A Bit Like You And Me Radio

July 27, 2016

Lennon/Ono with the Plastic Ono Band - Instant Karma! (We All Shine On) (1970)

This “conceptual band” was started by The BeatlesJohn Lennon and Yoko Ono who had met in 1966, became romantically involved with in 1968, and married in 1969. They made their first official release using the Plastic Ono Band name with “Give Peace a Chance” in 1969, even though the couple had been making music and releasing albums together as early as 1968.

Backing them, the Plastic Ono Band had a rotating lineup which at any time could have featured numerous notable musicians, such as George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Keith Moon and many, many others. Lennon and Ono were fond of reminding their fans that “YOU are the Plastic Ono Band.”

The song below was Lennon’s attempt to create an “instant single.” He wrote the song (in an hour) on January 27, 1970, recorded it that very same day, and saw its release about a week later. Playing on the song besides Lennon and Ono (backing vocals), was George Harrison, Klaus Voormann, Alan White, Billy Preston, Mal Evans, with Allen Klein and numerous people from a pub down the street who assisted with backing vocals. It was George Harrison who suggested Lennon use famed producer Phil Spector, who happened to be visiting London at the time. Spector obliged, ending a self-imposed retirement he had begun in 1966. His collaboration with Lennon on the song led to his eventual hiring for production of The Beatles’ Let It Be album, which was released later that year in May.

album art

Lennon/Ono with the Plastic Ono Band - Instant Karma! (We All Shine On) (1970)

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Lyrics:

…three, four

Instant karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead
What in the world you thinking of?
Laughing in the face of love
What on earth are you tryin’ to do?
It’s up to you
Yeah, you

Instant karma’s gonna get you
Gonna look you right in the face
Better get yourself together darlin’
Join the human race
How in the world you gonna see?
Laughin’ at fools like me
Who on Earth do you think you are?
A superstar?
Well, right you are

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Everyone
Come on

Instant karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you off your feet
Better recognize your brothers
Everyone you meet
Why in the world are we here?
Surely not to live in pain and fear
Why on earth are you there
When you’re everywhere?
Come and get your share

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah, we all shine on
Come on and on and on- on- on

Yeah, yeah
Alright

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah, we all shine on
On and on and on- on and on

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Like the moons and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun

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