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.
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.