Sometime in NYC Ultimate mixes

The “Ultimate mixes” campaign of the Lennon albums continues in 2022 with the “Sometime in New York City” album, and a website has been set up for promotional purposes. Don’t be surprised if there’s a separately released book coming up as well.

The album consists of songs by both Yoko Ono and John Lennon backed by Elephant’s Memory, and there’s a second disc “Live Jam” holding concert recordings from the 1969 Plastic Ono Supergroup on 15 December 1969 at the Lyceum Ballroom in London, England for a UNICEF charity concert as well as a jam session on stage with John and Yoko joining Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention on 6 June 1971 at Fillmore East in New York City.

The Plastic Ono Supergroup

Preceded by the single “Woman Is the Nigger of the World“, which caused controversy due to its title, “Sometime in New York City” received scathing reviews on release and performed poorly commercially. Reviewers were especially critical of its politically charged content. Zappa was critical of Lennon and Ono’s handling of the recordings of the Mothers performance, eventually releasing his own version of the performance on “Playground Psychotics” (1992). “Sometime in New York City” was reissued on compact disc in 2005 as a single album, removing several of the “Live Jam” songs while adding other non-album singles, and again on CD in 2010 in its original double album format.

The double album was originally released on 12 June 1972 in the USA but was delayed until 15 September in the UK, due to a dispute with Northern Songs over publishing rights on songs co-written by Lennon and Ono. Meanwhile, record shops all over the world was importing the U.S. release due to the demand from fans.

While we aren’t all too overwhelmed by the news of this release, we are hoping it will be followed by the restored and remastered “Live in New York City” concert film. On 30 August 1972, Lennon and Ono performed two benefit concerts for the Willowbrook State School for the mentally challenged at Madison Square Garden, at friend Geraldo Rivera’s request. The shows, known as “One to One”, were filmed and recorded, with the evening show broadcast on ABC Television, and the earlier matinée show compiled for release as the 1986 live album and video, “Live in New York City”. In 2013, producer Jack Douglas announced that he was undertaking a project, commissioned by Yoko, to get the “One to One” concerts up to modern standards, including re-examining the footage filmed of both the matiné and evening concerts, bringing a coherent ultimate John and Yoko concert experience to life in 5.1 surround sound. Footage earlier deemed unusable for the 1985 video cassette/laser disc releases has now been improved enough by new techniques to be slated for inclusion. Apparently, Douglas finished the project some time ago, but no publication date has been announced.

18 Responses

  1. Reed Pitkunigis says:

    Ugh. Was hoping for Mind Games. I’ll take a pass on this, my least favorite Lennon album.

    • Brian from Canada says:

      They’re likely working chronologically to meet the 50th anniversary copyright extensions. Mind Games will be 2023, Walls & Bridges 2024 and Rock and Roll in 2025. The Harrisons have also said Concert for Bangladesh is next, and they are already working on a Dark Horse set too.

  2. John Kaelin says:

    I am looking forward to it. 50th anniversary set. Interesting items on here and they need a good re-examination.

  3. Danny Jones says:

    I really like this album – i like rough and ready stuff – and the spontaneity of some of the performances. I can understand some of the criticisms but im looking forward to the deluxe box treatment.

    • Rick says:

      It may not be one of John’s most popular albums but most of the songs are very thought provoking. Especially WITNOTW. And is that Keith Moon in the second row? If so I didn’t realize he was on it and I had it when it 1st came out all those years ago

      • kozmo says:

        That’s Moonie, alright. I see Clapton, Beatle George obviously, and a few other very familiar faces but can’t always place names to them. Could someone step up and provide IDs for all?

        • kozmo says:

          Oh, and Billy Preston, duh!

          • Juan says:

            Left to right, too to bottom.

            Jim Price, Bobby Keys, Jim Gordon, Klaus Voorman, Bonnie and Delaney Bramlett.

            George Harrison, Alan White, Keith Moon, Neil Boland, Keith Robertson, Billy Preston, Eric Clapton.

            Larry ‘Legs’ Smith, John Lennon, Yoko Ono.

            All this according to Plastic Ono Band book that came out in 2021

  4. nateboy2 says:

    I wouldn’t mind hearing an outtake or two of WITNOTW. But, I may just buy the single disc version of Sometime In New York City and buy a couple mp3 files of outtakes. That’s what I ended up doing with Plastic Ono Band… assuming there are outtakes released. I’m just glad to see that there appears to be a 50th anniversary pattern for Lennon releases. I’m all in for a Rock And Roll box set in 2025. Sign me up for that one. Also, no question I’m buying the Double Fantasy box set in 2030.

  5. Rick says:

    The article says a website has been set up but when you click on that link all you see is a screen that says ‘Sometime In New Your City” ect. so where is the website or is that it?

  6. David Fisher says:

    Terrtific – one of my fave Lennon albums. So passionate. Yoko’s live DWYMOLFHHITS would be on my top ten Desert island discs – an awesome juggernaut of a performance. Doesn’t look like its going to be a box set from the title which would be a pity because there’s so much material to draw from. We still need the excellent Elephant’s Memory Apple LP on CD.

  7. kozmo says:

    Juan — many thanks for the photo ID’s! Appreciate that!

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