|John & Yoko showing the back
covers of their 'Plastic Ono Band' albums
Ono Band' DVD is part of the “Classic Albums” DVD
series. It's about the making of the 1970 'Plastic Ono Band'
album, which was the first proper solo album by John Lennon.
The video explores the creation of this painful masterpiece via
archival footage, detailed analysis and includes new interviews
with Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr (drums), Klaus Voormann (bass), Jann
Wenner (Rolling Stone Magazine), Dr. Arthur Janov (Primal Scream
therapy), Mark Lewisohn (Beatles Historian/Author), Richard Williams
(Journalist), and from EMI Studios: Richard Lush, Phil McDonald
and John Lockie. Through archival interviews we hear from John
Lennon himself. Also included are performances such as “Instant
the BBC’s “Top Of The Pops”
and “Mother” live
at Madison Square Garden.
|Ringo Starr interviewed about
the making of the album
There's some Beatles history on the video to lead up to the
forming of the Plastic Ono Band. John didn't want to go through "getting
stuck with another set of people" so
there were no permanent members of the band. It was an "imaginary" band,
and in a way, everyone was a member.
As a musician, I can especially appreciate on the DVD where
the EMI Studios engineers play parts of the original multitrack
tapes and isolate various tracks and instruments. We're able
to hear John's vocals in an intimate and clear way that we
normally wouldn't be able to. Same thing for John's guitar
and piano playing, Klaus's bass lines and Ringo's drumming.
|Klaus Voormann demonstrating
bass lines that he played on the 'Plastic Ono Band'
During the Klaus Voormann interview there are a few times
when Klaus actually plays some of the bass lines (and even
chords) that he played on the album. I think Klaus has a great
bass tone and playing style, and he was perfect for this album,
as Ringo was as well for drums. Klaus and Ringo were the
two main musicians on the album, along with John, and their
interviews give great insight into the making of the album
and how it was recording with John.
The main program of the video is over 52 minutes in length
and the bonus material adds another 35 minutes. To me it seems
like the bonus material could have been mixed in with the main
program as it's similar in content. I suppose the main difference
is that in the bonus section the studio engineers spend more
time with the original multitrack tapes.
|Some quotes from the DVD:
JOHN LENNON: "I think it's the best thing I've
ever done. I think it's realistic, and it's true to the
me that has been developing over the years. I like first-person
RINGO STARR: "It's so incredible. The emotion on
this record is just mind-blowing."
KLAUS VOORMANN: "John is so special because he
writes right away what he feels."
DR. ARTHUR JANOV: "He sent me the album and I had
group therapy that night, and I played it, and I saw
50 people in a heap, all crying, it just touched them
ELLIOT MINTZ: "It was almost exhausting, the first
time you heard it."
RINGO STARR: "I wouldn't like to be interviewed
on a lot of records, but this, I don't mind, because
it's a beautiful record and he was a beautiful man and
I'm privileged to feel he was my friend."
If you're a John Lennon or Beatles fan, I would definitely
recommend the DVD. I found it very interesting and I learned
quiet a few things. For example, it is mentioned that although
Phil Spector was credited with producing the album, most of
it was actually done without him.