The U.S. vs. John Lennon

John Lennon

 

This film soundtrack comprises politically charged material written and recorded by the late John Lennon during his brief solo career. This new collection offers another view of the Beatle icon and a glimpse into the influences that drove his musical muse during the upheaval he experienced in fighting to stay in America.

Transmogrifying from Mop Top Beatle into Public Enemy Number One was not necessarily Lennon's goal, but he become an object of obsession to the Nixon Administration in 1972. This fact forms the basis of the movie, which attempts to piece together the timeline of how John Lennon found himself between the cross-hairs of the U.S. Government hell-bent on deporting him.

Lennon's quasi-political album Sometime In New York City, released in 1972, served up a noncommercial record that disrupted his momentum with the career enhancing Imagine album from the year before in 1971. What was Lennon thinking? Composing songs based upon political themes as subject matter was an unpopular move on his part.

Lennon met and fell in with the wrong people. Rubin and Hoffman were two exceedingly disastrous influences on his life. They are the source of all of the trouble he had to endure as an immigration target. Once Lennon adopted his chameleon position on politics of the left, his energies increasingly became focused on legal battles to remain in New York City.

Still, one cannot fault Lennon for the honesty he always presented in his lyrics. Embracing utopian ideals stamped a positive outlook on even his most controversial compositions. These songs act as guideposts, providing an in-depth indicator of how Lennon was conducting himself. In his search for truth, Lennon demanded his fans and critics both stop and follow his example of evaluating one's environment.

Curiously, "How Do You Sleep?" appears on the soundtrack, debuting as an instrumental recording. The original song featured poison pen lyrics directed at Lennon's former composing partner, Paul McCartney. Ono did not have to commission this tune to be a part of the final album. Fueling her own grudge, now a quarter century after her husband's death, is certainly a waste of space.

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           Airtime for the discerning Concertphile

01. Power To The People
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2. Nobody Told Me
03. Working Class Hero
04. I Found Out
05. Bed Peace
06. The Ballad of John & Yoko
07. Give Peace A Chance
08. Love
09. Attica State - live
10. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
11. I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier Mama
12. Imagine
13. How Do You Sleep? - instrumental
14. New York City
15. John Sinclair - live
16. Scared
17. God
18. Here We Go Again
19. Gimme Some Truth
20. Oh My Love
21. Instant Karma (We All Shine On)

Capitol Records
September 2006