Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Album of the Day #4: SOME TIME IN NEW YORK CITY/LIVE JAM - John & Yoko Lennon

Title: Some Time In New York City & Live Jam
Artist: John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band With Elephant’s Memory and John & Yoko With The Mothers Of Invention And A Star Studded Cast Of Thousands!!
Label: Apple/Capitol/EMI
Year: 1972
[Some Time In New York City:] Woman Is The Nigger Of The World*/Sisters, O Sisters**/Attica State*/Born In A Prison**/New York City***/Sunday Bloody Sunday*/The Luck Of The Irish*/John Sinclair***/Angela*/We’re All Water**
[Live Jam:] Cold Turkey***/Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow)**/Well (Baby Please Don’t Go)+/Jamrag*/Scumbag++/AÜ*
Written by: *John Lennon & Yoko Ono, **Yoko Ono, ***John Lennon, +Walter Ward and ++John Lennon, Yoko Ono & Frank Zappa
Produced by: John & Yoko and Phil Spector
Thoughts: Hidden inside the wonderfully creative album cover sits the sloppiest, messiest and most down-right disgusting Beatle solo record. What John and Yoko saw in Elephant’s Memory, the world may never know. Anyway, the ten songs on the studio album aren’t half-bad and even Yoko’s songs are listenable (“Sisters, O Sisters” in particular). “Sunday Bloody Sunday” has some nice verses by John, but Yoko really wrecks it with the chorus. John’s two solo compositions are among his best: “John Sinclair” is snide track and “New York City” really does pan out to be a “Ballad Of John & Yoko” Part II. The original LP (and CD) included a separate “Live Jam” disc, filled with two sides of the worst live performances by John. On one side, you get a six minute “Cold Turkey” that sounds like an awful imitation of the wonderful performance on the Live Peace In Toronto LP, as does the 16 minute “Don’t Worry Kyoko”. On the second side is a performance with Frank Zappa, an artist I’ve never really particularly cared for (I tried Freak Out! and it didn’t work with me), which is terrible, save for the cover of “Well”. So, if you’re not a die-hard Lennon fan, stay away…for your own sake!
Rating: 5/10

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