Written by: Lennon
Recorded: July-August 1973
Producer: John Lennon
Released: 16 November 1973 (UK), 29 October 1973 (US)
John Lennon: vocals, guitar
David Spinozza: guitar
Ken Ascher: keyboards
Gordon Edwards: bass guitar
Jim Keltner: drums
I Know (I Know) was a plaintive ballad in which John Lennon continued the self-exploration that had been a hallmark of his work since John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band in 1970.
The curious repetition of the title in parentheses could have been simply one of Lennon’s whims, but it is possible that he was presenting a coded message – not for the first time – to his former bandmate Paul McCartney. Wings’ 1971 album Wild Life had featured the song Some People Never Know, in which McCartney lamented that some people fail to understand what it means to love. In this light, Lennon’s response saw the pair in agreement, in a marked contrast to their earlier song-based conflicts.
Lennon recorded a home demo of I Know (I Know) in the early summer of 1973, prior to entering the studio. During this time he worked on a number of songs destined for Mind Games.
The demo was recorded on a steel string acoustic guitar. Lennon performed I Know (I Know) twice, preceded by two false starts; the final full run-through was released on the 1998 box set John Lennon Anthology.