It was recorded at the Radio Luxembourg studios on 17 June 1971 (1971-06-17). The Arnold Corns version of "Hang Onto Yourself" was first released by B&C as the B-side to the single "Moonage Daydream" in the UK in April 1971 (1971-04). In September 1971 (1971-09) it was released again, this time as an A-side, by B&C.
Bowie recorded the song for the BBC radio programme Sounds of the 70sBob Harris 8 January 1972 (1972-01-08). This was broadcast 7 February 1972 (1972-02-07). On 16 May 1972 (1972-05-16), Bowie again played the song on Sounds of the 70s: John Peel, and this was broadcast on 23 May 1972 (1972-05-23). Both of these versions were released on the Bowie at the Beeb album in 2000.