1970 starts with a bang, bolting out of the gate with the one-two punch of John’s “Instant Karma” and George’s “Awaiting on You All.” But the highlight of side 1 might be Ringo’s “Early 1970,” where he considers the state of his relationships with the other Beatles. (In general he was the only one who got along with everybody; but his relationship with Paul had been somewhat strained after John and George nominated him to deliver a letter containing unpleasant news. In an affidavit Ringo stated that Paul “went completely out of control, prodding his fingers toward my face, saying ‘I’ll finish you all now,’ and ‘You’ll pay!’”) Two playful — not to say half-assed — pieces from Paul and an equally frivolous, if somewhat more sinister, number from John round things out.

Track List:

Instant Karma (We All Shine On) (John)
“Lennon completed the writing of ‘Instant Karma!’ in an hour. Eager to record the song immediately, he then telephoned his Beatles bandmate George Harrison and American producer Phil Spector, who was in London at the invitation of Allen Klein, the manager of the Beatles’ Apple Corps organisation. According to Lennon’s recollection, he told Spector: ‘Come over to Apple quick, I’ve just written a monster.’” —Wikipedia

Awaiting on You All (George)
“I was cleaning my teeth… and suddenly in my head came this ‘You don’t need a dum dada-pmm pa-pmm-pa, you don’t need a bmm papa-bmm.’ All I had to do was pick up the guitar, find what key it was in, and fill in the missing words.” —George Harrison

Early 1970 (Ringo)
“Produced by Harrison (who also plays on it), Early 1970 pretty much summed up the state of things…. The estranged McCartney is living on the farm (“when he comes to town I wonder if he’ll play with me”), Lennon is lying in bed with Yoko (“when he comes to town I know he’s gonna play with me”) and the long-legged guitar picker is Harrison (“he’s always in town playing for you with me”). In the final verse Starr amusingly outlines his own musical limitations (“I play the piano if it’s in C”)… then concludes “when I go to town I wanna see all three.” —Graham Reid, Elsewhere

Oo You (Paul)
“Oo You began as an improvised piece recorded at McCartney’s home studio at 7 Cavendish Avenue, London. Initially an instrumental, Paul… added lyrics shortly before Oo You was taken to Morgan Studios in London.” —The Beatles Bible

Do the Oz (John)
“John and I actually once were thinking, ‘Why don’t we create a dance, you know, a dance movement, and put the instructions of how to do this new dance on the back of an album.’ And he started to roll on the floor, trying to find a unique kind of action. But it just didn’t happen. It was a bit difficult.” —Yoko Ono

Valentine Day (Paul)
“Recorded at home. Made up as I went along — acoustic guitar first, then drums (maybe drums were first). Anyway — electric guitar and bass were added and the track is all instrumental. Mixed at EMI. This one and ‘Momma Miss America’ were ad-libbed, with more concern for testing the machine than anything else.” —Paul McCartney