Tune du Jour: “Instant Karma” – John Lennon
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Laura Jane Grace with Frnkiero AndThe Cellabration vs. Midnight Oil vs. The Vitamin String Band
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Who in the Hell Do Think You Are? A Broccoli Stalk? Well, Right You Are!



Instant Karma! was written by John Lennon and released In February 1970. The song was written, recorded and released within a period of ten days, making it one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history. Instant Karma! reached the top 5 on the UK and US singles charts, becoming the first solo single by a former member of the Beatles to sell a million copies.



The Original


John Lennon:

Live at Madison Square Garden, August 30,1972


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Laura Jane Grace with Frnkiero AndThe Cellabration vs. Midnight Oil vs. The Vitamin String Band


Laura Jane Grace with Frnkiero AndThe Cellbration:

Midnight Oil:

The Vitamin String Band:


Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 



Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.


  1. Arnold Plotnick says:

    The Laura Jane Grace version was charming. Clearly they’re big fans and there was a lot of spirit in it, but Midnight Oil’s electrified version, with those snide vocals by Peter Garrett earned my vote. The classical version was cheesy. Classical versions of Beatles songs work well when there’s a really strong melody; Instant Karma wasn’t a good fit.

  2. RDubbs says:

    I’m okay with Laura Jane Grace and the Vitamin Quartet’s versions. But Midnight Oil runs away with this competition. Too much verve for either of the other two to match.

  3. Kerry Black says:

    The song, as written, is very simplistic and repetitive. On paper it would seem to be a tall order to fashion a workable and indeed powerful pop song out of it. But in the expert hands of John Lennon it all works brilliantly. There’s something to be said about repetition of a simple phrase or slogan, building into a type of chant, being repeated insistently, which builds and imbues the chant with power.

    I saw in the news a few days ago that Yoko Ono had been hospitalized with “severe flu-like symptoms”. Considering she’s eighty-three and rather frail in appearance in the best of times, I was preparing for some bad news. But, as you may be aware, she was released from hospital a couple days ago.

    That Laura Jane woman sure has some gnarly tats.

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