Keno's Classic Rock n Roll Web Site
Keno's John Lennon Web Site
Released - 1980 on Apple Records. Produced by John Lennon, Yoko Ono & Jack Douglas
John Lennon - Lead & Backing Vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Piano & Keyboards, Percussion
Yoko Ono - Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals
Other Background Singers:
Cas Mijac, Cassinda
Wooten, Cheryl Mason Jacks, Eric Toyer and the Benny Cummings Singers
All rated songs below written by John Lennon, all other songs by Yoko Ono
(Note: Only the John Lennon songs are rated for this review)
There is so much emotion tied to this album, including while it was being recorded, after it came out, and still today when Lennon fans hear it. This was John Lennon's comeback album, his coming out of retirement piece, an album that he would split his songs along with those written by his wife, Yoko Ono, who's music he believed in so much. Then the build-up and excitement that Lennon's fans went through when they learned he was back in the studio recording Double Fantasy, followed by the album's release, everybody rejoiced, not only was he back, but these new songs was solid and stronger than most expected. Then came his sudden death, murdered just weeks later. Yes, heavy emotions for sure on this one for John, Yoko, and anyone who loved John Lennon.
There are seven John Lennon songs on Double Fantasy, and they all are excellent. John loved plain old rock 'n roll, and he hated concept albums, yet no question that his songs found here do tell a story as to what he was up to during the years that he took off. "(Just Like) Starting Over" kicks off the album in fine form, with John singing about living the easy, peaceful life that he longed for. More of the same mood follows on his next song, "Cleanup Time", which reminds us - perhaps a bit too much, of the songs we heard on his Wall and Bridges album. "I'm Losing You" then shows us the nervousness that Lennon seemed to have with Ono, he seems like he's afriaid of another "lost weekend" taking place, but what a great song!
Of course, Lennon had taken five years off to raise his son Sean, and the next song, "Beautiful Boy", was written about him. When the Beatles first came out, Lennon made a big deal about the fact that his own father deserted him when he was a baby, and how much that hurt. He then in turn did the same thing to his first son, Julian, without even realizing it, when he moved to America and left Julian behind. John made sure he wasn't gonna make the same mistake with Sean, and this song showed how much he enjoyed being a dad to his boy, very touching.
"Watching the Wheels" in a nutshell explains what John did during his retirement (for the most part - nothing!) and why he didn't give a damn if others didn't understand his actions. He simply wanted to find and renew himself: "I just had to let it go!" cries Lennon, what a great song! The last two Lennon songs on the album, "Woman", and "Dear Yoko" are winners too! Both written about the love of his life. "Woman" is a loving, moving ballad, and "Dear Yoko", a happy go lucky song.
There is one bonus Lennon track that shows up on the CD these days, "Help Me Help Myself", an unfinished song recorded at home by Lennon as a demo. This one would have turned out great had he had the chance to finish it, some of it's lyrics seem to point to a premonition Lennon might have had on what his fate would soon be: "I tried so hard to settle down, but the angel of destruction keeps houndin' me around".
The rest of the songs on this album were all written and sung by Ono, as this was half her album, too. I did not rate any of these songs since this is a classic rock site and Yoko's music does not fall into that genre. Although I am a fan of the person Yoko Ono, I was never into her type of music, yet with that said, these songs are good ones if you dig new wavish sounds. If not, you more than likely will skip over them, but still, do give them a listen. There is one bonus Ono song added to the CD too, "Walking On Thin Ice". This was the very last song John ever played his guitar on, as it was recorded in the last two hours of his life before his murder, so that alone is a reason for his fans to listen in, plus it's not a bad song, either.
- Keno 2004
To listen to some soundclips from DOUBLE FANTASY, or to purchase it, click on: Double Fantasy