The Beatle's second single of 1969 appears practically one month after the first single ("Get Back"/"Don't Let Me Down"). The two songs on the second single of "The Ballad of John and Yoko" backed with "Old Brown Shoe".
"The Ballad of John and Yoko" is an original Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly John. John Lennon describes his recent activities of the recently married couple (John/Yoko) and the various antics over the past few months. The original working title for the song was "The Ballad of John And Yoko (They're Going To Crucify Me)".
The recording of "The Ballad of John And Yoko" was conducted in one session taking place on Monday April 14 1969 at EMI studio Three. The song was also mixed at this session.
There were 11 takes of the basic track with only two Beatles present: John Lennon playing the acoustic guitar and vocal/ Paul McCartney playing drums. The tenth take was the basic track used for the commercial release. Overdubbed onto the track were John Lennon playing lead guitar, a second lead vocal and the thumping of the back of his acoustic guitar. Paul McCartney added bass, piano, backing vocal and maracas. Once this was complete, five stereo mixes were attempted with the fifth stereo mix being released. For the first time in the UK, "The Ballad Of John And Yoko" was only available in stereo. This track was also the first time a single was released in the UK only in stereo. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), there was no mono mix of "The Ballad Of John And Yoko".
"The Ballad of John And Yoko" was released on Friday May 30 1969 as a single 45 as Apple R 5786 and in North America on June 04 1969 as Apple 2531 (The north american version was issued with a gorgeous picture sleeve). The song can also be found on the Apple LP "Hey Jude/The Beatles Again" as well as the Apple 2-LP/2-CD compilation "The Beatles 1967-1970" and on the EMI compilation LP "The Beatles' 20 Greatest Hits" (UK version only). It is also on the EMI/Capitol 2-LP/CD "Past Masters Volume Two" and is contained on the Apple/EMI 2-CD "Past Masters" from the remastered series.