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"Whatever Gets You Thru the Night" is a single from John Lennon's 1974 album Walls and Bridges. It was Lennon's only American solo #1 single during his lifetime. The recording featured Elton John on harmony vocals and piano. While in the studio, Elton bet Lennon that the song would top the charts, and such was Lennon's skepticism that Elton secured from him a promise to appear on stage at one of his performances should the record indeed hit number one. When the record did achieve that feat, Lennon appeared at Elton John's Thanksgiving performance at Madison Square Garden on November 28, 1974 (1974-11-28). It would be his last major concert appearance. Lennon was the last member of The Beatles to achieve his first number one solo hit.

The inspiration for the song came from late-night television. In December, 2005, May Pang told Radio Times: "At night he (John Lennon) loved to channel-surf, and he would pick up phrases from all the shows. One time, he was watching Reverend Ike, a famous black evangelist, who was saying, "Let me tell you guys, it doesn't matter, it's whatever gets you through the night." John loved it and said, "I've got to write it down or I'll forget it." He always kept a pad and pen by the bed. That was the beginning of 'Whatever Gets You thru the Night'."

This wasn't Lennon's first choice for a single. It was actually chosen by Capitol Records vice president Al Coury, who had recently worked his singles 'magic' with Paul McCartney's Band On the Run album.[1]

In 2007, Yoko Ono granted Amnesty International the opportunity to have a number of bands cover John Lennon's solo songbook, which includes this song. Los Lonely Boys and Les Trois Accords performed it as the second single from the Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur album.

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