Released: 2 November 1998
John Lennon Anthology
Do The Oz was the b-side of God Save Oz, a fundraising single written by John Lennon in 1971.
The single was to help with the legal costs incurred by the defendants in the Oz magazine obscenity trial. Lennon had written two songs for the cause, and sang on Do The Oz, accompanied by Yoko Ono.
Do The Oz was a dark, riff-driven recording, given an echo-laden Phil Spector production and featuring lyrics that referenced the childhood dance the Hokey Cokey: “Pull your left wing in, and put your right wing out/Do the Oz, baby/Spread it all about”.
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.
The God Save Oz single was recorded at Ascot Sound Studios, Lennon’s home recording facility at Tittenhurst Park in Ascot, England. It also had two contributors to the infamous Schoolkids OZ edition on acoustic guitar, including future New Musical Express journalist Charles Shaar Murray.
It was issued by Apple in July 1971, under the Elastic Oz Band name, and failed to chart in either the UK or US. Both God Save Oz and Do The Oz were included on the 1998 box set John Lennon Anthology.