Bagism: Albums & Singles

Reviews: Live In New York City

The songs for "Live In New York City" were recorded at the "One to One" concert held on Aug. 30, 1972. The concert was held to benefit mentally retarded children at the Willowbrook Hospital in New York State. Even though John had hoped to release an album of the peformance soon afterwards, it wasn't released until Jan. 24, 1986 (US) and Feb. 24, 1986 (UK).

Please add a review if you are familiar with "Live In New York City". Tracks are also available.


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Rating: 4.5
Apr 22, 2007
I was positively surprised when I first listened to this live album from August 1972.When you listen to a live album, you can't expect to get the same as on a studio recording, obviously. Here, Lennon has fun '"it's hard to get hard", "she looked so beautiful I could eat her....I DID!" comment didn't make it to the album, when introducing"Mother", after "alive or half-dead" he actually added:"that's why they're all junkies". This is a very good live album,a lot of energy,really it's a pity he couldn't tour.All the hits are here, live versions with a life of their own: "instant karma", "imagine","come together" you name them.Real good purchase for any Lennon fan.

Rating: 3.5
Feb 4, 2007
the studio versions of all of these songs are just simply better than these live versions. it is just painful to hear John destroy all the intesity of "Mother" with this proformance, still, this is the only fairly good live Lennon we will ever get. and i really like what he did with "Come together".

Rating: 5.0
Oct 28, 2005
Tom Nieves.
I had a summer job that year working for the Parks department in NYC. I was 20 years old. On August 30th we were assigned to cover a "Special Olympics" in Central Park. As the event broke up, around 2 o'clock, we noticed this guy handing out something. That "something" were tickets to Lennon's rehearsal at the Garden for the One to One Concert to be performed that night. We were told that he didn't want to practice in an empty arena so he had the tickets printed and handed out for free! I sat to the right side of the stage half way up. I was beside myself. I thought the performance as John would say was "rubbish". The music felt lost in the cavernous Garden. Nevertheless, the fact that I was in the same room with one of the all-time greats of musicdom, made the sonic shotcomings a petty issue for me. Thank you John and Yoko. Peace.

Rating: 5.0
Oct 22, 2005
lennon lives on
this performance is great. I love it. I have the bootleg dvd as well as the cd. Lennon is great live. a must have for any lennon fan.

Rating: 1.5
Oct 5, 2004
this is a peice of shite cept for lennon..the band is crap and yoko is so middle class when ya see the video even lennons... like oh jesus. ya really wanna do this babe the way shes ...preaching to the crowdat the start of sisters o sisters make me wanna puke and lennons like quickly boys before she says anymore reggae for the can of beer lennon was on the piss..tequilla was his drink of the year-bought by the create full and plenty of grass(as told by ex elephants n david peel-the pope smokes dope everyday)LENNON didnt put this out and he had 9 years to do it...the only reason a turd like this hit the shops ,is because one of yokos trusted friends(conmen) conned her into a ripoff record contract after lennon was shot and she had fulfill a quotea of release's...the other thing is theres a bootlegg of the pratise warm up that has lennon it better voice...Lennon proves he got what it takes a s a proformer even with this crap outfit behind him...this one was best kept in its box and it not worth buying.. but i do dig the bit at the end where he sings....they said she was high class but that was just a lie............. you ain't nothin but hound dog....i think it was a couple of weeks later hes flew off to la with may pang -after pulling nicker off all the little yippy chicks who couldnt resists a bit of beatle dick even in front of the yokes herself and poss wopuld of kept gpoing all the way back to England if it hadnt been for the fact that yoko and her lawyers was going to take him to the cleaners....oh the apple and a half is all for john ....

Rating: 5.0
Sep 28, 2004
Rick Jackson

Rating: 4.0
Aug 3, 2004
'spread the news round about the elephants memory band'- i got this album second hand and when i put it in the cd turner i was expecting a good long concert. the disappointing points are: .-It is 2 short, i hope this wasnt how long the actual xconcert was! 40 minutes! .-Lennon seems 2 gel well with the elephants memory band, apart from the saxaphone is all over the place in some parts! .-Give peace a chance is far 2 short , i mean come on they could have made it a bit longer than 52 seconds! .-Lennon seems 2 shout 2 much on songs such as come together and cold turkey, in fact the only song where he really can keep his voice is woman is the nigger of the world! Apart from those bad pionts there is another side 2 the album Good points about the album are: .-new york city is a gr8 opener .-is it just me or can noone hear any yoko on this even though on the back of the cd cover it has a picture of her with a microphone??? thankx for readin me review .

Rating: 4.0
Jun 20, 2004
Morozov Dima
This album is much better than "Live Peace In Toronto". The album begins with audience shouting "Power To The People" and, as for me, it is very good for the start of the "live" album. The first track "New York City" really rocks everybody who hears it. This version of this song is better then original one in "Some Time In New York City" album. Almost all the songs on this disc have some differences with original album versions in lyrics. However, it doesn't make their sense any worse. "It's So Hard" rocks to. "Mother" in this album sounds more emotional than the version on the "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" album but it just makes it better. However, "Imagine" is the only track here that is worse than original album version. "Come Together" is the only Beatles' song on the disc and it really rocks (especially I like the shout about the "hairy arse"). "Hound Dog" is nice Presley's rock number which Lennon plays really good and his shout "Elvis, I love you!" shows him not just like the worldwide rock star and political leader but it shows him like a simple person that is sombody's fan (in this case the fan of Elvis Presley). Anyway, this is nice album and everybody should purchase it.

Rating: 4.5
Jan 25, 2004
Its Great Album. Its Very Fresh Rock Specially New York city. New York City Was Great Song, The People Are Shouting "Power To The People" Until John Screams 1, 2, 3, 4 And Then The Saxafon Begins And Everybody Stops Shouting And John Starts To Sing. If You Listen To The Song You Can Hear The Bass Begins Playing When The People Are Shouting "Power To The People". If You Listen To The Song Its So Hard You Can hear Its Not The Same Lyric Thats On The Imagine Album. Then Begins Woman Is The Nigger Of The World, He Say "Heres Something Yoko Said To Me 1968" I Think It Was In The Beginning Of 1969, I Think. Then Comes Well, Well, Well. Then Comes Instant Karma, The Bass Begin The Song Not The Piano Like The Studio Version, He Shouts More In The Studio Version. Then We Can hear How Much Humorist Lennon Is he Says "Next Songs Is From Another Album That I Made After I Quit The Rolling Stones",That Song Was Mother It Was Nearly Like The Single Version. Then Come Together Starts, Its From the Beatle Album Abbey Road, Its Not Like The Version On Abbey Road But Great. Then Imagine Starts Its Was Not Like The Studio Version But Very Good. Then I Think Hound Dog Starts Very Great Presley Hit. Then The People Start Shouting Again But Now Its "All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance".

Rating: 3.0
Dec 20, 2003
The sound quality is bad, that's all.Paul's back in the US sucks because 60% of the video was focused on the audience's faces. I hope you read this Sir.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 6, 2003
Kyle (working class hero)
This album is a great package the songs are a very nice choice of songs Tracks york city 2. its so hard 3.women is the nigger of the world 4. well,well,well 5. instant karma 6. mother 7.come together 8.imagine 9.cold turkey 10. hound dog 11. give peace a chance. After each song john talks to the crowd it is really good you get a feel of what john was like back then in 1972 and what was going on. Yoko ono did a very nice job on this album.The c.d comes with an 8 page booklet with information on why john and yoko did the concert and pictures of him and yoko doing the concert. This album is just a great live package one of my favourites or probaly my favourite live album. (concert held at madison square garden 1972) Hope this as been of some help

Rating: 3.5
Aug 7, 2003
Andrew Bowman
Listening to this album as I write this review allows me to analyse it fresh. This album was issued 6 years after his death, and offers a rare, live, political Lennon performance. Now, although these are the only vesions of New York City and Woman Is The Nigger Of The World that I now own (I used to have the Lennon boxset and Wonsaponatime, but they got nicked), I am more impressed with the other songs, including Hound Dog and Come Together, both rousing renditions of classic songs, the latter of course his own composition. One down side is the rather forced version of Mother which, although fantastic on POB, here just sounds half-hearted. Although Imagine sounds better live than in the studio, so that's got to be one reason to get this if nothing else. All in all, a good album, well produced by Yoko. Go out and get it (if you can) and listen to it. Worth the money.

Rating: 2.5
Jun 2, 2003
Rene Butler
It's disapointing.The album statrs off with the energised 'New York City' which could almost be classed as a novelty song...that works. This album fails on three points. Firstly, the production. I have always thought that it was poor and was not suprised to learn that it was Yoko Ono's work. To be fair, I don't think that in the early 70's the facilities to record a live album were what they are today. (Secondly)The set list. As good as 'Mother' and 'Imagine' are they are by no means rock'n'roll numbers and in my opinion are therefore undermined. 'Come Together' is the only Beatles offering, and I must say thats it's far from inspiring. 'Woman is the nigger of the world' is one of the albums few highlights, Lennon's introduction is both witty and insightful and the Sax sounds great. This song could be a Feminist anthem, and there lies the albums third problem. It's far too Political. It almost sounds like a Lefty rally. By far and a way the albums most encouraging, track is Burger Man's 'Hound Dog.' Lennon actually sounds like he is enjoying playing this. "Elvis I love you" he shouts. The domineering bass works to a good effect, vocally alone, Lennon saves the album with this song. I don't think that this gig was ever intended to be made into an album, only in 1986 was this decision made (evidently) for prosperity.

Rating: 3.5
Oct 26, 2002
Andrew Bowman
Yes, I agree that this is a good live album, and slightly better than Live Peace but, I must say this: it's a live album, and no matter how big a fan of John's you are, his live recordings are well under par, as are anybody's. The size of rating is on the basis that you can't really rate any live album over 3.5 anyway, and if you've already got the studio versions of these songs, then you don't really need this album, unless you are a collector or Lennon/Beatles fan (like myself). Saying that, the songs are good, and the playing and singing superb, just recorded badly (as per). Now, I'm not suggesting John wasn't an excellent live performer, indeed if you were there, it must have been incredible, and you do get a certain vicarious experience of being there just by listening with your eyes closed but, as with all live recordings, an element is lost in the transition from stage to disc. Having said all that, I do like this album as an introduction to post-Beatles Lennon, and it marks the transition from Yoko to May Pang (this being the last concert ever performed by Johnandyoko). Interesting music presented interestingly. Worth a listen.

Rating: 5.0
Jan 10, 2002
I am apalled at the number of negative reviews. This is likely the most honest of his filmed live performances in terms of the original live content - and what you get when you pay for the video and get home and play it. I just don't understand how anyone could be displeased with this release as I have read - what with John telling Yoko (almost off-mic) that they are "not alone" after he finished "Imagine" (which sounds as good as the rest of the performance BTW, as did "Well, Well, Well" and the rest). Or seeing them sing together during "Born in a Prison" - that was truly wonderful. "Mother" comes off perhaps the best, along with "Woman is the Nigger of the World". Also, am I the only person who understood Yoko's speech at the end? She is showing that you could easily mistake the then current presidential rhetoric in our country from that of Adolph Hitler c.1932. Watch John's face toward the end of the speech - the camera angle allows you to see him watch her - you can see how he loves her AND her work (the speech thing is a REALLY succesful comment on the political/National situation at the time - and it is fun to pick out the G-men in the audience). While on the subject of Yoko, I sure am glad they connected her mic during "Hound Dog" - her contributions were quite cool and NECESSARY - this is John AND Yoko - I am quite sure that John viewed their work as a package - and I accept that package whole. I recall his comments in interviews regarding the other Beatles attitudes toward her early on - that he considered he and Yoko connected, almost literally. And if you didn't like that I believe he said something like "to hell with you brother!". I don't believe in "cafeteria" Lennon fans - picking and choosing. What would "Double Fantasy" and "Milk and Honey" have been without her? It reminds me of Smashing Pumpkin's fans liking "Siamese Dream" and then abandoning them with "Adore" (which is CLEARLY the more mature and deliberate work with such subtle nuance). Like Hunter Thompson said - "buy the ticket - take the ride!" This is a wonderful concert to watch and hear - if you are a Lennon fan and have found this page and gotten this far - I think you will like this video (the CD version of this release has all of Yoko's "stuff" removed - even plucking her contributions right out of "Hound Dog"!).

Rating: 3.5
Dec 4, 2000
laurie marks
This is by far the most accessible of the three live Lennon albums released. It boasts a number of his early hits up to 1972 when it was originally recorded. As with all the posthumous Lennon releases, it is safe to say that its release was as much about paying tribute to the man as it was about releasing a great album. It is worth paying a little extra for the video version, since it gives you more of a feel for Lennon the artist and includes more of his witty asides between songs. On a low note, it also includes two extra songs and a speech, all by Yoko, which will have you diving for the fast forward button on the remote.Indeed the concert becomes something of a microcosm of Lennon's career and in that his stage craft must be admired. We have the fans adulation - a live Beatle back on stage at last - which he partly acknowledges by giving them a raucous version of "Come Together". We have the Lennon hits like Imagine, Instant Karma and Mother being given the live treatment, the latter to best effect. We have the Lennon misses like Well Well Well which sounds better than the studio version, the awkward Yoko bits dragging the musicianship down and the tribute to rock n roll with the shambling cover of Hound Dog. All in all, a pretty mixed bag of treats, which sums up much of Lennon's output, from the very best to the embarrassing. Lennon struggles at times to take his performance seriously, in that self-deprecating manner familiar to anyone who has seen old Beatles concert footage. But after all, seeing him perform live is what this is all about, and one can forgive the rough edges far more easily than on some of the studio albums. He looks and sounds as if he is enjoying himself, as does the band (except the ever-serious Yoko - what worse moment than when she also insists on sipping from the beer can ?, most of whom now appear as wonderful relics from the early 70s hippie era in fancy dress. This is an enjoyable album for fans and non-fans alike.

Rating: 4.0
Jul 28, 2000
Adam Coxon
Great i throughly enjoyed it a collection of some of lennon finest.It took me ages to get it and i would'nt sell it.

Rating: 4.5
Dec 7, 1999
" John Lennon Live In NYC " is a classic performance from a legendary artist with some great moments & some weak moments. The songs that stand out in this live collection are " New York City, Mother, Instant Karma, Come Together, Well Well Well & Hound Dog. " I think " Imagine " sounds poorly because of the organ John was playing. " Come Together " is great live with John forgetting some of the lyrics. " Mother " has as much power & emotion live on this album as it does on " John Lennon Plastc Ono Band. " John Lennon doing the Elvis classic " Hound Dog " puts it all in perspective as to why he wanted to be a rock-n-roll star in the first place. This live performance is an important document in rock-n-roll history from a legendary artist like John Lennon that will never be repeated again.

Rating: 3.5
Apr 15, 1998
this album should not be treated like any other live preformance album,this preformence like the one on toronto wasnt reahersed and it is almost a live jam based on john songs. my favoraite is offcourse "mother" which sounds better than the original version of the song . i also like the version of "cold turky" ,when john starts to scream near the end you can realy fill hes in pain. 'imagine" ,"nyc","woman is the nigger of the world","its so hard" are o.k they dont sound amazing but they do sound good. other very good ones are :"wel well well" and "instant karma" altough john mixed up some of the words. its not simple to predict how would pepole would respond to the version of "come together" john did it on a higher key so he screams most of the words but i like it anyway. one preformence that i dont realy like is the version of "hound dog" john sounds bored or stoned or somthing,and yokos screaming are just anoying . one song that i liked from that show that doesent appear on this disc is "born in a prison" maybe yoko isnt the best singer in the world but i like this songs melody and i also like the lyrics.

Rating: 3.5
Nov 23, 1997
Matt Carney
This is a little above an average live album, but it is not terrific. The best song on here is "Woman Is the Nigger Of The World" which really sounds terrific on this recording. I think that that one sounds much better than the actual release. Other highlights are "Mother" where John Lennon does a great job onsinging and it sounds terrific."Instant Karma" also sounds good on this album and I like Cold Turkey as well. Thsi album has its problems with"Hound Dog" which is just a poor performance by Lennon and his band.Yoko's screeching thing just makes it sound even worse. It sounds terrible in the background. "Give Peace a Chance" is nothing special to here and it would have been better to just leave it off since it really is not played. It just fools the buyer into thinking that they really are going to play that one when really they are marching through the streets. Well Well Well is not the best performance either, but Lennon did not have too many live performances, and therefore this is important that it was released. It is not bad, but also it is not great. Really only for the huge Lennon fan.

Rating: 4.5
Nov 12, 1997
Unlike the other reviews, I think this is one of John's greatest. Not musically, but it takes you into how he was. Forgeting/rearranging/mumbling lyrics, like John was famous for. The highlights on this are probably 'Imagine', 'Instant Karma', 'Come Together' , 'Mother', and 'Cold Turkey'. If you're a new fan, this album isn't a great purchase, but if you're an 'experianced' fan, this album is almost great.

Rating: 2.0
Nov 11, 1997
I was very dissapointed when I purchased this album. I thought that it would be a change from Lennon's studio recordings, as the whole album is performed live. I was wrong. The album has poor sound, as I thought that they could have done without releasing it. The only track that I really enjoyed was "Mother". "Imagine" was a big dissapointment.

Rating: 4.0
Aug 11, 1997
Jim Jacobs
At last, The official release of John's One To One concert from 1972. This was the 2nd & final live concert that John gave-the first being Live Peace In Toronto. I wish I could say this album was excellent but it lacks not due to the playing,but due to the song line up. Unlike Paul, John completely divorced his Beatle past & only sang one Beatle song-Come Together. A live version of Revolution would have been a nice inclusion if he had tried to perform it. But instead the album features tracks from the then upcomming release of Sometime In New York City as well as the minor tracks from Plastic Ono Band, & Imagine. It is great to hear live cuts of Instant Karma, Imagine & especially John's version of Elvis Presley's hit Hounddog. Listening to John sing it makes you believe that he was the king of rock and roll & not Elvis. Note: this album is the second time Give Peace A Chance was issued live & the third time Cold Turkey was issued live. Gets kind of redundant after a while, but still over all, the album is still as freash as the music was in 1972.

Rating: 4.0
May 19, 1997
Brad Snyder
Live in New York City is a very good album--especially for a live album-- it features many of Lennon's classic solo songs like "Instant Karma", "Imagine", and a brillant rendition of "mother" which in my opinion is better than the recorded version. This record also displays John's brillant humor in certain spots. The low point of the album is "Come Together". I wish they hadn't played it at all, it was a tease it just made me wish that they had played more Beatles songs or at least a better one like "I am the walrus" or "Day Tripper" but those songs probaly didn't express how he felt at the time so I should stop complaining and just be greatful that someone of Lennon's genious ever existed.

Rating: 2.5
Apr 18, 1997
Paul Kompanowski
Well, this album has some good moments. Especially Mother. However, this was only the afternoon concert. Lennon recorded and was simulcast on TV the same evening at an evening concert. All critics have raved about that particular concert. It was much bootlegged before Yoko took action against it and released this inferior concert. Maybe one day we'll hear the good version.

Rating: 2.0
Apr 16, 1997
Jason Woodburn
Of all of John Lennon's albums, this album is probably the most dissapointing. If Lennon were alive, I don't believe it would have been released. For the 1986 fan, it served its purpose of supplying a product of unheard music from a legand and a hero. Lennon, to me, sounds like he is going through the motions of a rock idol and a campaigner of peace. Almost as if the concert is a necessary evil to acheive an image. Lennon sounds hollow on the album, and if you ever see the concert on video, you get really annoyed at him chewing gum while he sings. "New York City" is a good start, but a bad song to begin with. "It's So Hard" is empty and more-or-less a shout. "Woman is the Nigger of the World," "Well Well Well," and "Instant Karma" all just have no heart. "Finally,"Mother" delivers a touching performance. "Come Together" is a good rocking number, but is a surprising choice in the song line-up. "Imagine" is by the time of the concert, was an anthem. This version is mediocre, but has a fine live sound. "Cold Turkey" is bitting, probably because it can't be sung any other way, but manages to loses something when Lennon speaks the title. "Hound Dog" is nothing Elvis coudn't sing from the grave. Finally, the "Give Peace a Chance" screech and squal raps up a commercial flop and a critical one. However, the album does offer the only live Lennon music since "Live Peace in Toronto-1969."

Rating: 4.5
Mar 28, 1997
This was easily one of John's best live performances. Upbeat, never preachy, John joked with the audience between songs, and opened himself up from the standard "events" people had been expecting. It really needs to be viewed, but as an album, Live in NYC is great. The real treat is listening to John play come together again, introducing it as... "we'll go into the past once tonight... hope i remember the words, something about a flattop" The reason i didn't give ti a 5 was because i disagreed with his backup jazz group being present on virtually every track. Imagine loses some of it's impact with a prominent saxaphone blaring. Yoko, for her part,at least tries to sing, and only blows her message at the end, between Hound Dog and Give Peace a chance(during the film), ranting off a speech by Hitler which serves no purpose. Overall a solid live album, with all the hits, some of the misses(Woman is the nigger of the world is introuduced as "the one they banned us for") and the attitude is more positive and less mind numbing than live jam from some time in NYC.


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Last updated on Nov 6, 1998