31 March, 2010

JOHN LENNON – Classic Albums: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (2008)

The brilliant Classic Albums series takes on Plastic Ono Band and it's every bit as good as we have come to expect from them. All the living participants are interviewed with the exception of Phil Spector. This doesn't leave as big a gap as you might think because we learn that although Spector has a co-producer's credit, he was hardly ever there. Ringo, Klaus Voorman, Richard Lush and John Leckie all agree that his involvement was minimal.

As with so many other docos, John speaks for himself by way of the many interviews he did on the subject and we also get insights from Jan Wenner, who conducted several of those interviews, and Arthur Janov, the creator of Primal Therapy which inspired many of the songs.

The real thrill comes when the engineers go back to the original multitracks and isolate parts so we can hear John screaming unaccompanied, studio chatter, out-takes and, inexplicably, an unused mouth harp part in Remember.

And fans of irony will get a kick out of Lennon confidante Elliot Mintz with fake gold hair, even faker tan, and generally looking like an animatronic waxwork, praising the album because it was "real."

The bonus material is in the form of seven parts not used in the television version, although it would have been nice if these had been cut back into the main program rather than tacked on the end. We also have the 1972 live performance of Mother and the film clip of Instant Karma, both of which are available on a multitude of other discs.

Highlight: The master tapes
Feature: * * * *  ½
Extras: * * * *
Audio: Dolby Stereo

Previously posted at Strawberry Fields


  1. I love the new layout. Very minimalist, but it works!

  2. Thanks. I'd been wanting to change it for ages. Wanted to go for maximum reader comfort rather than sensory overload.