Bagism: Albums & Singles

Reviews: Lennon (4-CD set)


"Lennon" is a very comprehensive 4-CD set of previously-released songs spanning John Lennon's entire solo career. It was released Oct. 30, 1990 (UK) and late July, 1991 (US) to commemorate John's 50th birthday.

Please add a review if you are familiar with "Lennon". Tracks are also available.


Rating: 5.0
Aug 17, 2007
Lennon666
This album is a beautiful work of art because it has alot of songs that John wrote showing his creativeness. He kept writing songs & doing campaignes for peace. Some he wrote just because he had to. Some he just felt like writing,I guess. Anyway he wrote beautiful,peaceful & most of all LOVING songs! He loved what he did & did what he did because he loved doing it.

Rating: 4.5
Apr 22, 2007
Philippe
This is strange, really, the singles are here, the totality of "plastic ono band" and "imagine"(save one), three tracks from "some time in NYC", half of "mind games",half of "walls and bridges", three quarter of "rock'n'roll" and all john's tracks from "double fantasy" and "milk and honey".The question is : why not just everything? that would have really meant something.But I suppose it may be a good buy for non-initiates.

Rating: 4.5
Dec 8, 2005
nocturnalquadruped
I purchased this collection when it was released, I didn't have much in the way of Lennon's solo material at that time and this collection foots the bill admirably giving you the best of Lennon from each of his solo albums. The upside being where else can you get a copy of Lennon and Elton John singing live on CD. The only reason I never gave this collection 5 apples was two glaring omissions. 1. I dont wanna be a soldier (I felt this track was one of Lennon's Strongest statements) 2. Bring on the Lucie (Freeda Peeple) Owning this collection did not stop me from purchasing the rest of Lennon's back catalogue so beware, this set is ideal for a stop gap for the beginner but your wallet will be coming out again and again and again.

Rating: 4.0
Sep 29, 2004
burning man
Everything you need to know about John Lennon.......well, not quite. This is indeed a comprehensive set ,although I'm not quite sure who its aimed at.Any Lennon fan with the need to buy this will find very few new songs to sweeten the deal, and the booklette does indeed fall apart after afew turns of the page. For the beginner the cost of this set is prohibative and Lennon legend is just as good a place to start, for the uninitiated.However, the single reason I did not give this collection full apples is because of the ommission of "Freeda Peeble (Bring on the Lucie)". Why this song is not included is a complete mystery to me and perhaps someone might be able to offer an insight into this glaring ommission. If not for that, this would contain all the essential output of Lennon, without that annoying Mrs. sticking her beak in. To bad it's so hard to get a hold of in mint condition. Oh well, perhaps a real box set with all of Lennons output will be released someday, then we can all decide for ourselves what to listen to. Yes it is only opinion, and not everyones is the same. But I'm sure Lennon would have been the first person to tell it like he thought, so how could any TRUE Lennon fan (why would any one bother being a false Lennon fan?) deny anyone the same right?

Rating: 5.0
Aug 18, 2003
RH
First off, I've known a lot of people who comment on the rather uninteresting packaging that the album comes in (from the box to the booklet to the CDs and cases themselves). But isn't it really all about the music itself? And that's what we get here is Lennon in top form. This four disc set is consistently strong with few, if any, weak tracks. I can't really name a single Lennon song off the top of my head that is sorely missing from this set. A great feature of the box is how it distills the live albums and Sometime in New York City and Mind Games to highlights which helps us give a glimpse of Lennon's brilliance in those periods, rather than his downs. The set also includes a three song live collection from an Elton John concert that really trumps any other live Lennon recording. Hearing Lennon sing Paul's "I Saw Her Standing There" is practically worth the price of admission alone. But if that wasn't enough, the final disc contains 14 songs from the Double Fantasy/Milk and Honey period without any interruption by Yoko Ono. This is the strictly Lennon solo album that everyone saw at the time and are now finally getting a chance to (if they can find this set on eBay though as it is now out of print). All in all, this four disc set is practically the only collection of Lennon that anyone could need and it's a huge shame that it's no longer being produced. Perhaps Yoko could release a slightly different version in the near future?

Rating: 4.5
Dec 31, 1999
Ward
By the time this set came out, the box set had become a big deal in music retail. Consumers expected great packaging with a well rounded overview; collectors wanted this plus better sound and rare stuff. LENNON sits on the fence between complete and holy grail, while being neither. It starts naturally with Give Peace A Chance, then gives the first CD appearance of four Toronto live tracks. All of Plastic Ono Band is represented. And that's just disc 1. Disc 2 has all of the Imagine LP except I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier, plus a dip into Some Time IN NYC and a couple of tracks from the One To One shows. A smattering of the more notable tracks from Mind Games close out disc 2. Disc 3 has most of Walls & Bridges, plus a sampling of both the Spector and non-Spector sessions for Rock 'n Roll, but Angel Baby over the then unreleased Be My Baby? Come on! The three live tracks from the Elton John concert fittingly close out the disc. Disc 4 was an idea that could have existed on its own: all John's Double Fantasy and Milk & Honey tracks, plus the "solo remix" of Every Man Has A Woman without Yoko's songs to interrupt them. With all the space on these discs, there could have been more album tracks, or unreleased stuff, but they promised a Lost Lennon Tapes box would be out soon. (It took 8 years.) The booklet has all the lyrics but no annotations; it keeps it simple. The music stands for itself, and while we can argue all day about the songs that were left off, I still listen to it more than other box sets. Grab one if you can; this was never widely available.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 25, 1999
Nathaniel Otte
I was 10 and in a record store when I spotted this in the box set section. I freaked out, "I gotta get that." As soon as I got about 40 bucks off my parents, I went out and got it. It was just so cool, I was so happy. I would listen to this box endlessly. This album is a retrospective of all of John's post-Beatles work. It contains all of John's single A-sides, the Plastic Ono Band album in its entirety, most of the Imagine and Walls and Bridges albums, five tracks off of Mind Games, etc. Disc four, to me, is the ultimate Lennon disc. It contains all of his contributions from Double Fantasy and Milk and Honey, my two favorite Lennon albums. Another thing that makes this box a collector's dream is 3 live performances with Elton John (this was John's final concert appearance). The songs they played are "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night," "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds," and "I Saw Her Standing There." This historic performance is unavailable anywhere else, except as a vynil EP you can only find in a used vynil shop. This box is great, and if you can get it, please do, you won't regret it.

Rating: 3.0
Sep 15, 1998
smufus
Most of the material for this boxed set makes perfect sense--including the entirety of the classic "Plastic Ono Band", most of "Imagine", including some of the singles he released in conjunction with Yoko in the beginning of the Seventies, and then taking selections of his later material. We should remember that this is one of the earliest boxed sets, however, and that means we get entirely prereleased material. In Lennon's case, much of his issued material made use of saccharine string arrangements and soft-rock sounds. The relevance of these production values is entirely up to the listener, but most of Lennon's most personal, and therefore truest, music came when he stuck with the raw outpouring of his genius, and then adorned that outpouring only slightly. Lennon's musical gift lay with simple, memorable melodies and subtle manipulations of sound, not with Nelson Riddle-styled arrangements. So, the rating for this boxed set has to rely on the music itself, which ranges from the brutally honest and brilliant "Plastic Ono Band", to the sometimes wonderful "Imagine", all the way to the barely-competent live tracks with Elton john and the syrupy production of "Mind Games" and "Walls and Bridges." By the end, some of the melodies sound stolen from Lennon's collection of 50s rock 'n' roll records. What's missing in the last half of the boxed set are Lennon's magnificent puns, his cutting way with language and sound, and the innovation in melody and production that distinguish his late Beatles work and very early solo work from most other pop sensations of his time. The upcoming "Anthology" might reclaim Lennon's career from 1973 onward, by releasing the more basic, probably more playful and creative early versions of songs from "Walls and Bridges" and "Mind Games", and by including some of the unreleased/unfinished songs he made in his retirement. With John Lennon, if his creativity in all its aspects was not being utilized, his music suffered accordingly.

Rating: 3.0
Jul 27, 1998
interstate5
With a four-CD set, no key songs should be missing. It would have been better to sacrifice some of the weaker material here (the live material and stuff from Milk and Honey) and add some important songs like "What You Got," "Sunday Bloody Sunday," "Luck of the Irish" and some of the tunes left off of Rock and Roll that were on the "John Lennon Sings" version. The packaging is also a pain in the ass. With a four-CD box set, do we really need four seperate jewel boxes? Another interesting idea would have been to sequence the songs a little more imaginatively.

Rating: 5.0
Nov 23, 1997
Matt Carney
I will comment on this excellent boxed set disc by disc. First of all the first disc deserves a five apple review just for its content alone. On it are The entire Plastic Ono Band Album which is clearly Lennon's best solo effort and it compares well with The Beatles BEst albums, so there is no way that it could be poor. The other songs also help it. I am glad that they pout songs from the Live Peace in Toronto album just because if they did not then i would be forced to buy that album which I just feel is fair at best, "Give Peace A Chance" is added which makes this disc better. "Instant Karma, "Cold Turkey" andWell Baby Please Don't Go" make this album a perfect start to a near perfect boxed set. Disc Two keeps up with the Five apple pace. The Imagine Album is well represented although it is a shame that "I don't Watn To Be A solidier" was left off and some poorer tracks like "Oh My Love" and It's So Hard" which are not terrible, but I think that this album could have been better with them. Happy Christmas is of course great and Some Time In New York City is well represented with its best and really only good three or four tracks. The Live album stuff could have been a little better. I would rather hear "Woman is The Nigger Of The World" and "Mother" than the 2 worst songs from th elive album,"Come Together" which sounds boring compared to the awesome Abbey Road release. "Hound Dog" is the worst song from the live album especially with Yoko's awful screeching thing in the background. I really wish this was left off too. But The Mind Games material brings this disc back. All these songs are terrific especially THE TRACKS "Intuition" and "Out The Blue" which are some of Lennon's best solo songs. THis disc is a little worse but I would give it a 5 apple review just for its content alone. Disc Three is terrific. It has all the hgihlights from Walls and Bridges except I wish Ya Ya and Meat City were here because I never heard them and I do not want to buy the album for these songs. All the songs from that Album are terrific though. Rock and Roll also is great on here although I wish Be Bop A Lula was on here too because I love that song. Finally the Elton John Live Stuff sounds great, although I hate Elton John and I think that he nearly ruined Lucy In The Sky with his terrible remaking of it, "I Saw Her Standing There" sounds great and it ends this disc terrifically. This disc would get a 4.5 apple review. Disc Four finally is also great.It has all the Lennon material from Milk and Honey and Double Fantasy which is terrific because I have tried to listen to Yoko Songs but I can't get over her awful, out of tune voice. This disc is terrific with Highlights being,"Starting Over","Cleanup Time","Watching The Wheels","Nobody Told Me","Borrowed Time" and the great "Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him" which proves to me that Yoko could be a good song writer, but she just could not sing. This disc is the weakest one of the four, but that was because John was killed and could not make many of these songs even better which is a shame. It deserves a 4 apple review anyway. Overall, this is a terrific Boxed Set and anyone who wants to get into Lennon you really should just buy this because although, you will miss some terrific songs, this will save you a lot of cash. It is awesome. I wish though that it had more unreleased early recordings from Plastic Ono Band and Imagine at least(cause those are all I have heard), but hopefully pretty soon they will come out with these. It still is a great boxed set and a must for any true fan of Lennon.

Rating: 4.5
Oct 25, 1997
Bryan
I received this box set as a Christmas present last year. Though I already had most of Lennon's solo albums, I wanted to get this box set because it had nearly ever song Lennon recorded in his solo career plus some tracks of him and Elton John. My favourite songs on this box set is "I Saw Her Standing There" (John and Elton), "Grow Old With Me" (a song the Beatles were considering releasing on the Anthology), and "(Just Like) Starting Over", which is one of my favourite songs. I would recommend this box set to any Lennon/Beatles fan. It is a great set!

Rating: 4.5
Oct 1, 1997
David Carpenter
I recently purchased this box set at a used CD store. Since I have all the Lennon albums already, I did not rush to get this. It has most of his greatest songs on it, plus the Elton John tracks. If you are just starting to learn about John and want a good representation of Lennon's work, I would recommend it. If you want ALL of Lennon's work (studio and live) you have to get it (unless you can find a bootleg of the Elton John tracks).

Rating: 4.0
Aug 16, 1997
Dave Laing
I normally hate boxed sets and compilation albums, but how can you not like this one? This has all of "Live Peace In Toronto" (without Yoko), all of "Plastic Ono Band", live tracks, all of "Imagine" except for one song, half of "Mind Games", most of "Walls and Bridges" some of "Rock And Roll", live tracks with Elton John, and all of "Double Fantasy" and "Milk And Honey" without Yoko. This is an excellent compilation, and for people who don't want to buy all the original albums it has most of the songs on this anyways.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 11, 1997
Jim Jacobs
The ultimate John Lennon compilation, and a very expensive one at that. But it is worth every penny for the content & quality of the music that is included on the 4 CD's in this package. The only thing missing in this package are the lyrics to the songs. For the serious Lennon collector I highly recommend this set. For the new Lennon listener, I also recommend this set. This set spans John's entire solo career from 1969 thru 1980. The bonus tracks included here are the 3 live cuts recorded with Elton John from Elton John's 1974 live performance at Madison Square Garden. The deal was that if Whatever Gets You Thru The Night reached #1, John would appear at the concert. It did & the rest is history. This set also reflects the legacy of John Lennon & how his music affected everyone-those who loved him & those who didn't. There will never be another recording star as great as John Lennon was. John Lennon was the driving force behind The Beatles & perhaps the most talented one as well. This set of songs shows how John grew up & became an outright superstar on his own after The Beatles split, & how he matured & came to grips with his life towards the end of his life. Listen to this set & listen to it good & love it. Remember, It's real love.

Rating: 1.0
May 24, 1997
T. Swindle
This "box set" would be a good springboard for a person just staring to get into the music of John Lennon. When compared to the attention given to other artists (including Yoko) the packaging alone is enough to condemn this set. We're talking about JOHN LENNON here. The driving force behind the Beatles. And the best that could be done was a four-CD set with a cardboard slip-case with a CD-sized booklet that falls apart after looking at it!!!!!! And to add insult to injury--NO BONUS TRACKS!!! (unless you want to count the Elton John appearence). I'd suggest just buy the individual releases and be happy.

Rating: 5.0
May 20, 1997
Wade Holt Worth Rudolph
My mother raised me on the Beatles and Lennon. For a long time I searched for a CDs of John's work. Here, we see it. All laid before us. A map of one man's legacy. An aura can be felt around these songs. John only wished simple things out of people. He knew the truth. He knew what we needed. He reached into our mind's eye and activated our souls. He reached out for the best in us...the good in us and trampled down the evil. His voice, so soft, soothed our angry hearts. When we were so filled with rage, he calmed us down. When we wanted so much to taste the pleasures of revenge, he made us look in the mirror at our ugly faces. His songs apply now more than they ever did. He was British, but he spoke(speaks) to everyone. He is international, he is eternal, he is a legend. And after all the disgusting words we can say to doubt him and all the great words we used to put him on high...after all that...he never really changed...he never wanted more than to enjoy life and wished the same on others. After all...after all...all he was saying...is give peace a chance...

Rating: 3.0
Mar 24, 1997
Pauldo
Hmmm...Its hard to recommend compilation packages: Once you have the album and then you get the original albums you'll find many overlaps and it makes getting that original album less than special. Take imagine for example: 9 songs are taken from the album and put on this 4 set album. Thus the 3.0 rating reflects not the music but worthiness of album. However there advantages:You don't have to buy double fantasy and milk and honey and skip past yoko tracks: all lennon tracks from these albums are included (except 1 or 2) All the non album songs are here. But when it comes to it all is that this album is not recommended if you plan to get every lennon song, recommended for the casual fan to wants to get hooked into lennon easily without buying a couple of original albums

Rating: 5.0
Mar 24, 1997
Pearl
How can you NOT give this one a 5?! I mean this is LENNON!!! It has almost every song he recorded on it. This was a xmas pressie I got a few years ago and this is what really got me hooked on Lennon. Before I was mostly listening to the Beatles and no solostuff but now. WOW Lennon RULES!! :)

Rating: 4.5
Mar 19, 1997
The 9th Sorcerer
A Lennon fanatic's true gift! A four CD box set that includes popular hits such as "Imagine", "Give Peace A Chance", "Jealous Guy" and "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)". But to fill four CD's worth of songs there is much...much more! So many new treasures can be found in this set! Songs like "Working Class Hero" and "Out The Blue" come to mind. Songs that one would never be blessed to hear on the radio. The Lennon Box Set is an emotional roller-coaster that leaves one feeling fresh inside. Having this Box Set on your shelf is like having your own "shrink" in your home. The set will leave you feeling happy and sometimes sad. When everything is put together in a set such as this, it only serves as a reminder of how much we lost when John left. But it also serves as a reminder that this music will live forever. I gave this Box Set a 4.5 because of content. If you purchase this set, do NOT expect to get every song John recorded. There are a few songs missing that you will have to hunt down for. But if you are just a general fan (which will change after listening to the set) you will enjoy the refreshing variety found within these discs. If you like John Lennon...you will LOVE him after listening to this set.

 

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Last updated on Nov 6, 1998