Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
If The John Lennon Anthology is the musical equivalent of a scholarly four-part biography that looks terrific on the bookshelf and is enjoyable to page through now and then, Wonsaponatime is the condensed popular-press bio... more »
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If The John Lennon Anthology is the musical equivalent of a scholarly four-part biography that looks terrific on the bookshelf and is enjoyable to page through now and then, Wonsaponatime is the condensed popular-press bio that one can actually settle down with and digest. Consisting of 21 solo Lennon tracks cut between 1969 and 1980, Wonsaponatime, like the bulky Anthology, offers a selection of home, live, and studio recordings that have been buried for decades. Each part of the ex-Beatle's solo career is represented, from his probing Plastic Ono Band phase (truly the highlights here), through his misbegotten counterculture-icon-in-the-making state, into his more-focused, less-inspired mid-'70s recordings, and closing with his final-days comeback sessions. It's not all the Lennon an aficionado could ask for, but it's enough for casual fans. --Steven Stolder
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Reader's Digest Version
the dirty mac | Nutopian Global Institute | 03/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"On the heels of the success of the Beatles ANTHOLOGY albums in the mid-1990s, Capitol decided to give John Lennon's solo career similar treatment in 1998 by releasing a four disc box set of his previously unreleased, if widely bootlegged, songs and alternate takes. This CD is a single disc distillation of highlights from that box set.Every phase of Lennon's solo career is here. The best tracks include an unplugged performance of "God" that is every bit as gripping as the version on PLASTIC ONO BAND. Take 1 of "Imagine," featuring a harmonium and lacking Phil Spector's strings, is quite beautiful in its own way. "God Save Oz" brims with Lennon's enthusiasm and wry wit. The alternate take of "I'm Losing You" rocks harder than the version on DOUBLE FANTASY. That song and "I Don't Wanna Face It" demonstrate that Lennon was still capable of making vital music at the age of 40. Both make one wonder about the great music he might have made later in the 1980s, had he not been taken from us so prematurely."Real Love" may be the song with the most emotional resonance. The liner notes don't say so, but it's a safe assumption that this is the demo that Yoko Ono gave to the three surviving Beatles, which they then overdubbed and turned into a "new" Beatle song in 1995. As embellished by Paul, George and Ringo, it was an exuberant and slightly speeded up song. But this demo, with John alone at the piano, is a much more somber piece.There is something else about most of these recordings that is striking: John's voice sounds great. In his days with the Beatles he had a lot of success using studio tricks to distort his vocals on songs like "Tomorrow Never Knows," "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Come Together." Unfortunately, this technique spilled over into his solo career with mixed results. Perhaps it's no coincidence that his best solo albums (PLASTIC ONO BAND, IMAGINE and DOUBLE FANTASY) were also the ones on which he tended to let it all hang out vocally. Since most of the material on this album was recorded live in the studio with minimal production, John's voice shines through like nature intended.The album contains some dross. The demo of "I Found Out" adds no new insight. "Serve Yourself," John's satirical rebuttal to Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody," had the potential to become a good song, but the demo is a little too goofy for its own good. "Baby Please Don't Go," an outtake from the IMAGINE sessions, probably should have stayed on the cutting room floor.Yet even this album's lesser moments have their charms. WONSAPONATIME certainly offers an opportunity to dig deeper into the Lennon vault than most people would have thought possible. Essential listening for fans and even casual listeners will find much of it rewarding."
Just My Two cents....MOSTLY GREAT STUFF
Rick Holly | Lafayette, NJ. USA | 02/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you are like me and already have every other John Lennon album and a number of bootlegs most of this stuff is not new. On the other hand the quality of much of it is vastly improved. Buy it if only for the first track. CHEAP TRICK with Lennon on I'M LOSING YOU. Why this version wasn't used on the STRATING OVER album is a complete mystery to me (and Rick Neilson). This is Lennon rocking harder than he had in years. It'sworth the price of the CD just for this. Buy it used if you have to."