Review: Elton John Band & the Muscle Shoals Horns featuring John Lennon

Elton John Band & the Muscle Shoals Horns featuring John Lennon. German import. MSG, Thanksgiving day 1974.

12_johnlennonI think I have this show, at least these few songs, several times already on vinyl and on CD (“Here and There,” new 2-cd version anyway, and also a bootleg recording of the whole show somebody traded me back when I used to trade bootleg recordings) somehow, probably it was just tacked onto other things because it was John Lennon’s last public performance. (Thanks to crime documentaries, I know more about the guy who shot John Lennon than I know about John Lennon himself.) The story was apparently that John Lennon didn’t think that “Whatever Gets you Through the Night,” which EJ sang backing vocals on, would reach #1, and when it did, he agreed to appear onstage because they bet on it. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of good video of this. I saw some clips on YouTube that didn’t have sound and someone dubbed “Funeral for a Friend” over it, then eltonjohn.com posted a bit more video in which you can actually see John Lennon (unlike the other footage, if I recall correctly). Anyway, that is a damned shame.

12_johnlennon2Not a terrible recording anyway, two Beatles songs and a John Lennon song (“Whatever Gets you through the night,” which I don’t especially like, the song itself I mean, this recording is ok I guess). JL introduces “I Saw Her Standing There” as having been written with his “estranged fiance” [Paul McCartney] and says he’d like to get off stage to throw up. You don’t hear much of JL on “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” I like EJ’s cover of that but live recordings of it tend to go on and on forever and outstay their welcome. My record of this skips and probably just needs cleaned, looks to be in good condition and I paid $3 for it, I think.

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