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Monday, June 5, 2017

John Ono Lennon - "Instant Karma" b/w Yoko Ono Lennon with the Plastic Ono Band's ""Who Has Seen the Wind" 45 rpm vinyl, 1970 (Apple)

One of my favorite, if not 'the' John Lennon fave.  Hearing "Instant Karma" for the first time was a shock to the system.  Incredibly aggressive, and often thought that this recording was the birth of glam rock, with respect to the drumming, and vocal sounds.   In 1969/1970 Lennon couldn't do wrong for me.  I love his songs on "Abbey Road," and of course the singles "Cold Turkey," and  then the following year, "Instant Karma."   What's puzzling is the billing.  For "Cold Turkey" it was under the Plastic Ono Band, and "Instant Karma" is under his full (new) legal name "John Ono Lennon.  Yoko on the b-side (or is it a double-A side) is under Yoko Ono Lennon.  Perhaps just to acknowledge their recent marriage.  Lennon I don't think put too much thought on whose name on the label, but more important was that individual song.  "Instant Karma" works as a 45 rpm single, because it's forecful and makes a statement.  There is no way that this song could be placed on the first Lennon solo album "Plastic Ono Band."   To me and my ears this is a very unique Lennon record. 

Yoko's "Who Has Seen the Wind?" is a tender beauty of a record.   It's the flip of Lennon's dynamism on the other side of that record.  A reflection compared to "Instant Karma's" warning that you better get it together.    At the time of its release, this record made me yearn for change which came later in the punk years.  So this song is almost a nod or a hint of better things to come.  Ironically not from the Lennon camp, but through The Sex Pistols.  Lennon I felt channeled the anger of punk, before Punk (in the British sense) existed.  A fascinating single.