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Two 70s songs that John Lennon said he would like to have written

John Lennon
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Two 70s songs that John Lennon said he would like to have written

John Lennon was co-founder and member of The Beatles, the most successful band of all time. Although the band lasted only 10 years and released 13 studio albums, they have sold an estimated amount of more than 600 million records worldwide. Music would never have been the same without their existence and their influence still continues stronger than ever even after five decades they disbanded.


Paul McCartney and John Lennon were the band’s main songwriters and have written tracks that were so influential that were covered by countless other artists over the decades. Even though Lennon created some of the most important songs in music history, there were some tracks from other artists he wished he had written. In the 70s he once revealed which were the two songs he would like to have written.

Two 70s songs that John Lennon said he would like to have written

Shirley & Company “Shame, Shame, Shame”

Although the main focus of The Beatles and Lennon on his solo career was Rock and Roll music, they had a broad musical taste which contributed for bringing different elements to their compositions. They loved the music being made in the United States, especially R&B and Soul, so the two tracks mentioned by Lennon in an interview with Spin Magazine fit in that category.

He mentioned the two songs when asked if usually the lyrics came first or the music when he was trying to write something. “Usually. It’s better. I like that. The music is sort of easy. I sometimes envy Elton John. Bernie Taupin sends him a big stack of words, and he writes all the songs in five days. I could do that. But I am too egocentric to use other people’s words. That’s the problem. So it’s my own fault. I still like black music, disco music.”

“’Shame, Shame, Shame’ or ‘Rock Your Baby,’ I’d give my eyetooth to have written that. But I never could. I am too literal to write ‘Rock Your Baby.’ I wish I could. I’m too intellectual, even though I’m not really an intellectual. I feel as though I am a writer, really. And the music is easy. The music is just all over the place,” John Lennon said.

Written by Sylvia Robinson, “Shame, Shame, Shame” was first recorded by the American disco band Shirley & Company. It was featured on the album of the same name released by the group in 1974.

It became a hit, reaching the first position on the charts in several countries around the world.

George McCrae “Rock Your Baby”

The other track mentioned by Lennon is “Rock Your Baby”, which was written by Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch, both of the KC and The Sunshine Band. The track was first recorded by George McCrae and featured on the album of the same name released in 1974.

It became a massive hit, reaching the first position on the United Billboard Hot 100 and staying at the top for two weeks. It also was a number one hit on the United Kingdom charts, spending three weeks at the top.

Curiously, the chord progression of Lennon’s number one single “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night” is really similar to the one in “Rock Your Baby”. The Beatle then admited that he used the song as an inspiration.

Lennon’s track also was a hit, reaching the first position on the United States Billboard Hot 100. His friend Elton John played the piano, organ and made the harmony vocals in that track. Lennon then accepted to also appear on Elton’s cover for “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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