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Old Nov 17, 2011, 05:02 PM   #1
Colonel Angus
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Default Did you really like DF upon first listen?

Anybody here old enough and hardcore fan enough to have bought Double Fantasy when it was released and before John died? What was your real first impression? I was fifteen and a lifelong second generation Beatles fan. I remember hearing Starting Over on the radio and not even recognizing it as a John Lennon song. I thought it was a wimpy, AM radio sounding love song. But was thrilled that JL was releasing an album. I still raced out to buy it from Peaches Records. My first impression was miserable. 1/2 was shitty Yoko tunes. And John was singing corny love songs and whispering to his kid. I spun it a couple times and tossed it on my stack. Now keep in mind, I was fifteen and this was a very mature and sophisticated album. Obviously the tragedy changed that albums legacy. And when I turned forty and listened to the album, I listened to it w the ears of another forty yr old. Trying to forget the circumstances, I could finally appreciate the album for the beautiful work it was. Even Yoko's contribution. The Stripped was a wonderful release and I could finally hear DF and feel joy.

Anyone else here able to admit disliking that album upon first listen?
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 06:24 PM   #2
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Anybody here old enough and hardcore fan enough to have bought Double Fantasy when it was released and before John died? What was your real first impression? I was fifteen and a lifelong second generation Beatles fan. I remember hearing Starting Over on the radio and not even recognizing it as a John Lennon song. I thought it was a wimpy, AM radio sounding love song. But was thrilled that JL was releasing an album. I still raced out to buy it from Peaches Records. My first impression was miserable. 1/2 was shitty Yoko tunes. And John was singing corny love songs and whispering to his kid. I spun it a couple times and tossed it on my stack. Now keep in mind, I was fifteen and this was a very mature and sophisticated album. Obviously the tragedy changed that albums legacy. And when I turned forty and listened to the album, I listened to it w the ears of another forty yr old. Trying to forget the circumstances, I could finally appreciate the album for the beautiful work it was. Even Yoko's contribution. The Stripped was a wonderful release and I could finally hear DF and feel joy.

Anyone else here able to admit disliking that album upon first listen?
Ok, well I'm giving up my age by admitting I bought DF when it came out And being a kid myself, I couldn't really appreciate the depth of that album. Yes, I skipped the Yoko songs, puzzled as to what the HECK they were. But I pretty much embraced all the John songs right away. Of course, shortly after it came out, I was devastated by the loss of John, and really couldn't bear to listen to it for a long, long time after that. But the recent stripped version has re-ignited my love for what I now consider a masterpiece.
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 06:43 PM   #3
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Ok, well I'm giving up my age by admitting I bought DF when it came out And being a kid myself, I couldn't really appreciate the depth of that album. Yes, I skipped the Yoko songs, puzzled as to what the HECK they were. But I pretty much embraced all the John songs right away. Of course, shortly after it came out, I was devastated by the loss of John, and really couldn't bear to listen to it for a long, long time after that. But the recent stripped version has re-ignited my love for what I now consider a masterpiece.
I couldn't agree more. It took my own maturation process to really appreciate this album. This wasn't stoner John writing word salads like Across the Universe. Or shrieking John revisiting his primal scream therapy. This was focused, adult, true to his self John Lennon. And I believe it is a masterpiece, as well. It's the greatest farewell since, well.... The End.
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 07:22 PM   #4
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Anyone else here able to admit disliking that album upon first listen?
Well, I'm old enough to remember when it came out, but I loved it from the start! Of course, I was two whole years older than you, Colonel... and, you know they say girs mature faster than boys, so I was probably emotionally like 10 years older. (j/k)

Anyway, I loved it from the start! I was a huge John fan and soooooo excited that he had finally started making music again, and I just instantly fell in love with DF. When Starting Over was released as a single, I thought it was a great pop song and it really whet my appetite for more. And when I heard the album, I was bowled over by the beauty of his honesty and the new phase in his life.

From the start, Watching the Wheels was my favorite song... it felt like John was explaining to his fans why he spent all that time away from us. To this day, that song gives me goosebumps, and I can't quite describe the feeling I get when I hear it. Sort of a sweet sadness but also a profound sense of peace and joy. Only John can inspire such a poignant mixture of emotions.

And Woman... there are no words to describe how beautiful that song is, and I felt that way upon first hearing it. Almost every girl has a love song that she secretly wishes she inspired, and that's mine! And then there's I'm Losing You and Beautiful Boy and all the rest... ugh, amazing.

What surprised me was how much I dug Yoko's songs! I had never been a fan of her music, but I loved all her stuff on DF.

Unlike 4iiiis, I played the hell out of DF after John died. Hearing him sing about his life and the contentment he had finally found made me feel better about the horrible way he left us.
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 07:39 AM   #5
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Anyway, I loved it from the start! I was a huge John fan and soooooo excited that he had finally started making music again, and I just instantly fell in love with DF. When Starting Over was released as a single, I thought it was a great pop song and it really whet my appetite for more. And when I heard the album, I was bowled over by the beauty of his honesty and the new phase in his life.

From the start, Watching the Wheels was my favorite song... it felt like John was explaining to his fans why he spent all that time away from us. To this day, that song gives me goosebumps, and I can't quite describe the feeling I get when I hear it. Sort of a sweet sadness but also a profound sense of peace and joy. Only John can inspire such a poignant mixture of emotions.
Well, I felt pretty much the same, although I heard "Starting over" for the first time just on the day John died. Before that, I didn't know that my favourite Beatle prepared a come-back and already made an new album. So it was first great joy and then deep sadness altogether. I was 14 years old then and of course, I wanted that album for Christmas and... I got it

Like you, I immediately loved ALL his songs and in particular "Watching the wheels" for the same reasons as you. Without Yoko's songs it would have been the perfect album for me, but oh well...

DF is for me kind of schizophrenic case: On one hand it's my favourite solo-work and on the other hand I hate the fact that it's John's last album and always reminds me (unlike other albums) what we musically missed just because of his senseless death. Still, his songs transmit the high spirit and the enthousiams in which he was then

One thing I'm sure of: I would have loved "Double Fantasy" anyway and under all circumstances, whether John was killed or not

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Old Nov 18, 2011, 07:56 AM   #6
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Default Did you really like DF upon first listen?

I'm going to be turning 54 years old.I had allready been a big fan of John's solo music and when he was in the Beatles to.
So I remember clearly when the" Double Fantasy " album was first released.I completely loved it.It was painful and heartbreaking when John was assassinated.Then listening to it was both very sad,but still beautiful.That album is still one of my all time favorite albums from any band or solo artist.
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 10:02 AM   #7
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This thread is so beautiful!!! I know I don't count but I want to relay an experience from someone I know who was born in 1960 and was about to turn 20 shortly after the album was released. Well, for him the album didn't instantly win him over. He was a huge fan of John period, but he was thinking the songs would be edgier and have more cutting lyrics. John seemed so wise and learned on DF. There was a great deal of reflection, positivity, and contentment. So this person was slightly disappointed and decided he would keep John in his memory as the unabashadly brazen rebel who was so punk rock and fierce in his songs and delivery.

Then DF was remastered in 2000 and he got it for sentimental reasons. He put it on soon after one day on his ride to work and didn't take it out for 3 months!!! It was like an overwhelming of emotions. He was at that time the same age John was, and he understood exactly where he was coming from. He said it took a really perceptive indidual to make such a turnaround in their vision of life and love.

I loved that account!! The man I was referring to is my uncle.
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 02:12 PM   #8
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You have to put this album in the context of time. In 1980 Rock n Roll was only 25 yrs old. We hadn't yet seen our rock stars get old. The Stones were still kicking ass. Lennon didn't seem to be making any effort to follow their lead. Like I said previously, this was a mature album about real relationships and devotion. It wasn't rock and roll I could identify with at that age. I do remember thinking he didn't even look the same. And the album had no Beatle-esque songs. In my eyes, there's John's Beatle yrs, his solo yrs, and Double Fantasy.
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 02:39 PM   #9
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In my eyes, there's John's Beatle yrs, his solo yrs, and Double Fantasy.
That's a very astute observation! But don't you think "Woman" is Beatlesque Colonel? I've always thought so. And then on the stripped we can hear him do a similar inhale of breath...
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 04:39 PM   #10
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We hadn't yet seen our rock stars get old. The Stones were still kicking ass. Lennon didn't seem to be making any effort to follow their lead.
I saw the Stones in '78 and yeah, they did kick ass... but I thought to myself, "Wow, they're so old." (Of course, I was only 15 at the time.) But for some reason, when John came out with DF I never thought of him as old... probably because he wan't acting like a rock & roller. The way I looked at it was that r&r was a young person's medium... it's about rebellion and attitude. People over 35 shouldn't be rebellious. So it seemed natural to me that John had mellowed and that his music reflected that change in him.

Now that I am considerably older than 35 and still have a bit of the rebel in me, I see things differently. But, at the time, it all made sense. However, I do think there is some truth in my 15 year-old perpective... just have to think about it a bit more...
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 05:22 PM   #11
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Maia, you saw The Stones during a time when they were at their last breath of cool to me. Good for you. I am jealous, but you already knew that.

To me, John's transition into who he was in 1980 is far cooler in a different way. His ideals were the same, but he had grown into such a wise man. Wisdom beyond years. Plus he looked younger than the Stones any way...
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 05:35 PM   #12
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Maia, you saw The Stones during a time when they were at their last breath of cool to me. Good for you. I am jealous, butyou already knew that.

To me, John's transition into who he was in 1980 is far cooler in a different way. His ideals were the same, but he had grown into such a wise man. Wisdom beyond years. Plus he looked younger than the Stones any way...
Agree about the Stones... Some Girls was their last great album, imo... and it was not only great, but AMAZING!! And John, yeah... to me he just seemed like John. Because his work was so genuine and he put so much of himself in it, I always expected him to be different from what he had been before.

I totally get what the Colonel is saying, though... I'm sure a lot of people felt that way when DF first came out. In fact, even Robert Hilburn, who is a HUGE John stan, was disappointed with it when it first came out. And so many people have said that listening to it in perspective and with time has made them appreciate how great it is/was.
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 05:50 PM   #13
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Gosh, there was some write-up about DF, a retrospective of sorts, that reminds me of Colonel and my uncle's first ompressions. I wish I could find it!!
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 06:11 PM   #14
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I loved it from day one. I couldn't believe John was back after a 5 year absence. I had heard Starting Over, Woman and Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him on the radio prior to purchasing the album. Loved the picture on the back cover. Did not skip Yoko's songs.
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 06:26 PM   #15
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I saw the Stones in '78 and yeah, they did kick ass... but I thought to myself, "Wow, they're so old." (Of course, I was only 15 at the time.) But for some reason, when John came out with DF I never thought of him as old... probably because he wan't acting like a rock & roller. The way I looked at it was that r&r was a young person's medium... it's about rebellion and attitude. People over 35 shouldn't be rebellious. So it seemed natural to me that John had mellowed and that his music reflected that change in him.

Now that I am considerably older than 35 and still have a bit of the rebel in me, I see things differently. But, at the time, it all made sense. However, I do think there is some truth in my 15 year-old perpective... just have to think about it a bit more...
Yeah, Maia, I didn't think of John as old. But he certainly wasn't speaking to me on DF. Of course he'd already done that when he was in that "boy band". I admire John's ability to write for his place in life w no regard for for the music industry's expectations. You have to remember, John Lennon in 1980 wasn't the iconic John Lennon of today. He was bordering on "has been" status. The Beatles were old farts. Even McCartney was a target. Back to the Egg got slammed by critics as did McCartney II. Bands like the Clash, the Sex Pistols and the Ramones were darlings. But they had to dismantle the Beatles to justify that kind of hype.
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 06:36 PM   #16
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You have to remember, John Lennon in 1980 wasn't the iconic John Lennon of today. He was bordering on "has been" status.
Maybe where you live Colonel, but I totally disagree. The music industry was buzzing with enthusiasm that summer when it was revealed and confirmed that John Lennon, THE John Lennon was back in the recording studio. Everyone was looking forward to hearing the new music.
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 07:00 PM   #17
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Maybe where you live Colonel, but I totally disagree. The music industry was buzzing with enthusiasm that summer when it was revealed and confirmed that John Lennon, THE John Lennon was back in the recording studio. Everyone was looking forward to hearing the new music.
I'm not saying people weren't enthusiastic. I'm saying that in 1980 he wasn't the John Lennon we know today. He was a former Beatle and less succesfull soloist of the greatest songwriting team ever. He was mia for five yrs w only one #1 hit in the previous five. Not very Beatlesque like numbers. He had the stigma of the whole Yoko avante garde business that had grown satirical. And upon it's release, Double Fantasy was slammed by critics.

It just seemed nobody liked solo Beatles. Like we'd bully them into regrouping.

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Old Nov 18, 2011, 07:13 PM   #18
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And I'm just saying he wasn't even close to borderline has been status.
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Old Nov 18, 2011, 07:38 PM   #19
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And I'm just saying he wasn't even close to borderline has been status.
Borderline has-been is a harsh term and maybe unfairly applied here. But it was muttered. His greater successes were behind him. He simply wasn't vital in 1980. And he himself did sing "Don't you miss the big time boy you're no longer on the ball?". John's solo albums were not fabulously successful and he hadn't toured. DF didn't break the top 10 and was dropping before his murder.

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Old Nov 18, 2011, 09:36 PM   #20
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Borderline has-been is a harsh term and maybe unfairly applied here. But it was muttered. His greater successes were behind him. He simply wasn't vital in 1980.
Yeah, I know what you're talking about. It's interesting, because in 1980 rock's frontier was still expanding, there were still exciting things to come (not so much anymore, imo). And, before the Beatles started approaching their 40th birthdays, we really didn't have a model of aging rock stars who were still cool. I mean, look what happened to Elvis... even awesome people like Little Richard and Chuck Berry were mostly riding on their former glory.

The Beatles were pretty much the first rockers who aged gracefully. They definitely aged and were not necessarily as vital on the forefront of rock as they once had been before, say, 1978 or so, but they were producing interesting and often truly beautiful music. John's DF is a big part of that transition, I think.

In '78, I was listening to all the bands you mentioned... In fact, I was almost as into The Clash and Elvis Costello as I had always been into JPG&R. To me, they were exciting... they were carrying on the Beatles' legacy and propelling it forward in cool, modern ways. But, at the same time, what John and Paul and George were doing at that time was also amazing... just in a different way.
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