‘(Just Like) Starting Over’ was Lennon’s much-anticipated comeback following five years away from the public eye.
We knew that song would be the first single. I love ‘Starting Over’, but when I hear it now it just chokes me up a bit because it’s how we felt at the time. We really thought that we were starting over and it didn’t work out that way.
Starting Over, Ken Sharp
The record was heavily promoted, with US record stores using countertop cardboard display boxes, and 21″x8″ posters being sent out to UK shops. A promotional 12″ single lasting an extra 23 seconds was issued to radio stations has since become a collector’s item.
In the United Kingdom the single was released with the catalogue number Geffen K 79186. The inner groove of the vinyl bore the inscription: “One world one people”. This was a chant which had been recorded in the studio, and had initially been intended to close ‘Hard Times Are Over’ on Double Fantasy.
‘(Just Like) Starting Over’ entered the UK charts on 8 November, where it spent a total of 15 weeks. Prior to Lennon’s death on 8 December 1980, it had begun to slip down the charts; it peaked at number eight, but fell to number 21.
The single reached number one in the UK on 14 December, where it remained for one week before being knocked off by ‘There’s No One Quite Like Grandma’ by the St Winifred’s School Choir. On 4 January 1981 Lennon returned to the top with the reissued ‘Imagine’.
Also on this day...
- 2023: Paul McCartney live: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
- 2015: Ringo Starr live: Grand Theater, Mashantucket, Connecticut
- 1975: UK single release: Imagine by John Lennon
- 1969: Paul McCartney denies reports of his death
- 1969: UK single release: Cold Turkey by Plastic Ono Band
- 1968: George Harrison produces Is This What You Want? by Jackie Lomax
- 1968: Mixing, editing: Yellow Submarine film score
- 1965: Recording: I’m Looking Through You
- 1964: Live: Granada Cinema, Walthamstow, London
- 1963: Radio: Karlaplansstudion, Stockholm, Sweden
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1960: Live: Kaiserkeller, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.