Bagism: Albums & Singles

Reviews: Rock 'N' Roll


The "Rock 'N' Roll" album, consisting entirely of cover versions of rock standards, was John Lennon's tribute to the rock 'n' roll of his youth. The project was almost scrapped because producer Phil Spector initially refused to turn over the session tapes to John. Eventually, the tapes were returned and the album was released Feb. 17, 1975 (US) and Feb. 21, 1975 (UK).

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Rating: 4.0
Aug 15, 2007
Paul Panetta
3 3/4 to 4 apples. This actually was a good idea Lennon had back in '73-74 ,because no other rock artist ever thought of putting out an album that he didn't write the songs to,but only perform as a singer to other artist songs.Very clever! The one that stands out is YOU CAN'T CATCH ME. I know that in interviews,Lennon says that he was being sued by Chuck Berry over the song COME TOGETHER because he lifted the line of "here come ol'flat top.so Lennon settled by recording a few of Berry's tune to make him happy. Clever again!Lennon's voice through out this album is Terrific!! You wouldn't think with all the booze and cigarettes he was taking in and partying heavy with Harry Nielson and Ringo and Keith Moon,his voice would be shot! You can't tell on this record.He sounds great.Be Bop aLu Bop is classic. A very enjoyable LP to have and listen to.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 24, 2007
Frank
You want to know why the Beatles started off strongly and became so popular? Listen to this album and if you don't agree John Lennon is the best vocalist of all time in rock music, then you can't appreciate music. He's unreal. "Stand By Me" is sang so well it can bring tears to your eyes. "Peggy Sue" is done superbly....poor Buddy Holly.... Lennon sings it so much better. "Bonie Moronie" is a song I never liked until John sang it. He did that song some justice. I think the best one is "You Can't Catch Me". I don't think anyone could have done that any better. These are tough songs to sing you know. "Bring it on Home to me" is very nice to listen to. If you lay down with headphones and listen to "Just Because", it does something to you. What an excellent ending to a great album. This is really a very entertaining album and it's so worth the money. John Lennon out does the original artists to these songs but in a good way. Not many people in history can do all these songs like John did. The opening "Be Bop a Lula" is a great start and it just keeps getting better and better. "Do You Want to Dance", well makes you want to get up and dance...it's beautifully done by the man from Liverpool. It's a shame he retired after this album because between "Walls and Bridges" and this one he really did some great work. John Lennon was something else.

Rating: 4.5
Apr 21, 2007
Philippe
This is a special one for me, so I'll try and remain as emotionally detached as I can manage it! well, I think this "rock'n'roll" album is as revealing about John Lennon as "Plastic Ono band".The material he chose to cover tells us as much about the man as any Beatles album, if not more.Basically, this one comes from two different recording sessions. "You can't catch me", "Sweet little sixteen", "Bonie moronie" and "Just because" were produced by Phil Spector, slowing down the pace of this rockers by at least half.But it works! it's brilliant! the rest of the tracks was produced by John, and the least I can say is: it works too! well the attempt at reggae on "do you wanna dance" is a failure, but the rest, "stand by me"," rip it up/reddy teddy","ain't that a shame","slippin' and slidin'" and "be bop a lula" are gems.

Rating: 5.0
Oct 19, 2005
JL King
it took me a while to get into the album because it was made after all the great stuff the beatles did. but, i love the beatles and Big J so much, that i kept on listening to it. the song "you can't catch me" has always been my favorite on it. i like the way the music bangs in after the drumbeat and vocal part. it's very, very, very powerful rythem guitar. you may listen to the rythem guitar and go well, that's that same old lick. and yep, it sure is. but listen to the tone of the lick. the guitar and amp settings. anybody that has ever "played" rock and roll will know. it is killer and that is how it's done. come on people, the beatles or any member there of never put out no trash. they are and were the best! just listen to the music and trust him.

Rating: 2.5
Dec 28, 2004
Elmore James
Although this was an attempt to "give" a tribute to the brilliant songwriter John was, it was, after hearing this album, a collection of 2nd rate recordings that were poorly planned out and trashy in presentation. The impression one is left with is the entire recording was done behind Johns back and was a recording of him "playing" in the studio, possibly just clowning around as most musicians do. Quite and insult to the memory of an outstanding song writer, singer.

Rating: 5.0
Nov 13, 2004
Booger T
Also, you've got to remember, Phil Spector produced this album. He's a really good producer, but he's way into his wall of sound thing that he tends to miss the original concept/idea. Look at what he did on "Let It Be." He ain't capable of simple, I'd tell you that, he always has to complicate things, which works too, but not for things that are supposed to sound like raw rock and roll. Whether it's too many ladies singing, too much orchestra, or in this case, too much brass. Too much everything. That's two Beatle related records that he's screwed up, they should have a restraining order for him!

Rating: 5.0
Nov 13, 2004
Ervin D.
This album is good, I don't understand how these people can knock this album down, you should be ashamed of yourselves! This album wasn't made for you, it was made for John. Can't you give him that? He only spent most of his lifetime trying to please you, GIVE HIM A BREAK. Everybody's being selfish nowadays, it's all what's important for "me," what about what's important to the artist making it? Let him have his fun, this is how he used to rock in Hamburg, raw, somewhat drunk, partying, lots of freedom. Why do you think he always refers to the Hamburg experience as the best times he's had as a musician? Well, because he didn't have to answer to people like you. If this was the Beatles doing this album, same songs, same everything, nobody would even have the balls to give it a 4.5, but because it's only Lennon in his "lost" period, everyone has to jump on him. Return it if you don't dig it, if John was alive, see if he'd give a shit what you think. It's all about the almighty hard-earned dollar nowadays, what else are you gonna spend it on anyway, Ashlee Simpson? Food? Geez, America shouldn't even have any more food, we're only the fattest people in the world.

Rating: 5.0
Oct 8, 2004
rhonnie
yes five apples.......if it has BE MY BABY and ANGEL BABY on it come on yoko today is johns birthday, and i feel i have to put another review...just in case someone from the BOARD reads this,,Make OUR Xmas ,,,,give it the respect the record comp,,,will no doubt say its worth.....WHY go to all the trouble TO ADD EXTRA tracks then leave of BE MY BABY it just dont make NO sense,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, REMEMBER how pissed JOHN and The Beatles used to be with their USA BEATLES LPS allways having tracks missing off lps back in the sixtys..,,,,,,,,,,,,,I KNOW THIS AINT quite THE SAME but if you leave it off then you are not really giving us anything we aint allready had...cmon cmon, cmon cmon PLEASE PLEASE US OK YEAH,,LIKE WE PLEASE YOU

Rating: 4.0
Sep 30, 2004
rhonnie
yes it coming out in nov/dec 04 its got extra tracks but no BE MY BABY...why come on everyone e mail someone be my baby was on the ant..box set...so theirs not reason why it should not be where is was meant to be in 1975..........it rocks...... so much ........capital records cOMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ON DO IT..BUT DO IT RIGHT........YA WANT A XMAS LENNON HIT THEN YA NEED BE MY BABY ON IT OTHERWISE ALL US FAN WHO HAVE THE BOOTS AND THE ANTS AND THE BOX ARE JUST GOING TO GO COCK TEASE SOMEWHERE ELSE...DIG

Rating: 4.0
Sep 28, 2004
Rick Jackson
an album of heroes that john liked as a kid, isn't he entitled to make an album for himself, god knows he made plenty for his fans, i've noticed that their are some so called fans writing here who mark all johns album a 1 or 3, why bother, you just try to piss of lennon fans, so you are entitled to your own views, which to lennon fans are useless and drabby toilet crap, to move on he did a great version of stand by me which was better than ben e kings, he bowed to his heroes and for that the record alone is worth it's weight in gold,

Rating: 1.0
Sep 27, 2004
burning man
The parties in full swing and here's the creative result, although creativity has very little to do with this abyssmal effort. Lennon is forced, in the middle of his partying to record an album to clear up some legal obligations, so he gathers his drunken mates around microphones, and starts caterwaulling old favorites in a scarry preveiw of karaoke. Nothing here is vital,necessary or even any good. Lennon is performing by numbers, and gives not one damn to the quality of any of these reworkings. Is he being lazy or vindictive (both features of his personality), or was he just so far gone that he actually thought this stuff was acceptable in his soussed state? The thing Lennon failed to take into account was that people where going to shell out thier earnings for this claptrap regardless of how much effort he put in. Some people might have you believe that this album contains some kind of window into the early years of R 'n' R, and/or The Beatles, but don't be mis-led. This is a lack-lustre, thrown together selfish project, meant to cover Lennons obligations with the least amount of respect possible. If you want any of these songs go hunt out the originals. This will not only deny the record companies and publishing companies their share of the profits from this travesty, but is probably what Lennon would have preffered you to do in the first place (although with he's huge ego, it's hard to be sure about that).

Rating: 4.0
Sep 24, 2004
rhonnie
this album was a real party fav in the 70s when i was a teen i felt even then it was to flash in its layer of sound and the biggest dissapointments were not having BE MY BABY(WHICH TO MYSELF MOST OF MY FRIENDS WHO HAVE HEARD IT IS ONE OF THE TOTALLY BEST VOCALS LENNON EVER LAID TO TAPE IS SO ROCKS AND SHOULD BE OUT AS A SINGLE )....ON THE 75 LP and ANGEL BABY WHICH IS AGAIN SO GOOD AND BOTH TRACKS WOULD OF MADE THE LP BETTER......NOW WE HEAR ''ROCK N ROLL '' IS TO COME OUT AGAIN IN NOV 04.....WELL I SAY SCREW IT ITS JUST ANOTHER MONEY MAKING GRAB FOR OUR CASH ,,,,,BUT IF BE MY BABY WAS ON IT I BE FIRST IN LINE TO BUY......CMON YOKO 30 YEARS WE HAVE BEEN WAITING....SURE IT RAW THATS BECAUSE ITS ROCK N ROLL...''DIG''...BE MY BABY

Rating: 1.0
Jul 24, 2004
Dima Morozov
Oh, forgot to tell one more thing! The "Rock'n'Roll", as to me, is just a title. Only a few songs there sound in real early-rock style. The majority of songs in this album sound in pop style although original versions are real rock'n'roll compositions. I think that the only reason why all songs (except "Be-Bop-A-Lula", "Rip It Up/Ready Teaddy" and "Peggy Sue") sound so is in their arrangment. Surely, the arragement is really good and proffesionaly made by Phill Spector but ,as to me, it should be added in any other Lennon's album but not in the disc that is called "Rock'n'Roll".

Rating: 1.0
Jun 20, 2004
Morozov Dima
THE WORST ALBUM OF GREAT JOHN LENNON!!! It includes the cover-versions of the rock'n'roll hits of the 60th and 70th. I can say that, in my opinion, the only nice songs there are "Stand By Me" and the famous "Be-Bop-A-Lula" as it sounds nearly like Jim Vincent's original version. All other tracks are bad and some of them are even worse than the original versions (for example, "Sweet Little Sixteen").Another reason why I think that it's a bad album is that we all know Lennon as a great musician and political leader with a lot of personal songs full of the great political and social signs, but all the songs in this album ruin his image of important world leader and say: " Oh, c'mon you,lads, I've only been playing fool all this years, I love my girl and so let's have a party right now!" Ha-ha-ha, very nice! I'm glad that he dicided to make an album of silly songs about girls and parties but that's a pitty that he didn't realize that this album would show him as a simple one-day singer with simple texts and melodies about life in the youth. That's what I think about it.

Rating: 3.0
Jun 2, 2003
Rene Butler
Given the fact that it's an album of covers I am reviewing John Lennon as a Musican and not a Writer. 'Be-Bop-A Lula' was obviously a song which inspired the early Lennon, and this version certainly offers intrigue for that very reason. 'Stand by Me' is the albums best track. It has a fantastic acoustic lead,soul and emotion. Lennon was always at his best when his heart was in the song,he certainly does not let King down. 'You Can't Catch Me' is good but apparently included as a compromise to Berry who claimed 'Come Together' ripped it off. I don't see the similarity but I suppose Berry had Court costs to worry about.'Do you wanna dance' is pretty good. A slower version to that which the Beach Boys made famous. This offering can be classed as 'Lennon Reggae'. 'Sweet little Sixteen has good heavy Sax, a slow beat and raw vocals. The drumming on 'Peggy Sue' is worth a listen...but that is it. It would be wrong for me to suggest that 'Bonnie Moronie' should have been binned off, but I'm not a fan of it. To me, Lennon sounds reminiscent or even drunk at stages in this album. I hardly play it, but when I do, I realise that this 'genre' shaped that band that was the Beatles.

Rating: 4.5
Oct 16, 2002
Andrew Bowman
This album is quite sensational! As an attempt to recapture the atmosphere of '50's rock 'n' roll, it doesn't do a bad job. In fact, as an album, it is considerably better than Paul's selections (Choba B CCCP and Run Devil Run). The latter of these takes the same attitude as this album: if it can't be bettered, then at least have a great time doing it! John's selections, and it has to be said that not all of these are John's selections, Just Because for example was Phil Spector's choice, are superbly sung, with tongue firmly in cheek. Be-Bop-A-Lula opens the album, and surprises everyone with how good a different arrangement can be. While not as good as the original Gene Vincent classic, it is still a great version. Stand By Me, the stand out track. This is better than the original, and you get the impression that this is how the Beatles sang it, if they sang it, in Hamburg. Fantastic. Peggy Sue sounds to much like the Buddy Holly version to be of any real interest, whereas the two medleys (Bring It On Home To Me/Send Me Some Loving and Rip It Up/Ready Teddy) are incredibly good rockers that you can't stop your feet tapping to. However, Bring It On does highlight the plagerism used in Remember on POB. Bony Moronie, Just Because and Slippin' And Slidin' are great versions of great songs. The one downside is You Can't Catch Me, an obligitory track which Lennon agreed to record after plagerising it for Come Together, and he isn't really putting too much effort into it. Oh well. Overall, this is a superb album with superb songs, and probably because he didn't write them himself. (Saying that, if you get to hear Move Over Ms. L, the B-side to Stand By Me, do. It's brillint)

Rating: 4.5
Apr 22, 2001
15 y o BEATLEMANIAC
A great album. Lennon sings all the classics he grew up with in this one. BE BOP A LULA is a nice mellow be bop cover. This a pretty cool track. STAND BY ME this is my fave on the album! It is deffinetly his best cover and I'm sure everyone agrees. It's so beautiful, it's better than the original thats for sure! RIP IT UP/READY TEDDY are kick ass rockin' covers! Well it's Saturday night and I just got paid... YOU CANT CATCH ME is the song John ripped off with Come Together. You Cant Catch Me is a great song! The Stones ever covered it! Hell, I'd even cover it! AINT THAT A SHAME Another one of my faves on the album! I love his voice in this one. DO YOU WANNA DANCE A rather slow cover. I think it sounds better slow. SWEET LITTLE SIXTEEN Another slow cover! This is a great cover, but I think he should have sung it a little faster like he did with The Beatles. SLIPPIN' AND SLIDIN' Oh hell yeah! This was the hardest rock n roll got back then! John sure did a good job keeping the classics alive! PEGGY SUE This cover kicks ass. BRING IT ON HOME TO ME/SEND ME SOME LOVIN These are good but I still say the anthology versions are better. BONY MORONIE The silliest cover on the album. It's a great song and the lyrics are just plain silly. YA YA finaly, we get to hear a full version of this cover! And it's damn good. JUST BECAUSE John's third best cover ever! (Stand By Me was #1 and Be My Baby was #2) Phil and John went through some trouble trying to start this one! "...Fuckin birds and horns and seagulls and shit!"And what a great way to close the album! "This is Dr Winston O Boogie saying goodnight and thanks for coming..."

Rating: 3.0
Dec 20, 2000
Nick W
An album with contractual obligation written all over it - but it's not bad actually. Rock and Roll was recorded because John got sued over nicking a line from a Chuck Berry song for Come Together and part of the settlement involved him recording a stack of old tunes. Slippin' and Slidin' is my personal favourite. The trademark Lennon vocal and a great arragement with emphasis on the horn section, breathes new life into the song. Stand By Me, which was released as a single, is also superb and, dare I say it, better than the original Ben E. King version but I don't reckon much to the reading of Buddy Holly's Peggy Sue. Rip It Up/Ready Teddy isn't too hot either. This album was thrown together after Phil Spector ran off with the original tapes, which were put out as the mail-order only Roots album. Bits and bobs from those sessions have dribbled out over the years, notably on the Menlove Avenue out-take album and despite the apparent chaos surrounding the recording sessions, they sound pretty good. If Lennon could have picked his 10 favourite tunes of all time to record as an album I doubt these would be the one's he'd choose. Unfortunately the choice seems to have more to do with who owns the copyright to what rather than what's the best stuff. Sad, because it was the last album he would ever record on his own.

Rating: 2.5
Nov 23, 2000
laurie marks
This album has its moments - "Stand By Me" being the best known of them - but overall is best described as a Phil Spector album rather than a John Lennon one. The production seems so far removed from the original rock n roll sound that Lennon was supposedly setting out to capture and pay tribute to, that the heavy handed wall of sound of young Phil is obvious. On the odd occasion when John breaks through, such as the monologue to begin "Just Because" it really does 'take us back' as much as it does John. But heavens above, why so much brass ? And on every track !? "Peggy Sue" and "Rip It Up" rocket along okay and Lennon's vocals while patchy shine from time to time. But overall, this is a bit like Jimmy Barnes's soul music cover albums - neither memorable for their originality nor for their interpretation. Add it to the collection, fine, but itn is unlikely to ever be worn out through over-playing.

Rating: 3.5
Jul 22, 1999
Brad A.
1975's "Rock 'n Roll" more or less resulted from a lawsuit brought by Morris Levy, the owner of several Chuck Berry copyrights. He sued Lennon for plagarism- 1969's Come Together borrowed its music from Berry's "You Can't Catch Me." So to settle the suit, which called for Lennon to record 3 Levy copyrights, and return to his roots, Lennon recorded "Rock 'n Roll." The results are mixed- this was not Lennon recording a hard driving rock and roll set like the Cavern days. This was a belabored project (with Phil Spector holding the master tapes for ransom) with a somewhat overproduced feel. There are some real rockers- "Be-Bop-a-Lula" and "Rip It Up/Ready Teddy" show Lennon delving into his past and playing some of his old favorites with zeal. Others, like "Do You Wanna Dance" are boring, and at the end of the album, we are pleased, if not a little disappointed with the overall result, and wonder if an entire album of covers was a wise move.

Rating: 4.5
May 19, 1999
Manuel Lazcano Puig
Lennon has got the Midas touch. He turns to gold everything he touches. The songs contained in this album are old Rock and Roll tunes, which John considered their favorites. But no original version of any of these pieces is better than the one sung by Lennon. His rendition to "Stand by Me" beats the original one by far, yes folks. Actually, we can pick any of them: "Peggy Sue", for instance: I don't like the song particularly, but this one is the other side of the coin: John's voice makes it absolutely worth it. "Be-bop-a-Lula" is in the same case. "Bring it on Home to Me" is one of my favorite tunes ever (sung by anyone), but this Lennon version is the best one. In summary: as soon as Lennon sang a song, it exceled the original one, with The Beatles as well as a solo artist.

Rating: 4.5
Mar 3, 1999
Jorge Urdapilleta
This album is one of my favorites. The very first song, BE Bop a Lula has a kind of magic. I like to play that song several times. Then, Stand By Me is also good. Of course John didnt have a voice like the original singer, but he sang it with a good tone. I thought that it was his songs when I first met him. Other songs that I like are Lsippin and SLidding. That song has a cool piano solo. Ther are also some other songs Like Buddy's Peggy Sue. John liked buddy a lot so he decided to record this song. In a rare track I have Peggy Sue Got married ...... That's why Ithink John enjoyed recording Buddy Holly. Finally, another good song is Send me Some loving. I definitly recommend this album. If you like John basic's work, maybe you will not enjoy this album, but if you are a person who likes 50's rock and roll, you should buy this.

Rating: 5.0
Nov 8, 1998
John Butchers
'Rock and Roll' to me stands out as Lennons best. Its full of raw energy, and power. The opener "Be-Bop-Alua" is a great intro to begin with, its faster than Gene Vincent's, and Lennons voice makes it all the more better. 'Stand By Me' the second track is a great alternative to Ben E. Kings version, to say the least however, its the song I like least out of the album. 'Rip It Up/Ready Teddy' the third track is my favorite on the album. Its fast, upbeat, and perfect for Lennons raspy Rock and Roll voice. A few of my other fav's on the album would be "Slipin' and a Slidin", which musically, sounds fabulous. The album recorded during Lennon's 'Lost Weekend' makes the listener feel that Lennon on this LP, was letting off a lot of steam, which adds fuel to the fire of the greatness of this album. To me, this album is not only Lennon's best, but one of the best albums ever recorded, purely for its energy, and song selection. Its an album people of all ages would like. For the older generation, it brings back memories.. and for the younger, it allows them to discover the roots of Rock and Roll, and what (In my opinion), its really all about.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 23, 1998
Christian
"Rock īNī Roll" is the album John recorded when he was doing his so called "Lost Weekend" Some people think it was recorded in 1975, but it says that the record was recorded in 1973 and in 1974. I really like the concept of doing a album of this sort, because itīs only covers by 50īs artists like Gene Vincent, Chuck Berry and more. And a sort of homecoming for John. The album starts of with the briljant version of Gene Vincents "Be-Bop-A-Lula", which is sort of refreshing to hear even though the original song was written a long time ago. You really hear the excitment in John and how itīs arranged. And John picked a really good choiche for a producer, Phil Spector, who wrote a lot of classics in the early 60īs. And Phil Spector help John to arrange some songs on this one. And then comes "Stand By Me" which is probaly the most known track on the record. In this version John treats it like a kind of reggae tune but he treats with respect. Great innovation there. Whatīs so wonderful about this record is that John and Phil have arranged two medleys of songs. He starts up with "Rip It Up/Ready Teddy", if Iīm not wrong this song was on the setlist at the Hamburg days. Just to throw in a standard, Beatles played lot of standards. And then you first think that "Come Together" is on the album. But itīs a Chuck Berry song called "You Canīt Catch Me", Chuck sued the Beatles for plagarism for that song. And I think John recorded this song just to make Chuck angry. Thatīs John for you. And then the brilijant Fats Domino song "Ainīt That A Shame", a song that probably was one of Johns first records that he bought when he was younger. The whole song is filled joy and happiness. Itīs the same thing when you and me listen to Beatles songs, you just want to cover them and makes something good about it. Itīs the same feelings on these songs. "Do You Want To Dance", "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Slippinī And Slidinī" has the same emotions, theyīre all performed good. But the highlight for me is the Buddy Holly song "Peggy Sue", a standard that even Paul McCartney liked, or loved or adored. John actually sounds a little bit like Buddy himself on this track. And then the second medley appears. "Bring It On Home To Me/Send Me Some Lovinī", the original was made by Sam Cooke. And then the last songs "Bony Moronie", "Ya Ya" and "Just Because". Itīs obvious that John did wanted a really good cover album, and he did a great job with it. You really wish that John contacted the other fab threes and did a cover album. Just for fun, nothing serious. But I think that John influnced Paul, George and Ringo. Paul did release a cover album "CHOBA B CCCP (Back In USSR), George released a solo album called "Thirty-Three & 1/3". The title was taken from a song recorded by a 50īs hero. Ringo released two live albums with his All-Starr Band, which included some oldies. "Rock īNī Roll" is a masterpiece even though it hasnīt any original songs. Itīs a must buy.

Rating: 2.0
Mar 22, 1998
Henry Stewart
Lennon retracing his rock n' roll roots seems like a good idea on paper, but only if you do it right. I was highly disappointed in this album because John Lennon didn't go back to the rock n' roll roots of Gene Vicent and Carl Perkins, he took their songs and butchered them. I had to turn off "Be-Bop-A Lula" before it ended because it was terrible. It's layered with horns and all sorts of brass, totally taking away from the essence of the song. Listen to Gene Vincent's recording in which it's him and his guitar and a drum, while he shouts "Be-Bop-A Lula, she's my baby!" and then listen to Lennon playing the song fast and full of brass...if John Lennon was going to play rock n' roll that's what he should have done, not this pop crap. The real gem that stands out on the album is "You Can't Catch Me". You can see why he got sued for "Come Together"...

Rating: 3.5
Mar 19, 1998
Jimmy Mauger
Rock n Roll is one of the best albums from the Lennon solo collection. The album traces Lennon's rock roots like McCartney's Russian album, just a few years earlier. I think the album puts a new spin on songs released 2 decades earlier. Lennon had spent the late 60's and early 70's trying to prove to the world that he didn't need the Beatles in order to write and record music, therefore he had to release songs that were just by himself without the help of others. From 1973-1975 he had a chance to relax and enjoy life (The Lost Weekend) he didn't have to force himself to be a creative genius on this album. All he had to do was just recall his childhood and sing the songs that made him devote the rest of his life to Rock n' Roll. It's also interesting to know the circumstances surrounding the recording sessions. The fights between Lennon and Spector over the production of the album itself was gossip in the industry in the mid 70's, plus the partying with Lennon and company is still legendary around the rock world. I not only reccomend the album because of a new part of the Lennon music, which deals with his past but also for any Lennon fan, look up info on the "lost weekend" and it will give you something that you never new before, Lennon was just as ordinary as you and me, but just a little meaner with a quicker temper.

Rating: 4.5
Aug 9, 1997
Jim Jacobs
At last a pure rock and roll album by a man who only wanted to paly & sing rock and roll. This album,a collection of oldies shows John in top notch form. John's vocals & playing make these songs sound just as new & fresh as the day they were recorded. If you want to hear good old fashioned rock and roll, Then add Rock 'N' Roll to your set. Footnote: two tracks were omitted from this album, Angel Baby, & Be My Baby. Angel Baby was released on Menlove Avenue but Be My Baby, is only available on the album Roots, the illegal issue of Rock 'N' Roll.

Rating: 4.5
Jul 6, 1997
Amy S.
Okay, I must be biased because I love this album with a passion. I think it is one of John's BEST albums without a doubt. You can go into the whole shpeal about how Spector overloaded the vocals, and made it sound muddy, but if you just listen to John singing, then you won't be worried about the recording techniques, you will say, "Wow! That man had a hell of a voice." I listen to tons of rock'n'roll, and when it comes down to it, many performers could sing a lot of rock. Some could sing a little rock. John Lennon could sing all rock. He could swing with a rolling piano, or croon with a slow guitar lick. John felt the soul in the music, right down to his flat feet. No use denying the master from his craft. It is unquestionable that 'Stand By Me' is the best track on the whole album, because it is complete in every way. The song is played, and sang in its meaning. Maybe it was his hunger for love from Yoko, or his mother, or his child. The message was received. I still hear this song and stop what I'm doing just to hear it because it has the dignity of truth without shame, and deserves to be appreciated. "Be-Bop-a-Lula' is also a great one, showing how correct John could be in imitating others voices yet somehow keeping his own style. I really love his little vocal sqeaks and ah's, grunts and sighs. You'll hear these also in the Sam Cooke set 'Bring it on Home to Me/Send Me Some Lovin.' "Don't you know I miss you so muuuuuuch(hiccup)?" This is getting long, and you must think I'm an overbearing jerk, but my strongest poiint is to listen before you condem the art work that has been layed out on easy listening vinyl/cd/tape. Relax. Have a cool drink of choice. Chew the wax tadpole and listen to 'John Lennon: Rock'N'Roll.' I swear, everything will be alright. Let's see...."Do you wanna dance, under the moonlight. Kiss me baby , hold me tight. Darlin, do you wanna dance?"

Rating: 4.5
Jul 6, 1997
Amy S.
Okay, I must be biased because I love this album with a passion. I think it is one of John's BEST albums without a doubt. You can go into the whole shpeal about how Spector overloaded the vocals, and made it sound muddy, but if you just listen to John singing, then you won't be worried about the recording techniques, you will say, "Wow! That man had a hell of a voice." I listen to tons of rock'n'roll, and when it comes down to it, many performers could sing a lot of rock. Some could sing a little rock. John Lennon could sing all rock. He could swing with a rolling piano, or croon with a slow guitar lick. John felt the soul in the music, right down to his flat feet. No use denying the master from his craft. It is unquestionable that 'Stand By Me' is the best track on the whole album, because it is complete in every way. The song is played, and sang in its meaning. Maybe it was his hunger for love from Yoko, or his mother, or his child. The message was received. I still hear this song and stop what I'm doing just to hear it because it has the dignity of truth without shame, and deserves to be appreciated. "Be-Bop-a-Lula' is also a great one, showing how correct John could be in imitating others voices yet somehow keeping his own style. I really love his little vocal sqeaks and ah's, grunts and sighs. You'll hear these also in the Sam Cooke set 'Bring it on Home to Me/Send Me Some Lovin.' "Don't you know I miss you so muuuuuuch(hiccup)?" This is getting long, and you must think I'm an overbearing jerk, but my strongest poiint is to listen before you condem the art work that has been layed out on easy listening vinyl/cd/tape. Relax. Have a cool drink of choice. Chew the wax tadpole and listen to 'John Lennon: Rock'N'Roll.' I swear, everything will be alright. Let's see...."Do you wanna dance, under the moonlight. Kiss me baby , hold me tight. Darlin, do you wanna dance?"

Rating: 2.0
Apr 17, 1997
Stephanie
While John may have loved the early rock and roll of 1950's America, this compilation of songs certainly isn't one of his finest works. The creativity level is less than zero, since John had nothing to do with the writing of the songs. From a sound quality level, John's voice sounds strained. He doesn't sound like he's enjoing it. The songs are meant to be fun, and full of energy. John lacks both when croaking out these tunes. The record was made to keep John in the public's eye, but because of personal issues, John was unable to write, so they produced this record. In "Peggy Sue" John sounds like mocking the song- like he's disgusted with Buddy Holly, rock and roll, and even himself. John's voice doesn't sound like his own sometimes, such as on "Be-Bop-A-Lu-La", where he sounds just like the guy who originally sang it. (Gene Vincent?) "Stand By Me" is the only decent track on the record, and even on that John sounds very biting. I do have the record, though, because, it helps one understand where John was at that point in his life. (Doing covers of old hits.) Thankfully, he pulled himself out of that slump.

Rating: 4.0
Apr 16, 1997
Jason Woodburn
Lennon wanted to do a "standards" album of 50's songs because his heart was in that type of music. The album, release in 1975, was a project Lennon began in 1973. "Wall of Sound" producer Phil Spector produced three tracks, whhile Lennon did the rest. The spirit Lennon puts into the songs makes this a must for Lennon fans and possibly fans of 50's covers. From the start, Lennon slicks back his teddy-boy hair and puts on his blue suedes for a romping album. Gene Vincient would be proud of "Be Bop A-Lula." "Stand By Me" is the best cover of Ben E. King's classic. It rocks where its predecesor was softer. Lennon's voice is powerful and made for this ype of music. "Rip It Up/Ready Teddy" is explosive sock hop tunage. The Chuck Berry double-shot "You Can't Catch Me" and "Sweet Little Sixteen" are good. "Do You Want To Dance" almost sounds like Lennon wrote it with it's arrangement. Slippin' and Slidin'" shows Lennon's yen for Little Richard (e.g., Rip It Up/Ready Teddy). "Peggy Sue" salutes Buddy Holly and the medly is great. "Ya Ya" is a silly song, but strangely relevant to the album. Finally, "Just Because" offers a funny Lennon intro and a classic song that brings chills. This album is a classic and is for anyone who enjoys a great performer sing great songs.

 

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Last updated on Nov 6, 1998