Soundtrack Review: ‘The U.S. vs. John Lennon’

Documentarians David Lear and John Scheinfeld were commissioned by VH1 on John Lennon and his years after the Beatles.  If you’re going to do anything about the ex-Beatle the most important thing is the music.  The Beatles hit U.S. shores and were proclaimed to be “bigger than Christ” by Lennon (I’ve never heard any of Christ’s albums.  Can I dance to them?).

Their popularity was through the roof and Lennon’s star did not dim after he left the group in the 1970s.  The documentary covers Lennon’s involvement with the peace movement of the 60s and 70s, getting deported by Richard Nixon in 1972, and lots of footage of Lennon and Yoko Ono.  The film interviews both Lennon supporters and critics. 

However, what is of importance is the music.  It’s the way that Lennon (for the most part) communicated with the world.  The filmmakers have used a great deal of music to populate the film.  There’s only one Beatles song on the soundtrack –“The Ballad of John & Yoko.”  The rest of the songs are songs from Lennon with the occasional support from Yoko. 

Most of them are the familiar hits of the solo Beatle, including “Power to the People,” “Working Class Hero,” “Give Peace a Chance,” “Happy Xmas,” and “Instant Karma.”  The album does feature two previously unreleased songs. 

The first is “Attica State” from the John Sinclair Freedom Rally in 1971.  The second is the instrumental called “How do you sleep?” Several of the songs feature dialogue intros and studio talk.  I had never heard the dialogue intro from “Instant Karma.” 

Fans of the documentary will definitely want to pick up this album.  What is the best part is that if you’re just a casual fan of Lennon then you can pick up this album and have an instant collection of his solo efforts.  It is definitely well worth the money. 

‘The U.S. vs. John Lennon’ soundtrack is now available at Amazon. Visit the soundtrack database for more information and a complete track listing.

 

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.

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