John Lennon Anthology box set artworkWritten by: Lennon-Ono
Recorded: 22 May 1971
Producers: John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Phil Spector

Released: July 1971

Available on:
John Lennon Anthology
Imagine: The Ultimate Collection

Personnel

Bill Elliott: vocals
John Lennon: vocals, electric guitar
Klaus Voormann: bass guitar
Nicky Hopkins: piano
Bobby Keys: saxophone
Jim Keltner: drums
Yoko Ono: vocals

‘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.
Yoko Ono
Rolling Stone

In the studio

The ‘God Save Oz’ single was recorded at Ascot Sound Studios, Lennon’s home recording facility at Tittenhurst Park in Ascot, England.

The session took place on 22 May 1971, using several of the musicians who would appear on Imagine later that week.

The release

‘God Save Oz’ was issued by Apple in July 1971, under the Elastic Oz Band name.

The single 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.

In 2000 ‘Do The Oz’ was remixed and included as a bonus track on a compact disc reissue of the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album, along with ‘Power To The People’.

Outtakes and the final version of ‘Do The Oz’ were also included in the 2018 box set Imagine: The Ultimate Collection.