Friday, March 6, 2020

John Lennon - Milk and Honey (with Yoko Ono) (1984)

John Lennon - Milk and Honey (with Yoko Ono) - Released Year 1984

Tracklist front / back album covers

Side one
"I'm Stepping Out" (John Lennon) – 4:06
"Sleepless Night" (Yoko Ono) – 2:34
"I Don't Wanna Face It" (Lennon) – 3:22
"Don't Be Scared" (Ono) – 2:45
"Nobody Told Me" (Lennon) – 3:34
"O' Sanity" (Ono) – 1:05

Side two
"Borrowed Time" (Lennon) – 4:29
"Your Hands" (Ono) – 3:04
"(Forgive Me) My Little Flower Princess" (Lennon) – 2:28
"Let Me Count the Ways" (Ono) – 2:17
"Grow Old with Me" (Lennon) – 3:07
"You're the One" (Ono) – 3:56

2001 reissue bonus tracks
13. "Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him"   3:19
14. "I'm Stepping Out" (home version)  2:57
15. "I'm Moving On" (home version)   1:20
16. "John and Yoko interview by Dave Sholin and Laurie Kaye, 8 December 1980"   21:55

John Lennon Band Members / Musicians

John Lennon – guitar, keyboards, vocals, piano on "Grow Old with Me"

Yoko Ono – vocals, piano on "Let Me Count the Ways"

Chris Mawson – guitar

Earl Slick – guitar

Elliott Randall – guitar

Steve Love – guitar

Hugh McCracken – guitar

Neil Jason – bass

Tony Levin – bass

Wayne Pedziwiatr – bass

Howard Johnson – baritone saxophone

Gordon Grody – backing vocals

Billy Alessi – backing vocals

Bobby Alessi – backing vocals

Peter Cannarozzi – synthesizer

Paul Griffin – piano

George Small – piano

Ed Walsh – keyboards

Peter Thom – backing vocals

Kurt Yahjian – backing vocals

Carlos Alomar – backing vocals

Andy Newmark – drums

Allan Schwartzberg – drums

Yogi Horton – drums

Arthur Jenkins – percussion

Jimmy Maelen – percussion

Milk and Honey is the 6th and final album by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, released in 1984. It is the first posthumous release of new Lennon music, having been recorded in the last months of his life during and following the sessions for his 1980 album Double Fantasy. It was assembled by Yoko Ono in association with the Geffen label.

Milk and Honey was the duo's projected follow-up to Double Fantasy, though Lennon's murder caused a temporary shelving of the project. It took Ono three years to be able to resume work to complete it. Ono's material largely comprises new recordings which she undertook during the album's preparation in 1983, which give her songs a more commercial and contemporary edge. Conversely, Lennon's material, being rough takes and rehearsal recordings, has a more casual feeling.

"Nobody Told Me", a song Lennon intended for Ringo Starr's 1981 album Stop and Smell the Roses, was released as a single and became a worldwide Top 10 hit. Other singles from the album were "I'm Stepping Out" and "Borrowed Time". The songs "Let Me Count the Ways" and "Grow Old with Me" were written by Lennon and Ono to each other using inspiration from poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. They are presented in their demo form.

The album title came from Ono, who explained that it referred to their journey to the US, "the land of milk and honey". "But also, in the Scripture, the land of milk and honey is where you go after you die, as a promised land", Ono went on to say. "So it's very strange that I thought of that title. Almost scary – like someone up there told me to call the next album Milk and Honey." The cover is an alternative take from the same photo session that produced the front cover of Double Fantasy, though this photo appears in colour.

After falling out with David Geffen, whose Geffen Records had initially released Double Fantasy, Ono moved future projects to Polydor Records, which initially released Milk and Honey. EMI, home of Lennon's entire recorded output—including that with the Beatles—acquired this and all Lennon releases in the late 1990s. Predictably, the reaction to Milk and Honey was less fanatical than the one that afforded Double Fantasy in the wake of Lennon's death, but it was still well received, peaking at No. 3 in the UK and No. 11 in the US, where it went gold. Jack Douglas, who had co-produced Double Fantasy with Lennon and Ono, also had input into the initial sessions for Milk and Honey, though Ono declined to credit him after their professional relationship soured following Lennon's death.

In 2001, Ono supervised the remastering of Milk and Honey for its CD reissue, adding three bonus tracks and a 22-minute excerpt from Lennon's last interview in the late afternoon of 8 December 1980, hours before his death.

The bonus tracks include home demo recordings of "I'm Stepping Out" and "I'm Moving On" (from Double Fantasy) along with a version of "Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him" featuring Lennon's vocals only, which was planned to be included on the Ono tribute album Every Man Has a Woman (released 1984).

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