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The U.S. vs. John Lennon

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Since it's the soundtrack to a documentary detailing the U.S. government's decision to stage all-out war on John Lennon -- in large part due to his protest of the "other" war they were staging in Vietnam -- it's not surprising that this disc homes in on the more politically potent songs from the singer's early-'70s catalog. And while many of the tunes reside in similar topical territory, each captures a distinct emotional vibe -- a testament to Lennon's greatness as a writer. Even in the midst of turmoil, Lennon usually exuded an ultimately optimistic feel, an emotion conveyed in the strains of the classic rallying cry "Power to the People" and the elegiac "Happy Xmas ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Since it's the soundtrack to a documentary detailing the U.S. government's decision to stage all-out war on John Lennon -- in large part due to his protest of the "other" war they were staging in Vietnam -- it's not surprising that this disc homes in on the more politically potent songs from the singer's early-'70s catalog. And while many of the tunes reside in similar topical territory, each captures a distinct emotional vibe -- a testament to Lennon's greatness as a writer. Even in the midst of turmoil, Lennon usually exuded an ultimately optimistic feel, an emotion conveyed in the strains of the classic rallying cry "Power to the People" and the elegiac "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)." Those songs, of course, are buoyed by bold, outsized arrangements and a sense that the studio was absolutely overflowing with musicians. When exploring the darker recesses of his psyche, however, Lennon chose to go it all but alone, a decision that adds to the laser-like precision of withering acoustic tracks like "Working Class Hero." The 21-song set is rounded out by some lesser-known but equally worthy material, most notably "John Sinclair" (the song that sicced the feds on Lennon's tail in the first place) and a previously unreleased live version of the searing protest screed "Attica State." The U.S. vs. John Lennon is a fine overview of Lennon's work in the immediate wake of the Beatles' split, as well as an enlightening lesson about taking on those in power and ultimately emerging victorious.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It shall come as no surprise that the soundtrack to the documentary The U.S. vs. John Lennon -- a film that traces Lennon's time as a political protestor and his subsequent, often covert, persecution by the U.S. government -- showcases John the Protest Singer. It's a prominent part of John's legend, so much so that it would seem like there's a great number of these songs, but when it comes down to it, his political work doesn't amount to that much: a few singles and the double album Some Time in New York City, generally acknowledged as Lennon's lousiest record. Not a lot to build a soundtrack on, so The U.S. vs. John Lennon is fleshed out with some ideological tunes and songs about hope and love or about John himself -- which ultimately means that this album has such old standbys as "Imagine," "Instant Karma," "Power to the People," "Working Class Hero," "Happy Xmas War Is Over," and the Beatles' "The Ballad of John & Yoko" and a bunch of songs from Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, plus the posthumous "Nobody Told Me" and some stray songs from Some Time in New York City. There isn't much that's rare here -- two OK live versions of NYC's "Attica State" and "John Sinclair," both taken from the 1971 rally in Ann Arbor held to free Sinclair, plus an instrumental version of "How Do You Sleep?" a protest against Paul, here used as score -- but at this point, there simply isn't much rare to be dug out of the vaults, at least not to sell a soundtrack like this. And as a soundtrack it's not bad -- it captures the spirit of the movie, and there's a bunch of good music here, even if it's hard to imagine that anybody interested in this film wouldn't own all this music already.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/26/2006
  • Label: Capitol
  • UPC: 094637491225
  • Catalog Number: 74912
  • Sales rank: 114,418

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Power to the People - Plastic Ono Band (3:21)
  2. 2 Nobody Told Me (3:33)
  3. 3 Working Class Hero (3:47)
  4. 4 I Found Out - Plastic Ono Band (3:36)
  5. 5 Bed Peace - John Lennon & Yoko Ono (0:12)
  6. 6 The Ballad of John and Yoko - The Beatles (2:57)
  7. 7 Give Peace a Chance (3:53)
  8. 8 Love - Plastic Ono Band (3:21)
  9. 9 Attica State - Plastic Ono Band (3:47)
  10. 10 Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - The Harlem Community Choir (3:38)
  11. 11 I Don't Want to Be a Soldier Mama I Don't Want to Die - Flux Fiddlers (6:04)
  12. 12 Imagine - Flux Fiddlers (3:01)
  13. 13 How Do You Sleep? - Flux Fiddlers (3:06)
  14. 14 New York City - Invisible Strings (4:30)
  15. 15 John Sinclair - Plastic Ono Band (3:43)
  16. 16 Scared - Philharmonic Orchestrange (4:35)
  17. 17 God - Plastic Ono Band (4:08)
  18. 18 Here We Go Again (4:47)
  19. 19 Gimme Some Truth - Flux Fiddlers (3:14)
  20. 20 Oh My Love - Flux Fiddlers (2:44)
  21. 21 Instant Karma! (We All Shine On) - Flux Fiddlers (3:30)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Lennon Primary Artist
Technical Credits
John Lennon Composer
Paul McCartney Composer
Yoko Ono Composer, Liner Notes
Phil Spector Composer
Rob Stevens Mastering, Remastering
Robert Vosgien Mastering
David Leaf Executive Soundtrack Producer
Tom Recchion Art Direction
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Very Meaningful

    Got the DVD, must have the CD now!! Fan or not, this was an important time in the US. Good tunes, and the movie is great as well.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews