Written by: Freeman
Recorded: 21-25 October 1974
Producer: John Lennon
Released: 21 February 1975 (UK), 17 February 1975 (US)
John Lennon: vocals, electric guitar
Jesse Ed Davis: electric guitar
Eddie Mottau: acoustic guitar
Ken Ascher: piano
Klaus Voormann: bass guitar
Joseph Temperley, Frank Vicari: saxophone
Dennis Morouse: tenor saxophone
Jim Keltner: drums
Arthur Jenkins: percussion
May Pang: backing vocals
Rock ‘N’ Roll
John Lennon recorded a version of Bobby Freeman’s 1957 hit Do You Want To Dance for his Rock ‘N’ Roll album.
Freeman’s version had been issued on the Josie label in the United States, when Freeman was just 17 years old. It reached number five in the charts.
In the United Kingdom it was better known by Cliff Richard’s 1962 cover version, which reached number two. The Beach Boys’ 1965 version, titled Do You Wanna Dance?, was also a worldwide hit.
Lennon’s version was recorded in October 1974, and released the following year. It was performed in a Caribbean style, which he later revealed was an attempt to have his session musicians play a reggae rhythm.
Do You Want To Dance is the only one that I messed around with a bit more. I tried to make it reggae… This one makes you feel happy, but I don’t know if it makes you want to dance, and that’s the problem. It’s definitely different from the original.
The first vinyl pressing of Rock ‘N’ Roll listed the song as Do You Want To Dance on the back cover and label, but subsequent editions of the album have revised the spelling.