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Double Fantasy
Double Fantasy
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John's Last Was One Of His Best..., July 4, 2005
This review is from: Double Fantasy (Audio CD)
After five years out of the limelight so he could raise his son Sean, John returned with this album, before his life was tragically cut short. It seems at times that his murder overshadows just what a wonderful album it is. Very laid back and groovy with some good rock numbers and some excellent songs by Yoko, it's definitely high up there in my list of favorite John albums.

The first song (Just Like) Starting Over is one of the songs on the album that seems to get a lot of radio play, but, luckily, that doesn't affect it. It's still a very fresh sound and was actually something of a surprise in 1980. No one was doing old fashioned rock and roll numbers like this, but John showed that he could still do it with a lot of style. Next is one of Yoko's most famous on the album, Kiss Kiss Kiss. This is one of those songs that I've found turns a lot of Yoko haters around. I'm not saying that if you dislike Yoko and listen to this song, your opinion is going to be totally changed, but it's much more listener friendly than some of her early tracks (which I love, but just aren't for everyone). John then takes over again with Cleanup Time, which is a song I almost never hear on the radio or anything, so it's very refreshing whenever I listen to this album.

Among the other highlights on this album is Yoko's I'm Moving On and Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves him, and almost every one of John's songs is a classic. The album ends off with Yoko's Hard Are Times Are Over, which is sadly ironic considering what happened to John. Taken on its own, it is a nice way to end the album but a better version is included on Yoko's 1974 album A Story.

Double Fantasy is an album that, for me at least, still holds up pretty well. It's John and Yoko's love letter to each other, their family and the world, and, after John's tragic murder, it is still a good way to end his life and career.

Rock 'N' Roll
Rock 'N' Roll
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Patchy, But Enjoyable, Album..., July 4, 2005
This review is from: Rock 'N' Roll (Audio CD)
When he split up with Yoko and embarked on a drunken crusade with their secretary May Pang around 1973/1974, one of the first projects John attempted was to make an album of old rock and roll covers. The kind that had inspired him when he was a kid growing up in Liverpool. After a while, the sessions were stopped simply because things were getting out of hand, and after completing the album Walls and Bridges, he took another stab at doing his rock and roll album. This is what came out of it and although it has many flaws, there's some wonderful moments as well.

Perhaps most fitting for starting off this album is the song Be-Bop-A-Lula which is the song John was playing when Paul first saw him, a couple of days before he finally joined The Beatles. It's a good cover, and you can see from the start that John enjoys covering all these old songs from his youth. The next song, however, is a classic in it's own right. John took Ben E. King's excellent song Stand By Me and turned it into something magical. Wow... just wow, I absolutely love this song, and it's probably the most admired cover on here, notice its inclusion in the Lennon Legend best of CD.

After that, things can get occasionally rocky but for the most part it's an enjoyable album. It's definitely not one of John's best, it's actually pretty low down on my list of favorite John albums, but all of John's stuff was so good that it doesn't really matter. This remastered version has much, much better sound quality that I noticed as soon as I listened to it, and also includes four bonus tracks. The most interesting "extra" is the reprise of Just Because, the last song on the album. It has a nice little shout out to the rest of The Beatles and is a good, slightly emotional way, to end what would turn out to be John's last album in five years.

Walls And Bridges
Walls And Bridges
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Lennon In Pain..., June 30, 2005
This review is from: Walls And Bridges (Audio CD)
But in a good way, if you know what I mean. This album was made when John had broke up from Yoko, and had went off with May Pang (Avoid her horrible book at all costs) to L.A, where he hung out with several musicians including Who drummer Keith Moon, and Elton John. In fact, Elton John had a big impact on this album, in addition to backup vocals and piano on Whatever Gets You Thru The Night. John had originally envisioned the album more as an acoustic Dylan-type offering until Elton John came in and suggested to make it a more upbeat, almost disco-ey type of album.

The opening track, Going Down On Love, has a brilliant sound to it and is one of John's more underrated songs. The next song is Whatever Gets You Thru The Night, which was John's first number one single. It's a fun song, but it's hardly one of his best. Old Dirt Road, which is the next song, is a beautiful, quiet piece. What You Got goes back to that disco feel once again, and is one of my favorite songs on the album. The next two songs, Bless You and Scared, are two of John's lesser known songs and I wouldn't listen to them unless I was listening to the album as a whole, but they're still good songs. #9 Dream is probably the best song on the album, and is a love song to the number 9, to put it in a weird way. It's a great song, and definitely the most playable on the album. The next song Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradox) is another of the lesser known ones on the album, and not one of John's best. Once again, I would probably only listen to it if I was listening to the album as a whole. Steel and Glass, however, is another great song, it's a hate letter to Allen Klein (although John later said he wrote it about himself, but I get the feel he was just trying to play down the hatred), and is very reminiscent of How Do You Sleep? on the Imagine album. Beef Jerky is a forgettable instrumental, but Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out) is another great song, and finally the album is capped off with Ya Ya, a cover of an old rock song, with John's son Julian on drums. It's not really a proper song, just a little bit of fun they had in the studio, but it's nice to have anyway.

John always said he was in pain when he made this album. Split up from Yoko, essentially an alcoholic, it's an album where you feel the pain that he was going through, but it's still a very memorable album, and one worth picking up.

Mind Games
Mind Games
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant, Underrated Album..., June 30, 2005
This review is from: Mind Games (Audio CD)
A lot of people consider Mind Games to be another Lennon "flop", coming after Sometime In New York City, which is also considered to be a bad album. However, Mind Games is, without doubt, a stronger album than New York City and while it isn't as strong as some of John's other work, some other artists would probably kill to have an album like this.

The first song is the most well known on the album and wouldn't be out of the place on his Imagine album. It's a nice, relatively slow, upbeat number and always makes its way on to Lennon best-of compilations. After that, the songs aren't as well known. Tight A$ is a fun rocker, but not one of John's best. It seems to wear off its welcome fairly quickly, but the next song is much stronger. Aisumasen (I'm Sorry) is a great love letter/apology to Yoko, and one of the strongest songs on the album. One Day (At A Time) is another good song but is followed by what I consider to be the best song on the album Bring On The Lucie (Freda People). It's a fantastic little number and the only song on the album that has anything "political" in it at all, and it's not even a political song. It's definitely a classing John song, and it is very underrated, much like the rest of the album.

For those wondering, the Nutopian International Anthem is a 5 second long silence, and was the anthem for the conceptual country that John and Yoko created in 1973. After that, we have Intuition, which has always sounded to be like something off of Plastic Ono Band, except a little more upbeat than most of the songs on that album. Out Of The Blue is another of my favorite songs on the album, and is sort of like an upbeat love letter to Yoko.

Only People and I Know (I Know) are fairly good songs, but are hardly the best on this album. However, the last two are definitely classics. You Are Here is a quiet, beautiful song and Meat City is an absolutely fantastic rocker, and a great way to end an amazingly underrated album.

This remastered edition also has three extra tracks. Home demos of Aisumasen (I'm Sorry), Bring On The Lucie (Freda People), and Meat City. They're fairly rough but they're goopd to listen to a couple of times.

Overall, I highly recommend picking Mind Games up. It's not one of John's most famous, but it's a fantastic album, and it is very underrated.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 11, 2011 12:41 PM PST

Some Time in New York City
Some Time in New York City
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's No 'Imagine', I'll Put It That Way..., June 19, 2005
Coming straight after the album that some people consider to be John Lennon's best, it was bound to be disappointing, but, sadly, John had lost a lot of his inspiration for this album and it comes off quite poor.

It starts off with Woman Is The Nigger Of The World which, although a good rock song, is hardly up to the standards that the Plastic Ono Band and Imagine albums had set in the previous years. The lyrics aren't all too memorable either and it seems as if John was really forcing himself to write during this time.

Two of his more memorable songs on this album, I think, are New York City and The Luck Of The Irish. New York City's a fun little rocker and while The Luck Of The Irish is known for some very, very bad lyrics, it also has some pretty good, harsh ones too. My favorite being:

"You blame it all on the kids and the IRA,

as the bastards commit genocide"

Simple, but good.

In my opinion, it's Yoko who shines more on this album. Sisters O Sisters is one of her best feminist songs, and We're All Water is a great way to end the album. Sadly, even those can't save the album, but there's still another disc to go.

Disc 2 takes from two live Lennon performances. Cold Turkey and Don't Worry Kyoko are taken from the Plastic Ono Band's second live show in 1969 (with extra musicians including George Harrison and Keith Moon), while the rest of the songs are culled from a surprise live appearance John and Yoko did with Frank Zappa in 1971.

The first two songs are probably the best live stuff that John and Yoko ever did. They're both loud and leave you drained after hearing them, which is the sign of a good, powerful rock song, at least I think so.

The rest is good, but a little shaky. Zappa was always a great live performer though, so he can bring out the best in John sometimes, and Well (Baby Please Don't Go) is a great old rock and roll cover. An interesting note about this live show is that there are three different versions that exist. John's version which appears here, Zappa's version on the 1993 Playground Psychotics album, and the original, unedited form, which can be found on bootleg CDs and videos.

Sometime In New York City is always considered to be the worst John Lennon album and, sadly, I can't argue with that. It definitely represents a slump in his career. Understandable, considering his phones were being tapped at the time, and he was in danger of being deported, but still sad. I only recommend getting this if you're a devoted lennon fan, although the first two tracks of the Live Jam disc are quite rewarding.

Offered by SaleTag
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75 used & new from $1.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece..., June 12, 2005
This review is from: Imagine (Audio CD)
What more can be said about this album? There has been so much talk about it over the years that here is not much more ways you can look at it. It's been called a masterpiece by many people, including myself, it's been called overrated by many people, including John Lennon himself... No matter what anybody says, I think this album is a work of genius.

It all starts off with one of the most famous songs of the entire 20th century... Imagine. I love this song with all my heart, but I've never thought it's John's Best. For me, that distinction would go to something like Instant Karma, Oh Yoko (which is on this very album), Beautiful Boy, or maybe Woman. Still, this song is absolutely wonderful and must have sounded amazing back in 1971 when no one had heard it before and it first started getting played. It's a wonderful piece of optimistic music, and I enjoy listening to it everytime.

The next song, Crippled Inside, sounds like an upbeat country number but is actually an attack on John's former Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney, and it's a really good song. It's the first of two Paul-bashing songs on this album but this first track is definitely the more upbeat number.

The third song, Jealous Guy, is another one of my favorites. It shows how talented John was at crafting a beautiful melody with very touching lyrics. It's a song that I find myself listening to over and over again.

The next three songs are much more rock and roll than the first few. It's So Hard, I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier, and Gimme Some Truth are all excellent pieces of music, although I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier is probably the weakest song on this album. Still, it may be the weakest but it's miles better than some other artist's best.

We then move on to one of John's most touching love songs, called Oh My Love. It's another of the quieter numbers on the album and, like Jealous Guy, is a very touching song.

The next song is John's most scathing attack on Paul McCartney. He doesn't even go about trying to hide who the song is about, and he sings very directly to his former songwriting partner. It's a great song and shows that, although John could do some beautiful love songs, he could also give some people a pretty good musical beating as well.

The album finished off with two great songs. How, which once again shows John's quieter musical side, and Oh Yoko, which was one of the first John songs I heard, and is definitely the song that made me fall in love with him and his music. It's a great tribute to his one true love Yoko, and is nice and upbeat.

Sure, the song Imagine is occasionally played once too many times on the radio, but I still think this album is brilliant piece of work, even if John himself would occasioanlly come down on it, when he called it "Plastic Ono Band with chocolate on top". Still, it's a must-have album, and a nice addition to your collection.

Plastic Ono Band
Plastic Ono Band
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Album..., June 11, 2005
This review is from: Plastic Ono Band (Audio CD)
After The Beatles disbanded in 1970, people were wondering just what the solo members would have to offer us. There was a chance that these guys might have just been leaning on each other all these years and when pulled apart, their musical abilities just wouldn't be that great. Well, all four members proved their detractors wrong and, in my opinion, John produced the best debut album.

Of course, the first song on this album, Mother, is perhaps the most talked about song on this album, and it sees John showing off his new "primal scream" technique. It's an absolutely amazing song that send shivers down my spine each time I hear it. It sets the tone for the whole album, although the song that comes right after it is one of the more upbeat ones on the album. Hold On is a nice little two minute song with John showing his hope for himself, Yoko and the world. The next song is I Found Out which contains one of my favorite lines, "I've seen religion from Jesus to Paul", and shows John expressing his feelings once again.

The next song is one of John's best, and one of his most controversial. Working Class Hero drew criticism when people pointed out that John grew up in a fairly middle class childhood and he shouldn't be calling himself "working class". I don't really have an opinion either way, I think it's a great song, and one of John's first "classics".

The rest of the album follows in the same tone as the early songs. We hear some wonderful stuff, such as Love, a beautiful little song, Well Well Well, which really puts John's vocals to the test, God, one of the most famous songs on this album where John shares his list of what he doesn't believe in, and the touching My Mummy's Dead, which is like a quieter version of the opening song Mother.

These are all great songs but sadly the two extra songs, Power To The People and Do The Oz, while nice to have, are very inappropriate after My Mummy's Dead, and shouldn't have been added, especially since we can get them on Shaved Fish and The John Lennon Anthology, respectively. However, the remaster is nice and I appreciate it that they cleaned it up.

Even with the extra tracks, this is such a good album, and a good remaster, that it's very much worth getting.

Live Peace in Toronto 1969
Live Peace in Toronto 1969
Price: $34.27
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Live Appearance..., June 11, 2005
The Toronto show which this album comes from was John's first real concert away from The Beatles. He had already appeared on The Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus but that was more of a TV special than it was a concert, so this pretty much constitutes his first non-Beatles gig.

It's a truly wonderful performance with Eric Clapton, brilliant as usual, on lead guitar, breaking into some great solos, Klaus Voorman (an old German friend of The Beatles) on bass, Alan White on drums, and John on lead guitar. They start off with som great rock and roll covers. The band, newly named the Plastic Ono Band, breathe great life into these covers, and they all sound very rough and loud. After they go through these covers, they perform the fantastic Beatles song Yer Blues, which sounds even better here than it does in its studio version. They also premiere John's song about his heroin habit, Cold Turkey. It's not nearly as good as the studio version, or the version the Plastic Ono Supergroup did at the Peace For Christmas concert during Christmas of 1969, but it's still enjoyable, although it basically falls apart during the end. They then do a great version of Give Peace A Chance. Although I love the original version, it's fun hearing it in this electric version, even if John forgets the lyrics occasionally, which he actually does during some of the early numbers as well.

Of course, then it goes into Yoko's section of the concert. Before you start reading, I'm going to tell you that I'm a huge Yoko fan and I think she did "punk" before it was "punk". The two songs she does here, Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow) and John, John (Let's Hope For Peace), are wonderful numbers, especially the first one, which has some great guitar courtesy of Eric Clapton. Eventually, the band starts leaving the stage until it's only the scream of feedback left.

Live Peace In Toronto is a great album, but it's also very rough and if you prefer the polished studio versions of these songs, then you might want to listen to them again instead of listening to this album.

Wedding Album
Wedding Album
Price: $13.99
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Most Accessible Of All John/Yoko Avant Garde Releases..., June 11, 2005
This review is from: Wedding Album (Audio CD)
The Wedding Album is probably the most accessible of the early avant garde albums that John and Yoko made together, mainly because of the inclusion of several interviews they did while they were having their bed-in. It gives you a nice insight into what they were thinking while they were doing it.

The other track is a nice lovey-dovey avant garde track with John and Yoko continually shouting each others names.

It's definitely the most accessible of all their early releases, but if you know you hate it already, don't bother buying it.

Unfinished Music #2: Life With The Lions
Unfinished Music #2: Life With The Lions
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Liked It..., June 10, 2005
Cue the "unhelpful button" votes.

Although it's not to everybody tastes, I've always been a fan of the avant garde and especially of John and Yoko's avant garde stuff. This album is probably my favorite of the three that they brought out in the late sixties, mainly because of Cambridge 1969. It's thirty minutes of Yoko screaming while John plays feedback guitar in the background and I've always been a fan of it.

All I can say is that if you have any sort of interest in avant garde music then I suggest picking this up but, if not, then it's probably not worth your time.

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