The Dream Is Over
This collection of digitally remastered recordings centers on demos, alternate versions
and sessions surrounding the introspective John Lennon Plastic Ono Band
LP. One can only speculate as to what John might have offered musically had he not
been taken by a book contained in an unsolicited package he received from the
States. The Primal Scream, Primal Therapy: The Cure For Neurosis was
published in 1970 by American psychologist Dr. Arthur Janov, who seemed destined to follow
LSD, the Maharishi and heroin in John's never ending search for "the
answer". By the end of March, Dr. Janov was on a plane to London to begin
private sessions with John and Yoko at their Tittenhurst Park estate. After the
first week, the incessant construction at the mansion proved too much of a distraction and
therapy was moved to London. Two more weeks of sessions followed, and on April 23,
1970, John and Yoko boarded a plane for the U.S. in order to continue with Dr. Janov at
the Primal Institute in Los Angeles.
John and Yoko stayed for
four months at a rented home on Nimes Road in Bel Air and attended sessions three times a
week at the Institute. When they weren't rolling around on the floor, they were
either swimming, watching TV, or "eating 32 flavors of ice cream".
However, it is apparent that John did a little composing as well.
Opening this collection are
home demos of 'Love' and 'Mother', the second of which, according to John, was started in
England and finished while in California. Recorded by John in mid-1970 on an
electrified acoustic guitar subjected to heavy tremelo, these early renditions have
already captured the emotion and angst found on the commercially available versions.
Listen carefully to 'Love' and you can hear Yoko searching for a suitable harmony.
'Mother' appears here in a more complete form than was previously available to
An unreleased Lennon
original follows. John recorded two takes on acoustic guitar of 'When A Boy Meets A
Girl', both of which are presented here from a tape source. The second take ends
abruptly as John is called away, apparently never to return to this composition.
Appearing here for the first
time (and also from a tape source) is John's complete composing sequence for 'God'.
Recorded in California in late July 1970, the first two takes are presented on acoustic
guitar, with a capo being added on the second pass. It is interesting at this stage
to hear John's litany develop from a mumbled placeholder ("I don't believe in
alphabets...") to a full blown diatribe. For the third and fourth takes John
plugs in his acoustic guitar once again, only this time adding only a trace of tremelo.
Notice how "Dylan" has not yet reverted back to "Zimmerman",
and the absence of the song's haunting coda.
From the same era comes an
acoustic guitar rendition of 'Well Well Well'. At this time only one verse appears
to have been completed, and after delivering it twice, the take ends with John being
interrupted once again.
Takes one and two of 'I
Found Out' are also electrified acoustic performances from the Summer of 1970. John
was obviously sure of the treatment of this song would receive as the takes are nearly
identical, best discerned by minor lyrical variations.
Both takes of 'My Mummy's
Dead' follow. Once again presented on electrified acoustic guitar, take one appears
here unprocessed (when compared to the commercial release), take two in a more complete
form than its previous appearances.
Not from the California demo
tape, but an integral part of the Plastic Ono Band LP is 'Look At Me'. Here
we present John's composing sequence dating from late 1968. It was recorded using
his gut stringed classical guitar and performed using the "claw hammer"
fingerpicking technique taught to him by Donovan while in India, and immortalized in The
Beatles track 'Julia'.
John and Yoko returned to
England in late September and entered EMI's Abbey Road Studios on September 26, 1970 to
begin sessions for their respective Plastic Ono Band's LP's. They concluded a month
later on October 27, and after finalizing details of the album's release, John and Yoko
were once again off to the States - this time to promote the albums and film Up Your
Legs Forever and Fly with Jonas Mekas.
Opening the studio portion
of this compilation is an alternate take of the album opener - 'Mother'. The version
appearing here is taken from a tape source, which unfortunately started a few moments
after the take. An interesting side note, the U.S. single version featured a
3'55" edit of the album track in mono, while the Japanese release featured the album
version in stereo (the single was never released in the U.K.)
Next up are two rough mixes
of the released take of 'I Found Out'. The first mix begins with some studio talk
and is distinguishable from the released version by the additional percussion and extended
fade out. John's segue into Carl Perkin's 'Gone, Gone, Gone' has never been more
apparent. The second is best differentiated by the wide stereo picture when compared
to the almost mono commercial version. Once again, the 'Gone, Gone, Gone' tag has
not been trimmed. An edited version with the extended fade out was commercially
released on Australian pressings of the John Lennon Plastic Ono Band LP.
Besides deleting the expletives from 'I Found Out', the Australians also saw fit to tidy
up John's lyrics to 'Working Class Hero', with a pair of ham-fisted edits that sound like
someone kicked the turntable.
Next is take four, of 'Well,
Well, Well', a "dry" stereo mix of the released mono version. Those of you
paying attention will notice that its appearance here is more complete than was previously
Two rough mixes of 'Look At
Me' follow, with varying degrees of phasing John's vocal. The similarities to John's
demo are evident, only the instrumentation has changed as he performs on steel string
acoustic guitar this time around.
Now get ready because the
best has been saved for last! John Lennon enthusiasts are familiar with John's love
for old Rock 'N' Roll, and how he would perform his favorites at a drop of a hat.
Well the P.O.B. sessions were no exception. Phil Spector left the tapes rolling as
John, Ringo, and Klaus Voormann ran through a selection of the best rockabilly ever
committed to wax. Appearing here for the first time is the complete jam session from
a tape source. It opens with 'That's All Right (Mama)' followed by a killer version
of 'Glad All Over' - hot dang dilly indeed! Sticking with Carl Perkins for the
moment, John & Co. kick into 'Honey Don't' before slipping into spastic mode with a
pair of Elvis Presley covers - 'Don't Be Cruel' and 'Hound Dog'. Next is an
unidentifiable rockabilly tinged composition, (possibly Ray Charles' 'A Fool Over You'),
sung in the best 'You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)' style. The guys put a lid
on it with Carl's 'Matchbox' (albeit with some improvisational lyrics) which eventually
dissolves into an instrumental jam.
Closing the collection is
the single version of 'Love', prepared in 1982 to promote The John Lennon Collection
LP and found only on the 45 release. The track was drastically remixed (this time in
stereo), and, to make it more suitable for airplay, the familiar fade in/out was removed.
The single was not released in America, where Geffen Records chose to push 'Happy
Xmas (War Is Over)', a track left off the U.S. version of the album.
We hope you've enjoyed this
collection as much as we've enjoyed putting it together for you. Look for an
upcoming multi-disc edition of the Mind Games era coming soon. Until then...