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John Lennon – Remember Lennon (Yellow Cat YC 2004)

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Remember Lennon (Yellow Cat YC 2004)

Outtakes from John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, September-October, 1970

Outtakes from Sometime In New York City, February-March, 1972

Outtakes, March, 1973

Outtakes, John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band – September – October 1970: Love (acoustic guitar/piano take 31), Love (acoustic guitar/piano take 32), Remember (take unknown), Remember (take unknown). Outtakes Some Time In New York City – February – March 1972: New York City (take unknown), New York City (take unknown). Outtakes – March, 1973: I’m The Greatest (take unknown), I’m The Greatest (take unknown), I’m The Greatest (take unknown), I’m The Greatest (take unknown). Yoko Ono track, B-side of “Cold Turkey” – October, 1969: Don’t Worry Kyoko (extended studio version)

Yellow Cat’s Remember is an hour-long hodge podge of various outtakes spanning the first three years of Lennon’s solo career. Although there is no reason for these outtakes to be grouped together, it does present some interesting session material that have never been available to the collector such as “Love”, “Remember” and “New York City.” 

All of the songs are in excellent sound quality and contain interesting studio banter between Lennon, the engineers and backing musicians giving some insight into the development of these pieces. The first four tracks derive from the Plastic Ono Band sessions from late 1970.

The two takes of “Love” feature Lennon on guitar being accompanied by piano. It is very close to the final form and on take thirty two Lennon plays an more up-beat guitar melody which Lennon says “I don’t think that was very good” at its conclusion. The first “Remember” is a full band run through.

The second track contains several attempts that break down and Lennon laughing and giving instructions. At the second attempt Lennon stops the song saying it sounds “too gay” and complains about the microphone having a life of its own. Voorman practices the bass and is joined by Starr on drums before Lennon counts in and, after a false start, they play the song again until it breaks down again with Lennon wanting to do twenty of the “C’s to A’s”.

A third attempt breaks down with Lennon saying it isn’t “quite right”. The forth attempt is slower in tempo and breaks down with Lennon apologizing saying he was concentrating on keeping the beat before the tape runs out. The sound and the almost finished quality of the songs would indicate these come from the sessions of the final product on the LP. This is followed by two takes of “New York City” from the Sometime In New York City released in 1972.

News Of The Day (VT-CD 02) on Vigotone contains an acoustic version of this song but these are full electric band versions very close to the final take. The first version is very energetic and is followed by the second version which ends with Lennon saying, “I don’t think it was as good as the first but it was a lot of fun.” The bulk of this release is dedicated to the various takes of “I’m The Greatest”.

This is a song that was first attempted in November 1970 for the Plastic Ono Band but was later given to Ringo Starr for this 1973 LP Ringo. A version with Lennon on vocals first surfaced on the Anthology but here we have four different attempts at the song (with the first ending by Lennon calling it “too corny”).

The sound quality for all of the material is excellent and this release is in line with previous releases on the Yellow Cat label like McCartney’s Seems Like Old Times by presenting various, unrelated outtake material in sterling quality. Remember is a core, essential title to have.

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John Lennon - Remember Lennon (Yellow Cat YC 2004), 2.5 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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