Bagism: Albums & Singles

Reviews: Live Peace In Toronto


"Live Peace In Toronto" was recorded at the Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Revival Festival on Sept. 13, 1969. The band consisted of John Lennon and Yoko Ono handling the vocals, John and Eric Clapton on guitars, Klaus Voorman on bass, and Alan White on drums. It was released Dec. 12, 1969 (US & UK).

Please add a review if you are familiar with "Live Peace In Toronto". Tracks are also available.


Rating: 2.5
May 11, 2008
Dirk McQuickly
Side 2 of this album was purportedly used (no kidding here) in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prisons in order to soften prisoners prior to interrogation. If such allegations are true, this would certainly constitute a violation of the Geneva Conventions. Side 1 is a pretty good album, though...

Rating: 4.0
Feb 28, 2008
bawbzilla
Just got through giving this a listen once again after having "Cold Turkey" re-enter my middle-aged consciousness. I purchased this LP first at the age of 11 or 12, not knowing nearly enough about the circumstances of the event. I do, however, recall hearing a camp counselor drop John's name in the context of Toronto during a tune he strummed. As a youngster, I knew I dug the Beatles and saw the album standing there in the rack, so...my vinyl copy came with the postcard for the 1970 John & Yoko calendar, which I regrettably did not send in to the Capitol Records plant in Scranton, PA. What an interesting, yet one-dimensional way the album was for my young brain to be introduced to those songs in those versions. Hell, I even gave the second side one or two chances! Having somewhat of a photographic (or perhaps phonographic) memory for all the things I listened to as a kid that extends beyond mere nostalgia, I pursued a less-scratchy French vinyl copy of "Live Peace In Toronto 1969" a couple of years back to listen anew by (the CD reissues somehow slipped through my fingers). On balance, an historic occasion and a musical diamond in the rough is evidenced by the strung-out, yet capable musicianship on display. I thought Eric Clapton's playing -- even extending to the tuning-up and noodling at the very beginning -- was his usual tasteful grace and fire on a Gibson. I still do, although the raw sloppiness of it all actually brings guffaws to my lips. John not too shabby himself, come to think of it. I must say my opinions are not only colored by time, but also by the printed word. Both Albert Goldman's book on Lennon and Jonathon Gould's more recent tome, "Can't Buy Me Love" offered insights on both John as a musician and the chaotic, slapdash nature of the performance. Who knows, when I'm in the proper moment (and my lady friend's away) I'll give side 2 a blast. On the whole, sloppy and fun, in the best possible way. Yokophobes, however -- beware!!

Rating: 4.0
Sep 13, 2007
Morninggloryseed
Background/disposition/disclaimer...The Beatles ARE music to me, they are whom all others follow. I am also a huge Lennon and Ono fan...have all of their albums and think John and Yoko's MUSIC (not politics) are sheer genius. I have all of their albums, and all of Yoko's solo albums. This album is an interesting gem. I agree that it is a snapshot of a very interesting period in their lives. “Blue Suede Shoes” is a little slow-going, but rough in a good way. Same with “Money”, but they warm up for “Dizzy Miss Lizzy.” There is nothing amazingly new here, just rough, raw, good rock and roll from some legends assembled last minute who only rehearsed on a plane. A great version of “Yer Blues” follows, and then a rolling version of “Cold Turkey”...at a very different pace than is found on the single...this one you can dance to almost, unlike the bluesy, stop-and-go version he later recorded for the single. Ending John's set is “Give Peace a Chance”...best remembered for John totally messing up the lyrics of every verse, and just making up words. I’ve always had a laugh with it, but it rolls along like “Cold Turkey”, and is very up-tempo. Next up is Yoko’s set. Many people just don’t get it, and think she broke up the Beatles, so they are repulsed by what they hear. For those that have no such hang-ups and realize that Yoko did what she did to hurt your ears….her set is awesome. I’ve never heard anything as good as “Cambridge 1969” from their earlier “Life With The Lions” album…but this set is great because it mixes her sonic assault with a rock-band. “Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow)” is sheer brilliance to me. You hear punk, rock and roll, and the atom bomb in the form of “music” with Yoko. This time though, it is set to lyrics (admittedly the lyrics are just the title of the song) and a great rock riff. Wonderful song, powerful performance if you don’t have the prior-mentioned “Yoko hang-up.” Last is “John, John (Let’s Hope For Peace)” and this one also has lyrics (the title is the lyric) but no rock beat…just hardcore feedback from John and Eric. Yoko belts it out for over 10 minutes and then the band leave the stage with the feedback still raging. What a way to end a show! In the end, “Live Peace In Toronto” is not the tightest, most rehearsed live record ever made...but there isn’t another one like it and there probably never will be anything like it again. Unlike what many say, I believe side 2 is what makes it so amazing. A must have for Lennon fans....of course the real fans already own it. Some (like me) will have multiple copies including a sealed copy of the original complete with calender! :) MGS

Rating: 4.0
Aug 18, 2007
nathaniel tagle
the performance is one rogue and brilliant performance of a disillusioned Beatle.

Rating: 3.5
Aug 16, 2007
Paul Panetta
For an impromptu ,last minute idea to get a group together, rehearse while your on an airplane for an hour or so, John Lennon and his latest Plastic ONO Band group pulled it off. That's real professionalism.There's a DVD of this concert,and even though Lennon said in old interviews of his that he "threw up before going on" or he had last minute thoughts of doing this,you couldn't tell at all from his performance.I think the only unprofessional thing he did at that concert was to read the lyrics to Cold turkey ( I think that was the song)from a piece of paper that Yoko held up for him. C'mon,your the writer,you should know your own words,But he might have been on drugs that evening. I won't even comment on Ono's stuff on side 2. The CD that came out in 1995 ( which is now a collectable) has the ultimate sound quality of any CD I've ever heard! They even re-produced the calendar that was given away in 1969 except they used the year 1995.Yeah,If you want to hear Lennon live, this is the best one,better then the LIVE FROM NEW YORK '72 that was put out in 1986.

Rating: 3.5
Jun 12, 2007
Frank
Well I feel the album is more interesting than musically efficient. Songs on the first side are ok.....John's singing is solid but the musicianship seems a bit sloppy. Maybe it's just me. "Money" i thought was the best one. It's a shame John Lennon did only 1/2 a live album. Just like "Double Fantasy" was the comeback album in 1980 is only 1/2 an album. I will never understand why his 2nd wife had to sing on any of his albums. I mean could she not have just recorded her own albums? Obviously the woman wanted attention. Both Beatles, Mr. Lennon and Mr. McCartney picked rough second wives. Their first wives were ok. Cold Turkey could have been done better. The second side is a waste pure and simple. What was that woman's problem anyway with all that shrieking and carrying on? The worst thing about it, is that John Lennon had some great musicians to work with that night, and could have really made a spectacular live album that would have been very memorable. They never came close.

Rating: 3.0
Apr 21, 2007
Philippe
This album was initially on vynil, and that was good news for us as we only played side B once! side A is the band kicking into good old rock'n'roll (blue suede shoes, money, dizzy miss lizzy),running into "yer blues"(lennon & clapton had already performed it at the rock'n'roll circus the previous year), followed by a shaky version of Cold turckey and a singalong version of give peace a chance.Side B opens with a fabulous riff by Lennon (the actual riff of "Watching rainbows" rehearsed during the get back sessions and never officially released)but Yoko's singing doesn't match it.The last track is John John (let's hope for peace) and it's difficult to listen to it (Yoko screams and Lennon & Clapton play with feedback).Not everything during the show was captured on record( lennon adressing the audience "come on, wake up).

Rating: 5.0
Apr 30, 2006
Alex
Many here seem to be long-time fans from the days of vinyl, so I thought a freshreview would be necessary. After reading many reviews, and historical facts, I decided to get Live Peace In Toronto 1969. Just my luck, I found a mobile fidelity 24 karat gold version issued in 2006 (making that calendar in the booklet relevent). The Players on the album are John (vocals, guitar), Yoko (vocals), Eric Clapton(Guitar), Klaus Voormann(Bass guitar), and later Yes drummer Alan White(drums). The album opens with Blue Suede Shoes. It is a great rock number, and Lennon and the gang do it justice. Next up is Money. Another old rocker, this one also done by the Beatles, proves to be done in the same vain as Blue Suede SHoes, and deserves equal recogintion. Last in the classic lineup is Dizzy Miss Lizzy. My personal preference tells me to praise it more so than the first two(despite John forgeting the lyric), but in reality, all three are great, hard, raw covers, and in the case of Money and Dizzy Miss Lizzy, blow away the Beatles' versions in those aspects. Up next is a Beatles song. Yer Blues, already raw on the White Album, is not very different fromt he original, but has a different solo, and overall rates about the same as its counter part. Differetn, but equal. THe album moves on to Cold Turkey. THis is the first time anyone has ever heard it. It is unfinished, and looked at out of context, lacking, but as a part of this concert, it holds its ground. Interesting to hear, since the composure varies from the single issued later. Give Peace A Chance finishes John's part. It has different words in the verses, and is more of a sing along. A tad awkward, but in the context of the album, emluates the raw energy flowing on stage. Yoko's Don't Worry Kyoko starts her part. It was the first time I heard Yoko pre Sometime in New York City. It wasn't great, but the guitar and drumming behind her earns the song a 5. Last, we get John, John. Yoko's vocals get annoying at some moments, but the sheer noise made by the feedback of all the instruments makes the song(it runs over 12 minutes, just to mention.) WIth an-allstar lineup, a great selection of songs, and The raw energy the players had, you can't find a live album much better than this.

Rating: 5.0
Jan 23, 2006
Jose Francisco Lanzoni Jarrett
O.K! The first time I heard this record was in 1975 when I was 13. I heard it on the radio but they did not give in advance any information of it. I mean, I did not know when it was recorded, who was playing along with JOHN...etc. Among lots of bands, the D.J's just said that JOHN LENNON will appear playing live with ELTON JOHN. (I SAW HER STANDING THERE). I was not very documented about THE BEATLES, specially on what they were doing at the time as soloists. But when I heard " LADIES AND GENTLEMAN: THE PLASTIC ONO BAND!!!!!",I'd lose my mind. My sister told me later I was sweating heavily while listening to the concert real loud at home at 10.30 p.m!!! I thought that maybe one of my neighboors was going to call the police or something, but anyway I did not care! It was the first time in my life that I'd enjoyed a live record as if I was there. Of course, I'm talking about the A side. At the time I really did not understand YOKO ONO's music or her artistic concepts. So, for years I'd ignore completly the B side of the album. Now, it is hard or imposible to enjoy the B side because is really painfull. But now, 30 years after I understand it a little bit better, and I think that for JOHN LENNON's fans could be interesting experience to lend their ears to YOKO twin albums with the PLASTIC just to listen to JOHN on guitar. Still, one of my favorites. It left a mark on my mind forever!!!

Rating: 4.0
Dec 8, 2005
nocturnalquadruped
Lennon was desperatly trying to seperate himself from the Beatles during the period this album was recorded, and he couldn't have done a better job. Completly uncommercial the end product was tell it like it is, this is how I am today. John's screamed version of Money was far superior to the version released by the Beatles and yer blues came across as Lennon intended when recorded, a soul in pain. A lot of people hate the b side but Lennon opened my mind to listening to alternative sounds as an art form and as a result I find the second side good if in the mood, Yoko doing her thing all over you as Lennon explains is quite an experience. Over all a top live performance and it makes you wonder what the band could have produced had they rehearsed.

Rating: 4.5
Oct 9, 2005
lennon lives on
I own this concert on both cd and dvd and it is awesome. John rocks hard. The only thing that is bad about this, is Yoko. she adds her annoying screaming vocals to Lennon's songs such as "Yer Blues" which ruins the damn thing.....YOKO shut up. I'm not dissing her, I mean I like yoko, she was a huge part of john's life, but when it comes to music, she needs to stay the hell away from John. anyway I enjoy watching the concert.

Rating: 2.5
Oct 2, 2005
Harrison
It's overall well performed, but not a masterpiece and certainly not groundbreaking (what generaly can't be expected from a live album, anyway...). "Money" gives a good alternative to the version played on With The Beatles (In this second, the backing vocals are redundant and in the first the riff beat sounds heavier...). "Yer Blues" is well performed, with the vocal arrangment slightly different from the original, and here Yoko's screaming maybe produce a good effect (!). John's version of "Blue Suede Shoes" is good, but worse than Elvis'. Clapton's soloing is good as always. All the record is listenable (except, off course, for Yoko's crazy screaming in "John, John, Let's Hope For Peace" and "Don't Worry Kyoko"), but I think neither The Beatles or John were very good live, and to me live album's are most of time waste of money, this one does not dismiss that opinion...

Rating: 4.5
Jan 2, 2005
kfc
when im looking for a lennon album to listen to i always reach for this one .like most have said before me i wore out side 1 on this album. i got it when i was 13 and 34 years later it still has a prominent spot on my cd rack. the versions of cold turkey and give peace a chance are in my opinion the best recorded versions of the 2 songs.i didnt give it a 5 because in my opinion side 2 is unlistenable. i dont feel that way about all yokos stuff and at 47 i understand now more about what she was trying to do,however my opininion of sise 2 of this album has never changed

Rating: 4.0
Dec 4, 2004
Morozov Dima
This is a really good bootleg and although I personally prefer "Live In New York City" I must admit that "Live Peace" was mixed better. This album is an examle of Lennon-rocker. I enjoyed listening to the majority of tracks except Yoko's parts "Don't Worry Kyoko" and "John John" as Ono's vocals sound terrible and unmelodically (however, the rock arrangements on "Don't Worry Kyoko" are OK). Especially I loved "Give Peace A Chance" and now I think that this is the best variant of this song. "Cold Turkey" sounds good but the version on "Live Jam" disc in "Sometime In New York City" is better. That could be nice present for your friend-rocker and even if you just want to listen to some good shot of rock'n'roll - check this out right now!

Rating: 4.0
Sep 27, 2004
Rick Jackson
the feel of an unrehearsed band, i like that, guys got together jammed , i like the trip down memory lane of old standards and a few new ones, the only thing i had a hard time with was yoko screamin through, i understand john wanting her there but to a lennon fan i look at it dam i liked the sound but it is ruined now do to, dare i say, the wind......(yoko)

Rating: 2.5
Sep 15, 2004
Burning man
A ramshackle history of rock 'n' roll as presented by a strung out Lennon with a little help from his friends. The first concert by Lennon since the demise of the Beatles, and his only live performance outside the US, would not have sounded anywhere near as good without the contribution of an excellent backing band consisting of Eric Clapton on lead guitar, Klaus Voormann (Johns buddy from Hamburg days)on bass and the excellent Alan White on drums. Rehearsed on the plane over to Canada, it is only the musical ability of this all star garage band that made this at all tolerable to listen to. It is almost punk in its ad-hoc approach and a testement to the spontinaity that Lennon loved to work with, that would reach its hieghts shortly with "Instant Karma' which employed this exact line up. Thats side one. If you close your eyes you can almost imagine there's no Yoko, until she kreeps into "Cold Turkey". Side two, however gives itself over fully to Mrs Lennon, and although the first track "Don't worry....etc" is made listenable by the great improvised riff introduced by E.C., she soon plunges us into the depth of unlistenability by the next, and thankfully last track. Still this is Lennon winging it, even if he is doing it without a safety net. But wasn't that always his way?

Rating: 4.0
Jul 2, 2004
Lennologist
Of all the solo Beatles, John was the only one who never toured. Besides this concert, he did a Christmas UNICEF concert in 1969, a surprise stage appearance with Frank Zappa in 1971, various political concerts (John Sinclair, Attica State tragedy), the One to One concert (an afternoon and an evening concert) and an appearance at the tribute to Lew Grade, with a few live TV shows in between. It's more concerts than some people think he did but, in the end, he never toured (although there was plans for a 'Double Fantasy' tour before he passed on). This is one of the rare live appearances he did and is one of his most energetic, despite being "on junk" (John's own words). A lot of people don't like it because of th unrehearsed feel and various mistakes all through it but I see it as a very raw, rock and roll feel, sort of like the early Elvis Presley stuff. The newly formed Plastic Ono Band shines here, as they would whenever they played and the impressive guitar work of Eric Clapton relly makes the track a good, rockin' experience. The choice of tracks on this album mostly consists of old rock and roll numbers, because that the event was a rock and oll revival, but John performs Cold Turkey, Give Peace A Chance and Yer Blues, while Yoko plays her compositions Don't Worry Kyoko and John, John (Let's Hope For Peace). Yoko's performances are, in my opinion, excellent, but anyone who has read any of my other reviews will know I'm a big fan of Yoko so I'm obviously going to like them. I do also understand why people don't like them and I'm fine with that, but you have to understand the meaning behind everything before you go classifying it as stupid screaming. Music fans will probably appreciate the great playing on Don't Worry Kyoko, so that's worth a listen, while John, John is more reminiscent of Cambridge 1969 on 'Life With The Lions' since it features Yoko's screaming and John's feedback with almost no help from the other musicians (indeed, in the film of this concert, Clapton seems almost confused by Yoko's music). After it's all over, it's almost confusing trying to think what everything you have just heard was. Some old rough rock and roll stuff, some Lennon tracks and two tracks of avant garde screaming. There has probably never been a more diverse live album in history but it's certainly something to treasure as a Lennon fan, hearing him and Yoko in all their glory with no studio overdubs or tricks. It's them with a hell of a lot of energy playing some good music.

Rating: 2.5
Mar 21, 2004
Fast Eddy
I traded for this album when I was 16, and nearly wore the grooves off side one of it. I've never thought it was great music, but I've always liked it for the unpolished, ragged jam charm of side one. Eric Clapton's solos are the only thing that lifts it above any average garage band, except of course John's presence and vocals. As entertaining and fun as I find the first side, I've only managed one listen to the Yoko Ono side two of the thing, she's bearable on the first side, but her half of the thing is part of why I feel "performance" art is mostly whatever someone who lacks talent for real "art" calls whatever random thing they do.

Rating: 5.0
Sep 25, 2003
Bungalow Bill
I Give All The Albums 5 Apples because I love Them all. In The beginning On The Album Is An Introducing When The Guy Say "Ladies And gentleman The Plastic Ono Band" Most People Would Think That The Album would Start but No It Dosent Start. When They Are Playing In The Start I Think Thats Great The Whole Concerts But AFter A minute John Goes" We Are Just Going to Do Numbers That We Know Beacause We Never Played Together before..... Well Its One For The Money, Two For The Show" Its So Great That You´ll Just ClapYour Hands(not Really But Its very Great)With eric Clapton On the Guitar And Alan White on Drums You Can Get A better Band(But Ringo Is Better than Alan white) Eric Is Not better Than George And George Is Not Better Than eric. And its The same With Klaus And PAul. But When The Money start Its Much Heavyer than On The Beatles Album, But When he starts "THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE" You´ll Going To Smile And when He goes "YOUR LOVING ME SUCH A THRILL BUT YOUR LOVING DONT PAY NO DUES I WANNA MONEYTHATS WHAT I WANT" You´ll Gonna Laugh. InDizzy Miss lizzy He Start "YOU MAKE ME DIZZY MISS LIZZY THE WAY YOU ROCK AND ROLL" When He Goes "COME ON GIVE ME FEVER PUT YOUR LITTLE HAND IN MINE " You are Going To Say "THIS IS DEFINUTLY THE BEATLES" after the rock and roll they do cold turkey,yer blues and give peace a chance but............... Than Comes Some Screams And Some Terrible sounds I Stop Laughing And Smiling I Stand Up And Turn The Next Track On But Its Not Better This Is Not music This Is Screams Nothing But Screams And Terrible Sounds I Did Turn The Cd Player Off And I Said "WAS THIS YOKO OR A MONSTER SCREAMING UPON THE STAGE" And I Thank God That Yoko Wasent On All The Albums That Would Be A waste I Give This Album % Apples For BLUE SUEDE SHOES, MONEY, DIZZY MISS LIZZY, YER BLUES, COLD TURKEY AND GIVE PEACE A CHANCE But Not For Yokos SOmething It WAs Not Music I Dont Know What It WasBut Not Music I Think Most Off The people Who have listened to the album are agree with me. The Album Was Great But Not The 2 last songs

Rating: 5.0
Feb 7, 2003
S.W.Taylor
This album acts as an historical document to a compelling time for both the Ono-Lennon's and the world in general. It is Rock and Roll by the seat of your pants and at the time it appeared there had not been an official record of any Beatle performance captured live and released for general consumption. John and Yoko were in the thick of their "Advertise Peace," mode and this was just one of many "actions" that they took along that trajectory. It is a great introduction to the creative spirit of both of the artist's represented, in that it offers an opportunity to experience Lennon's unadulterated and unproduced, roots rock and roll, as well as the avant garde musique concrete of the Fluxus Group/John Cage influenced sound collage of Yoko Ono. They were modern day Dadaists and this is a tremendous record of who they were and what they were about. They stood in front of you and screamed the word "PEACE," at you until you paid attention to it. It wasn't supposed to be pretty. They were fighting against war.

Rating: 5.0
Jul 4, 2002
Liz
Comments regarding Yoko Ono and the second side of the album are ridiculous - if this is not your taste, fair enough, but there's no need to inflict your comments on the rest of us. Side Two is an avant-garde masterpiece, a forerunner to many modern types of music. Ono's work in general is much underrated - for a discussion with John and Yoko read "All we are saying", the Playboy interview from the last months of Lennon's life. Lennon made his choice - why you people believe you could have made it better is beyond me. Show the man the respect he deserves, and admit that it was his life, and none of your business!

Rating: 2.5
Aug 27, 2001
cashman
This is indeed a very strange musical experience, that is something of a dissappointment if you're looking for a classic concert with two great music icons (Lennon and Clapton). We are treated with some good renditions of well known songs, especially Money and the rain soaked audience seem to respond to these. However, it's difficult to ignore the fact that Yoko Ono spends the first half of the concert curled up in a white bag at John's feet and only occassionally makes an appearance to suggest the next song to be sung. I am by no means making little of the strong bond between one of the most famous couples of the last thirty years but it's very difficult not to be bemused by the bizarre and odd nature of the proceedings. The artistic quality of Yoko Ono's songs are an acquired taste. This makes the last twenty minutes of the concert a real treat or a terribly boring and mind-numbingly futile waste of Lennon's appearance on a stage, depending on your point of view. Personally, I feel the sound of feedback at the start of I Feel Fine may have been cool for a couple of seconds but to keep it going for such a length in this concert is highly irritating. This album is, I believe, only for truly devoted fans who want to keep the Lennon estate flush with royalties. If you must insist on listening to it however, the first half is entertaining.

Rating: 2.0
Nov 23, 2000
laurie marks
Freed from the perceived constraints of the Beatles, Lennon roughed together an impromptu appearance in Toronto with some superstar mates which eventually became this album. The music it contains is as perplexing as the video footage available of the concert - it is strangely compelling on one level and has been lauded by critics and fans alike, yet it is also so rough and unrehearsed as to be embarrassing on another level. In many ways, the album is like listening to bootlegs of Lennon or the Beatles - you know it's pretty rough stuff, but it remains of interest for other reasons historical. This is not a concert of a great live band, it is an historical document. The opening part of the opening track, "Blue Suede Shoes", sets the tone - the band struggles to play together and is always far from tight. Lennon's vocals sound rusty. It is followed by "Money"and "Dizzie Miss Lizzie" which really grind along in haphazard fashion. The earthy tones suit the best tracks on the album, "Yer Blues","Give Peace A Chance" and "Cold Turkey", but John's comment about "welcome to the rehearsal" sums up the quality of the music being played. Like for instance the "Decca Tapes", or the "Hamburg Sessions", side A is an interesting listen from time to time without ever threatening to be regarded sensibly as a great album. As with everything else from this period, Lennon had to indulge Yoko. Hence, we hear her wailing over his vocals in her best efforts to destroy what appeal side A's number had to being with. And if Lennon thinks that anyone bought the album to listen to what Yoko dishes up on side B, he was kidding himself. Aside from the opening riff of "Don't Worry Kyoko" - you know how a joke sounds funny the first time you hear it but loses its magic somewhere before the 150th repeat - we have more of the banal, self-indulgent nonsense that dogged Lennon's credibility through this period, baffled most listeners not on drugs and ensured that this album would always struggle to be more than a necessary collector's item for loyal Lennon/Beatles fans. Like "McCartney", this album evidences what too much money and drugs will do to your judgment even if you are brimming with talent.

Rating: 2.5
Oct 23, 2000
Nick W
Really this is only half an album, hence the rating but the listenable half of it is pretty damn good. Ignoring Yoko's contribution, which is as unlistenable and abysmal as ever, it stands testament to one of the more bizarre live shows ever recorded. The fact that the set was rehearsed by the band on the way to the gig gives it a likeable ragged rawness which a more polished approach would have destroyed. Lennon's vocals throughout are totally on the edge and Eric Clapton's guitar has rarely sounded better. Old standards like Money, Dizzy Miss Lizzy and Blue Suede Shoes are belted out in a carefree almost punk rock attitude. Cold Turkey isn't as good as the version on Sometime in New York City but that's not to say it's bad. This album would have been better as a bonus disc with, say, the Plastic Ono Band album or Imagine and would have been fairer on the fans. In reality it was rushed out to hit the Christmas market. It would have been far more interesting to hear Lennon on stage with some of his rock and roll idols, who were also on the bill at the festival, rather than spending half the set in musical hell with Yoko. If you record the best of this add it to the best of the live stuff from Sometime in NYC plus a bit of the posthumous live album and some of the live bits from the Elton John gig - you've just about got a five star live Lennon album. On it's own though Live Peace leaves you feeling like you've only got half a loaf.

Rating: 3.5
Jul 28, 2000
Adam Coxon
Not bad orally but Yoko's a bit dry but who would be without her?

Rating: 4.0
May 13, 2000
Colin Heddle
I would have to name this as one of the best live albums of all time. "Live Peace In toronto" was recorded at the Rock & Roll Revival Concert at Varsity Stadium in Toronto. It has been reported that before the show, John threw up backstage due to his nervousness. After all, he haadnt been on stage for over 3 years. Side 1 is pure rock. Beginning with the rock classic "Blue Suede Shoes", John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman,& Andy White run through 3 classic rock tunes. "Blue Suede Shoes" is followed by "Money" than "Dizzy Miss Lizzie". Then they kick into "Yer Blues", a Beatles tune off the White Album. After it is finished, Yoko makes the announcement "This is the newest song that John wrote". This song would prove to be the world premeire of "Cold Turkey". The song is true rocker but is kind of spoiled when Yoko wails over Johns singing, (thank god it wasnt like that on the studio recording)!!! Next, John announces "This is what we came for really!!" They then break into the peace anthem "Give Peace A Chance". John had forgotten most of the lyrics so he made stuff up, but the chorus is what mattered. After the tune is over, the whole crowd had their fingers in the v shaped peace sign. But all the peace was soon to be destroyed. "Now, Yoko's gonna do her thing all over you!!!", John announced. The band than broke into "Dont worry Kyoko (Mommy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow)"The backing music for the song is absolutely amazing, but the vocal isn't. Yoko wailing away through the whole thing. I like "Cambridge 1969" but for some reason I dont like this. After "Dont Worry Kyoko" everybody but John & Yoko left the stage. John started to let out feedback & Yoko wailed. This song is called ""John John (Let's Hope For Peace). All it is is basically another "Cambridge 1969" , but still it doesnt give me that same feeling. I have no idea why? The two Yoko tracks are the whole second side. Although you cant hear it on the album, the crowd booed Yoko with every boo they could give. My dad, who was 14 then, attented the concert, has told me he left through the middle of Yoko's stuff. The second side isnt but Side 1 is one of the most compelling Live masterpieces of all time!!!!! Thanks for your time!!!!

Rating: 5.0
Apr 27, 2000
Richard Maxwell
I give this album a 5. In spite of the hyper intense wailing Yoko does on side B. In retrospect, it seems like Yoko is wailing at John's funeral. This odd pairing of Yoko and rock & roll creates a strange dissonance musically, artistically and conceptually, with Yoko, a visual artist crossing fields for her lover. She seems to invoke his soul deep from the future.The rock and roll opener 'Blue Sued Shoes', hit the nail on the head. Lennon can rock the boogie like no one else. His bittersweet tortured voice plays the edge of a razor. Money seemed to recall the early days, perhaps Hamburg. Claus Voorman played bass on Live Peace In Toronto and Lennon had met him years earlier in Hamburg. The next song "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" completes a trio of bang on rock & roll staples, authentically and nicely done. These were songs not yet covered in a great day of rock & roll. You had to imagine that while Lennon played these songs, not only did he have the eras biggest musical reputation to uphold, but... Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Jim Morrison and all of The Doors were standing only a few feet away from him watching every nuance. He may seem nervous.. however, it was bitter cold that night. It had been a warm day and cooled fast at night. The next song, "Yer Blues" with it's terse wrenching lyrics gave Eric Clapton a chance to strut, and then Lennon introduced "Cold Turkey" as something they wrote on the plane ride over.. great song. Lastly a rendition of the closing 60's anthem "Give Peace A Chance". This just before Yoko's lamentations from inside her large white bag. Unseen, she had only a microphone cable entering the bag through an opening in the top. I was there that night only about ten feet away from John Lennon.. and though the audience may be somewhat mixed down, you'll hear me sing along in the background as loud as I could. Thank's John, give peace a chance. Immediately after, Jim Morrison usurped the night.

Rating: 3.5
Nov 29, 1999
Ward
This was the first of John's "journalistic phonographic endeavors" to appeal to his mass audience, simply because compared to his other experiments on wax with Yoko, this was the first LP that contained music similar to Beatles LPs. It is a snapshot of a moment in time; the band rehearsed on the plane to Toronto, and how John got Clapton to play lead guitar I'll never know. Being part of a '50s revival concert, it only makes sense that John starts off with Blue Suede Shoes, Dizzy Miss Lizzie and Money. He kept it simple and sounds happy, if nervous. Yer Blues works, being the only track John had performed in front of an audience since 1966 (at the Rolling Stones Rock 'n Roll Circus). Cold Turkey sounds a bit tentative compared to the single version which hadn't even been released yet, and he wraps it all up with Give Peace a Chance, not even bothering to duplicate the original lyrics, though Clapton does get to sing backup. Then Yoko steps to the front "to do her thing all over you"; I'd bet most owners of this LP rarely played side 2 after the first purchase. She shrieks over bludgeoning riffs and feedback; this part of the performance is much more interesting to watch on video than it is to listen to (especially to see John watching the crowd while Yoko screams). Other than that, they came, saw, and conquered, and Apple had themselves the first solo Beatle LP to go top 10.

Rating: 4.5
Apr 7, 1999
jwmarshall
When John played the Toronto Rock & Roll Revival he had returned to his roots. A stage, a live audience and pure Rock & Roll. It was 30 years ago this year that John with his new artistic partner, Yoko Ono, spread his wings and left the Beatle nest. With short notice he teamed up with Eric Clapton, Klauss Voorman and Alan White to play Toronto and he did not disappoint the crowd. Through his performance of Blue Suede Shoes, You Make Me Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Money, Yer Blues, Cold Turkey and (as he said: "this is why we came") Give Peace a Chance, you could sense his confidence rising and his comfort on stage increasing. Eventhough the crowd only gave Yoko a warm reception for her numbers, time has come to show how much ahead of her time she was. Unreheased on short notice, a live audience and a group of musicians who played for the love of the music and th ejoy of the audience. An album with historical significance the helps to show John for the Rock & Roller he was.

Rating: 4.5
Mar 2, 1999
Wayne
I think Live Peace In Toronto is a great live album & it's John Lennon at his best musically & rocking out. I give it a 4.5 rating because I'm not a fan of Yoko's contribution to Live Peace In Toronto. Blue Suede Shoes, Money, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Yer Blues, Cold Turkey & Give Peace A Chance show John Lennon with Eric Clapton & the others doing the best hard rock/heavy metal next to Helter Skelter on the White Album. Live Peace In Toronto is John Lennon breaking his Beatle image live in front of thousands of people at that time. I know there was a lot of negativity towards John & Yoko at the time from the media & the fans. I don't think too much of Yoko's music on the album, but Don't Worry Kyoko has a good beat. I I think it's a great live album & I recommend it for any Beatles fan or rock-n-roll fan in general.

Rating: 4.0
Jul 10, 1998
JSL
I just bought this CD today and I must say that I'll probably rank it as my fav. Lennon solo album after P.O.B., Imagine and Walls and Bridges. This live album is much better than the Live in New York City one. The Plastic Ono Band did one hell of a job with these songs especially if you consider that they had hardly any time to prepare. "Blue Suede Shoes", "Money", "Dizzy Miss Lizzy", and "Yer Blues" are the live album's standouts. Lennon's vocals are great on these and the band really rocks as well. "Cold Turkey", and "Give Peace a Chance" are still good but John is a little hard to understand at times with these two songs. I didn't care for Yoko's two songs at the end. "Don't Worry Kyoko" is probably better than "John John(Let's hope for peace)" only because it is much shorter.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 30, 1998
Martin Clarke
This album is just so cool. Totally unprepaired the Plastic Ono Band pull off one of their greatest live shows ever. For John's side the rock 'n' roll classics are classic, 'Yer Blues' you just wish the Beatles could have played it as good on the 'White Album', the mellow version of 'Cold Turkey' you just chill out to, the re-working of 'Give Peace a chance' rocks and provides a few laughs as John make up the words as he's forgotten them. Then Yoko's side. Out of the 4 versions of 'Don't Worry Kyoko' that I've heard (1. on 'Live Peace In Toronto', 2. on 'Fly', 3. on 'Sometime In New York City', 4. on 'Unfinished Music 2 Life with The Lions'-1997 C.D. reissue) this stands as the best. John was right when he said there's no difference between this and Little Richards 'Tutti Fruity.' 'John, John' is very like 'Cambridge 1969' but with full band. Yoko does her usual trademark scream every 2 seconds at the end when John holds her, then a full minute of feedback until Mal Evens switches the amps off, he should have left them buzzing forever. So Cool.

Rating: 5.0
Jan 5, 1998
Chris McIntyre
This is heavy, raw, unfiltered rock. Personally, I love it, but those who prefer a tamer sound should probably steer away from this album. The whole band plays wonderfully. Maybe they weren't that polished, but there's an impromtu energy here. There was a lot of improvisation, more than you would find on your average studio album, but that's the beauty of live music: the spontinaity. They start out with an almost grunge rendition of Blue Suede Shoes, and then continue exploring their roots with exelent performances of Money and Dizzy Miss Lizzy. John rocked here like he never could have with the Beatles once Brian Epstien cleaned them up. Then they go into Yer Blues, the only Beatles song he does. It's a very emotional performance from John. Then they do Cold Turkey, wich is the first time any audiance heard it. After that there's an electric version of Give Peace a Chance. The second side consists of Yoko "Do(ing) her thing, all over you". Don't Worry Kyoko is a great song, and there's a lot of intensity in it. To close it off, Yoko does some vocal exersices to feedback. This is a great album, but know what you're expecting when you buy it. There're no ballads here. It's all out rock.

Rating: 2.0
Nov 23, 1997
Matt Carney
Although I have not heard all the songs on here because I have most of them on Lennon the boxed set, all I can say is that this is a poor live album from those 4 tracks that I would expect are what they felt were the greatest ones. "Blue Suede Shoes" Lennon says that it is there first time playing together and it shows. It would have been great to have been there, but liteneing to it is just not the same. "Money" is not great either. "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" and "Yer Blues" sound poor on this album. those are the tracks I have heard, but then you have a few yoko songs and Cold Turkey left so really I bet that thios album is poor because Yoko is not the best singer even if some of her songs are good on record, she can't sing live though at all (if you don't believe me listen to the live songs on Some Time In New York City". So really this album was just released for fans to get, but it really is not worth buying.

Rating: 2.0
Oct 4, 1997
Sean Bartomas
This album is highly over-rated. The band had never played together before and it shows. The playing is uneven at best & awful at worst. As both a Clapton and a Lennon fan I was very disapointed with this performance. Anyone who thinks that this is a good concert performance has obviously never heard Eric or John at thier best.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 23, 1997
Steve Andrisevic
Actually I was going to give this album a 4.5 rating but I changed my mind because of the historical significance of its recording.This was the time that John and Yoko were at their best in their valiant struggle for peace.I love the primitive rock and roll of the first side.Lennon and Clapton kick ass on Blue Suade Shoes and Dizzie Miss Lizzie.What would have stopped me from giving this recording a 5.0 would have been the material on the other side.Namely the screaming of one MRS LENNON.With repeated listening to the two pieces Dont Worry and John(lets hope for peace)Ive changed my mind and heart.In these days of Courtney Love and the rest of the alternative nation,Yoko sounds tame.Iam not saying that the second side is Grammy Awards material but it was a head of its time and it did reflect where things were in 1969,and where they were going!!!!I want to note that when I say side two I refer to the vinyl release.The CD has only one playable side.I would recommend buying this very highly and PLAY IT LOUD!!!!Itll do ya good.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 4, 1997
Jim Jacobs
After three experimental albums from John & Yoko, their fourth album is a real treat. Not only is this an album but it is a live album. Recorded at the Toronto Rock N Roll revival September 12,13,1969,with The Plastic Ono Band, this album marks Johns return to live performing without his fellow Beatles. The lineup for the this version of The Plastic Ono Band is John,Yoko,Eric Clapton,Klaus Voorman-a friend of The Beatles from their Hamburg days-Klaus also drew the Revolver cover,& Alan White on drums. The band literally put itself together on the airplane from London to Toronto. For such a short time together, the band played a rough but spectacular performance. John goes back to his rock n roll roots by performing Blue Suede Shoes,Money,& Dizzy Miss Lizzie. He also performs Yer Blues from The Beatles White Album & The Plastic Ono Bands Give Peace A Chance, Plus Cold Turkey is previewed here for the first time-it The single wasn't released until October 1969, one month after the concert. Johns nervousness is quite evident in this perfromance as his struggles to remember the words to most of the songs he sings. However he is able to ad-lib & one can really enjoy the concert. The 2nd side of the album consists of Yoko belting out 2 tracks, Her infamous Don't Worry Kyoko & John John Lets hope for peace. The reissue of this album on CD allows the listener to hear the entire concert without having to break to flip the album. Collectors note: first issues of this album came with a callendar for 1970. First issues the callendars had wire bends, followed by callendars with plastic bends. Later issues included a card that the listener would send to Capitol Records for the callendar. This callendar had no bend, it was just glued together. the 1995 reissue of this album on CD also contains the callendar for 1995. A truly great album for your John Lennon collection.

Rating: 4.0
Jul 28, 1997
Sean McCoy
This album gives Lennon fans a new insight on Lennon's own individual music style while he was still a member of The Beatles. The recording is rather raw and unbalanced at some times, but that just give listeners the feeling of a live performance. Yoko's compilations also add to the effect of knowing the Lennons outside of The Beatles. This album contains versions of songs never heard before and is well worth buying.

Rating: 4.5
Jun 25, 1997
Myke Carter
This album simply rocks! Here is the Plastic Ono Band, consisting at the time of John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman, and Alan White, in its absolute infancy (August 1969) performing rock-n-roll classics (and some new stuff too) onstage in a style not heard again until the advent of grunge in the early 1990s. The band was so fresh at the time that they'd had only about 4 hours before this gig to practice together in flight on the plane to Toronto! Such raw, immediate action was a trademark of Lennon's persona then and is the reason why the sound of this album is so successful. Stop. Side 1 is, more or less, John's side of the album featuring three 1950s rockers, "Blue Suede Shoes", "Money (That's What I Want)", and "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" - the latter two of which were also recorded by The Beatles in the early 1960s - followed by Beatle John's 1968-vintage "Yer Blues" and the Plastic Ono Band's first two - and only two at that time - singles, "Cold Turkey" and "Give Peace A Chance". John deliberately - and quite humourously too! - fudged up the lyrics on the last track but that's OK, because only the title/chorus bit is important anyway. (Note: If you are familiar with the original LP version of this album and have always been put off by Yoko's 'inappropriate' wailing during some of these songs, you will be delighted to know that the 1995, digitally remastered CD version was also completely remixed from the original 8-track tapes. On the CD Yoko's vocals are still audible but to a considerably lesser degree.) Stop. Side 2 is, more or less, Yoko's side of the album featuring two original "tunes" penned by her. "Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow)" (originally released as the B-side of the "Cold Turkey" single) and "John, John (Let's Hope For Peace)". These songs are especially interesting to listen to when one fails to forget that Eric Clapton is playing guitar in them! "Don't Worry Kyoko..." is a surprisingly structured, guitar-based construct suitable for framing Yoko's vocal things. This live rendition of this kind of composition is as good as it gets! "John, John...", on the other hand, is very similar to "Cambridge, 1969" from John's & Yoko's other 1969 album, "Life With The Lions". It is very freeform in nature and filled with feedback and more of Yoko's vocal things. I became familiar with this album long before I ever saw its accompanying film footage. When I did finally see the film, I got quite a laugh from watching the entire band walk offstage at the end of this piece with its guitars and amps still howling onstage with plenty of feedback for all of those in the crowd to share and enjoy! This was never obvious to me from only hearing the album. Stop. One of my favourite things about the LP version of this album is the manner in which Side 2 concludes with the reverbed sound of a toggle switch being flipped. Unfortunately, this most kewl ending was replaced with a simpleton's fade as the CD version was being remixed. I was quite pleased to see, however, with the CD release the return of the complete, deluxe calendar - copies of which were included with early pressings of this album but deleted when their plastic binders were determined over time to be physically damaging to the actual discs inside their covers. Although, I once was lucky enough to find an original calendar by itself selling used for an easy $10 at a local record shop - so, if you are still looking for one and haven't been as fortunate as moi, know ye now that it is still possible! Stop. I love this album very much.

Rating: 4.5
Mar 24, 1997
Moondog
I love this album, and the more I listen to it, the more I like it. It is Lennon's best live album, and his second best solo album. Clapton's guitar work is excellent and he compliments Lennon very well! A beautiful fusion of rock and roll and avant-garde alternative.

Rating: 4.5
Mar 19, 1997
King of Marigold
This is John Lennon's true "roots" album, a prime example that his credentials as a rock 'n' roller can never be doubted. After five years of Beatlemania, detours through psychedelia and Indian mysticism, this recording from the September 1969 concert in Toronto shows that when the opportunity presented itself, John could have fun playing the music he heard when growing up in Liverpool. The musical style is characteristic of what John did starting with the "White Album": sparser and simpler, with himself and Eric Clapton on guitars, Alan White on drums and Klaus Voorman on bass (and Yoko adding the touch of avant garde with her sreeching from inside a bag). The only rehearsal for this show was on the plane ride from England to Canada, and it does not show much. This is a tight band playing "songs that it knows" as John announces at the beginning, and then launches into a version of Carl Perkins's "Blue Suede Shoes." That song, plus the two that follow - "Money" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" - are probably how John handled them at the Cavern or in Hamburg, before fame set in and they become (as "Dizzy" did) part of the standard Beatles set. "Yer Blues" presents one of the rare occassions John performed a Beatles song on his own. The song moves at a steady pace and then takes off with the guitar solo at the end. "Cold Turkey" is performed here for the first time, and though doesn't quite reach the intensity or raw sound of the 1969 Lyceum version (found on the second disk of "Some Time in New York City") still gets across the pain of heroin withdrawl. John ends the set with "Give Peace A Chance" and doesn't quite get the words right at time, but the sincerity is still there. If there was one live John Lennon show I would have liked to have been at, this is the one.

 

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Last updated on Nov 6, 1998