John Lennon
Some Time in New York City



by fivebeats3 USER (1 Reviews)
January 13th, 2013 | 7 replies

Release Date: 1972 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Good, not great, there could have been a lot of great opportunities for John, which seem to be wasted, and avoid Yoko songs on this album

Some Time in New York City... This album was not kicked off with a good start. After John and Yoko moved to New York, they started to get involved in anti-war protests, and protests to get John Sinclair out of prison. All of these were followed with Richard Nixon's attempts to deport John Lennon, which would last for around 5 years afterwards. The original album was, and still is, a double album, filled with mostly songs of a political nature, and some that would cause an about face with Lennon fans who were expecting something like off his Plastic Ono Band release or the Imagine album that was released a year ago. What did people get" Mostly a bunch of half-baked ideas, and the ones that are fully-baked were the ones that caused John major controversy.

The album kicks off with one of the more controversial songs off the album , "Woman is the N****r of the World", which, contrary to its song title, is about sexism rather than racism. All the fuss about the n-word aside, the track is pretty strong, and really needs a better social climate to listen to it. Just be careful if your friend asks to see your iPod and ask what you're listening to. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is also really good, mostly based off the Bloody Sunday Troubles in Northern Ireland, and you can see where John's sympathies lie, and it is a surprisingly upbeat. The other track that stands out for the recorded set is "New York City", a Chuck Berry inspired piece about John and Yoko's new home in the Dakota and Manhattan. It may get a little repetitive, but it's a rockin' song, so I guess I could let it slide. Basically, stick with all the Lennon tracks, as they are the strong parts of this whole record.

The other gems on this record are all live, and they comprise of everything after track 10 (which I'll get to in a little bit), and they come from two different concerts, one of them the live UNICEF jam from 1969, the other from a Fillmore East gig featuring Frank Zappa (yes, that Frank Zappa) on guitar from 1971. The sound quality from the UNICEF jam is a little bit on the poor side, but it does show Lennon's prowess in a live setting. The later tracks are in better quality, but most could be indifferent about what the tracks contain, especially with Zappa.

Now, I have to talk about the bad parts of the album, and unfortunately, it comprises a lot of the album: Yoko.

Let me clarify my stance on Yoko in this album, because this is an interesting case. I think her songwriting is some of her best on this album, because she had gotten better before this album. Unfortunately, her voice is just really annoying on this album, like many reviewers at the time liked to point out. The song contents of "Sisters O Sisters" and "We're All Water" are really good, and it forces a reader of the lyrics to really think. When a person listens to them, however, it makes you want to eat your least favorite food for about a week and then spend a night near the toilet. Even the two Lennon songs about the Troubles, including "Luck of the Irish", are simply spoiled by Yoko's screechy voice, which is a shame because these songs are pretty good, but why did Yoko have to be on the most sentimental songs of the whole album""!!

On the whole, like most John Lennon albums, the good stuff is really good. The opening song is great, the back-to-basic song is great, the live jams are really good. There could have a lot of opportunities to make this album one of his greatest, but a lot of opportunities were wasted for what they are.

Recommended tracks:
"Woman is the N****r of the World"
"John Sinclair"
"New York City"

P.S. Not only is this the first review of this album, but my first review on the site

user ratings (85)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
January 13th 2013


Take a way that last sentence, that should be a comment not part of the review.

Other than that, excellent work, and a fine choice for your first time. As for the album, I love John Lennon but I really feel like Yoko Ono held him back a bit on a few occasions during his solo career. I mean, she's creative and all, but her voice in some songs- particularly the screeches and yelps that she does.... what were they thinking? They had some good albums together though, I'll admit that.

January 13th 2013


album cover looks way too similar to the jethro tull release of the same year

January 13th 2013


Paperback has a good point about that last sentence. Other than that, nice review. POS.

January 13th 2013


Good review.
I really hate how he goes out of his way to be controversial

April 14th 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

Why the hell is the average for this a 2.9? Should be at least in the threes in my opinion. My biggest complaint though is that the Zappa songs don't reflect Zappa's style much so he might as well not be there...

Digging: Baths - Romaplasm

March 2nd 2017


Say what you will about the rest of the album, but New York City is a jam.

March 2nd 2017


Album Rating: 3.5

Most of the John led tracks rule.

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