Posts Tagged ‘John Lennon’

For over two decades, “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus” was a lost film, unfinished and unseen, more rumor than pop culture memory. In theory, it captured a lot of what anyone might desire in a rock ‘n’ roll movie from London circa 1968: the Stones, the Who, John Lennon, Eric Clapton and more.

On a sound stage designed like the inside of a circus big top, each of the musicians performed at the height of their powers while mingling with trapeze artists, fire-eaters and other semi-dazzling acts from a traveling circus. “The clowns and the Rolling Stones got along very well,” recalls the film’s director, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, 78.

Yet the film’s planned television premiere was delayed indefinitely for one reason: The Stones thought the Who’s performance was better.

It took 28 years, but the Stones came around in time for Lindsay-Hogg to finish the legendary rock film for a 1996 premiere at the New York Film Festival and release on home video. “You had these little explosions of greatness in the room,” says Lindsay-Hogg of the two-day shoot, “and the Rolling Stones recognized that.”

Now, in time for the North American leg of the Stones’ ongoing No Filter Tour, “Circus” has been remastered for a limited U.S. theatrical run during the first week of April. Last week, Lindsay-Hogg, who now lives in Los Angeles, attended a private screening in Hollywood of the film, recast in vivid Dolby Vision color and Dolby Atmos sound.

“I was thrilled by it anew, which I hadn’t been for a long time,” says Lindsay-Hogg, whose career began in England as director on the ’60s music show “Ready Steady Go!,” where the camerawork could be as frenzied as the acts onstage.

He also directed music videos for the Stones, Beatles and the Who, and made the intimate Beatles documentary “Let It Be.” In the pipeline is a long-awaited restoration of the 1970 Beatles film, which will follow an entirely new film being assembled from the same 55 hours of footage by New Zealand director Peter Jackson. Attending the “Circus” screening was Brett Morgen, director of 2015’s acclaimed “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” and his own Stones documentary, 2012’s “Crossfire Hurricane.” In an onstage Q&A with Lindsay-Hogg following the film, Morgen celebrated the filmmaker’s essential work with these epochal musical figures.

“The man defined the image that so many of us have of the Stones and the Beatles,” Morgen said in an interview with The Times. “He created a new language. You look at the ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ video and what he did is as innovative as what Busby Berkeley did to the musical.”

In “Circus,” the Stones performed several songs from the just-completed “Beggar’s Banquet,” the first of four consecutive album milestones that defined the band’s greatest work. There was also Lennon leading a supergroup he called the Dirty Mac, with Eric Clapton on guitar, Keith Richards on bass, and drummer Mitch Mitchell from the Jimi Hendrix Experience performing a new Beatles song, “Yer Blues.” Yoko Ono then joined for an improvisational jam. Other performers included Marianne Faithfull, Taj Mahal and Jethro Tull. The Who’s playful reading of the mini-rock opera “A Quick One While He’s Away” was close to perfect. Jagger had personally invited all of them.

“In those days, rock ‘n’ roll bands would arrive late. You’d schedule something for 1 and they’d arrive at 4,” recalls Lindsay-Hogg. “But on this particular day, because they all respected each other, everybody was on time.”

A London sound stage was rented and Lindsay-Hogg hired the best camera operators from “Ready Steady Go!” The production also used experimental cameras from France, which shot both 16mm film and provided a video feed to the control room. Aside from having to change film canisters every 10 minutes, the new cameras frequently stopped working. “When one of the cameras had broken down for the 11th time that day, we had a little break,” the director recalls. The musicians would then retreat to their dressing rooms. “I went backstage to see how everybody was, and they were all sitting in a room – John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton – playing blues on guitar and harmonica. Keith Moon was playing spoons on a table.”

The Stones didn’t get onstage to perform until 2 a.m. It was the final live appearance of guitarist Brian Jones, dazed and fading from drug abuse, but still able to re-create his heartbreaking slide guitar lines on “No Expectations.”

Within months of filming, Jones left the band and drowned soon after. Jagger went to Australia to star in “Ned Kelly.” Lindsay-Hogg traveled to California to work on a film. The momentum of the era pushed its participants forward, but somehow left “Circus” behind until the footage was rediscovered in the ’90s.

Lindsay-Hogg continued working with the Stones through the early 1980s, directing several music videos, from “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)” to “Waiting on a Friend.” He turned his attention to feature films, TV specials and directing theater, though he remains friendly with the Stones. “We knew each other when we were kids,” he says now. “It wasn’t my nature to hang ’round if I didn’t have to. In a funny way, I think they respected that. I was happy to just be working with them.”

Image result for images of vinyl records

The album of the week shines in every facet of its existence. Phosphorescent (aka Matthew Houck) has meticulously crafted an intensely warm album of americana pop, drawing together a multitude of instrumental textures – from guitars and pedal steels, to synths, to his own voice – and yoking them into perfect harmony. his lush melodies are executed with the utmost sincerity, giving his music a widescreen poignancy.

There are many more tasty treats out this week…big thief vocalist Adrianne Lenker has struck out on her own with an absolute pearl of an album. sweet & understated, this collection of songs poured out of her in the moments between performing & practicing with her band, resulting in her most intimate work yet. that’s on very limited glow-in-the-dark vinyl, for people who like to listen with the lights off. picking up the tempo a little, Molly Burch’s country pop sophomore features that same beautiful, warbling voice channelled through a stronger, more confident set of songs founded upon indelible melodies.. we’ve also been loving the debut from kentucky’s the Other Years, whose angelically pure vocal harmonies, underpinned by a sweet backing of violin & banjo, are a thing of simple beauty. this is the perfect album to come home to after a strenuous day – trust. predictably, Cat Power’s new album is a stone-cold stunner! her largely acoustic set of folk-tinged, blues-tinted songs continue to prove her to be one of the strongest songwriters working today.

Further recomendations Throwing Muses’ Kristin Hersh delivers another powerful solo album of darkly melodic scuzz-songwriting Will Hoge injects his rumbly-voiced country with an invigorating dash of soul and an exhilarating bolt of rock bravado;  it’s also worth knowing that Blood Orange’s ‘negro swan’ is finally in on vinyl, amy helm’s red vinyl lp has finally popped in & settled its round little body into our shelves. & Marie Davidson’s excellent new record – which had me & mark jiving away.

Reissues this week, Bloc Party‘s classic debut ‘silent alarm’ arrives for the very first time on sturdy 180 gram vinyl. john Lennon’s ‘imagine’ gets a new stereo remaster, along with a bounty of alternate mixes & alternate takes that offer tremendous insight into his recording process. and possibily the greatest guitar album ever Television’s very seminal ‘Marquee Moon’ is in on blue vinyl, with a bonus disc of alternate versions – yum!

Imagine (2018 reissue)

John Lennon  –  Imagine (2018 reissue)

this truly unique edition of one of the most iconic albums of all time sees the timeless record remastered with a new stereo remix and some additional non-album singles.

digging through extensive archival content, Yoko and her team deliver us an incredibly personal journey through the entire songwriting and recording process – from the very first writing and demo sessions at John’s home studio at tittenhurst park through to the final co-production with Phil Spector – providing a remarkable testament of the lives of John Lennon and Yoko Ono in their own words. ***the deluxe 2cd comes with an extensive bonus disc of different mixes, demos and alternate takes. *** ***the super deluxe boxset comes with an incredibly vast array of different mixes, demos and alternate takes, the restored ‘Imagine’ and ‘Gimme Some Truth’ films and a 120 page hardcover book documenting the album’s creation***

Abysskiss

Adrianne Lenker – Abysskiss

the big thief vocalist lays down a mesmerising set of songs that are hushed & disarmingly intimate, in which we climb into her consciousness without encountering any barriers & revel in the sweet beauty of her gentle melancholy.

the songs chosen for this collection were the songs that felt the most alive in the room. these are not castaways or b-sides. some of these songs have been alive for years while some were written just days before the recording session. with this collection, Lenker further illuminates to the listening public that she is a songwriter of the highest order, following her voice & the greater voices that pass through her with an unflinching openness & clarity of translation. “it’s an invitation to peer into the hidden spaces of an extraordinary modern songwriter, where calm & quiet moment prompt superlative work”

C’est La Vie

Phosphorescent  –  C’est La Vie

Matthew Houck has crafted an electrifying collection of songs that blend a dreamy, psychedelic americana aesthetic with solid pop foundations that never fail to engage.

this album reveals a crystallisation of what made ‘Muchacho’ such a breakout record release — a little sweetness and a little menace, sometimes boot-stomping and sometimes meditative. the magic of Matthew Houck’s music has always been the way he weaves shimmering, almost golden-sounding threads through elemental, salt-of-the-earth sounds. it’s not experimental, exactly, but it’s singular and it’s definitely not traditional. that knack, the through-line across the phosphorescent catalogue, is front and centre here. fans of bon iver, iron and wine, bonnie prince billy, damien jurado and okkervil river will love this! “songs of experience make up Matthew Houck’s heavenly seventh”

First Flower

Molly Burch  –  First Flower

a walk through Molly Burch’s most intimate thoughts – broken friendships, sibling relationships and overwhelming anxiety – ‘First Flower’ is a bright, beautiful album peppered with moments of triumph with Burch’s voice as strong and dexterous as ever.

opening track “Candy” is a swinging, playful hit, while “Wild” deals with pushing away fear. title track “First Flower” is classic Burch, a simple love song that gives you goosebumps when she breaks into the chorus. but the album’s true stand-out is “To the Boys”, a courageous, sassy fuck-you to her own self-deprecation where she learns to love all the things she hated about herself. if you enjoyed angel olsen’s ‘My Woman’, this is the album for you. “more dreamy, torchy country-pop goodness from this Austin breakout”

Stardust Birthday Party

Ron Gallo –  Stardust Birthday Party

Ron Gallo’s punk-poet persona remains intact, backed by a generous injection of scuzz and fuzz.

“the details of my path are pointless because everyone’s path is different. it is about me sitting with myself for the first time and confronting the big question ‘what am i, really?’ it’s about the love and compassion for all things that enters when you find out you are nothing and everything. i think at one point i wanted to change the world, but now i know i can only change myself, or rather just strip away everything that is not me to reveal the only thing that’s ever been there. and that’s what this album is about, it’s me dancing while destroying the person i thought i was, and hopefully forever”. fans of oh sees, ty segall and warm drag should check this out

WANDERER

Cat Power  –  Wanderer

Chan Marshall’s return to the folkier, bluesier side of the tracks is very welcome on this lustrous set of understated, yet quietly powerful, acoustic ballads.

produced in its entirety by Marshall, ‘Wanderer’ includes appearances by long-time friends & compatriots, as well as guest vocals courtesy of Lana del Rey & an exquisite cover of Rihanna’s ‘Stay’. the 11 tracks encompass “my journey so far,” says Marshall. “the course my life has taken in this journey – going from town to town, with my guitar, telling my tale; with reverence to the people who did this generations before me. folk singers, blues singers, & everything in between. they were all wanderers, & i am lucky to be among them.” “the set has both strength & a lean, lustrous beauty, tapping Carole King-style classicism & american folk standards”

Fall Into the Sun

Swearin’ – Fall Into The Sun

their scuzztastic reunion has gifted us a blissful set of melodic bangers that go hard on distortion and easy on the ears.

much like the band’s previous albums, Gilbride anchored the recording and producing of the record, but this time around, the band worked to make the process feel more collaborative than ever before. “i feel like this was the first time i could look at a Swearin’ record and say that i co-produced it, and that felt really good,” said Crutchfield. Crutchfield and Gilbride always had an innate ability to mirror the other’s movements in songs, but here, they build a focused lyrical perspective across their songs, one that’s thankful for their past, but looks boldly toward the future. fans of rilo kiley, the beths, speedy ortiz and forth wanderers need to check this out!

Masana Temples

Kikagaku Moyo – Masana Temples

the psych-prog quintet return with a serene set of wah-heavy motifs, seasoned with moments of exquisitely delicate, hushed vocals.

more than the literal interpretation of being on a journey, the album’s ever-changing sonic panorama reflects the spiritual connection of the band moving through this all together. inspecting the harmonies and disparities between their evolving perspectives, the group reflects the emotional impact of their nomadic paths. the music is the product of time spent in motion and all of the bending mindsets that come with it. fans of minami deutsche and sundays & cybele should check this out.

Possible Dust Clouds

Kristin Hersh  – Possible Dust Clouds

enveloping the juxtaposition of the concept of ‘dark sunshine’, this brooding solo album expands her off-kilter sonic vision; a squally, squeaky cocktail of discordant beauty.

feedback and phasing gyrate from simply strummed normality, imagine Dinosaur jr and My Bloody Valentine cranking up a Dylan couplet. messing with both extremes of the sonic spectrum: atonal and arrhythmic, a unique sound and a glorious return to form for one of alternative rock’s true innovators. “sometimes the most subversive thing i can do musically is adhere to standard song structure, sometimes the creepiest chords are the ones we’ve heard before, twisted into different shapes” – Kristin Hersh, july 2018. “the prodigious output and commitment to quality is pretty staggering, but then Kristin Hersh is a very, very special musician.”

LIVE AT THIRD MAN RECORDS

Father John Misty – Live at Third Man Records

Live at Third Man Records covers songs from the first three of his albums, heard here stripped totally bare, you lucky tikes.  In September last year, Josh Tillman stopped by Third Man’s Nashville headquarters on an otherwise ordinary Tuesday afternoon and surprised them with a lunchtime solo, acoustic set before his sold-out Ryman Auditorium performance. They, of course, had our 1955 Scully Lathe warmed at the ready to capture the occasion. As is typical for direct-to-acetate recordings in the Blue Room, Josh warmed up the room (and our engineers) with two songs before they started cutting the LP. He began with the debut performance of his newly penned Mr. Tillman(foreshadowing its release as the first single on God’s Favorite Customer 9 months later). They then used the second song as an opportunity to carve a 12” on-the-spot single of Now I’m Learning to Love the War, which was promptly handed it to a lucky attendee for safe keeping. If you want to know more about that, you’ll have to scour the depths of FJM’s fan net. Live at Third Man Records covers songs from all three Father John Misty albums out at the time of its recording, heard here stripped totally bare

my american dream

Will Hoge  –  My American Dream

Hoge gives it his all on this blazing album of gritty, country soul, newly infused with a furious rock energy.

with ‘My American Dream’, Hoge hopes that others will follow his lead, see the world through someone else’s eyes, and maybe begin to fix the mess we’re living in. “i don’t want to write songs telling people how they should feel” Hoge says. “if anything, maybe there’s a 16- or 17-year-old kid in the small-town south who has rumblings of these feelings but doesn’t have anybody in his little community to go, ‘hey man, think about it like this for a second. here’s another group of people’s perspectives’”. fans of chris stapleton, lydia loveless, steve earle’s ‘copperhead road’ and nikki lane will love this!

ICON OF EGO

Arc Iris  –  Icon of Ego

the trio’s third is a vividly expressionistic record that reflects their protean talents, creating an avantgarde experimental pop that’s entirely their own.

‘Icon of Ego’ finds a stronger, more experienced band. the band has evolved into a concentrated pop-prog explosion, mixing styles with disparate elements that captivate and surprise. with heavy synthesiser work by Tenorio and Jocie Adams, and seemingly impossible transitions executed effortlessly by Belli, the songs here carry a thick, analogue electronic sound that harks back to the ’70s. presiding over these are Adams’ powerful vocals that house the energy under pop forms. fans of cocorosie and deerhoof should check these guys out.

I

Terry – I’m Terry

the Melbourne quartet capture their particular kind of witty diy, garage pop beautifully on this lp.

there are few rules in Terry’s world. “they seem to make a song out of whatever sounds good to them. the only stylistic consistency is in their hat wear. terry are like Steely Dan or 10cc. both bands make me queasy after a certain point. Terry probably also make me a bit queasy, singing about police beatings and nationalism and all that. but they’re not out to hurt you. they’re like the kindly bearer of bad news. Terry puts it in terms that speak to me. it’s a tragicomedy.” – fans of the go-betweens, courtney barnett and rolling blackouts coastal fever need to hear this.

henry / I

Soccer Mommy – Henry / I’m on Fire

Soccer Mommy aka Sophie Allison puts her own heavenly spin on the boss’ timeless classic, plus reworks the lead track from her obscure 2016 album ‘For Young Hearts’, previously only physically available as a rare cassette release. we think she’s done Bruce proud. Soccer Mommy is a must for fans of snail mail, phoebe bridgers, lucy dacus and julien baker.

LIVE AT THIRD MAN RECORDS

Kevin Morby – Live at Third Man Records

Kevin Morby performs two tracks for third man, stripping them down and revealing something completely new, in relation to their studio counterparts.

Formally a member of New York folk group Woods, Kevin Morby has made a name for himself with his four acclaimed solo releases. these songs, “Destroyer” and “Black Flowers”, come from his third record ‘Singing Saw’. “Destroyer” is an autobiographical minimalistic keyboard ballad, a distant cousin of the full band album version. “Black Flowers” on this single borrows less from the sweeping orchestras of leonard cohen’s catalogue and more from the melancholic austerity of bert jansch.

The iconic rock band expand their ‘White Album‘ with 50th anniversary sets featuring new mixes and outtakes.  The album, which was the first to be released on the Beatles’ Apple label, was issued in stereo and mono in the U.K., but only stereo in the U.S.

The Beatles announced that they are releasing new versions of The Beatles (White Album) on November. 9th adding new 2018 mixes and a wealth of unreleased demos from the vaults to celebrate the original two-disc album’s 50th anniversary of release in November, 1968.

The mixes for the new packages were done by producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell. Their announcement of their release follows the success of their 50th anniversary sets for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 2017 .

The White Albumhad long been seen as the first glimpses of the Beatles as solo artists. Looking back on that time, Paul McCartney writes in the new set, “We had left Sgt. Pepper’s band to play in his sunny Elysian Fields and were now striding out in new directions without a map.” Adds producer Giles Martin, “In remixing The White Album, we’ve tried to bring you as close as possible to The Beatles in the studio. We’ve peeled back the layers of the ‘Glass Onion’ with the hope of immersing old and new listeners into one of the most diverse and inspiring albums ever made.”

The Beatles photographed in 1968.

The largest of the new releases, the seven-disc Super Deluxe set, will have unreleased songs, including three discs of “Sessions” outtake tracks with alternates of album tracks like “Revolution,” “Blackbird,” “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except for Me and My Monkey,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Helter Skelter” (the longest, a spokesman said, is 12:49 and not the legendary 27-minute version) and some Beatles jams such as on the Elvis Presley hit “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care.” The Super Deluxe set will be housed in 164-page hardbound book with detailed track information, rare photos and copies of handwritten lyrics, recording sheets and print ads. It will also be numbered, as was the original LP.

In advance of the album, the Beatles also recorded a group of 27 acoustic-based demos at George Harrison’s house in Esher, Surrey, during the last week of May in 1968. Some of the demos were included on Anthology 3, but a complete set of these Esher Demos, including alternate versions of “Back in the U.S.S.R,” “Piggies,” “Rocky Raccoon,” and “Revolution” along with some songs that didn’t make the album, such as Lennon’s “What’s the New Mary Jane” and “Child of Nature,” and George Harrison’s “Circles” and “Not Guilty,” will be released for the first time in some configurations, answering a longtime wish from Beatles fans. The demos had been bootlegged in lesser quality for years.

There will be several versions of the new releases: Two 180-gram LPs with the 2018 stereo mix; three CDs or four LPs and digital audio with the 2018 stereo mix and the Esher demos; and a Super Deluxe set of seven discs with 6 CDs with two CDs of the new stereo mixes, three CDs of “Sessions” outtakes, a CD of the Esher Demos, and an audio Blu-ray with four mixes — hi-res PCM stereo, DTS-HD Master audio 5.1, Dolby True HD 5.1 and a direct transfer of the album’s original mono mix. That mix included several differences from the stereo version, among them a faster “Don’t Pass Me By,” different animal and bird sounds on “Piggies” and “Blackbird” respectively and an altered ending for “Helter Skelter.”

       

Here are 15 of the most revelatory moments:

1. “Revolution 1”
The legendary Take 18, a nearly 11-minute jam from the first day of the White Album sessions. The other Beatles were surprised to see someone new at John’s side: Yoko Ono, who became a constant presence in the studio. It begins as the version you know from the record: John’s flubbed guitar intro, engineer Geoff Emerick’s “take two,” John’s “okaaay.” But where the original fades out, this one is just getting started. The groove builds as John keeps chanting “all right, all right,” from a low moan to a high scream. Yoko joins the band to add distorted synth feedback, while Paul clangs on piano. She recites prose poetry, fragments of which that ended up in “Revolution 9”: “It’s like being naked…if you become naked.”

The story of this jam has been told many times, usually presented as a grim scene where Yoko barges in, sowing the seeds of discord—the beginning of the end. So it’s a surprise to hear how much fun they’re all having. It ends in a fit of laughter—she nervously asks, “That’s too much?” John tells her it sounds great and Paul agrees: “Yeah, it’s wild!”

2. “Sexy Sadie”
As the band warms up, George playfully sings a hook from Sgt. Pepper: “It’s getting better all the tiiiime!” John snorts. “Is it, right?” Take 3 is an acerbic version of “Sexy Sadie,” with Paul doodling on the organ. Yet despite the nasty wit, the band sounds totally in sync. When George asks, “How fast, John?,” he responds, “However you feel it.”

3. “Long, Long, Long”
George’s hushed hymn has always been underrated—partly because it’s mastered way too quiet. In the fantastic Take 44, “Long, Long, Long” comes alive as a duet between George and Ringo, with the drums crashing in dialogue with the whispery vocals. Giles Martin explains, “I suppose, as is documented here, George was Ringo’s best friend, as he says. That song is kind of the two of them.” George starts freestyling at the end: “Gathering, gesturing, glimmering, glittering, happening, hovering, humoring, hammering, laquering, lecturing, laboring, lumbering, mirroring…” It closes with the spooky death-rattle chord, originally the sound of a wine bottle vibrating on Paul’s amp. “It still gives you the fear when it comes.”

4. “Good Night”
Of all the alternate takes, “Good Night” is the one that will leave most listeners baffled why this wasn’t the version that made the album. Instead of lush strings, it has John’s finger-picking guitar and the whole group harmonizing on the “good night, sleep tight” chorus. It’s rare to hear all four singing together at this stage, and it’s breathtaking in its warmth. “I do prefer this version to the record,” Martin admits. (He won’t be the last to say this.)

John plays the same guitar pattern as “Dear Prudence” and “Julia.” That’s one of the distinctive sonic features of the White Album—the Beatles had their acoustic chops in peak condition, since there had been nothing else to do for kicks in Rishikesh. In India, their fellow pilgrim Donovan taught them the finger-picking style of London folkies like Davey Graham. “Donovan taught him this guitar part. John was like ‘great!,’ and then in classic Beatle style, went and wrote three songs using the same guitar part.”

The other “Good Night” takes are closer to the original’s cornball lullaby spirit. In one, Ringo croons over George Martin’s spare piano; in another, he does a spoken-word introduction. “Come on now, put all those toys away—it’s time to jump into bed. Go off into dreamland. Yes, Daddy will sing a song for you.” By the end, he quips, “Ringo’s gone a bit crazy.”

5. “Helter Skelter”
This Paul song inspired endless studio jams, lurching into proto-headbang noise—they started it the day after the Yellow Submarine premiere, so maybe they just craved the opposite extreme. This take is 13 minutes of primal thud—remarkably close to Black Sabbath, around the time Sabbath were still in Birmingham inventing their sound.

6. “Blackbird”
Paul plays around with the song—“Dark black, dark black, dark black night”—trying to nail the vibe. It isn’t there yet. He tells George Martin, “See, if we’re ever to reach it, I’ll be able to tell you when I’ve just done it. It just needs forgetting about it. It’s a decision which voice to use.” He thinks his way through the song, his then-girlfriend Francie audible in the background. “It’s all in his timing,” Martin says. “There’s two separate things, a great guitarist and a great singer—he’s managed to disconnect and put them back together. He’s trying to work out where they meet.”

7. “Dear Prudence”
Of all the Esher demos, “Dear Prudence” might be the one that best shows off their rowdy humor. John ends his childlike reverie by cracking up his bandmates, narrating the tale of Prudence Farrow that inspired the song. “A meditation course in Rishikesh, India,” he declares. “She was to go completely berserk under the care of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Everybody around was very worried about the girl, because she was going insaaaane. So we sang to her.”

8. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
There’s an early acoustic demo, but Take 27, recorded over a month later, rocks harder than the album version—John on organ, Paul on piano, lead guitar from special guest Eric Clapton. (George invited his friend to come play, partly because he knew the others would behave themselves around Clapton.) The groove only falls part when George tries to hit a Smokey Robinson-style high note and totally flubs it. “It’s okay,” George says. “I tried to do a Smokey, and I just aren’t Smokey.”

9. “Hey Jude”
Recorded in the midst of the sessions, but planned for a one-off single, Paul’s ballad is still in raw shape, but even in this first take, it’s already designed as a 7-minute epic, with Paul singing the na-na-na outro himself. Another gem on this box: an early attempt at “Let It Be,” with Paul’s original lyric showing his explicit link to American R&B: “When I find myself in times of trouble / Brother Malcolm comes to me.”

10. “Child of Nature”
Another treasure from Esher. “Child of Nature” is a gentle ballad John wrote about the retreat to India: “On the road to Rishikesh / I was dreaming more or less.” He scrapped it for the album, but dug it back out a few years later, wrote new words, and turned it into one of his most famous solo tunes: “Jealous Guy.”

11. “JULIA”
One of John’s most intimate confessions—the only Beatle track where he’s performing all by himself. You can hear his nerves as he sits with his guitar and asks George Martin, in a jokey Scouse accent, “Is it better standing up, do you think? It’s very hard to sing this, you know.” The producer reassures him. “It’s a very hard song, John.” “‘Julia’ was one of my dad’s favorites,” Giles says. “When I began playing guitar in my teens, he told me to learn that one.”

12. “Can You Take Me Back?”
The snippet on Side Four that serves as an eerie transition into the abstract sound-collage chaos of “Revolution 9.” Paul toys with it for a couple of minutes, trying to flesh it out into a bit of country blues—“I ain’t happy here, my honey, are you happy here?”

13. “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”
Paul spent a week driving the band through this ditty, until John finally stormed out of the studio. He returned a few hours later, stoned out of his mind, then banged on the piano in a rage, coming up with the jingle-jangle intro that gets the riff going. This early version is pleasant but overly smooth—it shows why the song really did need that nasty edge. A perfect example of the Beatle collaborative spirit: John might loathe the song, Paul might resent John’s sabotage, but both care too deeply about the music not to get it right.

14. “Sour Milk Sea”
A great George highlight from the Esher tapes—“Sour Milk Sea” didn’t make the cut for the album, but he gave it to Liverpool pal Jackie Lomax who scored a one-shot hit with it. (It definitely deserved to rank ahead of “Piggies,” which remains the weakest track on any version of this album.) “Not Guilty” and “Circles” are other George demos that fell into limbo—“Not Guilty” sounds ready to go at Esher, yet in the studio, it was doomed to over a hundred fruitless takes.

15. “Happiness Is a Warm Gun”
A tricky experiment they learned together in the studio, with John toying with the structure and his mock doo-wop falsetto. “Is anybody finding it easier?” he asks. “It seems a little easier—it’s just no fun, but it’s easier.” George pipes in. “Easier and fun.” John replies, “Oh, all right, if you insist.” It’s a moment that sums up all the surprising discoveries on this White Album edition: a moment where the Beatles find themselves at the edge of the unknown, with no one to count on except each other. But that’s when they inspire each other to charge ahead and greet the brand new day.

The Beatles released their 12th and final LP “Let It Be” on May 8th, 1970. It was released almost a month after the group had broke-up.

The album started out being named “Get Back” where the band was hoping to return to their earlier, less complicated approach to music. It was recorded and projected for release before their album “Abbey Road,” which came out in 1969. Paul McCartney said a new edit of the Beatles movie Let It Be could enter production in the near future.

The original 1970 documentary hasn’t been available in home formats since 1982 as a result of scenes that showed the band in a negative light as the members moved toward their split.

McCartney had been asked about the movie during a recent radio interview. “We keep talking about that,” he said. “We have meetings. … People have been looking at the footage.” He added that he’d been told that a great deal of the unused material showed “a bunch of guys making music and enjoying it.” “Who knows, that may be happening in a year or two,” he noted.

The report also quoted Let It Be cinematographer Tony Richmond, who’d previously said a proposed DVD remaster had been blocked “by George’s Harrison’s estate and his wife and Yoko Ono, because they don’t want the acrimony shown.” In 2007, Apple Corps boss Neil Aspinall said “the film was so controversial when it first came out. When we got halfway through restoring it, we looked at the outtakes and realized: this stuff is still controversial. It raised a lot of old issues.”

Discussing a potential re-release in 2018, McCartney said that he’d had no objection to the idea, though he added that the “objection should be me. I don’t come off well.” He went on to explain that he was “one of the votes” on the board of Apple Corps, and that Ringo Starr, Ono and Olivia Harrison counted as much as he did.

“That’s the secret of the Beatles – can’t do three to one,” he said. “During the breakup was when it got screwed up – we did three against one. But now it has to be unanimous. The two girls are Beatles.”

Because “Let It Be” was supposed to be released before “Abbey Road”, there are those who say that some Abbey Road should be considered the group’s final album.

Happy 46th Birthday to The Beatles’ LP “Let It Be”!!!

The news that John Lennon‘s 1971 album Imagine is to be reissued as a six-disc super deluxe edition box set, with outtakes, sessions, quad mix, demos etc., is exciting for a number of reasons.

First off, it’s one of only a handful of albums from ex-Beatles that truly approach ‘classic’ status. Lennon’s own John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is another and Paul McCartney’s Band on the Run and the RAM albums could also probably be included.

Secondly, it sounds as if Imagine is getting a proper, almost forensic, examination. McCartney has reissued both albums mentioned above (Band on the Run twice) but he’s very stingy with bonus material (no ‘sessions’) and hasn’t bothered at all with surround sound, since the start of his long-running ‘archive collection’ campaign in 2010.

Being so close to the break-up of The Beatles and with Lennon and McCartney still exchanging jibes at each other through their music (‘Too Many People’/’How Do You Sleep?’) and beyond (early editions ofImagineincluded a postcard featuring Lennon holding a pig, mocking the cover of the RAM cover) John’s second solo studio album still feels part of the tail end of a Beatles narrative, rather than the start of his solo career.

Imagineset to be released on October 5th. The new John Lennon Imagine box set will include 140 tracks spread over four CDs and two Blu-rays including rare outtake recordings, previously unreleased demos, isolated recording track elements, and much more. In addition to the deluxe box set’s audio element, Imagine — The Ultimate Collection will include a lengthy book about the making of the album.

The deluxe box set, whose creation was overseen by Lennon’s widow and musical collaborator, Yoko Ono, aims to paint the complete picture of John’s creative process on the monumental LP. As engineer Paul Hicks explains in the accompanying book,

When John Lennon headed into the studio in 1971 to make his solo classic Imagine, wth Yoko Ono and Phil Spector, he had a lot to prove. He wanted to shake off the shadow of the Beatles, yet also build on the band’s legacy. He was itching to leave his ex-bandmates in the dust — Imagine has his notorious attack on Paul McCartney, “How Do You Sleep?” But he also wanted to come to terms with his past and embrace his future with Yoko. He wanted both raging protest songs and tender love ballads. He wanted it all. As he explained at the time, “I was still full of wanting my own space after being in the room with four guys, and always having to share everything, share shirts, share the same dry cleaner, the same everything.”

A previously unheard “raw studio mix” of John Lennon recording ‘How Do You Sleep?’ has been released. Stripped to the raw recording, with no effects like reverb or echo, it brings the listener into the studio during the recording of a classic Imagine track.

The “raw studio mix” captures all the intimacy of the recording session at Tittenhurt Park in Ascot, England. Present at the session were George Harrison, playing electric slide on Lennon’s pale blue Fender Strat; Rod Lynton with Ted Turner from Wishbone Ash, on twelve string acoustic guitars; Lennon and Harrison’s old friend Klaus Voormann on his hand-painted Fender Precision bass; Alan White on drums; John Tout, from Renaissance, on the Steinway upright piano; and Nicky Hopkins improvising on the red-top Wurlitzer Electric Piano, literally days before he leaves for Nellcôte to play on Exile On Main St with The Rolling Stones. Listening to the outtake is like being in the room as the track is captured.

Yoko was very keen that these Ultimate Mixes should achieve three things – to be totally faithful and respectful to the originals, be generally sonically clearer overall and should increase the clarity of John’s vocals. It’s about John’ she said. And she was right. His voice brings the biggest emotional impact to the album.

Here’s our pick of the eight most revelatory moments on Imagine: The Ultimate Collection.

“Imagine” (The Evolution Mix)
John’s most famous solo song expands on “Evolution Mix,” from the raw piano demo he taped in his bedroom to a polished studio confection. One fantastic version has John Tout’s vibes, John Barham’s harmonium and Nicky Hopkins’ electric piano for a droning feel. John marveled that such a politically outspoken song became a hit. As John says here, “The idea came like a child’s song, you know, and I wanted to keep it that way so a child could understand it. I sort of think of it as ‘Working Class Hero,’ only in child language … It’s the same story in a way, but it’s just sort of say it with, you know, powder paints.”

“Gimme Some Truth” (Take 4)
A gentle folk-rock approach, with John’s chiming guitar. At the end, John says defiantly, “This is the truth.” Phil Spector sneers dismissively: “It’s gettin’ there.” John replies, “Oh — wasn’t that it?”

“Jealous Guy” (Take 9)
A powerful version with acoustic guitar from Joey Molland and Tom Evans of Badfinger. Basing it on the White Album outtake “Child of Nature,” written in India with the Maharishi, John saw “Jealous Guy” as his anti-sentimental love song. “I think, ‘Get away from this romantic knight on horseback galloping in,’” John says in his commentary. “The parents, they were fed this guff about the knight in shining armor. And what happened was they got Sid and his braces and it wasn’t the same. He didn’t get Veronica Lake, he got Maggie and her hair curlers. That’s just as beautiful to me — that is love, too.”

“It’s So Hard” (Take 6)
An early bash with a raw guitar solo from John — “well, that was not bad” he admits at the end. The complete studio jam has soul legend King Curtis on sax — one of the Beatles’ Fifties rock & roll heroes — just before his tragic death. King Curtis was murdered on the streets of New York, a month after playing his sax solo. Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder sang at his funeral.

“Oh Yoko!” (Bahamas, 1969)
This may be most emotionally affecting moment in this collection. John and Yoko were in the Bahamas, en route to Montreal to stage their famous Bed-In for Peace. He busks the brand-new song for his friend and publicist Derek Taylor, just strumming his acoustic guitar with Yoko improvising harmonies. John toys with the song as he goes along, adding a bridge (“I want youuuu, baby!”) and lines that got cut, including “In the middle of the sea,” a touching in-joke given the ocean-child double meaning of Yoko Ono’s name. Halfway through the song, he explodes into a shout from his idol Little Richard: “A wop bop a loo bop, a lop bam boom!”

“How Do You Sleep?” (Takes 5 & 6)
A looser, funkier slink through John’s attack on his longtime songwriter partner, although John admits it’s more a song about conflicts within himself. “If I can’t have a fight with my best friend I don’t know who I can have a fight with.”

“I Don’t Wanna Be a Soldier Mama I Don’t Wanna Die” (Take 11)
A reggae jam, with Bobby Keys honkin’ on sax while Jim Keltner and Klaus Voorman sink into the groove. In one take, John apologizes in formal tones: “I’m sorry, gentlemen. I’m incapable of following my own head.”

“Oh My Love” (Take 6)
A stripped-down early version of the album’s most intimate love ballad, co-written with Yoko, featuring George Harrison on guitar. John’s voice cracks as he gets to the line “I see the clouds.” It’s a moment that sums up the songwriting collaboration between John and Yoko at full blast — and the joy of John discovering his own strength as a solo artist. Imagine remains as fresh and timely as it was in 1971 — all over this box set, you can hear why.

John Lennon

Back in 1971, Jim Keltner closed his eyes as he laid down the drums to John Lennon’s bittersweet ballad “Jealous Guy.” He knew he shouldn’t do it blind — the song was just so mesmerizing. He almost forgot that he was collaborating with the former Beatle.

“But when I opened my eyes and saw John singing on the microphone…” he trails off, recalling the moment . “That’s something I’ll never forget. It still gives me that same feeling today.” Beatles fans may know these songs by heart, but over the course of six discs, this box set dives deep into Lennon’s No. 1 solo album and brings listeners right into the studio. Throughout it all, however, one element stands the test of time and studio trickery: Lennon’s voice.

It all started at Ascot Studios, the London recording space built by Lennon and Yoko Ono on the grounds near their country home, Tittenhurst Park. Finally freed from public pressure, bureaucracy and bad vibes, the newly emancipated Beatle could work on his own terms.

Ono sees the studio as a mini-rebellion against the trappings of a mainstream pop band — and for a holistic “us.” “Both of us understood that it was very important to be honest and open,” she remembers. “Not for other people, but for ourselves.”

John Lennon photographed circa 1970.

Lennon’s first solo album,John Lennon/Plastic Ono Bandwas tortured, didactic and consumed with grief. With its follow-up, Imagine, he was ready to deliver similar messages in a more accessible package. The result was Lennon’s most commercially successful album, hung on its startling title track, which became a modern standard by earnestly depicting a world without hierarchy or dogma.

And its satellite songs were nearly as good: the elegant ballad “How?”, the apologetic “Jealous Guy,” and the bile-filled indictment of manipulative political figures “Gimme Some Truth.”

But even as those songs have saturated the public consciousness over nearly five decades, it turns out there were still ways to flatter the sound. Specifically, Lennon was notoriously insecure about his vocal ability, leading to lots of double-tracking and tape delay on the 1971 mixes.

And Phil Spector’s production, while forward-thinking, sometimes bore his mark a little too much; “I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama,” in particular, swims in reverb and buries its powerful live-in-the-studio performance between Lennon, Keltner and bassist Klaus Voormann.

Engineers Paul Hicks and Rob Stevens took a unique, double-faced perspective to The Ultimate Collection. Hicks, a long-time Beatle comrade who worked on projects like Cirque du Soleil’s Love show, the remix album Let It Be… Naked and the Beatles’ 2009 remaster campaign, handled Disc 1’s Ultimate Mixes. He simply shone the original 1971 mix to a 2018 clarity without making it overly slick or modernized.

Stevens, who co-produced 1998’s The John Lennon Anthology with Ono, took Disc 3, called Raw Studio Mixes, which feature no strings, overdubs or decoration: simply the barest, driest version of the music, as if the listener was sitting in with the band. According to Stevens, the only way to access this ultra-pure version of Imagine was to drop his own ego.

“Let’s bring up these faders, let’s forget who it is, let’s forget it’s a legend,” he remembers of the process behind Raw Studio Mixes. “Otherwise, you’re listening through a filter of ‘This is freaking John from the Beatles. This is John who sang ‘No one, I think, is in my tree,’ and made me sit there with my jaw dropped.’”

While Hicks’ presentation of Imagine is simmering and subtle, recommended for acolytes of the original mix, it’s by design that Stevens would go deepest into what actually happened in the room. Lennon’s living bandmates on Imagine — Keltner, Voormann and drummer Alan White — all hear John’s sweet-and-sour voice, accompanied by guitar or piano, as all you need from the man.

“It was always a mistake,” says Voormann, now one of John’s oldest friends and collaborators in the visual and musical realms. “He hated his voice. He told me he didn’t like his voice. But you can get much more into John’s feelings when you don’t have those effects.”

Keltner, who drummed on “Jealous Guy” and “I Don’t Wanna Be a Soldier,” agrees that less is more with Lennon: “He had one of the greatest voices ever. But he was a searcher. He loved to have things not how they were.” Voormann, who’s perhaps known Lennon the longest of the Imagine crew, agrees. “You can get much more into John’s feelings when you don’t have those effects.”

Despite being apprehensive about his voice, Lennon was, by all accounts, more relaxed than ever at Ascot. Alan White, who drums on most of Imagine, recalls a “homey” atmosphere where all involved shared meals around a big wooden table. “It was informal,” White says, “But there was a sense of the meaningfulness of the songs. John would give us the lyrics beforehand to make sure we knew what they meant and what we were saying to the world.”

The Ultimate Collection is not the first re-release of Imagine, but it is by far the most extensive, spanning four CDs and two Blu-Ray discs in a visually arresting, Ono-curated package. “This is it for Imagine, as far as I can… imagine,” Hicks says with a chuckle. “There’s nothing else. We’ve gone through all the tapes.”

Stevens also sees this box set as the logical finish line for an album that has continued to ensnare new fans over the last several decades. “The reason the word ‘ultimate’ was used was because that was the intention,” he says. “If you wanted to put out an Imagine that was more comprehensive and artistic than this one, good luck.”

In addition to the announcement of the box set, John Lennon’s camp is revisiting the video components of the album’s initial release. The Imagine film and its companion documentary, Gimme Some Truth, were re-mastered frame-by-frame from the original film negative and completely remixed from the ground up from the original audio multi-tracks in stunning Dolby Atmos and 7.1 Surround Sound, this collage of colour, sound, dream and reality and star John Lennon and Yoko Ono with George Harrison, Fred Astaire, Jack Nicholson, Andy Warhol, Dick Cavett, and many more.

The ground-breaking music film directed by John and Yoko is coming to cinemas on September 17th

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Gems covered John Lennon’s album Imagine in its entirety.  The full album is available to order now from Turntable Kitchen. It is only available on vinyl but the vinyl comes with a digital download

When we envisioned our SOUNDS DELICIOUS series we had high hopes. We wanted to hear our favorite bands lovingly reinterpreting art that meant something to them. We wanted music that would be fun, inventive, and exciting. We wanted covers that respect the album format as an art form instead of just focusing on a few hit singles. Yet, while we had high expectations, we couldn’t imagine just how great the results would be.

We never imagined Yumi Zouma’s dreamy reinterpretation of Oasis. We never imagined Jonthan Rado of Foxygen’s loose and free-wheeling take on Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run. And yet, time and time again, each and every one of the artists we’ve worked with have completely blown us out of the water with their contributions.

For our latest release in the series, GEMS keep the streak alive in a big way as the duo treat us to their track-by-track reinvention of John Lennon’s solo masterwork Imagine. From an epic, rumbling makeover of the bigger-than-life title track to their evocative and shimmering interpretation of album closer “Oh Yoko!” – they approach each track with reverence and respect even as they nail their flag to the mast.

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Here is what Lindsay from GEMS had to say about their version of the album:

“’All I want is the truth! Just give me some truth!’”

I listened to John Lennon’s album Imagine all the way through for the first time last year and that line just hit something deep within me. The inescapable sadness of life.The despair of feeling totally alone and calling out into the void, just searching for some kind of solid ground to stand on. It feels like the whole world is calling out right now from this place of hurt, calling out for truth. But we’re so divided and continue putting up false walls between us.

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I feel honored that we had the chance to record our own interpretations of these courageous, albeit conflicted songs. In some ways Lennon’s vision seems impossibly naive today. But don’t we need something to strive for? We need connection, we need communication, forgiveness and healing. I know I need the type of enchanted dream where we try to lift up humanity together. Even if it’s just in our own small, personal way.

I’m restless. I’m yearning for something real. I have to believe that we can still use our short time here on earth to put some kind of goodness into the world. And maybe while we’re at it, we can share the same dream.”

We’re also excited to announce that we’re teaming up with Seattle-based illustrator Teresa Grasseschi for the next several releases in the series! That’s her work that we’re featuring on the album art for this release.

GEMS’ version of Imagine is only available by subscribing to SOUNDS DELICIOUS. In addition to a deluxe edition for our Kickstarter supporters, it’s available on amber colored vinyl for recurring subscribers and gift orders of 6-months or more (while supplies last) and on black vinyl for all other orders. As always, each copies comes packaged with a digital download of the album. Only 1000 copies were pressed in total! These are expected to begin shipping next week!

Band Members
Lindsay Pitts, Clifford John Usher

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Plastic Ono Band - Cold Turkey single artwork

Recorded on This Day – In 1969, John Lennon recorded the track ‘Cold Turkey’, with Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman and Yoko. Lennon presented the song to Paul McCartney as a potential single by The Beatles, as they were finishing recording for their Abbey Road album but was refused and released it as a Plastic Ono Band single with sole writing credits to him. There are other versions besides the single, several of which are acoustic, It was the second solo single issued by Lennon , The single was released with a standard green Apple label, with the words “Play Loud” printed on the spindle plug of the UK pressing.

The song’s first appearance on an album was Live Peace in Toronto 1969 where the song had been performed live on 13th September 1969 with Lennon reading the lyrics off a clip-board  Here is a super live performance of Cold Turkey by Lennon with the Plastic Ono Band in New York City. More bluesy, more jazzy and more rock than the single version.

Enjoy Lennon performing the track live in New York City.

Original John Lennon “Cold Turkey” Complete Promo

47 Years Ago: The Beatles End An Era With Final Rooftop Concert | Society Of Rock Videos

January 30th 1969 Marks The Event’s 47th Anniversary

The Beatles Rooftop Concert took place on January 30th, 1969, at infamous Abbey Road Studios, George Harrison was several weeks shy of his 26th birthday on February 25th. The rooftop concert was performed at the end of January 1969 at Apple Studios, Saville Row, London. Abbey Road Studios, located in the fashionable London district of St. John’s Wood is where the Beatles recorded most of their albums, as well as the final one, “Abbey Road”. It is here where the iconic album cover pictures the Beatles crossing the street outside o the studio.

It’s hard to believe that it’s 47 years since The Beatles said goodbye with their final – albeit explosive – public appearance, perched on top of the Apple headquarters in London.

On this day in 30th January 1969 The Beatles delivered what was to be their final public performance; they’d planned on doing a live show during their Get Back sessions but it wasn’t until days before the actual event took place that the idea of performing on the roof of Apple headquarters really came together.

Written by John Lennon as an expression of his love for Yoko Ono, the song is heartfelt and passionate. As John told Rolling Stone magazine in 1970, “When it gets down to it, when you’re drowning, you don’t say, ‘I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me,’ you just scream.”

During filming on the roof of Apple, two days after the recording of the track, the band played ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ right after doing two versions of ‘Get Back’ and it led straight into ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’. Michael Lindsay-Hogg was once again directing a Beatles’ shoot. He and Paul met regularly at the tail end of 1968, while Hogg was directing The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, to discuss the filming of The Beatles’ session in January. By the time that fateful Thursday came around, the penultimate day of January would be the last time The Beatles ever played together in front of any kind of audience.

This is not the version of ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ heard on the single but the version from the Let It Be… Naked album – a composite of both versions that were performed on the roof of Apple in Savile Row

Late Beatle George Harrison explained in the liner notes for The Beatles’ Anthology,

“We went on the roof in order to resolve the live concert idea, because it was much simpler than going anywhere else; also nobody had ever done that, so it would be interesting to see what happened when we started playing up there. It was a nice little social study.

With a 5-song set list that included “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” The Beatles did a total of 9 takes live from the rooftop before London’s Metropolitan Police Service was dispatched to break up the concert, citing “noise complaints” from tenants on the same block.

The concert effectively signaled the end of an era for both the band and their fans; despite Abbey Road’s release in September of that year the band had unofficially disbanded, never to reunite as a 4-piece again. While there’s a slight note of sadness to The Beatles’ final public appearance, there’s a note of something electric, too. In a way, they left us the same way they found us; in absolute chaos and unable to make heads or tails of our emotions and somehow, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The concerts documented on “Live in New York City” were John Lennon’s only rehearsed and full-length live performances in his solo career, and his first – and last – formal, full-fledged live concerts since the Beatles retired from the road in 1966. Lennon never mounted a tour during his post-Beatles career. The concerts also marked the last time he performed live with Ono, as also with Elephant’s Memory.

Two concerts took place, in the afternoon and evening of 30 August 1972 . John Lennon Live In New York City was released simultaneously as an album and video in 1986, with different performances from the two shows on each.

The Concerts were held to raise money for children with mental challenges at friend Geraldo Rivera’s request. Rivera introduces Lennon and Ono at the beginning of the album, and he is referenced in Lennon’s impromptu revised lyrics in the opening song, “New York City.”

The benefit concerts, billed as “One to One” , also featured other performers in addition to Lennon, including Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Melanie Safka and Sha-Na-Na, although their performances are not included on this album, nor on the simultaneous video release.

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“Live in New York City” captures John Lennon’s last full-length concert performance, coming right after the release of “Some Time in New York City”, which was a commercial failure in the United States. Perhaps as a result, Lennon’s stage talk, while humorous, is self-deprecating and slightly nervous in tone. Backing Lennon and Ono were Elephant’s Memory, who had served as Lennon and Ono’s backing band on Some Time in New York City. Although the material Lennon performed was largely drawn from his three most recent albums of the period (John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Imagine and Some Time in New York City), he also included in the set list his Beatles hit “Come Together” and paid tribute to Elvis Presley with “Hound Dog” before leading the audience in a sing along of “Give Peace a Chance”. “Come Together”, originally in the key of D minor, was performed in E minor.

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Set list: 1. Power To The People, 2. New York City, 3. It’s So Hard, 4. Woman is The Nigger Of The World, 5. Sisters O Sisters, 6. Well Well Well, 7. Instant Karma!, 8. Mother, 9. Born In A Prison, 10.Come Together, 11.Imagine, 12.Cold Turkey, 13.Hound Dog, 14.Give Peace A Chance,

John Lennon: vocals, rhythm guitar and keyboard
Yoko Ono: keyboard and vocal
Wayne ‘Tex’ Gabriel: lead guitar
Adam Ippolito: keyboards
Jim Keltner: drums
Richard Frank Jr: drums
Gary Van Scyoc: bass guitar
Stan Bronstein: saxophone