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3.8 out of 5 stars
John Lennon in His Own Words (In Their Own Words)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Audio Go, in association with the BBC, has put together an hour's worth of the highlights from interviews with John Winston Lennon, the earliest from the heady days of Beatlemania, the latest - a mere two days before his murder in New York - featuring Lennon the relaxed and reborn family man. Kenneth Allsop fires salvo after salvo at the man, asking about the inspiration and pattern of writing during the pen work for Lennon's two early books A Spaniard In The Works and In His Own Write. Lennon fends off the questions with quiet but determined aplomb.
Just a month or so later and a somewhat patronising Wilfred De'Ath attempts to intellectualise Lennon's poetry to the obvious amusement of the interviewee. A year later, in the aftermath of the legendary Shea Stadium concert an obviously ecstatic Lennon accepts the flattery, comments and questions of Brian Mathew with classic charm and good humour. This is followed by a clip from an interview to promote his play, The John Lennon Play: In His Own Write where again the humour and his knack for voices lift the spirit of the whole interview. There are excerpts from interviews during the notorious bed in at Room 902 of the Amsterdam Hilton with Yoko Ono making what can only be called agreeable noises in the background. The final interview of the Beatles years on the CD features a very persistent inquisitor trying to get substantiation to all the rumours concerning the breakup of the band and the associated arguments, silences and general lack of co-operation. Lennon, typically, refuses to be drawn into letting any cats out of bags and diverts attention instead to his ( and Yoko's ) solo projects and his new close haircut.
The final three excerpts are from Andy Peebles' memorable three hour interview with the Lennons recorded on 6 December 1980, a mere two days before John Lennon was gunned down fatally by Mark Chapman. In the interview Lennon comes across as a man of honesty, balance and happiness, relaxed with his ability to walk around the streets of New York without being unduly pestered by fans. Lennon talks of the future, the two planned albums nearing written completion to follow the recently released Double Fantasy. Again there is humour and a real lust for life in Lennon's answers. It is the world's loss that these and future albums would remain un recorded and that this interview would, in effect, be Lennon's swan song. It is to Audio Go's credit that they have released this compilation to allow a new generation to hear for themselves what an incredible mind and presence John Lennon possessed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I had a high opinion of Lennon before listening to this, after this CD I really felt I understood more of the man and realise that his killing was an even greater tragedy because it robbed us all of wherever his lively mind would have eventually gone: this in many ways makes this set of recordings very sad as well as enlightning.
It's a set of 11 tracks linked by little bits of music and a neutral male voice, both of which would have made Lennon giggle.
It spans from the 60's through to 1981. I had heard very little of it before so thus it was of value to me in getting a rounded picture of the man. It's amusing hearing his down-to-earth blunt replies to Kenneth Alsop's posh BBC voice, Wilfred De'Ath obtains great insights into a burgeoning star, Brian Matthew elicits real warmth from Lennon, there's a TV clip which shows the workings of Lennon's mind, a BBC radio interview where you come to understand his anti-violence protests, a good section with Yoko Ono just post-Beatles with his thoughts on making recording thereon in, Yoko is also on the Andy Peebles stuff with Lennon and you get nice insight into their lives, thoughts on the big record companies, and it was excellent to hear Lennon's answers about songs and lyrics which many critics took really seriously when actually he meant a lot of it just tongue-in-cheek.
A superb collection, I recommend it, I've just this second finished listening to the final part after taking it section by section over several weeks, and I hope you take time with it too. It's worth it. Steve Riches, Northampton, UK.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )Verified Purchase
This CD follows Paul McCartney in His Own Words and there are pluses and minuses with both. My major complaint with the Paul CD was a lack of track listing and I am glad to see that the BBC has rectified that here. However, disappointingly, this is a single CD, whereas the McCartney volume had two CD's and a greater wealth of material. Saying that, there is much of interest in this single volume.

The CD begins with two 1965 interviews about John's second book, "A Spaniard in the Works". As always, John is utterly honest when he is asked anything - questioned about which writers inspired him, he willingly says he dislikes Shakespeare and declares himself uninterested in whether he should like him or not. Asked what the other Beatles think of his writing, he happily admits that Ringo has not read anything he has written, although Paul and George have. Next there is another 1965 interview, this time concerning the concert at Shea Stadium; followed by a 1968 interview alongside Victor Spinetti, about the play, "In His Own Write", which Spinetti directed. There are short interviews from the 1969 Bed-In and from 1970.

The last three tracks are all taken from The Lennon Tapes: John Lennon and Yoko Ono in Conversation with Andy Peebles 6 December 1980. It is shame that these are only snippets, but they include John talking about Double Fantasy, Sean, New Wave Music (he even manages an impression of Suggs!) and, ironicly, his sense of security while living in New York. It is refreshing to hear such forthright and utterly honest replies in interviews and I think that John's style of always answering a question directly, and not hedging around the answer, makes this compilation worth listening to, even if it could have been better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Being the greatest fan of John Lennon in all the world, I was obviously going to like this CD. And I was not disappointed.

Listening to it now, with the history of John's life and tragic death at the back of my mind, evoked both memories of where I was and what I was doing when these recordings were made and deepened my appreciation of the passion of John's life and beliefs.

There are seven interviews on the CD, from June 1965 through to the interview with Andy Peebles and Yoko Ono a month after John was shot dead in New York in December 1980.

The earlier interviews uncover some of the thinking and feelings of John that were not public at that time. This makes for fascinating, though not surprising, information now.

The last interview, for me, was a reflection of the great loss to the world of John Lennon, human being extraordinaire.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 31 May 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A collection of John Lennon BBC recordings - just as it says on the cover.

It is interesting, but the reality is, with a single disc, there's not that much of it. So in some ways, it's hard to give it a star rating but I opted for 4 as I think it does what it says, but it would have benefitted with a little more information between the clips to give them a little more context.

The last interview is poignant - Lennon talking about being in New York and being able to move around more freely. Shortly afterwards he was killed.

An item for dedicated fans only.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a fascinating collection of radio and TV interviews with John Lennon spanning the period from 1965 to December 1980.
He comes across as an extremely articulate and intelligent man, although amusingly rejecting establishment notions of what that means. On discussing his books , the second which was published in 1965, he describes himself as not a disciplined writer but spontaneous - seldom editing anything out after the writing process. Although his writing is evidence of his social conscience, he is plain about his role in protest movements in 1965 'I'm not a do-gooder. I won't go on marches.' As a young man of 25 in the first of the interviews, there is a stark reminder of his relative youth as he considers himself to be 'too near to school to read Dickens and Shakespeare.'
In a later piece from 1969 he is talking about his honeymoon with Yoko Ono, which at the time he is spending at the Amsterdam Hilton with their famous Bed-In for Peace. And by 1970, when speculation about the future of the Beatles is reaching fever pitch, he refuses to be pinned down on the subject, and merely says he is concentrating on John Lennon, not Yoko Ono, or the Beatles.
The last interviews from 1980 are the most poignant, recorded just days before his tragic death at the hands of lone gunman Mark Chapman. He is talking about their recently released Double Fantasy album, and their plans for two more albums. Like David Bowie, he had settled in New York as he appreciated the private life and sense of security it gave him when compared to England. We sadly know the rest.
This is a really interesting and captivating reminder of the greatness and originality of the man.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This series of "...in their own words" collected interviews with famous people from AudioGo continues to baffle me. This release features TV and radio interviews with John Lennon, dating from 1965 to 1980. The collection is patchily edited and poorly presented, giving no context for any of the conversations, so that any listener unfamiliar with the milestone events of John Lennon's life will have great difficulty understanding much of what is being discussed throughout the disc. In a sense, the most interesting aspect of the release are the ample demonstrations of just how out of their depth most BBC interviewers were with Lennon for much of the time -- as well as how charmingly naive (and natively intelligent) Lennon actually was. He also comes across as amazingly tolerant of idiotic questioning; a couple of archive interviews from 1969 and 1970 here being absolutely cringe-worthy in their crassness.

The best part of this disc has to be its concluding few tracks -- a pitifully short series of extracts from a three hour interview that John Lennon and Yoko Ono gave to Radio 1 DJ, Andy Peebles, in the Hit Factory studio in New York in 1980. Andy Peebles' is about the only intelligent interviewer on the entire disc and it is a pity that the excerpts from that interview are so curtailed and savagely edited here as they are. It is nevertheless just as poignant now as it was in 1981 to hear Lennon's exuberant delight at how safe and comfortable he felt in New York, knowing that the recording was made just two days before the musician was gunned down by a crazed fan in the street. It is a pity this interview has never been released in its entirety as a recording, only in book form as a printed transcript (The Last Lennon Tapes), hurriedly rushed to print in 1981 by the BBC. So come on, AudioGo; there's a project needing to be undertaken!

AS far as this release goes, the disc provides an interesting window into the past for those who weren't around at the time. Those who know little about John Lennon may find themselves a little lost or bemused at times but should find something here to entertain them, at least. Mostly, though, the mix is too fragmented and incoherent to recommend with any enthusiasm.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I warmed to this CD as I listened to several cameo interviews by the BBC with John Lennon. The interviews begin with him talking about his two books. I thought that it would boring at that point -but the interviews develop and show John Lennon being quite a natural guy despite the jet-set life that he lead.
Someone said that Lennon's writing style was like James Joyce -who Lennon confessed he had never read. But when he did found Joyce to be more of an involved writer than Lennon thought of himself.
The sleep in at the hotel room in Amsterdam during the Plastic Ono Band was discussed where Lennon openly said that the plan was to use the press and TV as the most influential media to get his thoughts across.
He said he loved Fawlty Towers and Monty Python and would have loved to be part of those shows. Despite the success of his books, Lennon said he had always been hopeless at spelling. He reckoned that all of the main governments had hidden agendas and had no idea how to solve their nations problems. That has been levelled at many governments in my view -they are always targets for someone -as they can't possibly please all of the people all of the time (can anyone? QED)
He said his "Starting Over" track had to be renamed "Just Like Starting Over" as the former title was covered by a Country & Western band. He enjoyed doing the number in the Elvis style.
He mentioned his son Sean. Lennon used to watch how the black nurses used to dance and sing with babies on their hips -so Lennon used to introduce his son to music from an early age. (I thought this would be a given anyway in view of Lennon's own musical gifts)
Lennon talks about being aware of new bands at the time such as Madness, Sex Pistols, B52's. But he said the Beatles did the same antics on stage as the Sex Pistols - such as sleeping,eating and swearing!
The irony comes near the end of the CD interviews where Lennon talks about living in New York how people in the street say "how is your son?" etc. but then leave you in peace. He cites Bowie living in NY and how Lennon himself felt relaxed in NY over several years. Unfortunately as we all know some idiot did more than say "hello" to Lennon in NY and brought a musical genius's life to a very unfair short end.
The CD is well worth a listen.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I should say to begin with that I am no expert on either Lennon or the Beatles and this review is aimed primarily at similar listeners. The first point to make is that this is an hour long set of extracts from the BBC archives with all the pieces dating from 1970 or earlier except the slightly extended excerpts which Andy Peebles recorded with Lennon in the very last days of this life. Most of the recordings from the 1960's are interviews about Lennon's writing and he comes over exactly as one might expect-intelligent, skeptical, none too modest and with an innate ability not to take things too seriously. This last quality is much needed as some of the questions put by the interviewers are pompous in the extreme, trying to explore supposed influences and motivations which Lennon contemptuously dismisses-here one does feel we are hearing the the voice of the real man and not simply someone saying what he thinks people want to hear. However, nothing very revelatory is forthcoming and if you are looking for some new insights into his songwriting or the breakup of Beatles then you are going to be disappointed. The Andy Peebles Tapes are more poignant as what is very apparent here is how much Lennon was enjoying writing and recording again, already planning 2 more albums after Double Fantasy which he was never destined to complete. The love of music and of life are palpable and listening to the man talking and knowing what happened just a few days later is a moving experience. An enjoyable listen then, but one which is neither extensive or original enough to appeal to the dedicated fan.
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VINE VOICEon 29 April 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
These are a series of short interviews conducted between 1965 and 1981 with John Lennon.

The first two cover the release of his two early books In His Own Write & A Spaniard in the Works published in 1964 and 1965 respectively - they just go over the sort of books he read and the influences he had (he hadn't read Joyce, probably Lewis Carroll was as much an influence as anyone with Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics)).

There is also some talk about the huge concerts taking place at the time - he appears remarkably relaxed and level-headed about what was going on then, he just seemed to be enjoying it all.

Subsequent interviews are on the "bed peace" - which was really about conducting press interviews in bed on the topic of world peace, fair enough really, and the break up of The Beatles (Lennon is quite ahead of his time with Plastic Ono Band, where he says he wants to think of a song on Monday and release it on Tuesday, he wants the music to be immediate and a reflection of where he is at at the time).

The final few interviews on his "return" in 1981 are sad as clearly he had a lot of energy and ideas for new material at this point. He says he is releasing one album (Double Fantasy), working on the second and planning the third album in his head.

The interviews never really get into anything too deep and serious but they give a good account of Lennon's character and where he was at during important episodes of his life, definitely worth listening to.
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