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on 5 September 2005
If you're a Lennon or Beatles fan, this book is a gift. It's simply the best look at John Lennon's post-Beatles music I've seen. There are other texts that address Lennon's solo work, but, because they are generally broader in scope or somehow focused more on less intense aspects, none are really able to approach the intelligence, sophistication, and thoroughness of this book. By focusing all of his attention on Lennon (unlike say, the equally superb "Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium"), Blaney is able to provide much personal insight as well as detailed information about individual albums and songs. Of course you won't agree with all of his opinions, but that's half the fun. He has drawn upon many sources for this book, the result being that in the last few days I've learned from this single volume more about Lennon's solo output than I'd ever known. Much of this info, too, refreshes things I had long forgotten. It's the same, by the way, with Mr. Blaney's other Beatles discography, McCartney's "The Songs He Was Singing".
Perhaps his next edition will be a look at the music of George Harrison. It would probably be too much to expect a similar book from Blaney dealing with The Beatles' catalogue. Such a thing would be massive, and probably take many years to complete, but it sure would be nice to have a chance to listen to that book as well.
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on 26 August 2005
Truly stunning. Each track features a list (when known) of who played on it (and what), where and when it was recorded, who produced it and has the story behind the song. And of course each release is introduced by general comments.
This makes it a book that is a great read, but also a great reference work as each song has a cross reference so you can easily find the different versions.
The wealth of pictures of sleeves and labels alone would make this book worth buying. It is however unfortunate that all photos are in black & white as this of course doesn't illustrate the colour variations in labels. And some of the photos are blurred (like the Two Virgins labels on page 4).
But I really haven't seen a better Lennon discography than this one, so if you're still looking for an excellent Lennon discography or are unhappy with the one you have now, get this one while supplies last.
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on 8 November 2005
If you are a John lennon fan you NEED this book.
If you grew up listening to John you NEED this book.
If you have one John Lennon LP or CD then you NEED this book to discover his music.
This is a beautifully put together book full to the brim with info and pictures and is a great read.
As Dr Winston O'Boogie once said "You Should Have Been There". Read this book and you feel as if you were.
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on 1 October 2005
Spanning the period 1968 up to the recently-issued Acoustic CD, this book lists, discusses and illustrates all of Lennon's releases from the UK and across the pond in the USA. Comprehensive in its approach, you can go straight to the UK or US discography that lists all of the 'regular' releases, or investigate the individual listings of promotional and interview discs.
The book has been very carefully compiled by John Blaney, obviously a fan, who has presented this material in a concise and compact form. Influences and recording information are also provided, plus if you needed anything more there is a section on Japanese releases and chart performances.
If you are a fan of the solo Lennon you will find this book invaluable both as a reference tool and as a 'look book', with all releases fully illustrated (although unfortunately only in black & white). Be quick, as il is a limited edition of 1000 copies'
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on 5 November 2005
John Blaney's paperback adds up to as riveting a read as 2003's The Songs That He Was Singing, his thorough examination of McCartney's post Beatles releases. As complete too with label variations, recording details, chart placings and further minutiae, Listen To This Book's commentary provokes, if anything, a stronger compulsion to check out the records, even the first three albums with Yoko, freighted as they are with sounds not regarded by Joe Average as musical. These are, however, less offensive to some - including me - than the uxorious ickiness of such as Oh Yoko! - "a plea for reassurance,” deduces Blaney, colluding coincidentally with Cynthia’s theory that the second Mrs. Lennon ‘offered the security of a mother figure who always knows best’.
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on 23 May 2011
A very intelligent and accurate analysis of every song and record by John Lennon in his solo records and with Yoko Ono records.
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on 29 August 2005
It is incredible that this truly excellent John Lennon discography has appeared in a limited edition of only a 1,000 copies, until you realise that this is a book published by the author himself and he therefore had to finance it. This also explains why the many, many pictures of records sleeves and label variations are all in black & white.
But it all goes to prove that this is indeed a work of love for the music of John Lennon as a solo artist and the result is a comprehensive detailed overview of all of Lennon's releases in the UK, the US and Japan in every conceivable format (including 8-track).
It is of course very up to date and ranges from Two Virgins (1968) to Acoustic (2004) in 5 main sections: 1968 - 1969: Evolution Of An Odd Couple, 1970 - 1972: People For Power, 1973 - 1975: The Lost Weekend Starts Here, 1976 - 1980: Cleanup Time, 1982 - 2004: Something Precious And Rare.
These sections are followed by separate chapters on Interview Records, Books with discs, US/UK/Japan Albums, Singles, Compact Discs, Label Variations, etc, etc, etc.
Truly stunning. Each track features a list (when known) of who played on it (and what), where and when it was recorded, who produced it and has the story behind the song. And of course each release is introduced by general comments.
This makes it a book that is a great read, but also a great reference work as each song has a cross reference so you can easily find the different versions.
The wealth of pictures of sleeves and labels alone would make this book worth buying. It is however unfortunate that all photos are in black & white as this of course doesn't illustrate the colour variations in labels. And some of the photos are blurred (like the Two Virgins labels on page 4).
But I really haven't seen a better Lennon discography than this one, so if you're still looking for an excellent Lennon discography or are unhappy with the one you have now, get this one while supplies last.
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on 13 June 2006
While it does offer an interesting survey of Lennon's solo work, this book is somewhat flawed and hardly as definitive as some would argue. Take, for example, the bibliography: the American issues on Apple are much more thoroughly examined in Bruce Spizer's book on the Beatles' US solo releases (which the author of this book obviously used himself). The drop in quality for the UK discography (for which there is no such reference work) is hardly remarkable: for example, the author should have taken more care to present all UK variations systematically.

I enjoyed reading the sections which deal with the recording of the songs and their context. Nevertheless, this book often seems to stick too much to the official JohnandYoko story: the story of the picture on the Two Virgins album, for example - did they really take it themselves? Then who is the bearded man seen on some of the outtakes from the session? Many more such problems are scattered throughout the book.

I would have preferred to see a compherensive UK discography listing all variations and offering more insight on Lennon's profile in the UK (including press released etc.). While enjoyable to read, this book is hardly essential for people whose bookshelf is straining under the weight of Beatle books, and who else would want to buy this book? For sessions details, one is better off with the monumental Eight arms to hold you by Madinger and Easter. A general appraisal of Lennon's solo work is the criminally underrated The art and music of John Lennon by John Robertson.
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