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Live in New York City (John Lennon album)

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Title: Live in New York City (John Lennon album)  
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Subject: Plastic Ono Band, Some Time in New York City, Cold Turkey, John Lennon discography, New York City (John Lennon and Yoko Ono song)
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Live in New York City (John Lennon album)

Live in New York City
Live album by John Lennon
Released 10 February 1986 (1986-02-10)
Recorded 30 August 1972 at Madison Square Garden
Genre Rock, blues rock, hard rock, rock and roll
Length 42:30
Label Parlophone/EMI
Capitol (North America)
Producer Yoko Ono
John Lennon chronology
Milk and Honey
Live in New York City
Menlove Ave.
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic [1]
MusicHound [2]
Rolling Stone (favourable)[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide [4]

Live in New York City is a posthumous live album by English rock musician John Lennon. It was prepared under the supervision of his widow, Yoko Ono, and released in 1986 as his second official live album, the first being Live Peace in Toronto 1969.


  • Performances 1
  • Criticism and editing 2
  • Historical significance 3
  • Track listing 4
    • Video track listing 4.1
  • Personnel 5
  • References 6


Recorded on 30 August 1972 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Lennon performed two shows, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, to raise money for children with mental challenges at friend Geraldo Rivera's request. Rivera introduces Lennon and Ono at the beginning of the album, and he is referenced in Lennon's impromptu revised lyrics in the opening song, "New York City."

The benefit concerts, billed as One to One, also featured other performers in addition to Lennon, including Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Melanie Safka and Sha-Na-Na, although their performances are not included on this album, nor on the simultaneous video release.

Live in New York City captures John Lennon's last full-length concert performance, coming right after the release of Some Time in New York City. Backing Lennon and Ono were Elephant's Memory, who had served as Lennon and Ono's backing band on Some Time in New York City. Although the material Lennon performed was largely drawn from his three most recent albums of the period (John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Imagine and Some Time in New York City), he also included in the setlist his Beatles hit "Come Together" and paid tribute to Elvis Presley with "Hound Dog" before leading the audience in a singalong of "Give Peace a Chance". "Come Together", originally in the key of D minor, was performed in E minor.

Criticism and editing

Upon its early 1986 release, Ono was criticised by former members of Elephant's Memory for using the first – and weaker – performance instead of the stronger evening show. They also took issue with the simultaneous video release of the concert, which it was alleged had been edited to show Ono as prominently as Lennon. However, on the album release, Ono's vocal performances on such numbers as "Hound Dog" had been mixed out completely. Additionally, all of her solo performances, which included "Sisters, O Sisters," "Born in a Prison," "We're All Water," "Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)," "Move on Fast" and "Open Your Box", were deleted from the audio edition of the concert, to create a pure John Lennon album. The video release retained the John Lennon complete set-list including Yoko's "Sisters, O Sisters" and "Born in a Prison".

Portions of the evening performance later saw release on the John Lennon Anthology.

Live in New York City reached No. 55 in the UK, and surprised many with its US appeal where it peaked at No. 41 and eventually went gold.

Historical significance

The concerts documented on Live in New York City were Lennon's only rehearsed and full-length live performances in his solo career, and his first – and last – formal, full-fledged live concerts since the Beatles retired from the road in 1966. Lennon never mounted a tour during his post-Beatles career. The concerts also marked the last time he performed live with Ono or with Elephant's Memory.

Track listing

All songs by John Lennon, except where noted.

Side one
  1. "New York City" – 3
  2. "It's So Hard" – 3:18
  3. "Woman Is the Nigger of the World" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono) – 5:30
  4. "Well Well Well" – 3:51
  5. "Instant Karma!" – 3:40
Side two
  1. "Mother" – 5:00
  2. "Come Together" (Lennon–McCartney) – 4:21
  3. "Imagine" – 3:17
  4. "Cold Turkey" – 5:29
  5. "Hound Dog" (Leiber/Stoller) – 3:09
  6. "Give Peace a Chance" – 1:00

Video track listing

  1. "Power to the People"
  2. "New York City"
  3. "It's So Hard"
  4. "Woman Is the Nigger of the World" (Lennon/Ono)
  5. "Sisters O Sisters" (Ono)
  6. "Well Well Well"
  7. "Instant Karma!"
  8. "Mother"
  9. "Born in a Prison" (Ono)
  10. "Come Together" (Lennon–McCartney)
  11. "Imagine"
  12. "Cold Turkey"
  13. "Hound Dog" (Leiber/Stoller)
  14. "Give Peace a Chance"


  • Wayne 'Tex' Gabriel – lead guitar
  • Gary Van Scyoc – bass guitar
  • John Ward – bass guitar
  • Stan Bronstein – saxophone
  • Adam Ippolito – keyboards
  • Richard Frank Jr. – drums


  1. ^ Live in New York City (John Lennon album) at AllMusic
  2. ^ Gary Graff & Daniel Durcholz (eds), MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, Visible Ink Press (Farmington Hills, MI, 1999; ISBN 1-57859-061-2), p. 667.
  3. ^ Archived 13 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "John Lennon: Album Guide | Rolling Stone Music". Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
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