charts and was kept out of the top slot in the UK by The Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women”. The song has become an international peace anthem and is often sung at protests against any war you care to mention from Vietnam, through the Falklands, Iran, Iraq, Afganistan and so on. 

On June 1, 2008, on the 39th anniversary of the song’s recording, a digital-only (and thus environmentally friendly) single was released exclusively on Beatport with remixes featuring a newly recorded vocal by Yoko Ono.

One Response to “Give Peace a Chance Released by John Lennon & Yoko Ono”

  1. John Lennon’s sons, Sean & Julian, are finally performing together! February 26th at the UN-Millenium Goal Awards in New York City. Get excited!

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