Some Time In New York City

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Some Time in New York City is John Lennon's third post-Beatles solo album, and fifth with [Yoko Ono], and was released in 1972. Primarily for its distinction as being a dual "Lennon & Ono" album, and being preceded by a controversial single, Some Time in New York City fared poorly critically and commercially compared to Lennon's last two albums, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, temporarily hurting his musical reputation. This album was popular in Russia, however.

For a brief period, John and Yoko thought that an album should be like a newspaper (explaining Some Time in New York City's newspaper cover): quick, rough, and dealing with what's happening right now. Those beliefs carried through onto this album - the recording quality is far less than that of previous albums such as Imagine.

By January 1972, the FBI had opened a file on Lennon, fearing that he would try to humiliate President Nixon, with the expressed intention of finding grounds to deport Lennon. He and Ono would be tailed for several months by the FBI, and their every move was documented. It was to this background that Lennon and Ono hired Elephant's Memory to back them musically, with the assistance of studio drummer Jim Keltner. Their agenda was to protest against the social injustices surrounding them through their greatest weapon: Music. Phil Spector co-produced the new studio album along with the Lennons from late 1971 to its 20 March 1972 completion date (coincidentally, John & Yoko's third wedding anniversary). With most of the gatefold cover space taken up by printed lyrics and photographs, the album credits appeared on the first disc's inner sleeve.

Seeking to make the package more attractive, Lennon and Ono's 15 December 1969 live performance of "Cold Turkey" and "Don't Worry Kyoko" at the Lyceum Ballroom in London, from a UNICEF charity show with Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Keith Moon, among others, was unearthed. In addition, a sampling of performances with Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention from a Fillmore East gig in June 1971 was added, in effect creating a bonus live album for the Lennon/Ono faithful. The inner sleeve for the second disc featured Lennon's doodling over the cover of Zappa's album Fillmore East - June 1971, adding his credits and commentary to Zappa's. Notably, "Jamrag" is actually just the Mothers' instrumental standard King Kong with an added improvization by Yoko Ono.

The album was remastered in 2005, cutting off parts of Yoko's songs and removing all of the live disc except Cold Turkey, Don't Worry Kyoko (which still lost 11 minutes in length), and Well (Baby Please Don't Go).

Track listing

Disc 1 (Studio)

  1. "Woman Is The Nigger Of The World" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono) – 5:15
  2. "Sisters O Sisters" (Yoko Ono) – 3:46
  3. "Attica State" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono) – 2:54
    • The Attica Prison riots occurred on [[9 September 1971
  4. "Born In A Prison" (Yoko Ono) – 4:03
  5. "New York City" (John Lennon) – 4:30
  6. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono) – 5:00
    • The Bloody Sunday massacre in Ireland occurred on 30 January 1972
  7. "The Luck Of The Irish" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono) – 2:56
  8. "John Sinclair" (John Lennon) – 3:28
    • John Sinclair was arrested in July 1969 for dealing marijuana, and was released on 13 December 1971, three days after Lennon and Ono performed at a "Ten for Two" rally in support of his freedom
  9. "Angela" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono) – 4:06
    • Angela Davis was imprisoned pending trial for eighteen months from 1970 to 1972
  10. "We're All Water" (Yoko Ono) – 7:11
    • The song references numerous famous people, including Nixon and Mao, Lenny Bruce, Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Rubin, Raquel Welch, Queen Elizabeth II, Eldridge Cleaver,Pope Paul VI, Charles Manson, and John D. Rockefeller.

Disc 2 (Live Jam)

  1. "Cold Turkey" (John Lennon) – 8:35
  2. "Don't Worry Kyoko" (Yoko Ono) – 16:01
    • Above two songs performed live at the Lyceum Ballroom in London, England on 15 December 1969, for a UNICEF charity concert
  3. "Well (Baby Please Don't Go)" (Walter Ward) – 4:41
  4. "Jamrag" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono) – 5:36
  5. "Scumbag" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono/Frank Zappa) – 6:08
  6. "Au" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono) – 6:23

2005 Remaster Tracklisting

  1. "Woman Is The Nigger Of The World"
  2. "Sisters O Sisters"
  3. "Attica State"
  4. "Born In A Prision"
  5. "New York City"
  6. "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
  7. "The Luck Of The Irish"
  8. "John Sinclair"
  9. "Angela"
  10. "We're All Water" (two minutes of vocal improvising have been removed)
  11. "Cold Turkey" (live)
  12. "Don't Worry Kyoko" (Live, heavily edited down to five minutes)
  13. "Well (Baby Please Don't Go)"
  14. "Listen, The Snow Is Falling" (Yoko Ono) (B-Side to Happy Xmas single)
  15. "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" (John Lennon) (1972 Single)