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Live Peace in Toronto, 1969 [35th Anniversary]

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Review

Although one of the world's best-kept secrets at the time, this was John Lennon's declaration of independence from the Beatles, the document of a concert appearance at Toronto's Rock and Roll Revival festival about a month after the conclusion of the Abbey Road sessions. Thrown together literally on the wing (they rehearsed only on the flight from England), the ad-hoc band consisting of Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton on guitar, Klaus Voorman on bass, and Alan White on drums hit the stage to the surprise and delight of the thousands who packed Varsity Stadium. "We're just going to do numbers we know, you know, because we've never played together before," confesses Lennon, who was reportedly extremely nervous before going on. But the repertoire ought to have been a cakewalk for a quartet of seasoned rockers -- blues-based oldies ("Blue Suede Shoes," "Money," "Dizzy Miss Lizzie") and basic recent Lennon numbers ("Yer Blues," "Cold Turkey," "Give Peace a Chance") -- and they laid it down in a dignified, noisy, glorified garage band manner. Lennon is in fine vocal form, confident and funny despite his frequent apologies, while Ono confines her caterwauling to "Cold Turkey." That was side one of the original LP. Side two, alas, was devoted entirely to Ono's wailing, pitchless, brainless, banshee vocalizing on "Don't Worry Kyoko" and "John John (Let's Hope for Peace)" -- the former backed with plodding rock rhythms and the latter with feedback. No wonder you see many used copies of the LP with worn A-sides and clean, unplayed B-sides -- and Ono's "art" is just as irritating today as it was in 1969. But in those days, if you wanted Lennon you had to take the whole package. [This is the 35th Anniversary Edition, remastered by Mobile Fidelity.] ~ Richard S. Ginell
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Blue Suede Shoes Plastic Ono Band 4:5
  3. 2 Money John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band 3:26
  4. 3 Dizzy Miss Lizzy Plastic Ono Band 3:24
  5. 4 Yer Blues John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band 4:12
  6. 5 Cold Turkey John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band 3:35
  7. 6 Give Peace a Chance John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band 3:41
  8. 7 Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow) John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band 4:47
  9. 8 John John (Let's Hope for Peace) John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band 12:35

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