"Walls and Bridges" was John Lennon's last album of new material until "Double Fantasy" six years later. It was made while he and Yoko were separated during the now infamous "lost weekend" that lasted 18 months. It was released Sept. 26, 1974 (US) and Oct. 4, 1974 (UK).
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Apr 21, 2007
Well, this one certainly doesn't lack production tricks,in fact it's one of its features.The problem comes because an over-produced album may cast a shadow on its real content.Here, Lennon has never sounded so maudlin,so on a ballad like "scared" or "nobody loves you" the production makes it sound even more maudlin.I mean, if you don't understand english, this album is a great pop/rock album to dance on.Strangely enough, I started to really appreciate "walls and bridges" long after buying it.It's his "Blood on the tracks", only by Lennon.There is no throaway here(except perhaps"old dirt road" and ya ya").Highlights are "Going down on love","Bless you","#9 dream" and "surprise, surprise" and the rest is very good.But don't listen to it if you're depressed.
Aug 5, 2006
this album is not an album for a casual lennon fan. although it contains two big hits("whatever gets you", "dram #9") it is not an album that you can easily sit through if you do not want to be informed about the things that have been going on in john's life at the time. besides the fact that these songs are deeply personal and contains personal messages, some of the songs are not very good. songs like "what you got" where lennon just screams his heart out with a worthy groove playing in the background , somehow turns out quite silly and annoying. and on "sweet bird of paradox" it sounds like he is not realy trying. the highlights here are the ones where he sounds like he is defeated, and he doesn't try to hide it by writing a joyous drunken disco tune. on "scared" and "nobody loves you" you can here him as never before. instead of screaming his agony like he did on "plastic ono band", he uses the deeper tones of his voice and ends up sounding sad and tired instead of upset and angry. "old dirt road" is lovely and dream #9 is breathtaking, but this album could never be what "imagine" and "plastic ono band" were for me. but in spite of that it is a very nice place to go after visiting the fist two one time too many. and some of the songs here can be a good answer to a lot of "what if" questions. like - what would a lennon and elton john dico duet would sound like? what if john try to do a soul track(bless you) what if john try to do a regaee song(steel and glass) and many others.
Sep 1, 2005
This is the work of a lonely, broken-down genius, but that's where this album gets it's soul from. Although sometimes it does feel rather over-produced and over bearing,which actually serves as an accurate representation of the sheer weight of emotions that he was feeling at the time. Track 1 Going Down On Love is a mellow and soothing track that if it wasn't the opening track could have been overshadowed by it's neighbours, but it's seductive and inviting feel (similar to his Beatles track Don't Let Me Down) makes it a great welcomer to the emotional journey that you are about to take with him. Whatever Gets You Through The Night is fast, fun and energetic with some great simplistic lyrics, but it can be hard on your ears after listening to it repeatedly, you have to be in the mood for it. Old Dirt Road's biggest asset is the use of instruments such as the pianos and guitars, it makes you feel like you are actually breezing down an old dirt road. But unfortunately I've always considered it to be more of a filler track. What You Got is a loud rocking track with great expressive lyrics, the motto of the song seems to be 'life sucks but I'm gonna sing about it anyway'. Bless You is beautiful but it should have been alot simpler, using just an acoustic guitar, piano, bass and drums would have been sufficient enough, it didn't have to be so dreamy (he already had that covered with #9 Dream). It could have even echoed back to the Plastic Ono Band album, but instead comes off as too long and shapeless. The same goes for Scared, the basic idea for the song is very simple but the production makes it less effective, although it does have a rather eerie feel to it especially with the howling wolf at the start (done many years before Michael Jackson did it). #9 Dream is my fave solo Lennon song because you can just get lost in this song plus it achieves what it set out to do. Surprise Surprise is a great follow-on track, it perfectly captures the spontaneity of the lyrics and the overall point of the song. Apparently it is about Lennon's lost weekend lady companion May Pang. Steel and Glass starts off as quite echoey and modest, but the aggresion in the lyrics and the sharpness of his voice make it rougher. Beef Jerky is just a filler track of rolling guitars and annoying chanting, it could have at least been more original. I'll be honest, I used to hate Nobody Loves You When You're Down And Out because it is so heavy and sluggish. Now I realise that it is the actual centre of the album, with its honest lyrics and wallowing music it makes it's presence felt. Last (and probably least) Ya Ya is just messing around in the studio and is rather pointless, but it's interesting to hear a rare Lennon family performance. So basically this album is excellent but loses half a point with me because it could have been better than it ended up being. But who can deny or resist Lennon's talent?
Jun 2, 2005
magneto and titanium man
When i bought this album on the the day of its release, i found my self discarding it and wishing for my money back. But a few years later i replayed and i was kicking myself that i hadent played it more often. The opening track isn't too good but the next track is a lively lennon hyped piece of funky jazz that sticks in your mind for a long time. Elton john proves he knows how to play the piano. The next track "old dirt road" is a poinent ballard that is catchy but slow. next is "what you got" that is jazzy with horns and guitar arrangment that go together like ebony and ivory. Next another slow boring deep meaning lennon song all over again. Next we have a slower paced number that puts at ease. The next next track is faster and more lively. The next track brings back memories of "how do you sleep" with strings and horns that are similer. Jazz and funk are applied in the next track "beef jerky" with pounding drums and saxaphones that tack you back to 50's style clubs. The next track is a good piece of singing by lennon but isnt much the exitment side of things. "ya yay" is next with julian lennon on drums. Well, that was it, the album that is highly dubbed as lennons greatest. It has its highs and lows but in the end what do you expect from lennon. 90/100 is all your ever gonna get
May 25, 2005
This album is perhaps the softest and most mello of John Lennon’s solo efforts. It was made at a time when he was temporarily seperated from his wife and companion Yoko Ono, a fact that can be felt in many of the lyrics. The significant, straight forward and highly political messages that became one with Lennon’s name around and after The Beatles’ break-up are absent. “Walls & Bridges” can therefore be the closest Lennon ever gets to feller singer/songwriters such as Elton John, Harry Nilsson and former collegues Paul McCartney and George Harrison. It can also be seen as Lennons way to sum up what he has learned over the years as far as composing and production are concerned. Besides the compillations, this record might be a good introduction to Lennon as a solo artist. “Whatever Gets You Through The Night is one of the album’s happiest tracks, a funk-flavoured rocker driven by beautiful harmony vocals by Lennon and Elton John and enjoyable break-outs from Bob Keys on the saxophone. The line: “Don’t need a gun to blow your mind” might qualify as one of the best statements of Lennon’s. This track became his first US number 1 single, making him the last of the fab four to entre that spot as a solo performer. Elton John is not the only celebrity helping Lennon out on the album. “Old Dirt Road”, a slower more blues-tinged song, is co-written with “lost weekend companion”, Harry Nilson. “Steel And Glass” is perhaps the most Lennonesque song on the LP. Both musically and lyrically, it’s similar to one of Lennon’s most controversial tracks, “How Do You Sleep?” on “Imagine”. In that song, he dealt with his dwindling friendship with Paul McCartney. This time, it’s Apple executive Alan Klein who’s in the spotlight. Besides this particular track, Lennon is more forgiving than previous. The songs dealing with the separation from Yoko aren’t angry. Instead, they reflect the sorrow and fear that Lennon must have felt at the time. “#9 Dream” is my personal Lennon favourite. Ironically, this one, according to Lennon himself, is an example of “craftmanship writing”, a writing process driven by skills rather than inspiration. I think it’s one of the most inspiring moments on “Walls And Bridges”. Other highlights are “Scared” and “Bless You”, both very underrated songs and rarely mensioned. The only two mediocre tracks on “Walls And Bridges” are “Beaf Jerky” and “Ya Ya”. The latter features John’s father Fred and son Julian on piano and drums respectively and the tracks are examples of fooling around In the studio, but not half as interesting as “Tomorrow Never Knows”. But this is small criticism. I like this album very much and I can hardly wait until the digitally remastered version comes out. Thinking of how “John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band” and “Mind Games” sound in their present forms (very dynamic and clear), this one must be a mind blower.
Nov 13, 2004
Lennon Fanatic 2004
I find this album to be fantastic, but I do not like it when people say it is better then the Mind Games album, because it is not true. mind games was a way more attractive album, and has beautiful songs. Walls and Bridges, very song is great. my favs on it are Nobody Loves You, Old Dirt Road, Steel and Glass, but I like every lennon song ever made, I'm a true fan and love all of his work. every other artist sucks.
Sep 28, 2004
walls and bridges, man i love this album,a very dark album i can relate. yes it was during his long weekend punching out a smothers brother(lol) and getting thrown out of a club with harry nilsson, whatever gets you through the night hit number 1, a deal john made with elton john if it did john would appear with elton john at his concert which he did, old dirt road is such a great track with images of lonely summer days.#9 dream is a classic which treds litely on dreamy rock a known lennon trademark which i like.steel and glass shows how something strong can be so fragile, i only wish john released a follow up album to this instead og a greatest hits package, who knows what could have been he was at a great lyrical state of mind during this period in his life...
Sep 27, 2004
Get your wacky headgear in place and book a table at "The Smothers brothers show". The long weekend is in full swing and the party has moved to Nillsons place.Lennons split from Yoko has hardly dried up his artistic output, and this collection of songs is Lennons most consistently listenable collection. The production once again tends to stifle the feel somewhat ( espescially on "Nobody loves you (when your down and out),a much better version of which appears on "Wonsaponatime")and Lennons consistent use of horns gets annoying at times, but on the whole, nothing here grates or overtly annoys as Lennon has tended to do in the past. Nillson helped with production and arranging, and this is very much a companion peice to his own "Pussycats" album recorded in conjunction with W&Bs and produced by Lennon. "Old dirt road, co-written with Nillson is one of the highlights of the set, along with "Bless you", a precurser to "Women". Although this track is written for Yoko, it does not mention her by name, which is a huge step forward in Lennons songwriting, and serves to immediately make the song more universal. If only Lennon could have re-recorded all those Yoko songs and replaced her name.It would rescue half of his output. But I digress. Walls and bridges is the best place to start if you want a single solo Lennon album. Listener friendly,yet still willing to take chances, and wear its heart on its sleeve.
Sep 2, 2004
This is an under rated album which grows on you over time. In places it is slight of melody like John's 'primal' album but there are at least two classics on it. I think 'Bless You' is one of the best Lennon songs of all time & am surprised it is hardly ever mentioned. 'Steel & Glass' is a "son of how do you sleep" as Lennon once said & is a song about Alan Klein. By the way, can anybody spot John's tribute to Paul's 'Band on the Run' album on the track 'Beefy Jerky'?
Jul 4, 2004
Once again, I would like to make a point which I have stressed in previous reviews of mine. I am a Yoko fan and really enjoy her as a person and her music and I think she and John were meant to be together and were happy together and although some people think John and May Pang was a love that was meant to be, I don't agree with Pang, and after reading her melodramatic book, I'm not sure just how credible she really is. But it did happen with May Pang and went on for over a year, a time also known as the mythical lost weekend. Times of drunken rage,sex, drugs and 'Rock 'n' Roll'. This album was John expressing his loneliness and how he felt without Yoko. It's a painful album to listen to when you realize just how bad it must have been for John and is sort of like his 'Blood on the Tracks'. It does show, however, that no matter what, John could make music and, in this case at least, he made it damn good. I would like to point out though that the original idea behind the album was a much better one, and it's a shame it never really got released. When John started work on this album, he originally wanted it to be a very folky album with really just him and a guitar. He then met a certain someone called Elton John who turned almost all of the songs into disco tracks. It's a great album by any standards but it's amazing to think what it might have been. There is a chance to see how it could have been because if you get 'Menlove Avenue' and a couple of Lennon bootlegs, you have all the original acoustic demos and can make up the album as originally intended (minus Beef Jerky and Ya Ya which were really only filler). But still, this is what was officially released and, most likely, what John was happy with. None of the songs, minus 'What You Got' (an excellent demo track), lose that much in their conversion to a more pop format and it's very entertaining. It's hard to point out specific tracks on here because the whole album feels like it runs as a whole because all the tracks are so closely related in their theme. Major highlights are 'Going Down on Love', 'Whatever Gets You Thru The Night', 'What You Got', 'No. 9 Dream' and 'Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out)'. All of these tracks best sum up the feelings John was going through and he had also recruited some of the best musicians, making them listenable over and over again. Like I said before, there are a few tracks that are really just filler. Beef Jerky is a good track but feels out of place on this album for some reason and Ya Ya, while cut to hear Julian on drums, is just a strange way to end the album. Amidst all this, there are som real gems on here and this is an album that shows John's return to form after 'Some Time in New York City' and 'Mind Games'.
Jun 19, 2004
Walls and Bridges is one of the most underrated Beatle solo albums to date. Talk to people about John Lennon fans and rarely do mention this album. One reason is that the album does not have a glossy title or a glossy album cover. It's just filled with great music it's one of my personal favorites. Much better then Mind Games, John Lennon is back on track and seems destined for a great future, which of course never happens. Number Nine Dream is my favourite, but "Whatever Get's you through the Night" is the number one single from this album. Steel and Glass is powerful and I really like the first sone "Going down on Love". The album is consistant, solid and very well done. If anyone does not like it, they need to find another artist. Paul McCartney had one good solo album during his post solo career, Lennon had three. John Lennon POB, Imagine are the other two. Double Fantasy could have been his best, but Madam Nu had to wreck it. This is a Great Album. It finished Number One.
Jun 7, 2004
On this album is the great song #9 dream that i believe that is the best song on this album. Going Down On Love is a great one Jim Kelthners Drums and Klaus Voormans bass get well together in this song and then Lennon himself and Nicky Hopkins on the piano(I Think They Are Both On the Piano). Whatever Gets You Through The Night is a fast party song, the saxaphone starring Bob Keys in think is increadable. The wHOLW album is gGREAT a hARD dAYS nIGHT.
May 30, 2004
Well, this album shows us the Lennon's mood in the "lost weekend" time. It is not great album although some songs like "Old Dirt Road", "Scared", "#9Dream", "Surprise Surprise", "Steel And Glass" and "Nobody Loves You" are very nice hits. However, in my opinion, the "Menlove Avenue" versions of "Steel And Glass", "Scared"' "Nobody Loves You" and "Old Dirt Road" are better than the original versions in "Walls And Bridges". The "Anthology" version of "Surprise Surprise" is better to, as for me. Anyway, this album shows us Lennon's depress of that time and that's the reason why we should value it.
May 27, 2004
Yoko Ono has gotten a great deal of criticism over the years, and even people who profess to love John Lennon often get on Yoko's case. However, I think the record shows that John's finest work after 1967 was directly inspired by his relationship with Yoko. If nothing else, Yoko must be saluted for inspiring "Julia" (Yoko means "Ocean Child" in Japanese), "Don't Let Me Down", "Oh My Love". If Lennon had involved himself with a succession of leggy supermodels with nice breasts, he may have ended up like Rod Stewart or Mick Jagger in the 1970s instead. There was a period of a year and a half when John and Yoko lived apart, John's "Lost Weekend". And without Yoko, John's work lacked focus and was highly inconsistent with his earlier work. This album often recieves terrible reviews. One site calls this album "overproduced drivel". I'll agree with the overproduced part, though I think drivel is far too harsh. Lennon if nothing else was honest, and when his personal life was a mess, he didn't try to put a fake happy face on his work to mask the fact that everything going wrong. If SGT. PEPPER and ABBEY ROAD are popular kids who are always the life of any party...then WALLS AND BRIDGES is the old buddy that occasionally rings the doorbell at midnight and asks to crash on the couch because his old lady threw him out. "Going Down on Love" starts off with a slick, somewhat groovy feel, and the lyrics convey a sense of sexual frustration, the guy just can't "get it on". "What Ever Gets You Thru The Night" is the hit. I think the Elton John Lennon combination is a great idea, as their voices and musical sensibilities are very complimentary. But this song is just too busy. I am normally against radical remizes of old songs, but I think that this track really needs to be cut down to bass, drums, Elton's Piano and the vocals. While many rock fans dislike anything that reeks of "disco" I think that John Lennon should have done more danceable, funky numbers. "Surprise Surprise" is one of his best disco type songs. "What You Got" has a great groove, but the screamed out lyrics somewhat marr the production. Usually, if nothing else, John's vocals are worth hearing in even his most mediocre songs (like "Mr. Moonlight"), but here even that is lost. "Bless You", "Scared", and "Old Dirt Road" have that "AM Mellow Gold" production veneer that I find very hard to admire, though the songs are not terrible in themselves. There are songs that, on the strength of their lyrics and melodies, rise above the production values, "#9 Dream" is perhaps the most conscious attempt to recreate the sound and feel of his Beatles work from 1967-1968. It is almost as if John is revisiting Strawberry Fields for old time sake. "Steel and Glass" is supposedly a "How Do You Sleep?" attack on Allan Klein, however as I know nothing about Klein's life, the lyrics strike me as a direct attack by John on himself, and his shallow California lifestyle - an exercize in self-loathing which culminates in "Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out". While many Lennon fans would consider this a sacriledge, I think Lennon's reputation as a musician and legacy would have been better served if he had combined the strongest cuts from this album with the highlights of MIND GAMES and perhaps "Stand By Me" from ROCK AND ROLL. Then there would be a rather solid album there. But as it is WALLS AND BRIDGES stands as one of Lennon's lesser works - though a so-so Lennon album is hardly a bad thing.
Feb 26, 2004
Certainly the most underrated album lennon ever made. All the songs are brilliantly written and instrumentalised (unlike the alternative versions on Menlove Avenue where they are far too slow and dull) the lyrics are exciting and original and overall the album is just brilliant!
Jan 21, 2004
This is probably the best John Lennon album. It certainly showed a new side of him, but some of the songs are very good musicwise and lyricwise. John Lennon is a true genius. I would recommend this for a first album :)
Dec 17, 2003
I think that "W&B" is really fantastic Lennon's album... There're a lot of great songs like Bless You, Steel and Glass, Old Dirt Road, What You Got and... and all others. Exuse me for my english, I hope that everybody understands me right. I'm from Moscow, and if I could write russian here, my words would be more understandable and full of reason. So, I'd just like to say that I really love this album - Lennon's soul possesion during the recording is very same to mine, although I'm just seventeen.))) And "Menlove Ave." with "Walls & Bridges" outtakes is great too - bootlegs are the saint thing for all of us.
Dec 12, 2003
In my personal opinion this is Lennon's most underrated album. It is a collection of excellent songs, 'Going Down On Love', 'What You Got', are catchy up-tempo tunes that come to mind, although they have quite downbeat subject matters. 'Bless You' and 'Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out)' are slower songs, but still excellent (however not appreciated by bores who believe that if a song is slow than it's not good). This album is not perfect 'Steel & Glass' seems to me a bit pointless (I've already heard 'How Do You Sleep' before). The album does have a mid-seventies sound. But this is an excellent album that John Lennon fans must have!!!!
Oct 27, 2003
this is not john's best album(i mean ,it's not my favorite). it's just that i have a problem with albums that can't be listened to as one piece ,and in this one it is necessary to skip several song in order to really enjoy it. however,this album contains some of my favorite Lennon solo compositions,songs like "i'm scared" and" Nobody Loves You" are a very untypical Lennon songwriting,and that is a very refreshing change over "only people" from the previous album. both of this songs are depressed blues ballad with heavy horns and lyrics that expose a different of Lennon "Hatred and jealousy, gonna be the death of me I guess I knew it right from the start Sing out about love and peace Don't wanna see the red raw meat The green eyed goddamn straight from your heart" from "i'm scared" other strong songs here are the "how do you sleepish..." "steel and glass" where john again shows his Reggae influences this half ballad half Reggae tune ,this song also has strong lyrics ,it's supposed to be an attack on Allen Klein but i don't really mind. "dream 9#" is a fine song with a strong melody (if you can get over the "ah bawakawa pose pose" part). "what ever gets you" is a good "discoish" song, but lately i tend to skip it when i listen to this album, it's a bit to jumpy for this moody album. "old dirt road" is a nice ballad ,a bit too simplistic but still enjoyable. "what you got" is a dumb funk tune,john screams most of the lyrics that are not very clever unfortunately. "going down on love" is a nice song with a very unusual structure a bit to mellow ,the same goes for "bless you" that has a good melody but tends to get boring. "surprise surprise" is just another light simple songs that somehow found their way into a Lennon album. all in all this is a fairly good album that gets better as the songs get darker. so enjoy this "depressed Lennon" album before the"Lennon family man album ".
Jun 19, 2003
This is good songwriting. A different approach than "Mind Games" and I feel it works much better. However it still has some of the same problems that "Mind Games" did. For example hearing the 70s sound of that disco-style on "What you got" just doesen't work. It's not that it's horrible or even bad but not what you want to hear from John Lennon. I'm sure there was pressure to keep up with the sounds of that era but thankfully the rest of the album does not fall into that trap nearly as bad. While still sounding very much like a 70s song, one of my favorite tracks on the album is "Suprise Suprise (Sweet bird of Paradox)" With the help of a young Elton John providing harmony it simply jumps off the album unlike any other track on the album. The rest of the album sounds like a very relaxed and mellow John Lennon which is not bad just different. "Old dirt road" is just nice and sweet. A moody piece that showcases Johns clever lyrics and imagination. "Bless you" also falls into the nice and mellow section of the album as well as "#9 dream." "Steel and glass" is a throw away to me because of it's copy cat music to the great "How do you sleep?" "Beef Jerky" is usually one that I skip but it's not horrible by any means. This album was best known for the #1 song "Whatever gets you through the night", which has never been a favorite of mine but it is certainly a track I can appreciate for it's lively 70's rock. The definitive Lennon track on "Walls and bridges" has to be "Nobody loves you whn you're down and out." It simply moves you with it's brutally honest expression and a fantastic performance by John. To say the least, there is lots of good stuff on this album but, like "Mind Games" before it, it suffers from the commercial pop that was, more than likely, as uninspired as it sometimes sounds.
Jun 2, 2003
An album recorded during 'The lost weekend' see's a variety in the quality of songs. 'Going down on love' is not one that I particularly like. It's too monotononus. 'Whatever gets you through the night' is fantastic. Nobody expected anything of it, yet it got to number one in the U.S. Elton John is heard on backing vocals and Piano.Instrumental Saxophone and vibrant lead vocals put this up there just under Lennon's best as a solo artist. 'What you got' sounds like the title music to an L.A. Cop Soap Opera. The message is clear "You don't know what you got till you lose it," this is one of the albums poorest. 'Bless you" an underrated ballad. It's tone is relaxing, infact I'm about to fall asleep. '#9 Dream' has a subtle Orchestra and a pleasant vibe to it.'Steel and glass' should be in a Horror movie!!! Lennon is demonstrative with his lyrics towards Allen Klein. Again the classical instruments aid this song as they do many others on the album. It is defiantly worth a listen. 'Nobody loves you when your down and out' is very introspective. John Lennon is sad, even depressed. Never the less a great song.The album for me, is average by Lennon's high standards. The L.A. influence is apparent, as is Yoko's absence, which is important as John Lennon's solo stuff is always reflective of their relationship in one way or another.
Oct 2, 2002
Many people say that "Walls and Bridges" was not a top five or even a good album in John Lennon's career. I fully disagree. This is a great album, and maybe his best. Track one: "Going Down On Love." This is a wonderful song with great small stuff put in it such as a few well placed piano notes. The lyrics are great and really describes what was going on in his life at the time. He had lost Yoko. This song is a wonderful opener to a wonderful album. Track two: "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night." What can be said. It was his only number one hit of his solo career during his life and was well disirving. This is a pick-me-up song for when your down. It's upbeat, has encouraging lyrics, and a great cameo on piano by Elton John. One of Lennon's best. Track three: "Old Dirt Road." This is a song that you see the title and think it won't be a good song, but don't judge a book by it's cover and don't judge a song by it's title. It has wonderful placement, some of the best I've heard. The pauses in the song are in the perfect spots. This also has creative lyrics. Another Lennon great. Track four: "What You Got" is a great song about losing love with an early disco flare. John lost Yoko and this is the most evidence through song that he missed her. This song is very catchy, so it can be stuck in your head for days. Track five: "Bless You" is a good song, but not great. It would fit in well with "Imagine" or "Mind Games," but not this album. It probably would have made a better B-side with "Stand By Me." "Move Over Ms. L" would have fit in better with the album. Good song. On the wrong album. Track six: "Scared" is a pretty good song. The howling dogs at the beginning kind of give YOU a scare when you don't expect them. The dogs do add to the mood of the song. This is a top 25 Lennon song. Track seven: "#9 Dream" is another wierd song, but very good. (A little history) The number nine followed John Lennon around his whole life. He wrote "Revolution 9" and "#9 Dream" which both have that nine in there for a reason. This also evidence that the aliens seen over New York had influence on this song. This single also hit number nine on the charts :O. But shouldn't it be track nine? Track eight: "Suprise Suprise" is another fast paced Lennon song on this album that can put you in a better mood after listening to it. I'm not quite sure what it's about, but it is very good. Being under three minutes long, I just wish it was longer. Track nine: "Steel and Glass" is a wonderful Lennon song about life with a pretty good orchestration in the background. In fact, it is almost the same as "How Do You Sleep." This song has great lyrics and is another top 25 Lennon song. Track ten: "Beef Jerky" is a mostly instrumental disco song. It's alright, but not great. That's about all you can say about that song. Track eleven: "Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out)" is one of those songs in which you skip the LP the song and keep listening to it over and over. One of his best lyrical songs. I wouldn't change a thing. It's almost as perfect as "Imagine." If this song is the only reason you buy this album, it's a good reason. Track twelve: "Ya Ya" is an oldie that was turned into a jam session for Julian and Dad. Sure the drumming by Julian is slow and it's barely over a minute long, it reminds you of the love a father has for his child. A more polished version is on "Rock and Roll." This is a great album and I would suggest it for a new or old Lennon fan. There are really no low spots on this album, just a few songs that don't fit in. One of the best all around albums I have ever heard.
Sep 6, 2002
BluJay - "Nobody loves u when your upsid
Being the least well know of probably all of John's albums after 1970 (I am not including those b4 cos I haven't heard them, or much about them, plz email me what u think bout them cos I'm too lazy to go to the reviews page and read them for myself) anyway, back to 'Walls and Bridges'. The album is also unique in that it is the only album on which all the material was written by Lennon/Nilson Lennon/Elton John and has no LennOno tracks on it. The album opens with the dual interpretable 'Going down on love', is it: A. Got to get down on my knees to May Pang and propose? or is it... B. Got to get down on my knees and apologise to Yoko? As with many of Lennon's songs, they are at least semi-autobiographical. The album continues with 'Whatever gets u thru the night', which, personally, I don't like, but is a great track anyway with a great beat and variety of instrumentss. 'Old Dirt Road' is superb, being based on the american proverb 'like tryin to shovel smoke with a pitchfork in the wind' and including some other very funny phrases ('I said a hey Mister human can you really make it rain?, He said that's OK, all I need is water'). The imagery is also very powerful. The next track that really stands out to me is 'Bless You', which, as a love song is unsurpassed by anything else I've ever heard (is that right gramaticaly? if I didn't use big words I wouldn't get so confused, anyway,) the long notes and 'Lennon echo' of 'Steel and Glass' surpass even 'How do you sleep?' with viriolotc hate and anger. Aimed at Allen Klein (do correct me if I'm wrong, I know it's either Klein of Spector, but I'm not sure exactly which, soz). The line in it which realy stands out to me as Lennon at his most hateful is "Your mother left you when you was small, but your gonna wish you wasn't born at all"). 'Beef Jerky' is one of the simplest, shortest songs ever written by Lennon, and is truly spectacular with it's limited chant lyrics, very similar to those of 'Scumbag' and 'Au' on STINYC-Live performance. 'Ya Ya' is wonderfully simple as a good rocker, and far better than the 'Rock an' Roll' version. The best track on the album though, has to be 'Nobody Loves you when Your down and out' with the steady ticking of the clock and instrumental overdubs filling gaps between verses, and the powerful lyrics, one of which I put after my name at the top of this review, 'Nobody Loves You When Your Down and Out' is by far one of Lennon's best ever songs, it is streets ahead of 'Imagine' in length as well as musical and lyrical complexity, with as many different phrases and ideas in it as 'Gimme Some Truth' but at a slower, less angry pace but without the sometimes interferring 'pain' sound of Plastic Ono band, I rate this album as one of his best and 'obody loves you' as definitely his best song after Mind Games, and one of the best ever lennon songs, a true musical treat!
Jun 6, 2002
Continuing the surreal element of his music that he really introduced to us with Mind Games, this is, I feel, an improvement. This album includes work with Elton John and Harry Nilsson, and even his son Julian on the last track. The album opens with the relatively simplistic and uninspiring "Goin' Down On Love" - what it's about, I'm not sure, and it doesn't really go anywhere. Next up is "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night" - with Elton John - Lennon's biggest hit in America, as it got to no1 in its own right, rather than as a consequence of his death (in the UK, John Lennon's three consecutive no1 hits were all posthumous). That is a very all-out poppy song, and has just about everything crammed into it. It's not John's very best, but it's definitely got a certain something going for it. Then there is "Old Dirt Road" - a psychedelic ballad which is interesting lyrically without being great. My favourite track from the first side of the album, though, is "What You Got", a bit of a pop-rock hybrid, about how "you don't know what you got until you lose it" - possibly a reference to his temporary split with Yoko on account of his affair. I don't know. I do know that I like the song, and that's good enough for me! The next track, "Bless You", is another psychedelic track in the vein of "Old Dirt Road", although a little more so, and not quite as good. It's very relaxed, but doesn't seem to go anywhere. The side finishes with "I'm Scared" - a dark, swampy ballad that really has John baring his soul to the world - a brave thing to do. Without being anywhere near one of my absolute favourite Lennon tracks, I do like this one quite a bit. Side two opens with #9 Dream - the most heavily psychedelic song on the album, and an absolute gem. Lyrically and musically weird, it takes a little bit of getting used to, but once it grows on you, expect to fall in love with it. Following this is "Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird Of Paradox)" - typical light-hearted Lennon. Disposable pop by his standards, this is weird without submitting to the psychedelia groove on this album. "Steel And Glass" has been described by John himself as "son of 'How Do You Sleep'" (from the Imagine album) - or something to that effect, I forget exactly what he said. It is full of very scathing lyrics, which he has said are really directed at himself. Certainly the line "your mother left you when you were small" could easily be about himself, as his mother is a recurring theme in a few of his later songs. After this comes the instrumental Beef Jerky, a forgettable instrumental, before "Nobody Loves You (When You're Down And Out)" - my favourite song on this album. It's a stunning ballad about how uncaring the world is. This is vintage Lennon, and would have sounded great on the Imagine album, or even as a Beatles song . . . but I digress. It's a great song, my favourite on this album, and second only to Mind Games as my favourite mid-70s Lennon song. The album finishes with "Ya-Ya" - a jam with his son Julian, purely for fun - the serious cover of this song appeared a year later on "Rock & Roll". As to the album as, it has its moments, and is significantly better than Mind Games, but still doesn't have quite the same oopmh that Imagine and Plastic Ono Band had. Overall, then? Good. Not great, but certainly very good. I am of the view that John did about one great album's worth of songs from Mind Games and Walls & Bridges combined - he did quite a few songs during this period that are quite forgettable. But, overall, I definitely like this album. Good.
Oct 8, 2001
Despite the shambolic nature of the infamous Rock 'n Roll sessions, John Lennon managed to write a new batch of songs for a brand new studio album. Many people saw Walls and Bridges as a return to form after the disappointment of Mind Games. I never felt he lost form, well maybe on Sometime in New York City. All this aside, Walls and Bridges isn't quite up there with Imagine or Mind Games in my estimation, but it has some great moments. I think the 'lost weekend' period and his separation from Yoko translated well in the music here and people understood what John was doing here. The albums opener, Going Down On Love, is a slice of classic Lennon. As ever, in the lyrics he is quite frank about the plight he was in without Yoko. The mellow mood of this track is shattered by the next. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night causes great debate among Lennon fans as to its relative merits, but its funky, upbeat nature makes it a standout and the fact that it was his first US No1 single. There are many underrated tracks on this album, none more so than Old Dirt Road, co-written with Harry Nilsson. The great Nicky Hopkins steals the show with his piano contribution. I think that his return and the stable line up Jesse Ed Davis and Jim Keltnyr, are a strength here. They certainly rose to the quality demanded by the material. Bless You, Scared and Surprise, Surprise are all nice without becoming absolute classics. #9 Dream is up there as one of his best, though. The soaring, mystical backing and a great vocal performance make this an incredible piece of music. This vocal performance is in strong contrast with What You Got. This is possibly Lennons most powerful vocal performance, right there with Don't Let Me Down as his best. #9 Dream is delicate, this is just sheer raw power. The aggression is still evident in the vicious Steel and Glass, long thought to be an attack on Allen Klien. He revisits old ground with this as it is very like Working Class Hero and How Do You Sleep to me. The last song, not counting Ya Ya, is Nobody Loves You, a comprehensive account of his situation and a heartfelt declaration of love for Yoko. It's a personal favourite of mine, I think it proved that, despite his hard and abrasive image and god-like status, he was just as vulnerable as anyone else. The feelings portrayed on this record deservedly translated into sales and returned John to the upper reaches of the charts after a spell in the doldrums. It's not up with Imagine because the quality of the material isn't as consistent. There is virtually no filler on Imagine, but there is here. But, make no mistake, the tracks on here that are as good, if not better in some cases than those on Imagine. You would have to say this album is essential in Lennons discography, not the one I would recommend to someone buying one of his albums for the first time as it is unlike any of his previous work, but it is definitely not to be ignored!
Aug 27, 2001
While some people disregard this album as John Lennon wallowing in his own self pity, I feel it is one of his better albums and certainly the best since Imagine. Admittedly some of the tracks are poor and serve as filler which is something that Paul not John are critised for. Beef Jerky is one such example of a very dated piece of seventies jamming that has no real merit or purpose on a Lennon album. However, the stronger tracks compensate for this. Lennon said in later interviews that he did not like Old Dirt Road but it does have some vivid lyrics. "Trying to shovel smoke with a pitchfork in the wind" is such a great line; it captures the futility Lennon was experiencing in his life without Yoko but also shows his sense of humour. Steel and Glass pulsates its way through the speakers of your sound system as does Whatever Gets You Through the Night. The latter was Lennon's first no. 1 in the US after the Beatles and is both fun to listen to and is fairly good, carefree advice. Nobody Loves You . . . is sad and turns out to be true when Lennon died. "Everybody loves you when you're six foot in the ground". Bless You, I assume, is on ode to Yoko which suggests that he's slowing coming to terms living without her and he hints that he's resigned himself to this reality. Although they were reunited after the album was released and Lennon took a break from song writing for a while this was a good, solid album. Not as good or as meaningful as Imagine or Plastic Ono Band but still worth having as an example of Lennon at his most vulnerable.
Jul 5, 2001
Walls and Bridges is an interesting album indeed: full of several classic songs, but unfortunately filled with way too much overproduction by John. The album is filled with incessant overdubs and annoying layers of sound throughout, especially on songs like "Scared", "Bless You", and "Old Dirt Road"--which almost completely ruin what are some great songs. THe album also contains a bunch of filler and well annoying attempts at being commercial: "Ya Ya", "Whatever Gets You Through The Night"--his first and only #1 solo song while he was alive--, and "What You Got"--which unfortunately is so far removed from it's demo (released on the Lennon Anthology) that it took what could have been a classic and overproduced it into a poor slice of filler. Why after all this then can I rate it a 3 apple review? Well, that's easy: much of the rest is pretty strong. "Going Down on Love"--despite again the overproduced style--is strong, #9 Dream is a classic updated return to the Sgt. Pepper era (and one of John's best solo tracks), "Steel and Glass" is one of those nasty vicious attacks this time on John himself and his depression--"your mother left you when you were small, but you're gonna wish you wasn't born at all"--, and "Nobody Loves YOu When You're Down and Out" is one of the 5 greatest solo songs by John--despite continually being forgotten in his compilations. Nobody Loves You is one of those haunting tracks in that at this time it seemed to Lennon that he was definately Down and Out: the US govt was fighting to deport him; his record sales had severely slipped; the media was attacking him as a loony, he was separated from Yoko; and he was in a 18 month binge of cocaine and alcohol. This song alone reflects his feelings, and the haunting line "everybody loves you when you're six foot in the ground" would indeed come true for him unfortunately much sooner than he or his real fans would have hoped for. Overall Walls and Bridges should have been a classic in the vein of Imagine era Lennon--or even Plastic Ono Band era, but being probably the worst produced record of all time can only be ranked just a little above average. Still I'd recommend checking it out, but you'll have to give it a few listens to get past the dated feeling it has. Still if you do, you should find it rewarding if even just for "Nobody Loves You".
Apr 9, 2001
I just borrowed a Cd of Walls and Bridges from a friend, after not hearing the lp for many, many years (I used to own the original vinyl), and I was literally seized by the music, and have been playing it almost continuously for several days. Two things have stood out; Lennon's voice, and the production. Regarding the former, Lennon gets it out as raw and rocking - on What You Got and Surprise Surprise (Sweet Bird Of Paradox) - as anything else he's done. In fact, What You Got has him singing open-throated in a way I never heard him quite do before. Reminded me of Gary US Bonds and how he seems to sing from way in the back of his throat. On the other end of the scale, Lennon also sings as beautifully as anything else he ever recorded. Bless You in particular is achingly beautiful. Music and production-wise, this is one album that has not dated even slightly over the years. Not only does it sound fresh and original, it is clear that Lennon possessed production acumen far beyond what he would claim. Just listen to the lounge mood on Bless You - if that wasn't way ahead of the whole cool lounge fad then go ahead and lionize The Style Council (which came out in early 80's). And what was most surprising to me on this years-hence re-acquainting with Walls and Bridges was the R&B feel. Lennon and his team of ace musicians (especially Jesse Ed Davis, who conjures up different amazing guitar sounds for almost every track) came up with an authentic and bona fide southern funk sound without coming across as campy or fawning - it stands on its own. The horns on this album are simply top notch, and somehow they just work with Lennon's vocal style and the general desperate tone of the lyrics. Listen to What You Got and how these 'happy' horns come in on top of the pained chorus - and it works! And under all of this is some proto-disco beat going on that, again, is not dated at all. And Lennon's shouts and grunts are totally authentic and non-parodying, with no self-consciousness yet nor overtly 'primal screams' as on the classic Plastic Ono Band. This is one song where Lennon really cuts loose. Of course, Lennon could also crack a good joke - and Beef Jerky with it's obvious tribute to Booker T and the MG's ("Booker Table and the Maitre D's") is a good example, and shows that Lennon was well aware of the root sound his album was inspired by. I haven't even mentioned Going Down On Love, which with its congas and bells, and Klaus Voorman's Sly Stone-like bass stylings, is one seriously great tune. In sum, Walls and Bridges is a stellar acheivement and one that should call for a re-appraisal of Lennon as a producer in his own right. A final note; based on other's reviews, it ought to be clarified that the inclusion of Ya Ya was done for strictly legal reasons - to allow the copyright holder of that song to get royalties as part of a settlement over rights to some of the tracks from what would be the Rock N' Roll lp.
Dec 19, 2000
This is an album which is rated from Lennon's best ever to sub-standard by the fans. To place it in its historical perspective - the split with Yoko on the so-called 'lost weekend' - explains much of its change of direction form its predecessors. It is a refreshing shift away from the focus on 'me and Yoko' on Mind Games & Imagine, the politics on 'New York City', the personal intensity of Plastic Ono Band and the self-indulgence of the rest. Lennon's feelings for Yoko are placed in a far more user-friendly environment lyrically (eg 'Bless You') and that is a relief. But while not his best album ever, it is certainly far from his worst. What I fail to understand is the accolades heaped upon it compared to the luke-warm footnotes reserved for Mind Games. Is this an anti-Yoko movement afoot or is it just that the sharper edged music on this album appeals more readily than the dreamy love ballads feel to Mind Games ? In any event, Walls & Bridges has always failed to inspire me, no matter how hard I listen to it for enlightenment. It always sounds like an album with two decent singles (which were to re-appear shortly after on 'Shaved Fish') and a lot of other filler material. Certainly the fans love as many 'honest Lennon moments' as they can get, but the rehashing of the same old ideas combined with some ordinary lyrics and cluttered production sound, leaves me luke-warm on this album. It is as if Lennon was coming to the end of his career in the 1970s and as a result the well was showing signs of running dry. Never a prolific songwriter, especially after about 1965, Lennon was able to produce about a dozen songs per annum at most, leaving little room for error. This album was the "1974 dozen" as it were. Only a gifted songwriter could produce the wonderful "Dream #9" with its floating guitar feel, and "Whatever Gets You..." rocks along jauntily even if its production sound becomes too messy at times (making the Anthology out-take preferrable). It is fortune that the latter became Lennon's first #1, given it is not his best 1970s song, but just happened to be in the right place at the right time. After that, the album falls away. Like McCartney's 'Speed of Sound' album, there is very little 'classic' left about it once you take away the 2 singles. Steel and Glass is another libellous rehash of "How do you Sleep", Beef Jerky just some self-indulgent fill-in fun for the band, "Ya Ya" purely self-indulgent (non-fans be warned), and the balance a motley bunch of songs that one suspects even Lennon may have described as "quickly knocked off to fill up the album". There is a taste of the Spector about the heavy handed production, such that the stripped back versions on of some songs on Menlove Avenue sound refreshing by comparison. Hence, an album which fails to satisfy despite some inspired moments. It is enjoyable enough to listen to, but beware the hype ! Unlike McCartney post Speed of Sound, Lennon's music was favoured by a subsequent break in songwriting for 5 years after this album, perhaps confirming that quality outstrips quantity when you're running low on fresh ideas for new songs. This album is unlikely to inspire any documentary type films like 'Imagine', or be described by any non-fans as a turning point in musical expression like the painful "Plastic Ono Band". Indeed, I would even say it lacks much of the warmth that gives 'Mind Games' some appeal. We are left with a snapshot of Lennon's career - some wonderful songs, but overall an album thin on depth of material. And for those who are left wondering what I would qualify as Lennon's best album ? Listen to one of the better Greatest Hits packages with the 1980 sessions songs on it, is my reply, for every album of Lennon's has a certain consistency lacking for an artist with his high reputation and talent, as if he had trouble ever producing the definitive album from cover to cover. Walls & Bridges is but one example of this, while 'Imagine' is probably the most consistent set overall.
Jul 18, 2000
Consistently lennon's most under-rated album, 'Walls and Bridges' was the morning after to the 'Lost Weekend' of the joko split; 1973-4. The songs are generally bleak and the outlook pessimistic (except for the joyous '#9 Dream')_which accounts, perhaps, for the albums low rating with fans. Musically the album marks a return to the key 'Imagine' session men but with Jessie Ed Davies substituting for George Harrison on guitar. (anoraks note: Lennon referred to the session men from Imagine as a 'nuclear' band, in crawdaddy or creem I can't remember which, and on the sleeve notes for '..Bridges' the credit runs Plastic Ono Nuclear Band.) This album, 'Menlove Ave' and 'Rock n Roll' showcase the dynamics for that band. The production has been criticised, as being over the top but it certainly is better than the thin and muddy 'mindgames'. Such elements as strings and brass just don't appeal to everyone. Personally I think some of the arrangements are lovely and play off well against the spare and scaryfying rhythm section. (Particularly in the bluesy 'Scared' and mournful 'Nobody Loves You when You're Down and Out'.) If this album does represent Lennon's personal Heartbreak Hotel then it comes very close to resembling the Overlook… There is a spooky quality to the aural landscape as a whole. Both 'Old Dirt Road' and 'Nobody Loves You…' are haunted by the ghost of 'A Day in the Life' whilst, contrarily enough, many of the tracks conjure up the pre-rock n roll sounds of the 1920's and 30's. The cocaine fuelled boogie of 'Whatever Gets You Thru the Night' for example, or, again, 'Nobody Loves You…' which reminds me of theat classic Depression era tune 'Brother Can You Spare a Dime'). This was a vein previously tapped on the Lennon produce Nielson album 'Pussy Cats'. 'Walls and Bridges' does lack the freshness and vitality of Lennon's later work but compensates for this by the sheer strength of many of the songs. The best of these; '#9 Dream', 'Scared', 'Nobody Loves You…', rank with the very best Lennon's entire work.
Feb 23, 2000
Unfortunately, in my opinion, this is John Lennon's worst solo album. Not that the songs are all bad because they're not, it's just the most horribly over-produced, non-Lennon sounding instrumentation that takes the punch out of John's songs especially the underrated "Steel and Glass" and the beautiful "Old Dirt Road." "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" is a great song but ten times better is the outtake from Anthology. The version from the album is so cluttered that it sounds like some kind of disco/regae/funk/pop jam session that covers up the cool parts of the song (even John said it shoudn't have been a number one song). The only real standout on Walls and Bridges is a song that I can never get enough of, is "Number 9 Dream" ...definitely one of Lennon's finest, with a fantastic wah guitar! The rest of the songs are fairly forgettable, but it may be due to inferior production...I mean strings are everywhere on this album (and I'm not talking about guitar strings). The grit from POB was gone and it seems pre-disco influenced the album a lot....you're better off to check out the outtakes from this period on "Menlove Avenue" and "John Lennon Anthology."
Dec 5, 1999
Or maybe one does need personal turmoil to create fine art. Whatever the case, Walls And Bridges was the first effort by John that didn't have Yoko's direct involvement. That's not to say she had no influence on it. These are songs from the gut, the aftermath of an alcoholic bender, alternately anguished and angry. Going Down On Love starts off in a similar way to I Found Out in the way the voice sings along with the guitar, and I think the several sections stuck together works best in the best sections (especially "somebody please please please help me/you know I'm drowning in a sea of hatred). Whatever Gets You Thru The Night is the mindless single, where John's voice meshes perfectly with Elton's and I learned to get really tired of saxophones. Old Dirt Road is very similar to an oldie called Cool Clear Water by somebody I can't remember; this one is very pretty, especially Jesse Ed's underwater guitar and Nicky's piano, and I still have no idea what it's about. What You Got is fairly straightforward, and unfortunately adds to the dated sound of the album today. Bless You is incredibly gracious towards the woman who left him all alone, right down to the very subtle switch in the 3rd verse that refers to her new lover. The tone of acceptance is crushed by the howling that starts off Scared, which also reminds me of Plastic Ono Band in its pounding, unrelenting piano. #9 Dream starts off side 2, and I put it as one of his best. It's dreamy quality is very close to Strawberry Fields, but this is a pleasant sleep as opposed to a nightmare. Surprise Surprise was supposedly inspired by his newfound bachelorhood; he figured "I might as well try and have fun." The 'sweet-sweet' at the fade always reminds me of Drive My Car. Steel and Glass seeps up from the sewer much like the subject of the song; the verses are great and nasty, but what does "steel and glass" refer to? Office buildings? Beef Jerky is a full fledged but anticlimactic instrumental; he didn't do them often and this is why. Nobody Loves You is another example of how he can take the simplest chords and make complete unique statements around them. This tune should prove to the critics that his songs only apply to himself, and it's true, everybody does love you when you're six foot in the ground. In order to leave us with some levity, he ends the album with a short stab at Ya Ya with Julian playing drums badly. It was great to hear he could still write songs, and his sense of humor is all over the packaging too. Outside of the Rock N Roll album, this would be his last new album for 6 years.
Aug 31, 1999
jon gusky (theres 7 billion of you. but
god, man..im not trying to be a bad fellow, but if you think this album is bad..youre crazy!!!!! i remember reading this record was "rather uninspired." i cant understand that too good. walls and bridges is, by any standards, a phenomenal work. uninspired is definately not a word for the effusive tracks, "going down on love," "what you got," or "surprise, surprise (sweet bird of paradox)." and none less the effulgent standards "whatever gets you thru the night" n' "#9 dream." John's uncontainable emotions shine through on the requisite "what you got" a song likely inspired by the separation from yoko. john moans "arrghhh!" and the music has the dated 1970's overproduction..except its a bit poisoned, disquietingly tranquil. the jangly guitar-hook is morose sounding..which is very offsetting for a jangly mid-1970's guitar rock hook. John howls "dont wanna be a drag, everybody gotta bag," possibly referring to his idea of bagism, "everybody's in a bag, baby." but you dont need to be versed in his sayings to taste the despondancy in his voice. he cries "you dont know what yougot, until you lose it/oh, baby, baby, baby, gimme one more chance!" and, my favorite line.."come monday momma i just gotta run away/you know its such a DRAAG to face another day." the emotional turmoil is universally intelligible..we all know how John feels. that's my favorite line in the whole album..just because of that. just as he said of Bob Dylan's music in, i think, 1971 you dont need to hear the words, you just gotta hear how he sings it. same thing on "sweet bird of paradox" he sings "i need, need, need, need her" with perfect metalanguage. it reminds us all of the terrifying + fantasic feeling of being soo in love. whatever gets you thru the night is self-explanatory. he sings the brilliantly simple realization "whatever gets you thru your life, 'salright, 'salright. do it wrong or do it right, 'salright, 'salright." and asks us just to let go "hold me darlin' come on listen to me/i won't do you no harm." just as he did on the equally incandescent "mind games," "yes is the answer..yes is surrender; youve gotta let it, youve gotta let it go" just as "hold on" "hold on john. john hold on. its gonna be alright. you gonna win the fight" telling us theres no wrong way to do anything..that all the complexities of life are so simple to give up when you realize you cant possibly be thinking the wrong thing or the wrong way ever.that's a shabby way to put it but.. anywho, i wish i could go on about the rest of the album, but im tired..so get out and get it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aug 9, 1999
The good news is: "#9-dream" is one of the best Lennonsongs. The bad news is: the rest of the album sucks. Lennon didn't care about the production of the album, resulting in a weird combination of would-be-commercial songs (for that time) with some of the most pathetic lyrics ever written. "Whatever gets you through the night" comes from a bet between Lennon and Elton John ("If you write me a #1-hit, I'll tour with you") which actually gave Lennon his only #1. "Nobody loves you when you're down and out" shows a man complaining himself, which, if it's due to himself usually leads to avoiding. In that way, the lyrics are honest :) "Scared" is a good idea, but loses itself in John's misstalent at the time to make songs so long that only one message stands out: "I'm complaining". Not even "I was wrong". I'm sorry (really), I love John Lennon, but this is the most untalented, commercial, "Mc Cartneyish" album he ever wrote. It's good and understandable that he left musicbusiness for five years, because what might have followed?...
Jul 22, 1999
1974's Walls and Bridges found Lennon where he had been four years earlier. In a state of personal chaos. In 1970 he had channeled his buried feelings about the loss of his parents, and the break-up of the Beatles into the classic "Plastic Ono Band" album. Here, 4 years later he channeled his feelings of the loss of his soulmate Yoko into Walls and Bridges. Musically however, Lennon is not able to convert his feelings into superb music as he did in 1970. The overall dark mood of the lyrics is somewhat constrasted by the poppy sound of horns and chugging rhythyms. There are a few gems to be sure- #9 Dream, & the disco-sounding Whatever Gets You Thru The Night. Throwaways like "Beef Jerky" & "Steel And Glass" (a piece of slander against former Beatle manager Allen Klein who Lennon brought in to manage their affairs) also take away from the album's overall appeal. However, the finale "Nobody Loves You (When You're Down & Out)" is Lennon at his most sincere. He is pouring his heart and soul out on record, a wistful plea for Yoko's love once again. As the rest of his life played out, we are joyed to know he was reunited with Yoko, but saddened of course by his ultimate end. The last line is all the more chilling then: "Everybody loves you when you're six foot in the ground." This record is a worthy listen, if not for the sub-par music, but for the heartfelt lyrics, and a glimpse into a tortured soul.
Apr 22, 1999
From "Going Down On Love" to "Ya Ya" with Julian, this is, I feel a most impressive work. It seems that we produce our best in our worst of times. The album certainly tells the story of a frustrated, confused, but happy-go-lucky person trying not to feel the true pain of his his loss. Songs like "Scared" (also check the lyrics on Menlove Avenue for this one), "Bless You", "Nobody Loves You" and "Sweet Bird of Paradox" all tell the story of what it felt like being John Lennon during the lost weekend. Add to these the upscale "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" (with the line "you don't need a gun to blow your mind, oh no, oh no) and "Old Dirt Road" and you see the Lennon that hung out with Harry Nilsson in clubs and put feminine napkins on his head."#9 Dream" is another journey into "what's real" and "Steel and Glass" into the "too real and it sucks" attitudes that have been his all along. The variety of styles, and the fitting arrangements really show just how talented he could be when he felt like it. The liner notes with pictures that he drew as a child and the different names he called himself in the lists of who-played-what were particularly special because it showed us that sometimes childhood reflections and pure silliness do have their place when we're feeling down. I like this albun and I recommend it to anyone who feels that Lennon's rockers and his nice, slow stuff have been the essence of his music all along.
Jan 27, 1999
I m from Costa Rica and I m a great Beatles and Lennon music fan. I m sure this review have to be in english, so maybe I can say all that I want. But, well, here I go. "Walls and Bridges" is definitly Lennon best album. I gave it 4.5 considering that Lennon solo standars are not the best. This album is well conceived. Great lyrics (not a lots of common places). As always, John had good ear about melodys. The arrangments and the production, show us a grat artist making all the work and bringing a lot of great musicians to play whit him. The album is perfect, but we have to eliminate "Beef jerky" (a catchy instrumental but boring and nothing new, almost for a film like Hawai 5.0) and "Ya-ya" (nothing to say). Behind the tracks there s a concept, in music and lyrics. Lennon use the same instrumentation for every track. The album sounds very 70 s and vary New York... and sounds very sad. That what makes John so good for me: his knowledge about anguish and uncertainty. The lyrics of "Nobody loves you... (the best Lennon solo song) show that: "when I get up in the morning and I m looking in the mirror to see/that I m layin in the darknes and and I know I ca t get to sleep", so the lyrics from Scared (and of course, the others). The percussion by Jenkins is a perfect base. The keybords work by Asher, Hopkins and Lennon himself marks the diference. Acoustic guitars are both exelents (hear "Steel and glass"). Dream 9 and his beatifuls backgrounds vocals and lead guitar. he vocal work by Lennon is among his best. I think the brass and strings (provided by Ken Asher), are among the best thins of this album. The sound is full, sometimes epic, in contrast to the introspectivnes of the songs. The strings chords are beautiful. The brass is strong. John could write, compose, arranged and produced like no other. He can do that just in "Mind Games" ,the predecesor of "Walls and bridges" and of course, that. His best work, the ultimate oportunity to show the world how big he was. Well, maybe you could make a question (I dont think suggestions, because I read your reviws) and understand better what I m traying to say.
Sep 19, 1998
"Wall and Bridges" is a puzzling album, weak in several departments yet ultimately a good album. Lyrically, the record is not up to Lennon's usual standards. John tries to write one of his angst ballads in "Everybody Loves You When You're Down and Out" but it just doesn't sound convincing. He tries to write one of his venomous tracks with "Steel and Glass" but it comes across as half hearted. The production of the music is nothing special. It's loaded with horns and strings and sounds very 1974ish today - somewhat similar to the sound of his 1974 buddy, Elton John. Despite these problems (that would sink a normal artist's record) it's fantastic. It must be John's performance. As always, he's in great voice and full of energy. Particularly strong is "Whatever Gets You Through the Night". Also, spending 1974 away from Yoko brought him back to pop's mainstream and I think this explains why his patented misery songs don't work on this album. I think he just plain old had fun making it.
Jun 9, 1998
Walls and Bridges is immaculately produced and performed, and contains some memorable songs. It lacks the rawness to put it on a par with Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, but is certainly a progression on Mind Games. We must view it in historical context; the material was composed and performed during John's 'lost weekend' in LA. Thus, an overwhelming feeling of sadness and longing for Yoko prevails through 'I'm Scared', 'Nobody Loves You' and 'Going Down On Love'. The studio musicians, the majority of them John's drinking partners, are first rate. Anybody familiar with Plastic Ono Band and Imagine will know that Klaus Voorman's bass playing is first class. Jesse Ed Davis, Harry Nilsson, Jim Keltner and Elton John also appear. Best songs on the album have to be '#9 Dream' (beautiful dreamy track), 'Steel and Glass' (great diatribe against former manager Allen Klein) and 'Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out' (Lennon sings few better balads solo). Look out for Julian Lennon's musical debut on 'Ya Ya'. Brilliant album, but not quite on a par with his greatest.
Apr 10, 1998
If you have ever heard 'Walls and Bridges' album, you might think it is dull and boring. But to understand the songs on it, you must understand what John Lennon was going through at that time in his life that made him write these songs the way he did. 'Walls and Bridges' was recorded in 1974. This year was a "down" time in John's life. Yoko Ono, his wife, had kicked him out. He got involved in drugs, alcohol, and other bad things. He was feeling really depressed, and needed Yoko. The songs on this album represent John's cry for love. Songs on this album like "Going Down on Love", "What You Got", "Scared", and "Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out)" show his feelings, his scared and confused thoughts. Some other songs are for Yoko, telling her he still loves her, like "Bless You" and "What You Got". Two other songs were written with John's "friends" at the time, Elton John and Harry Nilsson. Elton and John wrote a song, "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night", and it became John Lennon's first and only #1 solo single. "Old Dirt Road" was written with Nilsson, a slow ballad with a repeating fade-out of "keep on keeping on....". Later on, John dismissed this song as awful, but it is a nice addition to the album. "Ya Ya" was added to the song, with John's son Julian playing the drums, as sort of an afterthought. One gem that has shown up on 'The John Lennon Collection' is "#9 Dream", which the inspiration for that song did come in a dream. This song was the most memorable song for most people who listened to the album. "Surprise Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradox)" was written for May Pang, John's lover and secretary at the time. I rate this album a 4 and 1/2. 'Walls and Bridges' was the last album Lennon recorded before turning into a "house-husband" to take care of his son Sean, born in 1975. If you listen to this album, you must keep in mind John's reasons for writing it to fully understand it.
Mar 21, 1998
this album is very dark and unhappy, as it came from the time John was separated from Yoko. About every song deals with him feeling sad, sorry for himself, and lonely, which can be interesting if you'd like to look into Lennon himself. It is very different from "Mind Games", which was full of cheery-love and politics, all in major chords and pretty in a happy sort of way. "Walls and Bridges" uses a lot of dark minor progressions (like "Scared", which uses the bottom keys on the piano to belt out dark, bitter chords while Lennon keeps saying, "I'm scared....") it's nice to see Lennon in state where he's not talking about calling Yoko from the shower, or when he's just saying "I love you" but really saying, "I know now that I need you, please help me." It really gives you another side of Lennon that was absent from his solo work (Yoko made him so happy, the lucky guy)
Mar 5, 1998
this album shows John was clearly headed in a good direction, blending his emotional energy with regained pop sensibilities, it is a beautiful album, and one that is very commercially accessible. It was around this time in 74 that John and Paul got together in the studio in L.A.(with others) and "jammed", and listening to this pop masterpiece one can Imagine it would have been a perfect time for the Beatles to Come Together... unfortunately just the opposite happened, as Lennon followed this album with a five year "retirement".
Jan 24, 1998
dont get me wrong i like this album very much and i do think that "going down on love" and "what ever.." and "old dirt road" and "what you got" and "nobady loves you..." are great songs. but there are some songs that disterbs me. like scared which is annoying and steel and glass which its resemblens to how do you sleep make it impposeblle for me to injoy it. at first i hated the part in "#9 dream" when he starts to sing the "ah bowakawh..." but i understood later that thats what spcial about lennon(that hes tottaly insane).
Jan 2, 1998
Walls and Bridges is an awesome album! But no surprise there.The songs on this album were made when John was away from Yoko, and in some of the songs you can tell that he felt lost without her. This is some of his best work, with Harry Nillson giving his two cents in the album. My favorite song on this album is Bless You- just because it's such a pretty song to Yoko. All of the songs on this album are equally strong, with Ya Ya being the last, but definately not least. Ya Ya shows John pretty much just having fun with Julian, his son. I reccomend this album to all Lennon lovers, even to Lennon not lovers. But how could you NOT love John?
Dec 2, 1997
I love this album. It really is one of the best albums that Lennon ever did in either the Beatles or his solo career, the only problem with it is that it sounds so dated today which is really unfortunate, because many people are going to think that this album is not that great at its first listen, but the more they get used to its 1970's style the more they will like it because it really is awesome. Any album that has such terrific songs like the awesome"#9 Dream" and the haunting "Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out" is going to be worth the purchase just for these alone. This album goes beyond that with the great"Old Dirt Road", and "Going Down On Love" also being terrific standouts. "Sweet Bird of Paradox" is great along with the brutal "Steel and Glass" where Lennon does one of his best vocal performances ever. This is a terrific album, but it suffers a little bit today with its overproduction with the horns and etc. I wish that some of the horns could be taken off the album to give it a more natural sound, but it is too late now. Still it is a great album and like all his other ones, it deserves a high review.
Sep 25, 1997
"Walls And Bridges" is by far Lennon's most underrated work of his solo career. Recorded during the year and a half-long "Lost Weekend", it shows John at his absolute lowest, swimming in his hatred and anguish. This album picks up where "Plastic Ono Band" left off, baring John's soul to the world again, this time separated from Yoko Ono. It also features John's first #1 hit in "Whatever Gets You Through The Night", a wonderfully upbeat duet with Elton John. Where "God" and "(Just Like) Starting Over" bookshelve John's solo career, "(Nobody Loves You) When You're Down And Out" is the mid-point of his work, and John's lowest point of his life. A great album.
Aug 21, 1997
Once in a long while a musician releases an album that not only bares his or her soul to the world, but does so in a blinding flash of brilliance. Joni Mitchell did it with "Blue." Pink Floyd did it with "Wish You Were Here." As far as I know, however, John Lennon is the only artist who managed to do it twice, triumphantly, and in two such diametrically opposed styles. Here, as in with "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band," we see the essential melancholy of the man laid bare to the world. The twist is that not only is "Walls And Bridges" a document of one man's psychological pain, it also serves as one of the most wonderfully listenable and enjoyable, nay, universal albums of the 1970's. This album is a tribute to John Lennon the producer and John Lennon the musical aesthete, as well as being a tribute to John Lennon the songwriter. I noted in my review of "Mind Games" that what held that album back was amateurish production and grating arrangements, but one year later it finally seems that John feels comfortable in the producer's chair as well as the performer's. Among the many triumphs: Going Down On Love is the album opener, and it seems like a throwback to the JL/POB days of yesteryear, with its gritty reggae instrumentation and confessional lyric. "Old Dirt Road" is a masterpiece of tasteful understatement; it creates an atmosphere of loss and desolation, aided by crystal-clear production (I get chills from that piano glissando in the "cool...clear...water" section...it sounds so much like cascading water) and a insistent but gentle chorus. It is also possibly the best thing to emerge from Lennon's friendship with Harry Nilsson. "What You Got" is another one of the classic Lennon ravers (see "New York City" and "Meat City" for two other classics) with some of the most invigorating horn work this side of Stax and one of those refrains that you just KNOW you've heard all your life. "Scared" is the most direct and brutal of Lennon's confessional hymns in his canon ("Hatred and jealousy gonna get the best of me, I knew it right from the start") and is musically irresistable in the way in which begins as a tired lament and works itself into furious rage at the end of each verse, only to deflate defeatedly into the next verse. #9 Dream is Lennon's most atmospheric song, and the synthesis of echoey guitars, hazy, aching vocals, and those lush, lugubriously orchestrated strings create and sonic presence that you will be enveloped by (and you may never want to surface). You can almost feel John's sense of regret and loss when he sings "It seemed so real to me..." Steel And Glass is Johnny's update of How Do You Sleep? (from the "Imagine" album), and its not-insignificant musical merits are overshadowed by its addressee, either Allen Klein or Lennon himself, depending on how you look at it. (Lennon claimed it was about himself) The real kicker about this album is the fact that after all this, NOW we arrive at the best song on the album, and (IMHO) his best song ever. "Nobody Loves You (When You're Down And Out)" is lovely, self-pitying, and exceptionally frightening in that it is utterly prophetic of Lennon's fate. ("Nobody loves you when you're old and grey...everybody loves you when you're six feet in the ground") It also contains one epic, searing moment that takes the listener utterly by surprise and startles, amazes, and moves him. It alone justifies owning this album. (Kudos must go out to the mixing engineers here...this is a triumph to remember) On a lighter note, the packaging is also superb, hilarious, and decidedly in lighthearted in contrast to the album's subject matter. The verdict?: If you're going to buy just one John Lennon album, this ought to be the one. I'd have given it 6 apples if that had been possible. Heartily recommended
Aug 20, 1997
I love this album!!!Having said that let me tell you why.First of all it was released the year I graduated from high school so naturally its special to me,but its a special album because its John Lennons last real ballsy adventure.Outstanding tracks are BEEFJERKY,and #9 DREAM and OLD DIRT ROAD.Actually the albums noted single WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH THE NIGHT is one of the weaker tracks!!!.I put this album when I want to hear John Lennon having a good time.While it may be argued that it was recorded during his LOST WEEKEND it truelly is one of the best albums by anyone (including the other 3 Beatles)released in the 70s.BUY THIS ALBUM AND PLAY IT LOUD!!!!!
Aug 9, 1997
A fairly good attempt by John to record an album up to the same standards as Imagine, however it just doesn't cut it 100%. Walls & Bridges is a very good album but it is a very laid back album. Recorded in 1974 near the end of The Lost Weekend, Walls & Bridges boasts several successful tracks from John. Whatever Gets You Thru the Night, gave John his first number 1 hit & shows the beginning of his association with Elton John. What You Got is smart little rocker showing that John still has his stuff & can write some good old fashioned rock and roll. #9 Dream,the second single from this album shows John's dreamier side. This song, one of my favorites from this album, also charted in the top 10 peaking at #9! Perhaps the best track from this album is the depressing Nobody Loves You(When You're Down & Out). This was the only first song written by John for this album & reflects his feelings about his life at this particular time, his breakup with Yoko,& his lost weekend. Footnote: The song Steel & Glass, written about former manager Alan Klein is an identicle reprise of How Do You Sleep? from the Imagine album. This clearly shows that John was running out of ideas & had to resort to rerecording his own material!
Jun 21, 1997
This is a great album, and probably John's best after John Lennon & the Plastic Ono Band and maybe Imagine. Actually, Walls and Bridges sounds a good deal like Imagine. I think maybe John was trying to be as commercial as he had been on Imagine. Both albums are great, but not as good as the excellent, biting, truthful John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band. My favorite songs on this album are "Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradox)". "What You Got", "Going Down on Love", and "#9 Dream". "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night" is pretty good, but not a great sound for John, "Nobody Loves You". is a great song and probably the story of my life.
May 29, 1997
The album "WALLS AND BRIDGES" is perhaps one of the best of John Lennon's best albums. All his songs reflected his feelings about the world. Perhaps the best song on the album is "YA YA." I think it's the best because there was no band, no crowd of people, just John and his son, Julian. I think alot, if not all, the songs on the album are cool. "What You Got" is another one of my favorites because it has ALOT of truth to it. Ofcourse, all John's songs did. But the phrase "YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU GOT, UNTILL YOU LOSE IT," made me think when I first heared it. The time I bought the album I went strait home and listened to it. At first, I hated the album. But, that was because I didn't listen close enough. But when I really started listening, I got more and more into the album. It's weird how John did so much for us, and yet a coocoo kiled him.But, that's a different place.
May 13, 1997
WALLS AND BRIDGES is nothing short of a John Lennon masterpiece that deserves to be ranked second after PLASTIC ONO BAND in his best solo albums. On this album John was able to combine his deeply introspective songs (PLASTIC ONO BAND) with the deeply melodic hooks and commercial productions values he employed as a Beatle and IMAGINE. Songs such as "Nobody Loves You (When You're Down And Out)" and "I'm Scared" could easily have worked on PLASTIC ONO BAND but with the use of excellent string and brass arrangements which (the way I understand the album credits)John did himself take the songs to a much higher emotional level. It is also amazing to see that John could be just as commercial as Paul. True, he didn't have as many #1 albums and singles in the Seventies but it must be noted that except for SOMETIME IN NEW YORK CITY and his late 60's experimental LPs with Yoko Ono, none of John's original solo albums charted below the Billbooard Top 20. WALLS AND BRIDGES takes MIND GAMES one step further. "Bless You" is an amazing love song, "Going Down On Love" and "What You Got" are great raving rockers and "#9 Dream" could very easily have been a Beatles track had it been composed about five years earlier. The production on that song is amazing and John's voice and the melody he composed shows that John could combine commercial success with experimental ideas just as successfully as Paul could on SGT. PEPPER. The joking quotes, the hilarious pseudonyms (e.g. Dr. Winston O'Boogie), the childhood drawings and funny photographs show a John Lennon that was very happy, an image of John that few people seemed to see during 1974. The excellent closing "Ya Ya" shows two things. 1) John Lennon's love and appreciation for the old time rock and roll music that inspired him to greatness. 2)Being a duet with his son Julian shows that he did love his first son. He was excited by the birth of son in 1963 and granted he didn't have the best relationship with Julian while he was growing up, during the "Lost Weekend", away from Yoko's unexplained paranoia of John keeping in contact with any of his family or friends, John was able to build a stronger relationship with Julian and having his son drum on the song shows that there was a deep love between them. WALLS AND BRIDGES shows the true John Lennon, I feel. While I do rank this album under PLASTIC ONO BAND, for no Lennon fan can deny the emotional juggernaut John delivered on that amazing album, this one is my favorite. John wrote "You don't no what you got until you lose it." We didn't know what we had until we lost him. "No person of the name Leornard has distinguished himself in the political, military or cultural life of Ireland (or for that matter in England either)." - WAB liner notes. Lennon's response: "Oh yeh?" Rock heaven down, John.
Apr 16, 1997
"Walls and Bridges" was Lennon's album away from home, an L.A. experiment in yearnins for Yoko, horns and Brandy Alexanders. Despite the un-Lennon-like sounds, the album comes away as a neat package. The album cover is a laugh with its flaps and faces, a Lennon we have not seen since his Beatle days. It features the only #1 Lennon had while he was alive, "Whatever Gets You Through The Night." The album opens with "Going Down On Love." Lennon uses alot of horns throughout the album and it is appearant hear and in "What Ever Gets You..." "Old Dirt Road" is a nice song with collaborator Harry Nilsson. The album's overall helplessness comes to a head with "What You Got," a Lennon yearning for his wife who is 3,00 miles in New York."Bless You" continues that thought and wishes her the best. It is clear that Lennon is part of Yoko and is lost without her. "Scared" and "#( Dream" are strange Lennon compositions, the latter being very dreamy and rimenissent of a '67 Lennon. "Surprise..." is about May Pang and Yoko. Like a page from Lennon's diary, this song is a tell-all, but it isn't clear who it is about. "Steel and Glass" is about "your friend and mine," Lennon himself. A haunting song, like something from John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. The chorus is borrowd from 1971's "How Do You Sleep." "Nobody Knows Loves You When You're Down and Out" shows Lennon playing the fame-plagued rock star in an evil business. The album ends with John and Jullian Lennon on "Ya Ya," a small piece tacked to the end of the album (Jullian on drums). The album is not a masterpiece by any means, but is a great for Lennon and his frame of mind. His songs are his way to cope with his problems. Musically, the album is a diary, not a tribute or piece for fans. It is, but it's theme is far from commercial. Contractual obligation is too harsh, but is this album John Lennon?
Mar 19, 1997
Charles (Give Me Some Truth)
John's 3rd best album behind "Plastic Ono Band" and "Imagine." This is his "lost weekend" album, and there is desperation (for Yoko) all over the lyrics. GOING DOWN ON LOVE - One of the album's best songs. It's about dealing with losing Yoko. It has a very catchy, soulful tune, espcially during the verses. WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH THE NIGHT - The unforgettable hit single. A joy to listen to. With Elton John. OLD DIRT ROAD - Pleasant. WHAT YOU GOT - I like the words, but the singing and production are a little brash. BLESS YOU - Tranquil and spiritual: a beautiful song. SCARED - My favorite song on "Walls And Bridges." John is at his most desperate. "Scared" sounds like it could have been written right after the Tommy Smothers nightclub incident: lost and alone in a strange world: all alone like a rolling stone (how does it feel?). This song could have been on "Plastic Ono Band." I love John's deep down honesty - when you feel troubled, many of his lyrics can relate to you. "Scared" fits this aspect. The haunting music (and coyote) matches the loneliness of the words. #9 DREAM - The other hit. Very dreamy: a dream about Yoko. SURPRISE, SURPRISE - Another good one: a nice midpaced tune. STEEL AND GLASS - Good, but I liked it better when it was called "How Do You Sleep?" It's about Allen Klien. BEEF JERKY BEEF JERKY BEEF JERKY BEEF JERKY. NOBODY LOVES YOU - John definitly sounds down and out here. The sad tune falls somewhere between a soul ballad and George Harrison's "Isn't It A Pity." Another album standout. YA-YA - A fun little snippet to close the album. With Julian "playing" drums - not too bad for a youngster. This album, even with it's few inconsistencies, is definitly worth owning. It also contains some great childhood artwork.
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Last updated on Nov 6, 1998