Tuesday, December 4, 2018

John Lennon & Yoko Ono - 1969 - The Wedding Album

John Lennon & Yoko Ono
The Wedding Album

01. John & Yoko 22:23
02. Amsterdam 24:52

CD Bonus Tracks:
03. Who Has Seen The Wind 2:03
04. Listen, The Snow Is Falling 3:22
05. Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow) 2:14

Bass, Electric Bass – Klaus Voormann (tracks: 3 to 5)
Guitar – John Lennon
Keyboards – John Lennon
Noises [Heartbeat Sounds] – John Lennon, Yoko Ono
Noises [Rare Sounds] – Yoko Ono
Piano, Chimes – Hugh McCracken (tracks: 3 to 5), Nicky Hopkins (tracks: 3 to 5)
Vocals – John Lennon, Yoko Ono

Released in a heavy box.
Box spine and record labels are credited to "John And Yoko".
The record is housed in a flipback gatefold cover, opening from the inside.

Complete copies include the following inserts:

- Wedding certificate (glued onto inside box lid)
- Press booklet
- Poster of the wedding
- Poster of ''Bed Peace''
- Bagism bag (white plastic)
- Passport photographs
- Postcard
- Picture of wedding cake

Some copies came with a fold-over 'These fine albums are available...' promotional Apple Records color leaflet.

The third long player of experimental recordings by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Wedding Album was released by Apple in 1969.

It was like our sharing our wedding with whoever wanted to share it with us. We didn't expect a hit record out of it. It was more of a... that's why we called it Wedding Album. You know, people make a wedding album, show it to the relatives when they come round. Well, our relatives are the... what you call fans, or people that follow us outside. So that was our way of letting them join in on the wedding.
John Lennon, 1980

The couple's first collaboration, Two Virgins, marked the beginning of their relationship and artistic partnership. The follow-up, Life With The Lions, mostly documented their 1968 stay in London's Queen Charlotte Hospital, where Ono suffered a miscarriage.
Wedding Album commemorated their wedding in Gibraltar on 20 March 1969. Although it was the final instalment in their trilogy of avant garde and experimental recordings, the couple continued to document their lives on tape until Lennon's death in 1980.
Wedding Album was credited simply to "John & Yoko"; their surnames did not appear anywhere on the sleeve or record labels.
The two sides of the vinyl disc each contained a single track. John And Yoko was a 22-minute recording of Lennon and Ono crying, whispering, speaking and screaming each others' names, at varying volumes and tempos, over the sound of their heartbeats.
They had previously released the sound of their unborn child's heartbeat on the Life With The Lions track Baby's Heartbeat, but this was the first time they had used their own non-vocal bodily sounds in their recordings.
The couple first recorded John And Yoko at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, on 22 April 1969, in a session beginning at 11pm and finishing at 4.30am the following morning. Five days later they returned to remake the track, with recording and mixing completed between 3pm and 8pm.
The released version was a combination of the 22 and 27 April recordings. Lennon edited the two together on 1 May 1969.
The album's second side was titled Amsterdam, and featured recordings made during their first bed-in for peace. The 25-minute track began with Ono singing John John (Let's Hope For Peace), which was later performed at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival and released on Live Peace In Toronto 1969.
Much of Amsterdam consisted of interviews given by Lennon and Ono, explaining their campaigns for peace, and discussions with each other. The speech was also interspersed with the sounds of seagulls, industrial noises, traffic, children playing and sitars.

"Peace is only got by peaceful methods. The establishment knows how to play the game of violence. They can't handle peaceful humour.
John Lennon

As the bed-in was discussed in the past tense during the recording, it is likely that parts of the recording were made in London or elsewhere after the event.
Four other musical interludes were also included: Lennon performing a brief blues-style composition on an acoustic guitar, featuring the words "Goodbye Amsterdam Goodbye"; Ono singing Grow Your Hair, a song about peace and staying in bed, with Lennon on guitar; an a capella rendition of The Beatles' song Good Night; and Bed Peace, a brief recitation of the words "Bed peace" and "Hair peace".

Unusually for the time, Apple released Wedding Album as a lavish box set. It included a reproduction of the marriage certificate, a 16-page booklet of press cuttings labelled 'The Press', a picture of a slice of wedding cake, a poster of black-and-white photos taken on their wedding day, a 'Hair Peace/Bed Peace' postcard, a PVC bag labelled 'Bagism', and a strip of four passport photographs of the happy couple.

The vinyl disc was housed in a plain white inner sleeve, inside a laminated gatefold picture sleeve. The package was designed by John Kosh, with photography by Mlle Daniau, Richard DiLello, John Kelly, Nico Koster, David Nutter and John and Yoko.
Wedding Album was available on vinyl, cassette tape and 8-track tape. The elaborate packaging led to a delay in the album being issued. It eventually appeared in the United States on 20 October 1969, and in the United Kingdom on 14 November.
The album was digitally remastered and reissued on compact disc by the Rykodisc label in 1997. It included three bonus tracks: Who Has Seen The Wind? was written by Yoko Ono and originally appeared as the b-side to Instant Karma; Listen, The Snow Is Falling was the b-side to Happy Xmas (War Is Over); and Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow) was a previously unreleased acoustic recording made at Queen Charlotte Hospital, London.

The album did not chart in the UK, but peaked at number 178 in the United States. Because of it poor sales and the various elements to the release, mint condition copies are highly sought after by collectors.

The UK weekly music newspaper Melody Maker ran a notorious review written by Richard Williams, who had been given a promotional copy containing two discs, each of which contained a test signal on one side. Williams duly reviewed what he thought was a double album, noting that "constant listening reveals a curious point: the pitch of the tones alters frequency, but only by microtones or, at most, a semitone. This oscillation produces an almost subliminal, uneven 'beat' which maintains interest. On a more basic level, you could have a ball by improvising your very own raga, plainsong, or even Gaelic mouth music against the drone."

Lennon and Ono were greatly amused by Williams' review, and sent a telegram of thanks.


I have owned the vinyl edition for some years Yesterday I recived the cd reissue and since this album almost tops my list of 60's release really thrills me to hear what the CD sounds like. The vinyl has a softer side to but the cd has a different, cleaner sound. I think this release is so wnorthwihile I got it for a compilation CD project for my niece and have included Amsterdam om this 3rd volume out of 5. The wedding album is a thrill, there are few releases like it, the track John and to Yoko shifts in moods all the way from the beginning to the end and it seems that the percussion track is made up out of heart beats correct me if am wrong.

The album is a little off-beat but wonderful and it was published through through Apple publications which makes it a real treat. My favorite track is Amsterdam it starts with a free form peace hymn and develops into an interview focusing on peaceful methods, the bed peace event in Amsterdam and events during the second world war. this to a pack drop of guitar/sitar sounds and phone ringing sounds from the road outside and things l like saying "Do you want so tea" questions and so on. This is the best track and it is also a perfect time piece, as this is the genuine article the first time it listened to the vinyl I was thrilled about from day one. The LP has a more lavish package because it includes a copy of the wedding certificate photos and more. But the CD on the other has a different sound, a very good complement to the original release. The two tracks speak for themselves with a sparse selves and I think the bonus track ae not really necessary as the original album speaks for itself and is enhanced with all these sounds like seagulls quacking and other things. John and Yoko were both educated artists, and this album is a sincere really good release displaying this. Because they are showing that you can create art and make lasting contributions through simple means. and Wedding Album is a great piece of art.and it is legendary.
One of my favorite bands Swedish The Kook relaters to old music role mothers such as the Byrds have split, the Jam has quir" and also Mr Lennon said peace is in my bed so won't you please come on down".those final words refer to this event, (source The Kooks- Bruce Emms from Too Much is not Enough 1999. Now for a comment on bonus tracks by Yoko Ono single one of which is really dependent on the baroque pop sound for instance Good but too different from the actual album, which is avant garde, for the original sound collage/spoken word and more free form and much more intriguing. I Like John and Yoko's Wedding album and I now own it in two versions, it is even better than Life with Lions and it is good to see John Lennon giving everything some sincerity in the making of an album like this. It probabllu could not have been done without the inspiration provided by Yoko Ono. I am happy to see artist who try to break away from the predictable pop business and try something new for a change. This is unlike any Beatles record I have heard and think both John and Yoko was plea ¤ed with this result - with nothing left to prove this was their third LP, the only things i could compare it to is the sound collages on The Monkees Head album from 1968, or Revolution #9 from the Beatles double album also from 1968- Truly fascinating

John Lennon & Yoko Ono - 1968 - Unfinished Music No.2 Life With The Lions

John Lennon & Yoko Ono
Unfinished Music No.2  Life With The Lions

01. Cambridge 1969
02. No Bed For Beatle John
03. Baby's Heartbeat
04. Two Minutes Silence
05. Radio Play

CD Bonus Tracks
06. Song For John 1:29
07. Mulberry 8:57

Notes: The front cover photo of John and Yoko was taken in Queen Charlotte's Maternity Hospital in Hammersmith, London, where Yoko had a miscarriage.

The back cover photo was taken outside the Marylebone court by the Daily Mirror as J&Y were leaving the court on 28 Nov 1968.

The track "Cambridge 1969" was recorded live at Lady Mitchell Hall (Cambridge, England) before a crowd of 500  on March 2nd, 1969, with thanks to Anthony Barnett the producer of "A Natural Music Nothing Doing In London Concert".

Tracks 2-7:
Recorded on a cassette at Queen Charlotte Hospital Second West Ward,
Room 1, London, England, 4th/25th November 1968.

Yoko Ono: Vocal
John Lennon: Vocal, Guitar
On track 1:
Mal Evans: Watch
John Tchikai: Saxophone
John Stevens: Percussion

 HomeBeatle peopleJohn LennonJohn Lennon albumsUnfinished Music No 2: Life With The Lions
Unfinished Music No 2: Life With The Lions
Unfinished Music No 2: Life With The Lions album artwork – John Lennon and Yoko OnoRecorded: November 1968; 2 March 1969
Producers: John Lennon, Yoko Ono

Released: 9 May 1969 (UK), 26 May 1969 (US)

John Lennon: vocals, guitar, feedback
Yoko Ono: vocals, radio effects
John Ono Lennon II: heartbeat
John Tchicai: saxophone
John Stevens: percussion
Mal Evans: watch

The second long player of experimental sounds by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Unfinished Music No 2: Life With The Lions was released on the Zapple label in May 1969.

The follow-up to Unfinished Music No 1: Two Virgins continued the couple's attempt to present their lives together as artistic statements. The first half was an avant-garde jazz performance recorded live at Cambridge University, while the second documented their stay in London's Queen Charlotte Hospital in 1968.

The album was the first to be released on The Beatles' label Zapple, intended as an experimental counterpart to Apple. It was issued on the same day as George Harrison's Electronic Sound.

Cambridge 1969 was a 26-minute piece featuring Ono on wailing vocals and Lennon coaxing numerous shades of feedback from his guitar amplifier, recorded on 2 March 1969. For the final six minutes they were joined by saxophonist John Tchicai and percussionist John Stevens, who continued playing for a time after Lennon and Ono left the stage.

The album's second half was recorded after Ono was admitted to hospital on 4 November 1968. During her stay Lennon remained at her side, sleeping in a spare hospital bed until it was needed for another patient; he subsequently slept on the floor.

Over the next fortnight they made a series of recordings. No Bed For Beatle consisted mostly of Ono singing snippets of press articles about the couple, with Lennon doing the same in the background. The track is followed by Baby's Heartbeat, a five-minute audio recording of the couple's unborn child.

On 21 November 1968 Ono suffered a miscarriage, which was attributed to stress caused by the couple's recent arrest for drugs possession and the backlash they received from the media. The child was named John Ono Lennon II, and was later buried in a secret location.

Two Minutes Silence follows; its contents are self-explanatory. Interestingly, in 1973 the couple released another silent track, Nutopian International Anthem on the Mind Games album, which followed their announcement of Nutopia, a conceptual country.

The final track on Life With The Lions is Radio Play, more than 12 minutes of a radio being turned on and off by Ono. Lennon can be heard in the background speaking on the telephone, and at one point The Beatles' Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da can be heard.

A 1997 compact disc reissue included to additional recordings made at Queen Charlotte Hospital. Song For John is a relatively conventional song featuring Ono singing over Lennon's acoustic guitar backing, while Mulberry has Lennon on slide guitar while Ono repeats the title word for nine minutes.

Lennon and Ono appeared on The David Frost Show in London on 14 June 1969, in which they talked about Unfinished Music No 2: Life With The Lions, as well as their peace campaigns.

If John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band is considered to be one of the most honest recordings ever released by a popular music superstar, then what is Life with the Lions?  The disdain of this album, particular among hardcore Beatle fans, is easy to understand.  Performers of some of the most wonderful pop/rock songs of all-time, Life with the Lions possesses no signs of harmony, rhythm or traditional song-structure whatsoever.  Since the greatest strengths of Lennon or McCartney are nary present here, it's easy to comprehend the adverse reaction many listeners have to this album.

But for those remaining listeners who really want some insight into the machinations of a global celebrity who has fallen in love and married a woman the world despises (possibly because she's a strong woman with feminist ideals, a Dada-ist artistic ethos, and Japanese [not the white, blond, blue-eyed trophy expected to drape the arm of a Beatle]), who has just suffered with her through the pain of miscarriage, and who is given no peace from the media, the music industry or people who just want a piece of their idol during this entire ordeal, then Life of the Lions is a necessary listening experience.

The centerpiece is "Cambridge 1969," John Lennon's first serious leap into the musical avant-garde as a guitar player.  Spewing feedback, at times pitchperfect with Yoko Ono's shrieking howl, this anti-music is more cathartic than any of the Sonic Youth guitar freakouts that would follow fifteen to twenty years later.  John Tchichai strengthens the avant-garde connection by contributing some free sax in the last minutes of the track.  Superior to similar output on Live Peace in Toronto 1969, an album mired by the superstar gala surrounding it (and the incompetent support of Eric Clapton and Alan White, who were clearly out of their element), "Cambridge 1969" is much more successful as an experimental piece of music than much of the "psychedelic" stuff passed off for innovative at that time.

The flip-side, though somewhat lacking in originality, is raw, and often too painful to listen to.  "No Bed for Beatle John" features Yoko Ono reading from newspaper articles about her husband in a lullaby voice ill-fitting of the content she is reading.  This is followed by the tragic "Baby's Heartbeat," a loop of the heartbeat of John & Yoko's miscarried child, creating immediate discomfort in the listener for prying into the private lives of these people.  The soothing, hypnotic sounds of the heart are rendered violent and cacophonous by the lo-fi recording on this track.  The final two tracks steal ideas from John Cage.  But where Cage's music is often brutally intellectual, "Two Minutes Silence" and "Radio Play" are completely visceral.  On the latter track, a beat-up transistor radio is manipulated to produce static beats, while in the background, we hear Lennon and Ono discussing business and taking phone calls.  This is performance art: for these Warhol-era superstars, the line between art and quotidian reality is so blurry that notions of self become immediately outdated.

This is a harsh, difficult recording to listen to.  Its challenge lies in its separation of art (and pop-cultural myth) from lived experience, of music from noise, of silence from sound.  How many albums can you think that do this?

Yet another Lennon/Ono masterpiece. This time the album includes actual music. But listen to the sonic soundscapes as well, like Radioplay and Baby's Heartbeat. Awesome stuff!
Yes, it is an acquired taste. But if you taste it long enough, you will want more!
Play it on headphones. Simply awesome.
Their second masterpiece.

John Lennon & Yoko Ono - 1968 - Unfinished Music No. 1 Two Virgins

John Lennon & Yoko Ono
Unfinished Music No. 1 Two Virgins

01. Two Virgins No. 1
02. Together
03. Two Virgins No. 2
04. Two Virgins No. 3
05. Two Virgins No. 4
06. Two Virgins No. 5
07. Two Virgins No. 6
08. Hushabye Hushabye
09. Two Virgins No. 7
10. Two Virgins No. 8
11. Two Virgins No. 9
12. Two Virgins No. 10

CD Bonus:
13. Remember Love

John Lennon: vocals, piano, organ, percussion, effects, tape loops
Yoko Ono: vocals, tape loops
Pete Shotton: tape loops

The tracks are listed on the labels but its impossible to discern where one ends and another starts.
Both sides contain continuous tracks.

Fully laminated cover.

Apple Records. Recorded in John Lennon's home studio in Weybridge, Surrey, England, May 1968.

Track 13: (B-side to Give Peace A Chance) Produced by John and Yoko.
Recorded in Room 1742 Hotel La Reine, Elizabeth, Montreal by Les Studios
Andre Perry, 7585 Malo, Ville De Brossard, P.Q. Canada, June 1, 1969.

"Pop fanatics, please step off. This is musique concrete, if you don't know what that is don't listen to it. Leave your 'Love me Do' at the door"
unknown reviewer on Amazon

If you claim to like Anima, Nurse With Wound, Amon Düül, Throbbing Gristle, etc. etc. etc. yet you bag on this, you're full of shit. This is pretty much a lo-fi version of the above mentioned acts, full of tape loops and improvisation and shameless goofing off. Sure, it's not perfect by any means, but how can the sound of two people in love indulging in artistic experimentation inspire such hate from listeners? Just give it a chance. 

Don't come into this expecting an expanded take on "Revolution #9". This is a much more primitive and in-the-moment experience than that revolutionary piece.

Side One is absolutely spectacular the birds chirping plus Ono's shrieks coming in through a genuinely engaging build up always prevented from become too ethereal by warm piano chords. Engaging throughout. 9.5/10

Side Two sounds frustratingly far less inspired for the first six minutes with Yoko seeming completely misplaced being simultaneously boring and irritating. But then, by some miracle of composition and Lennon coming in vocally, Yoko snaps into place and for the second half of Side Two sounds even more stunning for a short time than Side One. 

John Lennon's first of three experimental albums made with Yoko Ono, Unfinished Music No 1: Two Virgins featured a controversial nude photograph on its front cover.

"I don't think I actually heard all of Two Virgins; just bits of it. I wasn't particularly into that kind of thing. That was his and her affair; their trip. They got involved with each other and were obviously into each other to such a degree that they thought everything they said or did was of world importance, and so they made it into records and films."
George Harrison

The album was recorded in an all-night session at Kenwood, Lennon's home in Weybridge, Surrey. Lennon invited Ono over on 19 May 1968, the date which marked the beginning of their relationship.

Although married to Cynthia Lennon, he had become intrigued by the Japanese artist whom he had first met on 7 November 1966. The pair were in regular contact between those dates, and Lennon's invitation to Ono came while Cynthia was on a two-week holiday in Greece.

Two Virgins, as it later became known, was a spontaneous recording made in Lennon's music room, which was situated in the attic of Kenwood. The recordings included vocal improvisations, birdsong, amplifier feedback, distorted instruments and other sound effects.

The tapes also contained renditions of nursery rhymes, music hall songs and novelty piano tunes. An outtake from the recordings, unofficially known as Holding A Note, has also been issued on bootleg releases.

"When we got back from India, we were talking to each other on the phone. I called her over, it was the middle of the night and Cyn was away, and I thought, 'Well, now's the time if I'm going to get to know her any more.' She came to the house and I didn't know what to do; so we went upstairs to my studio and I played her all the tapes that I'd made, all this far-out stuff, some comedy stuff, and some electronic music. There were very few people I could play those tapes to. She was suitably impressed, and then she said, 'Well, let's make one ourselves,' so we made Two Virgins. It was midnight when we finished, and then we made love at dawn. It was very beautiful."
John Lennon, 1970
Lennon Remembers, Jann S Wenner

Two 78rpm discs were also incorporated into the recordings. The first was Together, written by George Buddy DeSylva, Lew Brown and Ray Henderson, was released in 1928 by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, and featured Bix Beiderbecke on coronet.

The second was I'd Love To Fall Asleep And Wake Up In My Mammy's Arms, the b-side of Fred Douglas's 1921 single Margie. The music was written by Fred E Ahlert, and the words by Sam M Lewis and Joe Young. The snippet used on Two Virgins was retitled Hushabye Hushabye, a phrase from the song.

Lennon's childhood friend Pete Shotton, who had been at Kenwood when Ono arrived, later claimed that he had made several of the tape loops with Lennon. The recordings were made on two-track tape using a Brennel machine.

"Even before we made this record, I envisioned producing an album of hers and I could see this album cover of her being naked because her work was so pure. I couldn't think of any other way of presenting her. It wasn't a sensational idea or anything.
After Yoko and I met, I didn't realise I was in love with her. I was still thinking it was an artistic collaboration, as it were – producer and artist, right? We'd known each other for a couple of years. My ex-wife was away in Italy, and Yoko came to visit me and we took some acid. I was always shy with her, and she was shy, so instead of making love, we went upstairs and made tapes. I had this room full of different tapes where I would write and make strange loops and things like that for the Beatles' stuff. So we make a tape all night. She was doing her funny voices and I was pushing all different buttons on my tape recorder and getting sound effects. And then as the sun rose we made love and that was Two Virgins. That was the first time."
John Lennon, 1980
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

Although the avant-garde recordings of Two Virgins would prove unpalatable to most Beatles fans, more outrageous was the front cover photograph, which featured a nude photograph of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The rear sleeve, fittingly, had a similarly naked shot of the couple with their backs to the camera.

"The cover was the mind-blower – I remember to this day the moment when they came in and showed me. I don't really remember the music, I'd have to play it now. But he showed me the cover and I pointed to the Times: 'Oh, you've even got the Times in it...' as if he didn't have his dick hanging out.
I said, 'Ah, come on, John. You're doing all this stuff and it may be cool for you, but you know we all have to answer. It doesn't matter; whichever one of us does something, we all have to answer for it.' He said, 'Oh, Ringo, you only have to answer the phone.' I said, 'OK, fine,' because it was true. The press would be calling up, and just at that point I didn't want to be bothered – but in the end that's all I had to do: answer the phone. It was fine. Two or three people phoned and I said: 'See, he's got the Times on the cover."
Ringo Starr

The photograph was taken some months after the recording was made, in early October 1968. The shoot took place at the basement flat on London's Montagu Square, owned by Ringo Starr, where Lennon and Ono were temporarily living.

"We were both a bit embarrassed when we peeled off for the picture, so I took it myself with a delayed-action shutter. The picture was to prove that we are not a couple of demented freaks, that we are not deformed in any way and that our minds are healthy. If we can make society accept these kind of things without offence, without sniggering, then we shall be achieving our purpose.
What we did purposely is not have a pretty photograph; not have it lighted so as we looked sexy or good. There were a couple of other takes from that session where we looked rather nice, hid the little bits that aren't that beautiful; we looked good. We used the straightest, most unflattering picture just to show that we were human."
John Lennon

Lennon gave the film to Jeremy Banks, a staff member at Apple Corps. Banks had it developed, and gave the prints to Derek Taylor, the company's press officer.

"John had just given Jeremy a roll of film and said, 'Get that developed, please.' And when he got it back and saw the nude pictures he said: 'This is mind-blowing.' Everything was always 'mind-blowing' to Jeremy, but – just that one time – he was actually right. He couldn't believe it."
Neil Aspinall

Although he later admitted being shocked by the photography, Paul McCartney gave Lennon a quotation for the sleeve:

"When two great Saints meet, it is a humbling experience. The long battles to prove he was a Saint.
Paul McCartney

The album was eventually released in a brown paper bag to hide the cover. On the sleeve was a quotation from the Bible: "25. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed."

"I said: 'Right. OK. Fine. Let's get on with things. Let's do something about this.' It was very interesting and exciting, and I thought that here was a monumental problem with which we could deal. Life there was such an 'action-reaction' situation that this was just one more thrilling thing.
And, of course, the Sunday papers were at us, and at this photograph. This filthy thing! 'Look at These Filthy People!' and there was a big circle over the naughty part and an arrow: 'This is where the naughty part would be if people like us were not so decent. We wouldn't dream of showing it to you – but aren't they awful!'

So I found something – I got a Bible. There's always something to hand, isn't there? And there was a bit in the book of Genesis which said: 'The man and his wife were naked and not ashamed,' or something like that, which I thought was suitable. John and Yoko were not married – but hey! This was life and... 'Here's this thing in the Bible – now what are you press going to do about it?"
Derek Taylor

Yoko Ono’s radical influence on pop history has inspired generations of visionary musicians. Deeply rooted in Fluxus, Ono’s newly-reissued early albums help to detail her broader artistic intentions.

Courting confusion is part of the job description for anyone working in the avant-garde. Some experimenters meet this requirement with the equivalent of a shrug, while others take to the task with more evident relish. For over half a century, the singer and visual artist Yoko Ono has found herself in the latter camp, gleefully scrawling her new approaches into the official ledgers of cultural production.

The editors of the recent volume Fluxbooks credit Ono’s 1964 Grapefruit as being “one of the first works of art in book form.” Ono’s early short films likewise helped expand cinematic practices. In the years before she started dating a Beatle, Ono sang with one of John Cage’s most trusted musical interpreters, and turned a New York loft space into a contemporary-art destination that drew the likes of Marcel Duchamp to her door.

Yet this multimedia artist’s most notorious act of provocation was her approach to becoming tabloid fodder. She took one of the world’s most popular musicians and hurried along his engagement with the experimental fringe (an attraction already evident in John Lennon’s work, as early as 1966’s Revolver). In some quarters, she’s never been forgiven for this. But Ono’s radical influence on pop history has also inspired generations of visionary artists.

The Lennon/Ono collaborative albums were a critical part of their take on celebrity coupledom. Their first two LPs carried the series title “Unfinished Music,” a conceptual gambit with deeper roots in the aesthetic of the Fluxus art movement than in that of the British Invasion. The first set to be issued, subtitled Two Virgins, was a sound-collage set reportedly produced during their first night together. The album’s name, and the full-frontal nudity of its cover, referenced the couple’s sense of innocence in approaching a new beginning—as well as the fact that the recording took place just prior to the consummation of their relationship.

As the product of a first date, Two Virgins is fascinating. As a sound artifact from the initial decade of Fluxus-inspired activity, it has plenty of competition. Casual clips of the couple’s conversations—mixed in alongside Lennon’s tape loops—blur the distinction between the private and the public-facing. This approach recalls efforts by some of Ono’s contemporaries, like Charlotte Moorman and Benjamin Patterson. But what makes Two Virgins distinct is the range of Ono’s voice. In the opening moments, she contributes some pure-tone humming, which sounds downright companionable amid Lennon’s meandering keyboard motifs and reverb tape-effects. Four-and-a-half-minutes in, Ono unleashes the first of her extended yelps, from the top of her range. Even if you know it’s coming, this sound always registers as shocking.

This aspect of Ono’s musicianship confused (and enraged) large portions of Lennon’s audience. Despite her purposeful variations of timbre and her ability to hit notes cleanly, Ono’s recourse to this proto-punk wail was often decried as unmusical. And after the White Album’s “Revolution 9”—a much tighter collage created by Lennon, Ono and George Harrison, now sometimes interpreted by classical musicians—she was often accused of being the driving agent behind the Beatles’ breakup.

Tensions from Beatlemania carry over into the couple’s second, less idyllic “Unfinished Music” release, subtitled Life With the Lions. Corporate tussles between the Beatles and their record label provide some of the inspiration for “No Bed for Beatle John,” a piece recorded in Ono’s hospital room, following a miscarriage. The album’s dominant track, though, is the side-length workout “Cambridge 1969,” a live recording driven by Lennon’s guitar feedback and Ono’s harshest vocalizations.

In failing to create much interest over its 26 minutes, “Cambridge 1969” reveals something important about Ono’s art. The performances of hers that work don’t do so merely because she can kick up a unique noise. Instead, the takes that have true liftoff usually find her switching up those extreme textures with greater frequency. Unlike some of the composers she hung out with, circa 1961, Ono is not a drone artist. She’s an expert in subtle variations, carved from blocks of seeming chaos.

Her 1970 album Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band is a triumph, in part, because it sounds fully aware of this reality. It’s also iconic because it contains some of Lennon’s most aggressive guitar work. Opener “Why” hurtles from its needle-drop opening, with slide guitar swoops and febrile picking that anticipate the variety of Ono’s vocal lines. When the singer enters, she wastes no time in applying a range of approaches to her one-word lyric sheet. Long expressions full of vibrato give way to shorter exhalations, rooted in the back of the throat. Spates of shredded laughter communicate the absurdist good humor that’s often present in Ono’s work. The minimalist pounding of drummer Ringo Starr and bassist Klaus Voormann is there as a foil, propped against all the invention on offer from Ono and Lennon.

“Why Not” inverts this script by arranging similar licks inside a slower tempo. Ono’s voice becomes more pinched and childlike, while Lennon’s guitar lines have a bluesier profile. Elsewhere, Ono puts a new spin on an “instruction” piece from her Grapefruit book, with the echo-laden “Greenfield Morning I Pushed an Empty Baby Carriage All Over the City.” Here, in another surprise, Ono’s voice sounds stolid and more traditionally “correct.” That feel is subsequently obliterated by the noisy middle section of “AOS,” a track Ono recorded in ’68 with saxophonist Ornette Coleman’s band. The Lennon-led backing group returns for the final two pieces of the original LP configuration, which have a comparatively calmer air.

Like Lennon’s ’70 solo album of the same name (and near-identical cover), Ono’s Plastic Ono Band initially scans as acerbic, yet manages to create a supple variety of song-forms from that opening template. Ono’s absorption of her new husband’s sonic language was only beginning to pay dividends, too. As Sean Lennon’s Chimera imprint and the Secretly Canadian label continue to reissue her catalog, Ono’s subsequent experiments with rock and pop formats will come into clearer view for audiences that have only heard rumors about her craft. Still, these opening reissues—which come complete with era-appropriate B-sides and outtakes—all manage to reflect a key aspect of Ono’s broader artistic intentions, as defined in a 1971 artist’s statement: “I like to fight the establishment by using methods that are so far removed from establishment-type thinking that the establishment doesn’t know how to fight back.”

Frank Zappa - 2017 - Halloween 77

Frank Zappa
Halloween 77

10-28-77 Show 1

01. 10-28-77 Show 1 Start/Introductions (3:28)
02. Peaches En Regalia (2:42)
03. The Torture Never Stops (13:05)
04. Tryin' To Grow A Chin (3:37)
05. City Of Tiny Lites (6:04)
06. l Pound For A Brown (8:05)
07. Bobby Brown Goes Down (4:33)
08. Conehead (Instrumental) (9:19)
09. Flakes (4:03)
10. Big Leg Emma (1:47)
11. Envelopes (2:29)
12. Terry's Solo #1 (4:42)
13. Disco Boy (3:53)
14. Lather (3:36)
15. Wild Love (24:05)
16. Titties N Beer (7:16)
17. Audience Participation #1 (0:48)
18. The Black Page #2 (3:02)
19. Jones Crusher (2:48)
20. Broken Hearts Are For Assholes (3:52)
21. Punky's Whips (9:43)
22. Encore Audience #1 (1:21)
23. Dinah-Moe Humm (4:55)
24. Camarillo Brillo (3:35)
25. Muffin Man (4:36)

10-28-77 Show 2

01. 10-28-77 Show 2 Start/Introductions (3:13)
02. Peaches En Regalia (2:42)
03. The Torture Never Stops (12:33)
04. Tryin' To Grow A Chin (3:37)
05. City Of Tiny Lites (8:00)
06. Pound For A Brown (9:19)
07. Bobby Brown Goes Down (5:36)
08. Conehead (Instrumental) (9:18)
09. Flakes (4:10)
10. Big Leg Emma (1:48)
11. Envelopes (2:33)
12. Terry's Solo #2 (4:17)
13. Disco Boy (3:54)
14. Lather (3:42)
15. Wild Love[1] (26:01)
16. Titties N Beer (7:50)
17. Audience Participation #2 (2:37)
18. The Black Page #2 (3:14)
19. Jones Crusher (2:58)
20. Broken Hearts Are For Assholes (3:54)
21. Punky's Whips (9:51)
22. Encore Audience #2 (2:13)
23. Dinah-Moe Humm (4:01)
24. Camarillo Brillo (3:36)
25. Muffin Man (6:20)

10-29-77 Show 1

01. 10-29-77 Show 1 Start/Introductions (4:06)
02. Peaches En Regalia (2:42)
03. The Torture Never Stops (12:59)
04. Tryin' To Grow A Chin (3:34)
05. City Of Tiny Lites (7:15)
06. Pound For A Brown (8:26)
07. Bobby Brown Goes Down (6:06)
08. Conehead (Instrumental) (5:50)
09. Flakes (3:53)
10. Big Leg Emma (1:52)
11. Envelopes (2:42)
12. Terry's Solo #3 (3:51)
13. Disco Boy (3:57)
14. Lather (3:40)
15. Wild Love (22:51)
16. Titties N Beer (6:01)
17. Audience Participation #3 (2:42)
18. The Black Page #2 (3:05)
19. Jones Crusher (2:53)
20. Broken Hearts Are For Assholes (3:50)
21. Punky's Whips (9:18)
22. Encore Audience #3 (1:46)
23. Dinah-Moe Humm (5:12)
24. Camarillo Brillo (3:29)
25. Muffin Man (5:09)

10-29-77 Show 2

01. 10-29-77 Show 2 Start/Introductions (4:21)
02. Peaches En Regalia (2:42)
03. The Torture Never Stops (11:30)
04. Tryin' To Grow A Chin (3:36)
05. City Of Tiny Lites (7:01)
06. Pound For A Brown (9:05)
07. Bobby Brown Goes Down (9:12)
08. Conehead (Instrumental) (6:29)
09. Flakes (3:28)
10. Big Leg Emma (1:49)
11. Envelopes (2:52)
12. Terry's Solo #4 (4:07)
13. Disco Boy (3:54)
14. Lather (3:56)
15. Wild Love (27:33)
16. Titties N Beer (8:12)
17. Audience Participation #4 (5:02)
18. The Black Page #2 (2:57)
19. Jones Crusher (2:49)
20. Broken Hearts Are For Assholes (3:48)
21. Punky's Whips (9:36)
22. Encore Audience #4 (2:23)
23. Dinah-Moe Humm (6:19)
24. Camarillo Brillo (3:30)
25. Muffin Man (6:02)

10-30-77 Show

01. 10-30-77 Show Start (1:40)
02. Stink-Foot (7:45)
03. The Poodle Lecture (5:10)
04. Dirty Love (2:32)
05. Peaches En Regalia (2:40)
06. The Torture Never Stops (12:53)
07. Tryin' To Grow A Chin (3:32)
08. City Of Tiny Lites (7:36)
09. Pound For A Brown (10:03)
10. I Have Been In You (8:35)
11. Dancin' Fool (World Premiere) (4:50)
12. Jewish Princess (Prototype) (4:41)
13. King Kong (8:45)
14. Terry's Solo #5 (5:07)
15. Disco Boy (4:01)
16. Envelopes (2:19)
17. A Halloween Treat with Thomas Nordegg (6:17)
18. Lather (3:47)
19. Wild Love (25:19)
20. Titties N Beer (7:01)
21. Audience Participation #5 (8:28)
22. The Black Page #2 (2:59)
23. Jones Crusher (2:53)
24. Broken Hearts Are For Assholes (3:52)
25. Punky's Whips (12:36)
26. Encore Rap (1:11)
27. Dinah-Moe Humm (6:06)
28. Camarillo Brillo (3:27)
29. Muffin Man (5:18)
30. San Ber'dino (6:20)

10-31-77 Show

01. Halloween 1977 Show Start/Introductions (3:11)
02. Peaches En Regalia (2:42)
03. The Torture Never Stops (13:54)
04. Tryin' To Grow A Chin (3:35)
05. City Of Tiny Lites (8:17)
06. Pound For A Brown (13:40)
07. The Demise Of The Imported Rubber Goods Mask (8:33)
08. Bobby Brown Goes Down (3:49)
09. Conehead (Instrumental) (8:21)
10. Flakes (3:04)
11. Big Leg Emma (1:58)
12. Envelopes (2:25)
13. Terry's Halloween Solo (4:38)
14. Disco Boy (3:55)
15. Lather (3:58)
16. Wild Love (30:11)
17. Titties 'N' Beer (7:24)
18. Halloween Audience Participation (7:04)
19. The Black Page #2 (2:55)
20. Jones Crusher (2:58)
21. Broken Hearts Are For Assholes (3:52)
22. Punky's Whips (11:23)
23. Halloween Encore Audience I (2:07)
24. Dinah-Moe Humm (6:41)
25. Camarillo Brillo (3:24)
26. Muffin Man (5:21)
27. San Ber'dino (5:01)
28. Black Napkins (9:19)

Recorded during all 6 shows at The Palladium, NYC on Oct. 28 through Oct. 31, 1977
Special guests Roy Estrada, Thomas Nordegg, Phil Kaufman and New York's Finest Crazy Persons
This is official release #110

Frank Zappa (guitar, vocals)
Adrian Belew (guitar, vocals)
Terry Bozzio (drums, vocals)
Roy Estrada (gas mask, vocals)
Phil Kaufman ("human trombone")
Ed Mann (percussion)
Tommy Mars (keyboards, vocals)
Thomas Nordegg ("some magic tricks")
Patrick O'Hearn (bass)
Peter Wolf (keyboards)

Remembering Frank Zappa’s Epic 1977 Halloween Shows

I missed the birth of a tradition – the advanced, instrumental ecstasy, cliff-edge improvisation and impromptu theatrical hijinks of Frank Zappa‘s annual Halloween concerts in New York City – by less than a week and a 90-minute drive. On November 5th, 1974, I saw Zappa in performance for the first time in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in a drafty livestock showroom on the Allentown Fairgrounds. The composer was leading the Mothers featured on that year’s live document, Roxy & Elsewhere, and they were – under his firm direction, despite the dire setting and matching acoustics – in thrilling military-drilled form.

Six days earlier, Zappa celebrated his first Halloween in New York – after ’72 and ’73 stands in Passaic, New Jersey, and Chicago respectively – with early and late shows of two hours each that established the city as Zappa’s mischief-night headquarters into the mid-Eighties. The repertoire on that night in ’74 spanned his entire, winding history in provocation and incisive adventure, going back to jump street – 1966’s Freak Out! – via the jazzy expanse of “Big Swifty” from 1972’s The Grand Wazoo and the devious accessibility of the ’74 chart shock, Apostrophe (‘). During the second set, Zappa also hit the trick-as-treat button, bringing Lance Loud – the aspiring glam-rock star and breakout gay icon from the proto–reality TV series, An American Family – onstage to join the vocal shenanigans.

In 1977, after three years of Halloween at the Felt Forum, Zappa moved to the Fillmore East–style atmosphere of the Palladium (formerly the Academy of Music). He also added shows to the run: six marathons over four nights, with the last two concerts on October 30th and 31st hitting the three-hour mark without intermission. As Zappa told the packed and delirious crowd early on the 31st, introducing the helium falsetto of an original Mother, guest vocalist Roy Estrada, in a “glam-rock opera” about a sexually aroused rubber mask: “You don’t want to have a regular Halloween, do ya? You want the best. You deserve the best. You’re gonna get the best.”

Forty years on – and nearly a quarter-century after Zappa’s passing in 1993 – “the best” has been unleashed in full by the Zappa Family Trust. Halloween 77: The Palladium, NYC (Zappa Records) is a digital-age box with the six concerts from introduction to encores, packed onto a USB stick packaged as a candy bar and accompanied by a Zappa mask and saucy T-shirt for masquerade enthusiasts. Non-completists and those on a budget can get the climax of the engagement on a three-CD set, Halloween 77: October 31st, 1977, with bonus tracks from the 30th (including a rare detour that week into Zappa’s signature instrumental “King Kong”). “By the end of a performance,” guitarist Adrian Belew writes in his liner notes, “I remember that happily-drained feeling. No more to give …”

This was, in fact, a band primed for giving, under Zappa’s strict, exuberant command: drummer Terry Bozzio and Patrick O’Hearn, precocious-fusion furies and comparative Zappa veterans of a year-and-change; keyboard players Tommy Mars and Peter Wolf; percussionist Ed Mann; and Belew, then on his first tour with Zappa and discovered by the latter earlier that year at a club gig in Nashville. Belew’s single year with Zappa would kick off the guitarist’s rapid ascent in the late Seventies and Eighties: next with David Bowie, then in Talking Heads and King Crimson. Mars and Mann would stay with Zappa, on record and the road, in various lineups, until the end of his touring life in 1988.

Zappa arrived at the Palladium in October 1977 under heavy legal weather. A deteriorating relationship with Warner Bros. Records, the distributor of his DiscReet label, reached an infuriating low that year when Warner Bros. refused to release Zappa’s next intended release, a four-LP anthology of new and archival work, Läther. When Zappa took the set to Mercury, planning to release it under his new Zappa Records imprint, Warner Bros. claimed rights to the recordings. Zappa was forced to carve that material across a series of separate LPs for the company while building a new album from scratch.

The Palladium shows were the start of that next record, 1978’s Sheik Yerbouti. In his liner notes, Belew cites “two- and three-hour soundchecks which were thinly disguised recording sessions” for the album. Two performances from that week of “Jones Crusher” and “Jewish Princess” were included on the ’78 double LP. Other Sheik Yerbouti songs that appeared nightly in the set lists included the galloping cynicism of “Broken Hearts Are for Assholes”; the breakneck sequence of “Tryin’ to Grow a Chin” and “City of Tiny Lites”; and Zappa’s biggest hit anywhere, the gleefully scabrous “Bobby Brown.” Issued as a single in 1979, it inexplicably went to Number One in Norway and Sweden. (A personal milestone: Sheik Yerbouti, completed with live recordings from Europe in early 1978, was the first album I ever reviewed for Rolling Stone.)

Zappa was also filming the Palladium concerts for what would become, with Bruce Bickford’s stop-motion clay animation, the 1979 film, Baby Snakes. At one point in the Halloween show, someone in the crowd complained about the glare of the house lights. “We can’t turn off the lights,” Zappa replied, “because we’re making movies of you.”

“Frank was the hardest working artist I have ever known,” Belew writes, “fueled by constant caffeine and cigarettes, and we tried our best to keep up with him.” Zappa, in turn, summarized his working methods and commitment this way, when I interviewed him in 1979 for the magazine Trouser Press: “I just do mine for me and people who happen to like it.”

Halloween 77, in both variations, captures Zappa in a late-Seventies outlaw prime: ignoring critical brickbats and serving a devout cult audience as he fires lethal lampoons of social self-righteousness and pop-culture jive through mock-Fifties grease, propulsive jazz-rock and roiling avant-instrumental challenge. There is surprising vintage material (“Big Leg Emma,” a 1967 non-LP single with the early Mothers); the crushing send-up of the glam-rock band Angel in “Punky’s Whips”; and “The Black Page #2,” a daunting, percussive composition named after the opaque density of Zappa’s written notation. “Wild Love,” which ultimately lasted four minutes on Sheik Yerbouti, goes for half an hour at every show, with Zappa generously spreading the soloing time around. He keeps one guitar showcase, “Conehead” – eight minutes of overdriven harmonics and Hot Rats–fusion slalom – for himself. There is a special encore gift on Halloween too: Zappa’s only outing that week on the Zoot Allures guitar-solo monster “Black Napkins.”

I missed it all, by just a few days, in 1974. I didn’t make that mistake again after moving to New York in 1978, celebrating Halloween week in the city with Zappa that year and then as often as fortune allowed until he retired the tradition, back at the Felt Forum, in 1984. When I interviewed Zappa in 1980 for Circus magazine, after the release of Baby Snakes, he characterized the film – and, by extension, the 1977 Palladium action in it – as “a statement on what people missed in the Seventies. You know the history of rock & roll, how in the Fifties everybody was cool and in the Sixties everybody was crazy and in the Seventies everybody was dull? This movie proves that not everybody was dull.”

Here, at last, is the soundtrack – all of it.

Ian Lynn - 1986 - Celebration

Ian Lynn

01. Celebration
02. Interlude #8
03. I Remember
04. The High Forest
05. Time Was
06. Interlude #9
07. Run For Home - Journey's End
08. Finale (Some Day)
09. Dream For Tomorrow

Bass, Choir – Andy Brown
Keyboards – Ian Lynn
Drums – Bob Jenkins
Flute, Saxophone, Choir – Pete Zorn
Guitar – Richie Brunton
Percussion – Martin Ditcham

Ian was performing in London's West End as a jazz pianist whilst still in his teens, and rose to prominence as a musician during the seventies when he became Musical Director for singer Barbara Dickson, a role he enjoyed for many years. In the same capacity, he also worked during that time with Sheena Easton, Gerry Rafferty, and Leo Sayer, performing all over the world in venues from intimate jazz clubs to massive football stadiums. 
Since then he has divided his efforts between writing scores for TV and film, and making documentary films, although still finding time to be asked to work with George Michael, Katrina and the Waves, Miriam Stockley (Adiemus), Lance Ellington and many stars of musical theatre such as Elaine Paige and Michael McCarthy. 
Film credits have included Sweet Talker (Taylor Hackford), The Clandestine Marriage (Sir Nigel Hawthorne) and one of 2006's Royal Premiere films, These Foolish Things, starring Lauren Bacall, Angelica Houston and Terence Stamp. In TV he has scored every genre of programme, from all the Great Railway Journeys series, to the TV feature film Bravo Two Zero.
He has lectured in film and music at Kingston University, and in media contextual studies at Ravensbourne College. He still enjoys teaching and runs a successful recording studio and video post-production suite, and enjoys doing his own camera work and video editing. 
Ian was invited to the States a few years ago to frontline the music for America's 400th celebrations. He also showcases new artists in selected venues such as Pizza on the Park and the Green Room in London, and is often on the lookout for preview venues. Ian now resides with his new wife, Margaret, in the Isle of Wight, where his maternal grandmother was born. Still a frequent visitor to the North Island, he hopes to develop a relationship with Classic FM in the promotion of classical music.

Ian Lynn - 1985 - Early Snow

Ian Lynn 
Early Snow

01. Introduction 0:09
02. Do You See / Seven Bridges 8:27
03. Golden Days 4:15
04. Interlude #5 1:04
05. When Winter Comes 8:25
06. Snow Mountain 4:47
07. Interlude #6 1:47
08. The River 6:21
09. Interlude #7 1:18
10. Earth Song 5:51

Drums – Bob Jenkins
Percussion – Martin Ditcham
Synthesizer, Vocoder, Piano, Flute, Electric Piano, Clavinet, Vibraphone – Ian Lynn
Bass - Mo Foster
Vocals - Basia

Largely unknown multi-instrumentalist from the UK. An early to mid 1980s instrumental cd mixing vibes, drums and keyboards. Not quite soft jazz and not quite new age either. A melting fusion of jazz and melodic instrumental music. Ian has a penchant for melodic hooks and really knows the fine art of using synthesizers as a painter utilizes a color wheel. All of his solo discs on the UK MMC label are very good and follow a sort of seasonal theme. Uplifting with the pine sap ruining your audio clear coat!!

As its title suggests, Early Snow is decidedly more wintry in flavour, both compositionally and sonically, despite an expanded complement of instrumentation, now including the Roland Jupiter 8, Roland Vocoder Plus, Yamaha acoustic piano, flute and DX7 synthesizer, Premier vibes, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 and Hohner clavinet. Once again, Bob Jenkins plays drums and Martin Ditcham plays percussion, but with bass duties now in the hands of the redoubtable Mo Foster (check out his magnificent 1988 album Bel Assis) and (wordless) vocals c/o Basia. Oddly, though, despite Mo Foster's deserved reputation as a fine bass player, I prefer the sound of Ian Lynn's Rose Morris Westwood bass playing on Forgotten Summer.

As was its predecessor, this album was written, arranged and produced by Ian Lynn, recorded at Front Room Recorders and Nivram Studios by Ian Lynn, Dennis Weinreich and Dick Plant and mixed by Dennis Weinreich in 1986.

As a follow up to Forgotten Summer, Early Snow is a fair effort, once again (almost) entirely instrumental but it lacks the magical atmosphere and coherent, end-to-end flow of its predecessor, whilst its sound quality isn't as good either. But it's not at all bad, and worth having to complete the pairing.

Ian Lynn - 1984 - Forgotten Summer

Ian Lynn
Forgotten Summer

01. Another Good Reason
02. Interlude #1
03. Forgotten Summer
04. Interlude #2
05. Grey Sky Blue
06. Some Day Soon
07. Sun Dance
08. Interlude #3
09. The Waltz
10. Interlude #4
11. First Finale

Drums [Pearl Drums] – Bob Jenkins
Percussion – Martin Ditcham
Piano, Electric Piano, Synthesizer, Synthesizer, Clavinet, Synthesizer, Bass – Ian Lynn

This is an all instrumental treasure that's worth its weight in gold. Mr Lynn plays all manner of keyboards, including acoustic piano, organ, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Sequential Circuit Prophet 5, Mini-Moog, Hohner clavinet and the ancient Crewmar Brassman, along with the Rose Morris Westwood bass, the sound of which here is superbly delineated. Fine support is provided by Bob Jenkins on drums and Martin Ditcham on percussion. Had Rick Wakeman written and performed this, he would have been justifiably proud ~ it's better even than Six Wives in my book. If he's ever heard it, I'll bet he wish he had.
Following the (quite long) storming opener, Another Good Reason, the album moves into more pastoral territory, but it isn't dull for a single moment. Rather, it really does capture the essence of a nearly forgotten summer, with many wonderfully evocative moments, moving to a brilliant climax with First Finale. Not to be overlooked, though, is the wonderful closer to (what was) Side 1, Grey Sky Blue(s), which rounds off in superb style the first half of a magnificently coherent album ~ a concept album, I suppose.
Written, arranged and produced by Mr Lynn, the album was recorded at Millstream and Scorpio Sound and engineered by Nick Critchley and Dennis Weinrich, who also did the mixing, all in late 1980. Forgotten Summer was highly regarded at the time of its release and apparently gained him much work in the professional music world.
Find Forgotten Summer and buy it. Your life will be enriched. 35 years on, I still love this album and play it regularly.