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Walls And Bridges

4.3 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 25, 1988
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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The careful burnishing of John Lennon's daunting legend usually obscures one telling fact: the former Beatle endured a long and troubling artistic slump in the mid-'70s. Indeed, his five-year retirement/househusband phase may have been one of the shrewdest career moves he ever made. Cut in Los Angeles during his prolonged "lost weekend" estrangement from Yoko Ono, Walls and Bridges too often sacrifices the sublime for the ridiculous--that is, when it's not being altogether superfluous. Still, "Whatever Gets You Through the Night," Lennon's boisterous collaboration with Elton John, scored him his first No. 1 record as a solo artist, and compelling tracks like "Steel and Glass," "Going Down on Love," and "#9 Dream" belie the artistic genius Lennon was literally drowning in copious rounds of Brandy Alexanders during the period. --Jerry McCulley
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Digital Booklet: Walls And Bridges
Digital Booklet: Walls And Bridges
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 25, 1988)
  • Original Release Date: 1974
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000002UD0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,260 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alan Caylow on December 8, 2005
Format: Audio CD
My personal favorite John Lennon album is 1974's "Walls And Bridges," which may seem like an odd choice to some people since the album is considered to be one of John's "weakest" releases (and recorded during John's "lost weekend" period, when he was separated from Yoko Ono). Personally, I don't understand the criticism at all. "Walls And Bridges" a "weak" album? Nonsense! Whatever personal problems Lennon was going through during this period, I think he still cranked out a fantastic album. Mind you, I enjoy all of John's solo stuff, including such classics as "Plastic Ono Band," "Imagine," and his songs on "Double Fantasy," but there's just something about "Walls And Bridges" that appeals to me the most. What else can I say? I think the songs, the production, and of course, John's singing and songwriting is just wonderful on this disc. There are memorable melodies and performances throughout "Walls And Bridges." Great songs include "Going Down On Love," the #1 hit "Whatever Gets You Through The Night" (featuring Elton John), the jazz-rock throwdown "What You Got," the gorgeous feel of "Bless You," the atmospheric dreamscapes of "#9 Dream," the powerful "Steel And Glass," the funky instrumental "Beef Jerky," and the classic Lennon ballad "Nobody Loves You (When You're Down And Out)". These songs are absolutely amongst Lennon's best work, so don't tell me that this album is weak. If I'm alone in my opinion that "Walls And Bridges" is the best solo album Lennon ever recorded, then so be it. Maybe I'm just weird. But I totally love John Lennon's "Walls And Bridges" and I always have. I hope you will, too.
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Format: Audio CD
"Walls and Bridges" was the remains of the "lost weekend". Alcohol dominated Lennon's life during this period. The album isn't as tough sounding as other Lennon albums from earlier and, in fact, it seems Lennon was trying to rediscover his sense of melody and produce something as lush as McCartney's "Ram". While "Walls and Bridges" doesn't measure up to Lennon's first two solo albums, it more than compensates with melodic, rich songs that feature some of the most interesting arrangements of any from his solo career. While the music is a tad inconsistent with filler, the best tracks here compare well to Lennon's best material as a solo artist.

The new reissue has a mix of remixed/remastered tracks for the album. While this edition sounds improved compared to the cloudy first edition, it isn't as large a difference as "Mind Games" or even "Sometime in New York City" (which always sounded a bit muddy to me). The good news is that the best tracks here stand up very well to Lennon's best material; "Going Down on Love", "#9 Dream", "Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out", "Surprise, Surprise" and others may lack the fire of the primal scream albums but they make up for it with some of Lennon's best vocal performances. it also features Lennon's biggest #1 hit until his death "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" recorded with Elton John. Fans know the story that John predicted it would be a #1 and bet Lennon that it would be. John challenged Lennon to appear in concert with him for the number if it did become a #1 hit. True to his word, Lennon did appear and Lennon performs the song with John (it is missing his performance of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" which Elton John sang lead vocals on as it was his single at the time).
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Forget what the critics say concerning his "lost weekend" period. The songs on this album are among his best written. #9 Dream, Steel and Glass, Bless You, When You're Down are among the best songs on this album. "Whatever Gets You through the Night" was his number 1 song co-written with Elton John, and as much as I like that song, it isn't even close to being the best on the album.

While I think that his first solo (Plastic Ono Band) was his best, this is my second favorite.

Buy it, you'll like it.
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Format: Audio CD
On this outstanding album, John fends for himself, for the first time in his professional life without Yoko AND Paul. It also is one of his few albums that feature no other Beatle. His band is comprised of such "Fifth Beatles" as Klaus Voorman, Jim Keltner, and Nicky Hopkins. It seems he is now totally screamed out, and has had his say about political problems in the world. He has been stiffed by Yoko - and moves on now much more easily than he did, when dealing with the abandonment of his mother and father. He even has a little bit of Julian on the album.

He seems to be comfortable with himself - the music is accessible, with the expected depth. I have always considered it a letter he is writing to Paul, George, Ringo, Yoko, his fans - heck, even Cynthia and Julian.

#9 Dream connects with Beatles material in more ways than its title. It is one of the 10 or so best Beatles solo tracks, in terms of having a "Beatles" sound to it. "Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out", is "Isn't It A Pity" written sideways. He seems to have the same need to write this as George had with his similarly-penned number. It is a continuation of the Beatles story. Songs like this allowed us to get to know the Beatles personally, and to be able to connect their problems in life with our own.

Steel and Glass, of course, is penance for his "Stick it, Paul" rant, "How Do You Sleep?" from Imagine. YaYa is a return to a Hamburg favorite.

In "God" John says "I was the Walrus", and "I don't believe in Beatles." On this entire album, John seems to say, "well, okay - maybe I am kind of a walrus, and well, maybe I do believe in a little bit of Beatles."

John's personal and professional development is shared with the world in his music.
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