SOME TIME IN NEW YORK CITY01 Woman Is The black person Of The World
Being not a native speaker, the lyrics are usually not the first thing I pick up when listening to a song. Having said that, I must say I really like WITNOTW, except for the annoying saxophone that already starts the song and therefore the album. Listening to it over and over again in the last few weeks, some more things occured to be a little overdone. Are there two solo guitars battling with the saxophone in the first chorus, behind John’s singing? The bassline and the rhythmguitar make the song in my humble opinion. John’s voice is in a great condition and he really sings as he means it.
A pity the solo at 1.32 is being done by the sax. And there’s a piano in the background as well. It’s a bit overwhelming, something Phil Spector would do. The middle eight starting at 2.00 is a strong musical statement. I like the guitar solo starting at 2.51 much better. A shame the sax is still there as well.
All in all, it’s a great tune to sing along with. A pity that personally, it’s not a set of lyrics that I, living in 2013, would agree with enough to sing it out loud. 02 Sisters Oh Sisters
And here’s Yoko. Starting with a stupid remark and a series of false notes after John starts off. The band starts with a wall of sound and Yoko’s voice just doesn’t match up. At 0.23 the song ‘develops’ into a reggae rockabilly kind of thing. A resemblance at 0.58. This is a melody I have heard before. But what is it? The band doesn’t sound very tight and although Yoko’s voice is better than in the years before, it is still not very pleasant to listen to her. Some false notes at 3.17 once again. As usual with song sung by Yoko, it’s a bit too long to my liking. It’s all over at 3.49. Thank you.03 Attica State
A firm rocker that John handles without any problems. Yoko is a bit behind all the time, her timing is certainly not as spot on as Johns. The song structure is fairly simple –verse and chorus- all the time and the makes the song drag on. Not much happening.04 Born In A Prison
Here’s the WITNOTW-sax again. Yoko handles the lead vocals on this song and it doesn’t make it better. John takes the backing vocals in the chorus. As on the previous song, their timing differs too much to comfort. Plus the lyrics - Mirror becomes a razor when it’s broken- are not written to be easily sung. Played as a ballad, but it is a pretty tough listen.05 New York City
This is more like it. Just John and the band rocking like the good old times. A pure rock-n-roll song and John sure knows how to handle that. Nice guitar solo starting at 1.30. You can feel the band having a good time. Where’s Yoko? I wish she had taken the sax with her. Good piano solo as well by the way.06 Sunday Bloody Sunday
Interesting start with the drum rolls. The sax is becoming really annoying right now, it’s just too much. Yoko’s part is singing in the ‘choir’ of the chorus and it’s just alright as far as I’m concerned. Not much happening further on as a matter of fact. Oh, there’s the fade out and fade in again at 4.31. Yoko is acting like a lunatic in the last 30 seconds of the song.07 The Luck Of The Irish
Yawn. This is even worse than Mull Of Kintyre. The flute in the background of the verse sung by Yoko is awful. A skip, what a terrible song.08 John Sinclair
This is much better. A strong musical and lyrical statement. Gottagottagottagottagotta… Nice touch, a good song, well played and sung. I like the slide (dobro?) guitar, it gives the song a good feel. Best (or maybe with WITNOTW the only good) song on the album.09 Angela
Another John and Yoko-duet. They attempt to sound like Frank and Nancy in a ballad-like style, but the lyrics doesn’t match with the music at all. Things speed up a little at 1.03. Yoko sounds like a child. Terrible song, heartbreaking terrible.10 We’re All Water
A Yoko-composition. Starts like a rock-jam. Yoko on lead vocals. The singing in the verses is just alright, but the choruses are simply awful. False notes, bad timing. Then there’s the hysterical thing again at 1.41. Knowing that the song is over 7 minutes long, I decided to skip to the next song.11 Cold Turkey
Another live version of Cold Turkey. Was there really nothing else to put on the record. I guess not. This is from December 1969 at the Lyceum Ballroom in London. Tuning and microphone feedback at the start. Cold Turkey is a good song in itself, this live version is over the top. Clocking over 8 minutes, one can imagine what the last 4 or 5 minutes sound like. John acting the cold turkey indeed.12 Don’t Worry Kyoko
A jam and Yoko screaming and howling. That’s it. Don’t bother to listen.13 Well (Baby Please Don’t Go)
The last four songs were recorded live at the Fillmore East in New York City with Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention on 6 June 1971. Musically alright –a great guitar solo for instance-, but there’s Yoko once again. Ruining the complete recording. Didn’t anybody ever tell her that the thing she does is just simply awful? A good tune, well played, a pity Yoko’s audible.14 Jamrag
A good jam. A terrible Yoko. Not worth to remember.15 Scumbag
Some musicians, those Mothers of Invention. They sure know how to set up a good tune. This piece of music shows that. John just sings ‘Scumbag’ over and over and over again. That’s all.16 Au
Scumbag goes right into Au. I believe John’s co-operation with Zappa and the Mothers could have developed into something interesting, as one can hear this is a tight and experimental band that suits John. This last track is forgettable for the Yoko-reason, but interesting in a John-Zappa/Mothers point of view. All in all
Johns political album didn’t set off like he expected to. At the first few listens I liked the album enough, but on the longer term there is hardly anything strong enough to stand the test of time. John Sinclair is a good tune, WITNOTW is alright and so is New York City. The rest is forgettable, mainly due to Yoko’s terrible contributions.