John Lennon Released “Instant Karma” 49 Years Ago- The Impact Still Shines On
UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 11: TOP OF THE POPS Photo of John LENNON, Performing Instant Karma - Yoko Ono behind weraing blindfold (Photo by Ron Howard/Redferns)
What Goes Around Comes Around
At the time of it’s release, “Instant Karma” was competing with The Beatles’ “Let It Be.” John Lennon’s song marked a historical time for the fab four. It was a moment that solidified the end of The Beatles as we knew them. The bandmates went on to continue to work together but never as a whole, as they once were before.
Within 10 days the song was written, recorded, and released. It was the fastest-released songs in pop music- EVER. There was a few genius minds behind the instant hit. Phil Spector came out of retirement to produce the song and John wrote it in “three goes.” George Harrison was on guitar for the track.
Shine On And On And On And On
The official credits for the song are officially, “Lennon/Ono with the Plastic Ono Band.” The song came about during a time of protest for John Lennon and Yoko Ono. They had just shaved off their hair months before and the year before had staged their “bed-ins” and started their peace campaign. In the music video for “Instant Karma,” Ono is knitting while blindfolded. About this she’s said,
“I was blindfolding myself with a kotex and knitting something that was going nowhere. I was doing that while a man symbolizing our future was singing ‘WE ALL SHINE ON.” Yes. We will shine, but for that we have to take the blindfold off and stop knitting what we don’t know what we are knitting. It was my way of showing what we women must free ourselves from.”
“Instant Karma” was released on February 06, 1970 through Apple Records. The single reached No. 5 on the UK charts and reached No.3 in the US. The positive message of the song is eternal. To be aware that every choice we make affects us not on just a personal level- but as a whole, as a community. Yoko has defined the song,
“It’s like, ‘Let’s all be together and anybody who’s out there who’s not in this game, why don’t you join us?,'” ‘We all shine on,’ it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing, instead of saying some people are shining and some people are not. It’s a really uplifting song.”