21954-2 Lennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon
Previously released material
Released on October 27, 1997
UK CHART POSITION #4 [RE-CHART #24, 2004; #30, 2007] . . .
US CHART POSITION #65 . . . PLATINUM RECORD
Find it at GEMM
21954-2 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 10v3: THE LENNON LAIT MOOTIF. Or the Very Bessie of John Lennon, milked for an ignominious third time by the hired hands at EMI in order that they could get rid of that picture of a mature John on the cover of Collection and replace it with a picture of John during his dreamy Liam Gallagher phase. Buttmorons. Of course, I’m not really that upset by the whole thing, since the Lennon legend has been handled by so many people during his life and afterlife. Activist, genius, saint, loving father, abandoned child, faithful husband, philanderer, troublemaker, universal healer, I could probably keep going for a while but that Liam-come-hither look on the cover is pleading with me to stop. Whatever you think of the man (or on the inconceivable off-chance that you don’t think about him at all), the music remains the only constant. Since Shaved Fish, opinion on Lennon’s greatest songs has shifted little. The absence of “Woman Is The Nigger of the World” has less to do with the song’s merits (it’s still one of the greatest things he’s ever written) than our collective discomfort with the N word. (I’m not sure how quarantining one word in the alphabet atones for anything, but maybe we should have tried squirming uncomfortably when people said “redskin” rather than giving Native Americans land and casino licenses, he wrote in jest.) Lennon Legend also tones down the Double Fantasy lovefest by deleting “I’m Losing You” and “Dear Yoko” from the discussion (thank you) in favor of the later singles “Nobody Told Me” and “Borrowed Time.” The real addition here is the inclusion of “Working Class Hero,” which has long been overlooked on Lennon compilations past and nearly covers the loss of WITNOTW (I’m being lazy now, not socially sensitive). As the great pop pundits of the past have told you, Lennon Legend is the best of the Lennon single-disc compilations. You could count your fingers and toes and come to the same conclusion of course, but then a music critic somewhere doesn’t eat or feed their ego or something. In an interesting move, Lennon Legend was later released in a DVD format with videos to match the music, then as a combined cd/dvd package with bonus DVD material.

21954-2 picture sleeve
21954-2 picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. IMAGINE
  2. INSTANT KARMA!
  3. MOTHER (SINGLE EDIT)
  4. JEALOUS GUY
  5. POWER TO THE PEOPLE
  6. COLD TURKEY
  7. LOVE
  8. MIND GAMES
  9. WHATEVER GETS YOU THRU THE NIGHT
  10. #9 DREAM
  11. STAND BY ME    (Ben E. King/Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller)
  12. (JUST LIKE) STARTING OVER
  13. WOMAN
  14. BEAUTIFUL BOY (DARLING BOY)
  15. WATCHING THE WHEELS
  16. NOBODY TOLD ME
  17. BORROWED TIME
  18. WORKING CLASS HERO
  19. HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER)    (John Lennon/Yoko Ono)
  20. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

    All songs written by John Lennon unless noted

CREDITS

Peter Mew -- mastering engineer
Spud Murphy -- photography
P.Linard Marketing and Advertising Ltd. -- design & artwork

return to JOHN LENNON discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK October 27, 1997 EMI/Parlophone 2LP/CD 821954-1/2 gatefold cover, picture sleeves
US 1997 Parlophone 2LP/CD/CS 21952-1/2/4 gatefold cover, picture sleeves
COL/INDO/TAI 1997 EMI CD 21954-2  
JPN 1997 EMI CD TOCP-50317 promo
UK 2003 EMI CD/DVD 595 067-2/9 avail. as DVD
TAI 2003 EMI DVD 599 002-9  
UK/TAI 2007 EMI/Parlophone CD+DVDX 397200-2 CD+DVD combo w. bonus DVD material

 

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