(Just Like) Starting Over

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"(Just Like) Starting Over"
Single by John Lennon
from the album Double Fantasy
B-side"Kiss Kiss Kiss" (Yoko Ono)
Released24 October 1980
Format7-inch 45 rpm
GenreRock, pop rock
Songwriter(s)John Lennon
Producer(s)John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Jack Douglas
John Lennon singles chronology
"Stand by Me"
"(Just Like) Starting Over"
Double Fantasy track listing
14 tracks
Side one
  1. "(Just Like) Starting Over"
  2. "Kiss Kiss Kiss"
  3. "Cleanup Time"
  4. "Give Me Something"
  5. "I'm Losing You"
  6. "I'm Moving On"
  7. "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)"
Side two
  1. "Watching the Wheels"
  2. "Yes, I'm Your Angel"
  3. "Woman"
  4. "Beautiful Boys"
  5. "Dear Yoko"
  6. "Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him"
  7. "Hard Times Are Over"

"(Just Like) Starting Over" is a song written and performed by John Lennon for his album, Double Fantasy. The B-side was Yoko Ono's "Kiss Kiss Kiss". It was released as a single on 24 October 1980 in the United Kingdom and three days later in the United States,[1] and it reached number one in both the US and UK after Lennon was murdered. In 2013, Billboard Magazine ranked it as the 62nd biggest song of all-time on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.[2]

It was Lennon's last single of new material released in his lifetime.


This was the first single released from Double Fantasy, and the first new recording Lennon had released since 1975.[1] It was chosen by Lennon not because he felt it was the best track on the album, but because it was the most appropriate following his five-year absence from the recording industry. He referred to it during production as the "Elvis/Orbison" track, as he "tongue in cheek" impersonated their vocal styles; at the start of the 2010 "Stripped Down" version of the song, Lennon says "this one's for Gene, and Eddie, and Elvis... and Buddy."


Although its origins were in unfinished demo compositions like "Don't Be Crazy" and "My Life", it was one of the last songs to be completed in time for the Double Fantasy sessions. "We didn't hear it until the last day of rehearsal," producer Jack Douglas said in 2005.[3] Lennon finished the song while on holiday in Bermuda, and recorded it at The Hit Factory in New York City just weeks later. The song was originally titled "Starting Over", however "(Just Like)" was added prior to its release because of its similarity to Dolly Parton's "Starting Over Again" which had topped the Country Charts earlier in the year.

While commercial releases of the song (original 45rpm singles, LP's and Compact Discs) run a length of three minutes and 54 seconds, a promotional 12" vinyl single originally issued to radio stations features a longer fadeout, officially running at four minutes and 17 seconds.

Musicologist Walter Everett noted melodic similarities between a portion of the song and the Beach Boys' 1964 single "Don't Worry Baby".[4] The rising modulation in the chorus reflects "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" (1977) by Andy Gibb (also written in Bermuda, coincidentally).


Lennon recorded "Starting Over" on 9 August 1980 at The Hit Factory. The track was mixed at the Record Plant on 25-26 September 1980.[5]



The song is Lennon's biggest solo hit in the United States, staying at number 1 for five weeks. Before Lennon was shot in New York City on 8 December 1980, the single had reached number 6 on the US charts. It climbed to number 1 for the week ending 27 December.[1] Billboard ranked it at the No. 4 song for 1981.[6] In the UK it had peaked at number 8 in the charts and had fallen to position number 21 before Lennon's death propelled it to number 1.[1] It was overtaken to the Christmas Number One Single rank by the St Winifred's School Choir's "There's No One Quite Like Grandma," finishing at number 2 on that list.[7] The song also reached number 1 on the Cashbox Top 100.[8] By 6 January 1981 there were three Lennon songs in the UK top 5, a feat that remained unequalled for 35 years when Justin Bieber managed to accomplish this in January 2016.

The Flaming Lips recorded a version for the benefit album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur.

On 8 October 2010, in honour of what would have been his 70th birthday the following day, iTunes released remastered albums, iTunes LPs and a free track, the 2010 remix of "(Just Like) Starting Over".

Chart performance[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Blaney, John (2005). John Lennon: Listen to This Book (illustrated ed.). [S.l.]: Paper Jukebox. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-9544528-1-0.
  2. ^ Bronson, Fred (2 August 2013). "Hot 100 55th Anniversary: The All-Time Top 100 Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Just Like Starting Over" by Chris Hunt, Uncut John Lennon Special, 2005
  4. ^ Everett, Walter (2008). The Foundations of Rock : From "Blue Suede Shoes" to "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes": From "Blue Suede Shoes" to "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes". Oxford University Press. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-19-971870-2.
  5. ^ Madinger, Chip; Raile, Scott (2015). LENNONOLOGY Strange Days Indeed - A Scrapbook Of Madness. Chesterfield, MO: Open Your Books, LLC. pp. 520, 528. ISBN 978-1-63110-175-5.
  6. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1981
  7. ^ Andrew Johnson; Claire Cooper; Victoria Richards (20 December 2009). "Not quite Top of the Pops: Stuck at Number Two for Christmas". The Independent on Sunday.
  8. ^ Blaney, John (2005). John Lennon: Listen to This Book (illustrated ed.). [S.l.]: Paper Jukebox. p. 326. ISBN 978-0-9544528-1-0.
  9. ^ Nztop40.co.nz
  10. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 388. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 138.
  12. ^ a b Australian-charts.com Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles Archived 14 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  15. ^ Nztop40.co.nz
  16. ^ "Pop Singles" Billboard December 26, 1981: YE-9
  17. ^ Bronson, Fred (2 August 2013). "Hot 100 55th Anniversary: The All-Time Top 100 Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 1 August 2018.

External links[edit]