John Lennon – Rock ‘n’ Roll (PCS7169) (1975)

SAM_1427Given a discography curtailed by, at first, semi-retirement and, ultimately, assassination, John Lennon’s solo studio output is necessarily small, just eight records. Despite this fact (as well as my Fabs collector mentality [see the Thrifty Vinyl Beatles Related tag passim]), I’ve never managed to own the slain Beatle’s oldies album. Thank you, Cats Protection League for helping breach this milestone.

SAM_1430First edition with what must surely be one of the last “classic” Apple labels, I’ve seen MFP versions of Rock ‘n’ Roll over the years, but the cover is unsatisfactory, IMO.

Published in: on March 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm  Comments (3)  

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  1. the story goes that lennon only recorded this album after falling foul of morris levy, perhaps the “jaws” of music biz figures in an industry full of sharks…

    lennon had made the mistake of re-hashing the melody and some of the lyrics from a chuck berry song (“you can’t catch me”) when he wrote “come together”. levy owned the rights to berry’s tune and moved in like a striking cobra to sue lennon for plagiarism. as part of a settlement lennon agreed to record and release “you can’t catch me” and other songs owned by levy, so he reasoned he might as well put out an album of tracks from that era that inspired him to become a musician in the first place – apart from trading on the nostalgia ticket that was already starting to kick in back then, it saved him the tiresome business of having to write new material!

    morris levy’s other most notorious claim to fame is that he “co-wrote” the frankie lymon hit “why do fools fall in love”, when all he did was take the credit as part of a business arrangement (a common practice in those days). because if their naivety, other members of lyman’s group the teenagers who did actually help write the song never got the credit for it, although decades later they were finally legally acknowledged as writers and eventually saw some royalties…. before amazingly another legal ruling handed the song credits back to levy’s estate!

  2. Lennon always seemed to get in bed with gangsters and creeps, cf. Klein, Hoffman, Levy, Spector, etc. I’m sure there’s some sort of psychological explanation, probably having to do with issues of abandonment.

    • He did tie up with a lot of creeps, and your theory holds water. His miserable father leaving him as a kid and rubbing salt in the wound by popping out of nowhere “for a visit” when Lennon was rich seems to have set him on a constant search for a father figure.

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