2 of 2 thought this review was well written
"John Lennon - Acoustic," sound's like it's gonna be a compilation of high-quality unreleased acoustic versions of some of John's softer song's. Very little of that statement is true, let's start with the true parts. It is a compilation, and they are acoustic. Now the not-so true parts, the recordings are not high-quality (I can get better quality with my small personal recorder), and some of the songs should never have been played on an acoustic (there are recordings of Well, Well, Well, and Cold Turkey). This album is in no-way a good starting point for people trying to get into John Lennon, and it is in no-way an essential album for John Lennon fans. Instead it is for the die-hard fans, or the people interested in hearing the song's sung in a very natural way in their primitive forms. I for one find that premises interesting.
The first track Working Class Hero
is almost unecessarry because the released recording is already totally acoustic. But still it's an enjoyable listen, with the notes sung a little differently as many acoustic performances usually do. The song sounds a little more personal in this format like he's singing right at you. The next track Love
is a pretty tender moment on the cd, the vocals are full of passion and it sounds like he's just sitting their with his acoustic singing the song to Yoko. Well, Well, Well
is a low point on the album it's a really half-assed performance (but that shouldnt bring John down at all seeing how these performances weren't meant to be released) with a few changed lyrics, and since there's no drum beat the guitar is constantly playing in between the main riff's.
[b]Look At Me[/b is basically the album version without all the processing done to the vocals. I think the vocals on this version are better than the track on Plastic Ono Band. God
is the next track and it starts out with an intro not in the original song where John seems to be imitating a priest, and he cracks up a little bit. It's kinda funny to listen to it. The performance is a really loose one, the main difference in this song is that he says "I just believe in me, that's reality" instead of "I just believe in me, yoko and me, that's reality." Shocking I know. The next few tracks My Mummy's Dead, Cold Turkey, and The Luck of the Irish
don't have much to talk about, My Mummy's Dead sounds like the album, Cold Turkey sound's ridiculous with Lennon's voice shaking by the end of the song you'd like to give him a good punch in the face. And the Luck of the Irish is a live track of one of John's more political song's its pretty catchy and the performance is good, but Yoko's vocal delivery makes me laugh everytime it comes. That accent just makes it sound hilarious.
it's a live performance and John starts out by giving us valuable information "This song I wrote for John Sinclair" it's a really country song that features John on slide guitar. The hooks are really strong, and this song actually helped get John Sinclair out of jail. I like the lines "If he was a soldier man shootin' gooks in vietnam, if he was a CSI selling drugs and making pay, he'd be free like you and me," one of the highlights of the album. The next track Woman is the ****** of the world
only goes on for 40 seconds and the name alone may offend and turn people off. But if you listen to it it's a lullabye like song about women's rights, the title just describes how women were treated all over the world how african-american's were treated in some parts of the world. What You Got
i've never heard the orignal version of this song, and I don't really want to nothing really stand's out about it.
The album ends incredibly strong with performances of Watching the wheels go round
which features a great vocal performance, and just sounds really good. It really sounds like John enjoys "sitting here watchin the wheels go round and round," and you almost forget the ironic twist of fate that makes this song sad even with it's up-tempo music and happy lyrics. The next song is Dear Yoko
the intro riff quality is pretty bad, but the rest of the song is delivered with excellence. The guitar sounds great, and anyone who's heard the song will know that it's really catchy and still is in this acoustic performance. Continuing the string of great song's is Real Love
a song that was given to George, Paul, and Ringo to turn into a beatle's song while working on the anthology in 1995. This version features some alternate lyrics "All the little boys and girls, living in this crazy world" is the first line sung instead of "All my little plans and schemes, lost like some forgotten dreams." This is a really beautifull song and the whole song especially the chorus is sung with passion and really adds to the song. And what would a John Lennon compilation be without Imagine
...I couldn't possibly Imagine
what it would be like (laughs at own pun). This version of Imagine is a live acoustic version, it's a solid peformance but there's no reason to prefer it over the original recording.
The sometimes beautiful, sometimes emotional, and sometimes chaotic acoustic album comes to end with the beautiful song It's real
it goes only for 1:04 and it has no lyrics (im guessing it was an unfinished song). But it's just a really peaceful song with John playing a few chords while he whistles what would have probably become the vocal melody had he had a chance to finish the song. Really makes you think that he was gonna make a pretty good comeback.
In conclusion, as I mentioned before this compilation is mainly directed at dire-hard fans of which I am one and in that sense it is good. The low points are Cold Turkey, and Well Well Well, and the high points are basically all of the five last songs starting with Watching the wheels. If your looking for high-quality acoustic performances then I'd stay far far away from this album. If you even see it I'd run to make sure you don't buy it and become disapointed. But if you think you know what to expect and if you think you can take it then buy it because the high points are really good, and the album sleeve gives you the chords so you can play along ooo what fun!