John Lennon and Paul McCartney are the only Beatles performing on the single “The Ballad of John and Yoko”. On April 14, 1969, when the song was recorded, Ringo Starr was busy filming ‘The Magic Christian’ and George Harrison was on holiday. The recording session of just Lennon and McCartney came about because John was anxious to record the song, so he called on Paul and suggested they do it without waiting for the other two Beatles to return. They completed the record in a single day. Lennon handled lead vocals, lead guitars, acoustic guitar and percussion, while McCartney played the drums, bass guitar, piano, maracas, and provided backing vocals. Yoko Ono was present during the session though she most likely had no part in the recording.
“The Ballad of John and Yoko” chronicles the events surrounding Lennon’s marriage to Ono just a month before, and some of their activities together, including their first Bed-In, and their demonstration of bagism. In 1970, John remarked in Rolling Stone magazine: “It was very romantic. It’s all in the song, The Ballad Of John And Yoko, if you want to know how it happened, it’s in there. Gibraltar was like a little sunny dream. I couldn’t find a white suit – I had sort of off-white corduroy trousers and a white jacket. Yoko had all white on.”
The “mountain” on the cover of John Lennon’s 1973 Mind Games album is the face of his wife, Yoko Ono. Lennon had designed the cover himself. It is seen by many as symbolism for John walking away from Ono’s huge influence on him. The Lennon’s had split up in mid-1973, around the time the recording sessions for Mind Games was to begin. Their separation was to last 18-months before they reconciled.
“Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” has the longest title of all the songs in the Beatles’ catalog. It was written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon/McCartney) and appears on the Beatles’ 1968 double-disc “The White Album”.
In a 1980 interview, John Lennon said: “That was just a sort of nice line that I made into a song. It was about me and Yoko. Everybody seemed to be paranoid except for us two, who were in the glow of love. Everything is clear and open when you’re in love. Everybody was sort of tense around us: You know, ‘What is she doing here at the session? Why is she with him?’ All this sort of madness is going on around us because we just happened to want to be together all the time.”
At a total time of 8:22, the longest Beatles track ever officially released is “Revolution 9” from the album The Beatles (better known as The White Album). The recording is not so much of a song, but more of an avant garde sound collage.
Though credited to Lennon/McCartney (as was the songwriting partnership tradition), Paul McCartney had the least to do with the track compared to the other Beatles. It was primarily the work of John Lennon, with some contributions from Yoko Ono, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.