Live Peace in Toronto (1969)


 
1. Introduction of the Band 2. Blue Suede Shoes 3. Money 4. Dizzie Miss Lizzy 5. Yer Blues 6. Cold Turkey 7. Give Peace a Chance 8. Don't Worry Kyoko 9. John, John (Let's Hope for Peace)

 

Although John Lennon, along with Yoko Ono, released a few "avante garde" solo albums prior to this album, they're so awful that I refuse to review them. It was always a big hinderance to Lennon's solo career whenever his wife was allowed to record, sing, or perform with him. It's not that she simply wasn't a good singer, it's just that they thought it was "hip" to be strange and bizarre and inflected her presence on the uncooperative consumer.

This album is about half that, but fortunately, the first half "without" Yoko, comes across quite strong. John Lennon assembled "The Plastic Ono Band" along with Yoko, drummer Alan White, bassist Klaus Voorman and guitarist Eric Clapton. They flew to Toronto to play at a festival with basically no rehearsing and played through some numbers that are basic enough to where the band members could reasonably get through them.

They pull this off brilliantly, as the first side of this album shows. It's mostly oldies that The Beatles covered at one point or another. The highlight is Lennon's Yer Blues from "The White Album". They also do a nice impromptu jam of Give Peace a Chance. The new song Cold Turkey comes across as promising, but the downside is that Yoko sings background on this song. Well...."sing" might be too kind of a word. "Howl" would be better. To put it bluntly she ruins the song.

As we start side two, John announces to the crowd that "Yoko is now going to do her thing all over you now" and she does just that. The less said, the better. I've heard cats in heat make more pleasant noises. It's kind of shame that what could have been something very, very special ends up being a bit tarnished.

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