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Old Oct 10, 2000, 12:47 AM   #1
beatlemethisbeatlemethat
Dr. Robert
 
Join Date: May 24, 2000
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Default Plastic Ono/Doube Fantasy reissued

'New' Lennon song features chilling lyric
A previously unheard John Lennon song completed shortly before his death disclosed a chilling pointer to his tragic fate.
The song, Help Me To Help Myself, refers to "the angel of destruction" hounding him around. The track is included on a reissued version of Lennon's final album Double Fantasy.

It was released today to mark what would have been his 60th birthday.

The lyric he penned for the track include the lines: "Well, I tried so hard to stay alive, but the angel of destruction keeps on hounding me, all around, but I know in my heart that we never really parted."

A spokesman for his record label Parlophone said it was "spooky" that his words could be interpreted as such a pointed reference to his impending death.

The reissued album also includes the last track Lennon completed on the night he died.

He and his wife Yoko Ono were working on the song, Walking On Thin Ice, shortly before they left their New York apartment and he was killed by Chapman.

Lennon's killer, Mark Chapman was last week turned down for parole. He was carrying a copy of the Double Fantasy sleeve which he asked Lennon to sign shortly before shooting him.

Walking On Thin Ice was later a minor hit for Ono when it was released in 1981.

Lennon's first post-Beatles solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, has also been re-released with extra tracks.


------------------
Peace, Love, and Beatles,
Stefanie

Beatle Me This, Beatle Me That

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"After all is said and done, you can't go pleasing everyone, so screw it"
--John Lennon
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Old Oct 10, 2000, 12:47 AM   #2
beatlemethisbeatlemethat
Dr. Robert
 
Join Date: May 24, 2000
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Default Re: Plastic Ono/Doube Fantasy reissued

Albums re-issued on 60th Lennon anniversary
Record label bosses will mark what would have been John Lennon's 60th birthday on Monday by re-releasing two of his best known albums - including the track he completed the night he was killed.
He and his wife Yoko Ono were working on new song Walking On Thin Ice shortly they left their New York apartment on December 8 and he was shot dead by Mark Chapman.

The song is one of three new tracks to be added to the reissued version of his final album Double Fantasy, recorded with Ono.

His first post-Beatles solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band from 1970, will also hit the shops.

Lennon's killer - who was turned down for parole last week - was carrying a copy of the Double Fantasy sleeve which he asked the musician to sign shortly before shooting him. Lennon assumed his killer was just a harmless autograph hunter.

Walking On Thin Ice was later a minor hit for Ono when it was released in February 1981, two months after her husband's death.

Ono herself supervised the remixing and remastering of the 1970 album which will include extra tracks Power To The People and obscure B-side Do The Oz.

Extra tracks on Double Fantasy include a previously unreleased Lennon song Help Me To Help Myself and a short dialogue Central Park Stroll recorded as they walked in the park.

On the anniversary of her husband's birthday tomorrow Ono will be opening a museum dedicated to Lennon in Tokyo, Japan.

It will be 20 years in December since his death.


------------------
Peace, Love, and Beatles,
Stefanie

Beatle Me This, Beatle Me That

//0-0\\//0-0\\//0-0\\
"After all is said and done, you can't go pleasing everyone, so screw it"
--John Lennon
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Old Oct 10, 2000, 12:48 AM   #3
beatlemethisbeatlemethat
Dr. Robert
 
Join Date: May 24, 2000
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Default Re: Plastic Ono/Doube Fantasy reissued

Capitol's press release announcing the Lennon reissues:


Capitol Records Reissues Classic John Lennon Albums, "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" and "Double Fantasy" With Extra Tracks On Oct 9th, His 60th Birthday
NEW YORK--Two remarkable albums by John Lennon, arguably the greatest rock musician we will know in our lifetime, will be reissued on October 9, 2000, on what would have been his 60th birthday.

The two albums' initial release dates were separated by a decade, but their emotional resonance shows no sign of abating with the passing of time. Rather, like much of Lennon's work, they have gained in stature and, although they were each released at the dawning of a new decade and at times of great social change - the 1970's and 1980's respectively - they are truly timeless. The reissue of these albums brings together John's first post-Beatles solo album with his last.

"John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" is seen by many as John Lennon's masterpiece, offering a disquieting, riveting insight into a life spent in exploration and illumination.

Containing many of his most incisive and harrowing songs, like "Mother," "Working Class Hero" and "God," John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band was originally released on Apple on Dec 11, 1970.

Now remixed and digitally remastered under the supervision of Yoko Ono, the album is augmented by two bonus tracks - "Power To The People," a single originally released after the album, and "Do The Oz," originally the b side of the "God Save Oz(Us)" single which was covered by Bill Elliott and The Elastic Oz Band. "Do The Oz" refers to "Oz" magazine, the leading underground paper of the `60's; both tracks reflect the beginning of the expression of John and Yoko's political interests. "Power To The People" was originally released in the UK on March 12, 1971.

Packaging for the album will feature the original cover art and photographs for the album, plus rare pictures from the era, plus John's hand-written lyrics.

"Double Fantasy," by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, was released in the UK on November 17, 1980. Announced in the press release as "a dialogue between men and women, and their fantasies," the album was released amidst a barrage of publicity; it was John Lennon's first studio album for 5 years and as word spread, excitement was palpable.

In 1970, "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" had begun with the sound of a tolling bell. Ten years later, in a deliberate echo, John opened what was to be the final album of his life with another bell. This time it was no slowed-down harbinger of doom, but the benevolent tinkling of a traditional Japanese wishing bell and the track it introduced, "(Just Like) Starting Over" was a message of hope, of renewal, a message not lost on Lennon fans over the world.

By the beginning of December, Double Fantasy was in the US Top 10 and climbing to No. 1, and John and Yoko were working on a new Yoko track, "Walking On Thin Ice" that had been finished too late for inclusion on the album. The track was finished on Dec 8th and is now inextricably linked to the events of that night, the night John Lennon was killed.

Its inclusion on the new version of "Double Fantasy," along with two other bonus tracks, seems to complete a very powerful lyrical cycle, as it is now impossible to listen to Double Fantasy as a record isolated from the events surrounding it. Now digitally remastered, Double Fantasy features 3 bonus tracks - the previously unreleased John Lennon song "Help Me To Help Myself," Yoko's "Walking On Thin Ice" and "Central Park Stroll," a short dialogue of John and Yoko walking in Central Park. These tracks continue the duality of the original album, which is comprised of consecutive John Lennon and Yoko Ono tracks. "Central Park Stroll" unites the two at the end of the album.

Retaining the original artwork, "Double Fantasy" also includes additional photographs from the era.

In the 20 years since his death, John Lennon's music has reached out to new generations of artists and fans alike. He has inspired countless musicians who have used his music as a springboard for their own creativity and helped take his message to a new audience. It came as no surprise that Oasis ended their recent shows with his image projected onscreen behind them; they will not be the last to acknowledge their debt to who is seen by many to be the most important singer/songwriter of the last 50 years.

On October 9 in Tokyo the world's first permanent John Lennon Museum will open. Later that month there will be a major John Lennon exhibition at The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland. Amongst the retrospectives, it is strange to relate that, to a lot of people over the world, John Lennon has never really gone away.

The music on these two reissued albums helps us understand why.




------------------
Peace, Love, and Beatles,
Stefanie

Beatle Me This, Beatle Me That

//0-0\\//0-0\\//0-0\\
"After all is said and done, you can't go pleasing everyone, so screw it"
--John Lennon
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Old Oct 14, 2000, 06:12 PM   #4
beatlemethisbeatlemethat
Dr. Robert
 
Join Date: May 24, 2000
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Default Re: Plastic Ono/Doube Fantasy reissued

Update (10/14/00) First, KGSR.com has an audio stream of a Yoko Ono interview done by Jody Denberg (who's done several interviews with her). This interview will be issued on a promotional audio CD. Windows Media Player is required. (Thanks to Jody Denberg for the link.)
Also, comments from David Furst (thanks!):


Hello.
It's been very interesting to read some of the comments you're posted about the POB and DF reissues, and I just wanted to send a quick note to say how different I feel about the re-mix of Plastic Ono Band.

Yes, it sounds different... even impressive. But I wouldn't say it sounds "better." I think it's a classic case of messing with history and an artist's original intentions... making the sound cleaner and more "impressive" but messing up some very important details at the same time.

To me, the biggest problem comes at the peak emotional moment of the album - - after the build-up in "God" when the band suddenly stops and all is silent... and John comes back with the "I just believe in me" line.

On the original album, John's voice is stripped bare... brutally dry... with no reverb at all... splitting the silence like a knife. Coming after the build-up, it was an inspired engineering and mixing choce. It's one of the great recorded moments.

Now, on the new re-mix... there's reverb on John's voice. Subtle, tasteful reverb, true... but this totally spoils the moment. A once intelligent mixing choice... one that was so in-tune with the meaning of the lyrics... is now gone. And the beauty of that moment is diminished.

So... in my opinion, the new POB is different, yes. But better? Nope.

Thanks again for the superb web page.

David Furst

Update (10/13/00) From John Simpson (thanks!):

Plastic Ono Band - Absolute joy ! Stand out tracks - Remember/ WellWellWell/ isolation and a fantastic God. Nearly moved me to tears - vocals and instruments well spaced , with a depth that I did n't think they could get in 1970 !. Oh and the remix of Power to the People spreads the sound spectrum, making it much more listenable. I can't wait for them to cut through the muddy sound on Sometime in New York City , imagine being able to hear Woman is the Nigger or NYC in all their glory ? How long must we wait ? Not to mention Mind Games and Walls &Bridges and Rockn Roll
Double Fantasy - Can't hear much difference, a bit louder mix, maybe slightly different eq , not an essential purchase.

Well Done all concerned. John

Update II (10/11/00) From musician David Freis (thanks, David!):

Steve,
I bought the two reissues yesterday and they are great. One important note that I have not seen anyone mention is the fact that "Plastic Ono Band" is remixed and remastered while Double Fantasy is only remastered! "Plastic Ono Band" was never one of my favorite Lennon albums because I thought the original mix was so bad, however, I can now proudly say that it is one my favorites now with the incredible sound improvement it underwent. Of the two, "Plastic Ono Band" in my opinion has benefited the most from technology as the remixing has done wonders. When I put it in I was blown away by the clarity and the overall bass and treble equalization. To me the original had way too much bass and the drums were very dead sounding. From doing some research on recording of that era it was a big deal to make the drums sound like cardboard boxes which they did on the original "Plastic Ono Band" very well. "Double Fantasy" has always been one of my favorite Lennon/Ono albums. I notice the overall bass sound was really "kicked" up a notch! The bass drum and bass guitar are much louder than on the original version. I notice I have to turn the volume on my stereo down a little so I don't blow my speakers. One of the reviewers noted that "Help Me To Help Myself" sounds much better than the version on "The Dakota Days" and I must agree, it sure does. I am probably 100% sure that the reason is that much better equipment was used in the mixing of the demo by Yoko and group than those who produced The Unauthorized but great "Dakota Demos"! I will have to listen more closely to my original "Double Fantasy" CD because I noticed with careful scrutiny wearing headphones that on quite a few of the tracks on the new DF there seems to be a lot of distorted sound on songs such as "I'm Losing You," "I'm Moving On," "Yes I'm Your Angel" and "Beautiful Boys." One other observation is I wonder why they put "Do The Oz" and "Power To The People" on "Plastic Ono Band"? It would have been cool to have heard something truly rare and unique, however, I do enjoy them anyway. Bouncing back to DF, I was a bit disappointed by "Central Park Stroll." What was that? I expected a long dialogue and instead only heard about 10 seconds of talking and that was it.

Despite my small criticisms I recommend buying these two discs for the improved sound quality and the photos, some of which I have never seen before. The hand written lyrics sheets in "Plastic Ono Band" was a very classy touch and very interesting. Five Stars each!!!!!

Dave Freis
Studio Musician

Update (10/11/00) Lots of comments on the new reissues. First, from journalist Kevin O'Hare on the new Lennon reissues (thanks, Kevin!):

"The sound on both is superb. One interesting note on "Double Fantasy." The sound quality on "Help Me to Help Myself" seems much better than most of the other Lennon home demos. As those who've heard the bootleg know, the song starts off with the very haunting line, "Well I tried, so hard, to stay alive." But the line has been altered on the accompanying lyric sheet to read: "Well I tried so hard to settle down." Intriguing to say the least."
And from journalist Terry Ott (thanks, Terry!):

"Just picked up the new re-issues. First impressions: Both have excellent packagaing with full lyrics and new pix. The best thing about DF is the demo, Help me To help Myself." It would have made a great finished song. Yoko's stuff is-in retrospect-pretty good. Walking On Thin Ice and I'm Your Angel, are keepers. Can't really detect much improvement in sound quality, though.
But POB is way ahead of the earlier versions. Less muddy sounding and pumped up with solid bass, the disc is a big sonic improvment. Nice rare shots of John and Yoko inside, but honestly, the world could have done without "Do The Oz," perhaps one of John's most mediocre tunes.

But despite my quibbles, both are highly recommended.Once agin, Yoko has done a superb job as re-isssue producer."

And from David Goodwin, on the POB reissue (thanks!):

"It's VERY similar sound-wise to the Imagine reissue...no-noise has been applied, and everything has a bit of a "digital sheen" to me, but it still sounds excellent. The drums are improved tremendously (a lot more bass presence there), and there is a lot of attention to detail (the "quality shift" in "Working Class Hero" is still there, for example, although they probably had to recreate it). Vocals are more out front, it seems...If you liked the "Imagine" reissue, you'll like this. ... And one quick addition...the cover photo is MUCH darker..."
And an additional note from David:

I just noticed some new miscellany (as I quickly ABed it to the original mix):
a) LOTS of the muddiness is gone...especially on tracks like 'Mother.'

b) I don't know how this was on the original vinyl, but 'Hold On' seems a bit longer at the beginning than on my original Capitol CD.

c) The bell at the beginning of 'Mother' no longer has the weird high-end distortion (perhaps due to some treble filtering).

Anyway, hope this stuff helps!"

And from Rob (thanks!):

"Steve,
I heard the "Double Fantasy and Plastic Ono Band." Picked it up Tonight at Tower Records over the Tappen A bridge after midnight. Sounds amazing, although i like the Anthology versions better of "God" and basically every other song."
Rob

News brought to you by abbeyrd http://www.best.com/~abbeyrd/fabnews.htm


------------------
Peace, Love, and Beatles,
Stefanie

Beatle Me This, Beatle Me That

//0-0\\//0-0\\//0-0\\
"After all is said and done, you can't go pleasing everyone, so screw it"
--John Lennon
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