Here We Go Again

Menlove Ave album artwork - John LennonWritten by: Lennon-Spector
Recorded: October-December 1973
Producers: John Lennon, Phil Spector

Released: 3 November 1986 (UK), 27 October 1986 (US)

John Lennon: vocals
Jesse Ed Davis, Steve Cropper, Jose Feliciano, Art Munson, William Perry, Louis Shelton, Dale Anderson, Larry Carlton, David Cohen: guitar
Phil Spector: guitar, piano
Mac Rebennack, Leon Russell, Michael Omartian: keyboards
Nino Tempo: saxophone, keyboards
Bob Glaub, Thomas Hensley, Ray Neapolitan: bass guitar
William Perkins, Robert Hardaway: woodwind
Anthony Terran: trumpet
Jeff Barry, Andy Thomas, Michael Wofford, Michael Lang, Barry Mann, Michael Melvoin: piano
Bobby Keys, Jim Horn, Plas Johnson, Ronald Langinger, Donald Menza, Gene Cipriano: saxophone
Joseph Kelson: horn
Julian Matlock: clarinet
Conte Candoli, Chuck Findley: trumpet
Jim Keltner, Hal Blaine, Frank Capp, Jim Gordon: drums
Gary Coleman, Alan Estes, Steve Forman, Terry Gibbs: percussion

Available on:
Menlove Ave

The only published song John Lennon wrote with Phil Spector, Here We Go Again was recorded in 1973 but remained unreleased until 1986.

Lennon recorded two home demos of Here We Go Again in October 1973, performed on an acoustic guitar. The first take broke down, but the second showed how Lennon was still working on the lyrics.

Later that month work began on the Rock 'N' Roll project with Phil Spector. As an original composition it was unlikely that Here We Go Again was considered for the album, so the reason for its recording remains unclear. It is possible that Lennon was considering hiring Spector to produce the follow-up to Mind Games, but their working relationship ended during these chaotic sessions.

Spector's role in the songwriting is unclear. Lennon had the tune in place by the time the demos were recorded, so it is possible that the producer's contribution was to assist with the final lyrics. The song was copyrighted to both men on 16 July 1975.

Here We Go Again was shelved by Lennon, most likely because its full-on deployment of Spector's trademark Wall of Sound would have sat uneasily on Walls And Bridges. Although it would have made a fine standalone single in early 1974, it was eventually released after Lennon's death as the lead track on the posthumous collection Menlove Ave.

The lyrics were a contemplation on the purposes of life, with a sense of being guided by karma and destiny - themes which Lennon had touched upon in early compositions such as Instant Karma and Mind Games.

Lennon's doleful vocals, seemingly resigned to the various lows he would experience throughout the Lost Weekend, were perfectly complemented by the spiralling brass arrangement. His screams towards the end of the song encapsulated his frustrations at having parted from Yoko Ono, the decline in his commercial fortunes since the release of Some Time In New York City, and his descent into alcohol abuse.

4 responses on “Here We Go Again

  1. Graham Paterson

    I agree with Craig Braelow, this song sounds mystic like”# 9 Dream”. I agree with the editorial, this would have made a great stand alone single. Having just got “Menlove Avenue” earlier this year, this is a favorite of mine. Brilliant vocals by John Lennon.

  2. Happy

    I was surprised by the reviewers comment about how, it would have been a nice stand alone single in early 1974. I’ve never heard anyone else suggest that. But its a good idea! Maybe too long & mellow to be a huge hit, but a worthwhile idea.

    As to it not fitting in with Walls & Bridges sonically, or stylistically. I’m not so sure about that, Walls & Bridges is a little harder sonically, but I think it would have probably fit. Sort of fits with the mellower feel of Mind Games too. I really wonder if Lennon & Spector cut any others, like perhaps Mucho mungo, which Lennon said they both worked on during this period. But whether they cut a version of Mucho Mungo during the Here We Go Again period I don’t know. I’d sure like to hear it, if they did.

Leave a reply