Customer Reviews


37 Reviews
5 star:
 (19)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying
Firstly I'm not quite sure why this album gets panned sometimes. It got panned on release (before John was killed) with Charles Shaar Murray calling it "a lousy album" in the NME - wonder what John would have said? He wrote a personal letter to CSM when he reviewed Shaved Fish in 1975 and actually reviewed his review (with typical Lennon humour naturally!). After his...
Published on 17 Oct 2010 by Antoine

versus
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars all stripped down with no place to go
the "stripped down" versions definitely benefit from the removal of lots of schlock and kitsch originally overdubbed, and the remastering is beautiful: john's voice is wonderful; instruments clear and sharp; the air around all of it audible. but i really expected to hear these songs differently than i ever had before, and i don't. they do indeed sound like "stripped down"...
Published on 1 Nov 2010 by Malachi Beale


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying, 17 Oct 2010
This review is from: Double Fantasy Stripped Down (Audio CD)
Firstly I'm not quite sure why this album gets panned sometimes. It got panned on release (before John was killed) with Charles Shaar Murray calling it "a lousy album" in the NME - wonder what John would have said? He wrote a personal letter to CSM when he reviewed Shaved Fish in 1975 and actually reviewed his review (with typical Lennon humour naturally!). After his death of course everyone bought it and raved about it but now it gets a mixed response.

John wrote and sang these songs in the only way he knew how - with honesty and from the heart and it's the sound of a very happy man which makes it all the more tragic given what happened. I guess some people would prefer that he'd suffered more for his art in the style of Imagine or Plastic Ono Band. I doubt he cared, by 1980 he was singing for himself, Yoko and Sean and who could blame him? They are still beautiful songs today. Plus it's very easy with the benefit of 30 years hindsight to say that the original album sounds dated as some people have, all music dates to a certain degree, which doesn't necessarily make it bad.

Listening to the new version now brings back memories of hearing it for the first time around 1980/81. It does sound a little rough where endings haven't been faded for example (Woman stops abruptly) so in that sense it can sound a little unfinished but mostly the new mix does sound good. Yoko's songs in particular benefit with Kiss Kiss Kiss rocking and the band sounding really tight together. Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him is completely reworked although it might have been good if more had been made of a John/Yoko duet on it, perhaps trading verses.

Many people have complained that it's not in the box set but at least it's available separately. It would have been far worse if you'd had to buy the box set just to get it!! Not only that, it's the same price as a single album and you do get the original mix as well so I'd say it's good value for money although shame they couldn't have included the original artwork somehow with it (good though Sean's drawing is).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...and the singers going to sing a song.", 5 Oct 2010
By 
Quiverbow (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Double Fantasy Stripped Down (Audio CD)
Before I go any further, I have to admit to being a John Lennon die-hard, but that doesn't mean I praise everything released under his name (I slated the Signature box set) but I'm going to give this a full five stars. Why? Because it's damn good!

I`m not going to suggest that `Double Fantasy' was his best release, not by a long way, but the `stripped down' version presented here on the first CD is nothing short of superb. Okay, the songs themselves are the same, but the way in which they're presented is a world away from 1980. Hell, even the Yoko Ono songs are improved. Every track has been pared of its backing, leaving just the guitars, drums and pianos in place and in doing so, whereas they were previously buried too deep, the vocals have been brought to the fore. In fact, if you close your eyes, you might even start believing Lennon is singing directly to you. The clarity of his voice is awesome; every enunciation can be heard as if you're standing next to him.

`Cleanup Time', which can be seen as a completely different version being nearly a minute longer due to the fadeout and an extra verse midway through , and `I'm Losing You' are crystal clear. Both `Starting Over' and `Dear Yoko' have diction unheard before, the latter extended by 30 seconds as it continues Lennon' s spoken outro to a full close - this time you can hear what he's saying - but it's `Beautiful Boy' and `Watching the Wheels' that make you sit up. The latter makes you believe you were there when it was recorded, whilst the former, free from its double tracking, overdubbing and sound effects, is turned into a folk song. On the other hand, `Woman', given the same treatment, simply makes you want to cry. You can hear things in the vocals that weren't there previously. (Yes, I know they were there, but they couldn't be made out.) Other than the examples mentioned, all the tracks have different timings than their counterparts because of a few seconds of count-ins, etc at the start and slightly earlier fade-outs.

Listen to this and you'll realise why John Lennon was credited as having one of the best voices around.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clean Up Time - a delight, 17 Oct 2010
This review is from: Double Fantasy Stripped Down (Audio CD)
Worth buying for Clean Up Time alone. I was not particularly fond of this song on the original. However, listening to the stripped down version with Lennon happily ad-libbing his way constructively and melodically through the chorus etc, the song has been transformed into a delight. Its re-arrangement in line with the printed lyrics too was a good productive move. Stripped down is all about heightening the presence of Lennon's voice and for this too I am grateful to Yoko and the production team. Well done.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful surprise, 5 Oct 2010
This review is from: Double Fantasy Stripped Down (Audio CD)
I doubt I would have bought this had I not heard a sample beforehand, but what an improvement in most of the songs. Apart from 'Woman,' which I always thought worked well as it was, you hear here how good John's voice was when he was working on this album, and how muted the original production rendered it. Here it is as if you're in the production booth, and that brilliant voice comes through so clearly. A revelation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long lost John., 25 Oct 2010
This review is from: Double Fantasy Stripped Down (Audio CD)
I've always had a soft spot for this album, so was curious what this stripped down version would sound like. If you're a Lennon fan, and wondering which of these remastered albums to get, then get this one! Yes, the songs are familiar, but freed of its 1980's "bells and whistles" production, and with the unfamiliar arrangements, you could almost believe this was a new album. In fact, even Lennon's vocals sound like alternative takes. 'Watching the Wheels' really shines now - bass, drums, a single piano, and John's vocal. The whole thing really comes to life now. Another classic is 'Woman' which has never sounded sweeter. Now just John's acoustic guitar and vocal, bass, and drums - this is easily one of the best songs John wrote, full stop. In fact, the whole thing now sounds like the happy cousin of Plastic Ono Band (and thats a good thing). Buy it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Now whats going on here then?, 29 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Double Fantasy Stripped Down (Audio CD)
I was sucked into buying this by reading the blurb. How "John" would have liked it, Big Lennys 70th birthday gift from Yono etc. Well, in my view, it is as much about Yono than Master John's contribution. On Double Fantasy circa 1981, Yono's contribution had flashes of grit like talent; like "I'm moving on" and the lyrics on "Give me something". But, it was the launch of John into a more rounded set of songs that created excitement, enjoyment and sadly "what if moments" frozen in time. So disc one stripped down works but not for the reason stated. Yes, it's great hearing Lennon's vocals at the front but equally, it is good to see how well Yono's offering has buffed up, particularly "Hard times are over". Overall, the sound is clearer/cleaner, instruments less over worked and it stands the test of time. Some great guitar. Would have liked notes that broke the tracks down to who played what. Likewise, the notes gave me the running curry date burn. So, brass well spent...however it appears the widow Yono is as sharp as ever on making a dollar. But if the product is this good, it is worth the buying.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In The Studio With John, 11 Nov 2010
This review is from: Double Fantasy Stripped Down (Audio CD)
Double Fantasy is well known to all Lennon and Beatle fans. This 'stripped down' version is special because it lets you hear John's wonderful voice much more clearly than before and this process seems to have freshened all the tracks. I was very pleased with the work on all the tracks and highly recommend it to all (old and new) Lennon fans - you won't be dissappointed. Plus you get the original 1980 version as well all in tasteful packaging.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tear rolled from my eye..., 5 Oct 2010
By 
James R. D. Jefferies (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Double Fantasy Stripped Down (Audio CD)
I have to say, I wasn't expecting much from this, Double fantasy was never a 'favourite' of mine, but listening to this 'stripped down' version, my feelings are changing. From the first few phrases I heard of John's voice on 'Just Like Starting Over' I got goosebumps and a tear rolled from my eye, the sound is so clear, direct and personal, and the songs suddenly have a new life and energy. The tracks loose the tacky backing singers and they feel more 'John' songs. He sounds like he's having alot of fun being in the studio and suddenly this album becomes something else. The songs sound far more personal and more direct. The main reason is John's voice is brought to the front, is clearer and louder, but this doesn't destroy the track and isn't overbaring.=, Indeed, I feel that without many of the overdubs (a few are still left in, John's double track vocal harmony's for one) somehow bring out a 'band sound' more, I noticed more of John's superb rhythm guitar playing and the 'patchwork' of the band is much better shown and not so hidden. The session band too is much better shown. They a damn good band! A wonderful buy for any Lennon fan. This is a loving tribute to a great artist.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sound upgrade, 11 Jan 2011
This review is from: Double Fantasy Stripped Down (Audio CD)
I agree with some reviewers about the version of "stripped down" has more dynamics. The original cut of Double Fantasy has a compressed sounding. The sound of the 80s will disappoint the best listeners if compared to the sound of good recordings of the late 60s, all 70s and from late 90s to now. If anyone makes a comparison A/B of these recordings using Hi-End systems or valve systems it will clearly understood. The sound of the 80 was designed keeping in mind the FM broadcasts. Very compressed. Many recordings used the DeEmphasis. But there are exceptions like Tug of War's McCartney that was very well recorded despite having slight compression. "Flowers in the Dirt" in my UK pressing sounds more compressed. I'm still in doubt if "Stripped Down" was produced with demo versions. IMHO it seems like Yoko did all the work on the original masters or alternate studio takes. Hey Yoko, why don't you do the same work on MILK AND HONEY?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alive & Well Well Well, 9 Jan 2011
By 
John Heaton - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Double Fantasy Stripped Down (Audio CD)
This album lives up to all the hype and more. It is fascinating to hear the tracks without the gloss, not necessarily better but a superb companion to the album we know and love. I think that of the Lennon tracks, Starting Over and Clean Up Time benefit most from the stripped down versions. It is like you are there in the studio with this great band, vocals to the fore and a real sense of freedom and joy in the playing. And I have to admit I don't miss the female backing vocals on Starting Over (didn't care for them on the Mind Games album either). I'm Losing You is also sensational...we know that Messrs Carr and Tyler considered that this would have been a better lead off single for the album. But that would have been to miss the point. Staring Over was THE song to come back with although not as stong a song as Losing You (Lennon admitted as much in the Andy Peebles interview from Dec 6 1980).

All of the other Lennon tracks are memorable stripped down but one does perhaps miss the finesse of the finished Watching The Wheels and in particular Woman which was just about perfect. Still, this does not negate in any way the joy of hearing these early cuts which still show conviction and superb musicianship. This was the best band Lennon played with in my opinion, Tony Levin's bass playing was incredibly melodic, Earl Slick and Hugh McCracken combined superbly on guitar and Andy Newmark's drumming was always spot on. And there speaks a huge fan of Jim Keltner, Jesse Ed Davis et al. They were perfect for Walls And Bridges. But here was Lennon emerging from a five year abyss with a new sound...and it was perfect.

Yoko's tracks were always pretty good here, among her best...but the stripped down versions are, if anything, even punchier. The only exception being 'Every Man Has a Woman To Love Him' which is tortuously slow here....they were right to speed it up for the final version but it remains the weakest track on the set. But take a listen to 'Kiss Kiss Kiss', 'I'm Moving On' or 'Give Me Something'...superb counterparts to Lennon's blissful depictions of domestic harmony. As I said in my review of the original album, this was a brave record on the state of their life at the time, not a perfect marriage but one which they both worked hard on...and were determined to make work, especially given the gift of their son Sean, five years old at the time of the sessions. I mostly ignore the unauthorised versions of what their life was like at the time (and there are many). Mainly because Lennon is not around to answer back. Enough said.

It is great to hear Lennon's spoken lines in Hard Times Are Over...which Yoko perceptively said were over 'for a while'. She cannot have known. But maybe herein lies a message to never take anything for granted. We only had three short weeks to absorb this new album before the unthinkable happened. But now, 30 years later, we can revisit those sessions and intrude on the magic of those sessions one more time. Which is a blessing. Thank you Yoko and thank you Jack Douglas for putting this together, we are most grateful.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Double Fantasy Stripped Down
Double Fantasy Stripped Down by John Lennon (Audio CD - 2010)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews