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Sometime in New York City
30 August 2013
11.33pm
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
Apple rooftop
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Just curious how people feel about this one after so many years?

As noted in other posts I sold my LPs long long ago and for some unknown reason (life running on while I was busy making other plans I guess) I have just begun to replace the most important ones - my Beatles stuff.

Long story short, I always liked Sometime back then, and so have just bought the remastered 2CD set, along with the 4 CD box set of Lennon (Gimme Some Truth), Plastic Ono Band, and Imagine.

The first thing I liked about the album was the sound, both musically and vocally.  Ah, the lyrics - well, at least they are better than the pained yells at the end of Cold Turkey :)    I even liked the 'bonus' LP - I felt like I had one of their experimental LPs with a little more musicality to it.

I always thought 'New York City' would have made a great single, but suppose that this album was about the message and they didn't want to dilute that by focussing on a catchy single?

31 August 2013
12.51am
meanmistermustard
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Not once I ever go to, has never appealed. I find the lyrics weak and at times embarrassing and the musicianship uninspiring. New York City is probably the better of Johns efforts however I prefer the live versions of that, and Woman is The Nigger of the World, recorded at MSG due to better Lennon vocals (if only we could get a remastered remix of that). And like Double Fantasy and Milk and Honey I can't get into Yoko's vocals so its skipped.

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31 August 2013
2.29am
Zig
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If I'm in the mood for John, I don't reach for this one. However, on those occasions when it comes up in my playlist of all of his albums back-to-back, I find some really cool moments in a lot of the songs - just not all of them.

I may be in the minority when I say I like the style of music played by Elephant's Memory. Street bands fascinate me with their energy and each member's ability to play freestyle solos that weave in and out of the central beat of the rhythm section. Très cool.

Not all of Yoko's contributions are unlistenable. The lyrics in 'We're All Water' are very clever.yoko-ono_01 She loses me when she wails at the end, but that's just my taste.

Not a bad album, really.

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31 August 2013
1.31pm
DrBeatle
Boston
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It's his worst album, IMO, but New York City, Sunday Bloody Sunday, and Luck of the Irish I all like very much (apart from Yoko's vocals)

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31 August 2013
4.20pm
unknown
Nowhere Land
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DrBeatle said
It's his worst album, IMO, but New York City, Sunday Bloody Sunday, and Luck of the Irish I all like very much (apart from Yoko's vocals)

These are the only ones I like too, but I like Yoko's vocals on Sunday Bloody Sunday. 

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31 August 2013
11.01pm
vonbontee
Inside a Letterbox
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I'm probably never gonna convert anybody who's already decided for themselves, but I think "We're All Water" is a tremendous rock 'n roll performance from (Elephant's Memory and) Yoko! She's hitting most of the notes she aims for fairly accurately, her rhythm/phrasing has improved, and her enthusiasm is at a high level, all of which are noted and highly welcomed. (Keep in mind: this woman had almost NO experience listening to, much less singing, rock music until four years previous.) So after she makes it through the first half of the song unscathed, her typical freeform caterwaulings throughout the rest of the song, interspersed with a few shouts and chants, feel earned. Especially with Elephant's Memory goosing her along. They're a fairly atypical band of the era, with a sound that's hard to pinpoint and pigeonhole. Kind of a early '70s hard-rock take on 1959-style hard-rock, with the piano pounding and the sax riffing away. (Me, I wish they'd gotten a little less conservative and incorporated more fuzztones and feedback and new-thing sax-screech into their sound, but then I'm always wishing for those things. And maybe they saved that stuff for their own albums? => never heard 'em.)

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31 August 2013
11.13pm
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
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DrBeatle said
It's his worst album, IMO, but New York City, Sunday Bloody Sunday, and Luck of the Irish I all like very much (apart from Yoko's vocals)

His worst, including the Wedding Album et al??  :)

I actually like it more than Double Fantasy and Milk and Honey which I found just plain boring, at least Sometime has attitude.

 

1 September 2013
12.35am
meanmistermustard
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To be fair Milk and Honey was a patched up album of songs John had recorded during the sessions for Double Fantasy but were left of that album and new Yoko material to match up to an very rough idea formed between the two before Johns sudden and unexpected death. I doubt those were the correct tracks John would have included never mind the exact right takes.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
2 November 2013
11.17pm
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
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Just been listening to some of the tracks off this again and I'm amazed New York City wasn't chosen as a single.

3 November 2013
6.21pm
DrBeatle
Boston
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^no kidding. It's so far ahead of the rest of that album in terms of quality that it's shocking.

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14 November 2013
11.18am
vectisfabber
The Jacaranda
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I thought it was embarrassing, irritating (I don't like people wagging fingers at me), often unpleasant to listen to, and sometimes offensive, when it was released.  My opinion has not changed. 

14 November 2013
12.05pm
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
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vectisfabber said
I thought it was embarrassing, irritating (I don't like people wagging fingers at me), often unpleasant to listen to, and sometimes offensive, when it was released.  My opinion has not changed. 

I think you are probably in the majority with that one.  Even though I don't mind the album (some of the music and vocals are very good) I think the scattergun approach to the issues diffused the message way too much.  I don't mind a bit of finger-wagging now and then, but a couple of tracks in amongst a great rock album would have been much more effective.

Apparently John couldn't believe that people didn't take to the album - he must have been smoking more odd weeds than usual at the time.

 

14 November 2013
3.27pm
Expert Textpert
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I like We're All Water, John Sinclair, and Woman is the N.  I also like the live performance that was tagged on.

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14 November 2013
4.08pm
BrettB
Somerset, Massachusetts
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I think i just might like every track, y'know? I adore We're All Water and Sisters O Sisters.

To give the oh so controversial opening track credit, if it had just used 'Woman is the slave of the slaves' instead of that unnamed line, i think it might have affected the entire album's view by everyone.

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14 November 2013
4.32pm
Bungalow Bob
Seattle, Washington
Hollywood Bowl
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BrettB said

To give the oh so controversial opening track credit, if it had just used 'Woman is the slave of the slaves' instead of that unnamed line, i think it might have affected the entire album's view by everyone.

John should have gone with "Woman Is The N-word Of The World." That's my opinion. But hey, I prefer Cee Lo Greene's edited version, titled "Forget You." It still gets the point across. :)

14 November 2013
6.14pm
Zig
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BrettB said 

To give the oh so controversial opening track credit, if it had just used 'Woman is the slave of the slaves' instead of that unnamed line, i think it might have affected the entire album's view by everyone.

Interesting thought.

From what I understand (could be wrong) the general idea behind the song was Yoko's. I seem to remember John mentioning that when he introduced the song during the 1972 concert @ Madison Square Garden. After reading your comment, I can't help but feel more people would have heard the song/message since it probably would not have been so widely banned.

The song has a powerful message, which is why they probably used such a powerful word in the title. Too bad not everyone got to hear it.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

14 November 2013
6.24pm
BrettB
Somerset, Massachusetts
Casbah Coffee Club
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Zig said

BrettB said 
To give the oh so controversial opening track credit, if it had just used 'Woman is the slave of the slaves' instead of that unnamed line, i think it might have affected the entire album's view by everyone.

Interesting thought.

From what I understand (could be wrong) the general idea behind the song was Yoko's. I seem to remember John mentioning that when he introduced the song during the 1972 concert @ Madison Square Garden. After reading your comment, I can't help but feel more people would have heard the song/message since it probably would not have been so widely banned.

The song has a powerful message, which is why they probably used such a powerful word in the title. Too bad not everyone got to hear it.

Yes. Exactly.

But then again, i'm debating whether or not to bring up Lily Allen in this in her recent music video atrocity. (Which sucks, i sorta liked her.) 

Despite Lily taking the piss out of Blurred Lines, there's still the blatant racism in the video, whether she intended to do so or not. 

And with John and Yoko, it's well known that they didn't mean it. I mean, i guess 'my black friends agree with me on this' was an acceptable excuse then, just not now. a-hard-days-night-paul-7

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14 November 2013
6.40pm
parlance
Slaggers
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Zig said

The song has a powerful message, which is why they probably used such a powerful word in the title. Too bad not everyone got to hear it.

I think it could have had a powerful message (had the lyrics been better) and should have been executed differently. It's extremely problematic for a person of privilege to evoke a brutal word as if he actually understood what it was like to be on the receiving end of it. And the fact his wife who isn't Black suggested it doesn't make it better.

It also erases the existence of Black women. There was a quote made at the time of the song's release from Black playwright Pearl Cleage: “If Woman is the “N” of the World, what does that make Black Women, the “N, N” of the World?”

Last time this discussion came up here (I didn't participate), I found a couple of articles on the subject people might find interesting/help-albumful, as the song came up when a White woman made a sign during the first Slutwalk in 2011 with the title: Ms. Magazine and Racialicious.

parlance

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14 November 2013
6.44pm
Bungalow Bob
Seattle, Washington
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parlance said
It also erases the existence of Black women. There was a quote made at the time of the song's release from Black playwright Pearl Cleage: “If Woman is the “N” of the World, what does that make Black Women, the “N, N” of the World?”

I'd never thought of this. So, I guess this statement is very thought-provoking, in a good way. To quote John Lennon, in his song "Woman Is The N-word Of The World"… "Think about it"…

15 November 2013
7.45am
WhereArtEsteban
Nashville Tennessee
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parlance said

Zig said

The song has a powerful message, which is why they probably used such a powerful word in the title. Too bad not everyone got to hear it.

I think it could have had a powerful message (had the lyrics been better) and should have been executed differently. It's extremely problematic for a person of privilege to evoke a brutal word as if he actually understood what it was like to be on the receiving end of it. And the fact his wife who isn't Black suggested it doesn't make it better.

parlance

However though- having studied gender and family in Chinese and Japanese traditions; I would say it is perfectly reasonable that Yoko would want John to sing about this. Women in those countries had absolutely no say in the general direction of their lives for like... millenniums.  I've always considered that one like a favor of John's, attempting to use his influence to spotlight a big part of Yoko's personal journey. Yeah the lyrics are really meh... he does sing "slave of the slaves" really nicely though.
John Lennon had friends within the black panther party and I think this made him feel he could use that word (likely wrongfully) and was probably encouraged by some pretty radical people: my roomates father was at the John Sinclair concert and he said they were going around the concert forcing people to donate. He said it was the weirdest concert he ever went to lol. 

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