P2 17160 Milk And Honey
Produced by John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Released on January 19, 1984
UK CHART POSITION #3 . . . US CHART POSITION #11 . . . GOLD RECORD (4/13/84)
Find it at GEMM
P2 17160 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

T hree years after John Lennon’s death, fans were still looking for answers, for a final acknowledgment from the icon that everything was all right in the great beyond. They didn’t find it in Double Fantasy (which looked forward to a new beginning), his last interviews or the solo albums from Yoko (Season of Glass, It’s Alright). And they wouldn’t find it in Milk And Honey, the finally completed companion to Double Fantasy. Milk And Honey returns to the lost optimism of the past, to a time when John and Yoko were still celebrating the second half of their lives together, rededicated to a shared muse (music) and to one another. Because the songs weren’t completed at the time of John’s death, the vocals sound slightly unfinished, with an echo that some might find slightly unsettling (more than a few pundits speculated that John had risen from the grave for these recordings). Yet the instrumental tracks, finished later, honor the rough quality of the songs, which suggests to the ear that Lennon was simply going after a looser style (as compared to, say, the ungainly collaboration that constituted The Beatles’ “new” songs on their Anthology series). As before, John and Yoko take healing steps forward in their relationship: “(Forgive Me) My Little Flower Princess,” “Don’t Be Scared,” “Your Hands.” The remainder of John’s songs are honest self-appraisals tinged with humor, from a planned evening out (“I’m Stepping Out”) to a newfound maturity (“Borrowed Time”). As catchy as his contributions are, there is the sense that John was unconsciously treading over familiar ground; “I Don’t Want To Face It” returns to the scene of “Revolution,” “Nobody Told Me” suggests a retelling of “Instant Karma.” Yoko’s tracks are bouncy, slightly edgy, perhaps less illuminating than her contributions to Double Fantasy but not the speed bumps they could have been either. The real lump in the throat (and you knew it was coming) occurs in the album’s final pairing of “Let Me Count The Ways” and “Grow Old With Me.” Based on the poems of Robert and Elizabeth Browning, these are musical love letters that (in a sense) never reached the ears of their intended. “Grow Old With Me” is a sketch of what might have been a Mona Lisa in the making, recorded in their bedroom as a rough demo that transcends its own tinny state to become the album’s most deeply affecting track. Apparently to avoid ending the album on too dire a note, Yoko’s “You Are The One” follows, an arrow now launched impotently at an invisible target. Lennon fans will already own this record, as it may be the last essential statement from the man. What followed was product plain and simple, but Milk And Honey is an album that John Lennon presumably wanted his fans to hear. No one would have known his intent as well as Yoko, who proved herself a courageous caretaker of her husband’s works when she saw this through to completion.

P2 17160 picture sleeve
P2 17160 picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. I'M STEPPING OUT    (John Lennon)    4:05
  2. SLEEPLESS NIGHT    (Yoko Ono)    2:33
  3. I DON'T WANNA FACE IT    (John Lennon)    3:21
  4. DON'T BE SCARED    (Yoko Ono)    2:44
  5. NOBODY TOLD ME    (John Lennon)    3:35
  6. O'SANITY    (Yoko Ono)    1:04
  7. BORROWED TIME    (John Lennon)    4:30
  8. YOUR HANDS    (Yoko Ono)    5:04
  9. (FORGIVE ME) MY LITTLE FLOWER PRINCESS    (John Lennon)    2:28
  10. LET ME COUNT THE WAYS    (Yoko Ono)    2:16
  11. GROW OLD WITH ME    (John Lennon)    3:05
  12. YOU'RE THE ONE    (Yoko Ono)    3:56

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  13. EVERY MAN HAS A WOMAN WHO LOVES HIM
  14. STEPPING OUT (HOME VERSION)
  15. INTERVIEW WITH JOHN & YOKO

CREDITS

JOHN LENNON -- solo vocals, guitars, piano, rhythm box
YOKO ONO -- solo vocals, piano, art direction
BILLY AND BOB ALESSI -- background vocals
CARLOS ALOMAR -- background vocals
PETE CANNAROZZI -- synthesizers
PAUL GRIFFIN -- piano
GORDON GRODY -- background vocals
YOGI HORTON -- drums
NEIL JASON -- bass guitar
ARTHUR JENKINS, JR. -- percussion
HOWARD JOHNSON -- baritone sax
TONY LEVIN -- bass guitar
STEVE LOVE -- guitars
JIMMY MAELEN -- percussion
HUGH McCRACKEN -- guitars
ANDY NEWMARK -- drums
WAYNE PEDZIWIATR -- bass guitar
ELLIOT RANDALL -- guitars
ALLAN SCHWARTZBERG -- drums
EARL SLICK -- guitars
GEORGE SMALL -- piano
PETE THOM -- background vocals
JOHN TROPES -- guitars
ED WALSH -- synthesizers
KURT YAHIJAN -- background vocals
Jon Smith -- chief engineer
Michael Barbiero -- chief engineer, remix engineer, editing engineer
Steve Thompson -- remix engineer (disco mix)
Paul Stubblebine -- editing engineer
Bill Levy/Bob Heimall -- artwork
Kishin Shinoyama -- outside photography
Allan Tannenbaum -- inside photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK January 19, 1984 Polydor LP/LPPIC/CD/CS POLH/POLHP5 avail. as picture elpee, lyric sleeve
WW January 19, 1984 Polydor LP/CD/CS 817 160 gatefold, lyric sleeve
US   Polydor CD P2 17160 CRC reissue, lyric sleeve
ARG 1984 Polydor LP 27153 gatefold cover
JPN 1984 Polydor LP 25MM0260 picture sleeve, lyric insert
MEX 1984 Polygram LP LPE16499 gatefold, lyric insert
UK 2001 EMI CDX 535959 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
JPN September 27, 2001 EMI/Toshiba CDX TOCP-65535 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
UK 2001 EMI CDX 535959 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
US October 23, 2001 Capitol CDX 35959 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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