Monday, November 14, 2016

"I'm Stepping Out" by John Lennon

Song#:  1849
Date:  03/31/1984
Debut:  82
Peak:  55
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The John Lennon/Yoko Ono album Milk & Honey, put together by Ono after Lennon's death, featured "Nobody Told Me," a posthumous single release by Lennon that found it's way to #5 on the Pop chart. A follow-up single was inevitable and this lead-off track from the album was selected. Unfortunately, it just didn't connect as well with listeners and it peaked before it could get inside the top half of the Pop chart. Rock radio wasn't really all that interested either and it stopped at #34. However, it wouldn't be the last time Lennon would be on the Pop chart. In the mid-90s, three Beatles tracks would get on the chart, including the #6 "Free As a Bird," and in 1988, "Jealous Guy," a track that originally appeared on Lennon's 1971 album Imagine, was issued as a single to promote the documentary film Imagine: John Lennon. The song would get to #80 Pop and #22 AC.

ReduxReview:  I was never a big fan of Lennon's post-Beatles work. He did have some terrific songs along the way, but in general I didn't connect with his music. I was always more McCartney than Lennon. Although "Nobody Told Me" was fine, this song just doesn't do it for me. I think the problem stems from it being an unpolished demo and despite the studio work done by Ono & Co., it still sounds unfinished. I do think there is a song existing in here somewhere and it would have been interesting to hear a fully completed version, but as-is the tune sounds unformed and incomplete. Even though it plays more like an idea than a song, Lennon may have been on to something good here. Sadly, we will never know.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  The Milk & Honey album includes the track "Grow Old with Me," which was originally intended for the Lennon/Ono LP Double Fantasy. The song was demoed, but due to time constraints it did not get fully recorded for the album and Lennon's intentions were to complete it for the next LP. Sadly, that did not happen due to his murder. Later in 1994, Ono sent Paul McCartney four songs that Lennon wrote and demoed, including this one. McCartney and the remaining Beatles, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, began to rework the recordings in order to create new songs to be included on an upcoming Beatles anthology series. Using Lennon's original vocals and piano work as the base, the other Beatles and producer Jeff Lynne worked up from there to finish off the songs. From the sessions, two tunes were completed - "Free As a Bird" and "Real Love." Both would be released as singles by the Beatles and peak at #6 and #11 respectively. They attempted to rework "Grow Old with Me," but it was more complicated than the others and it just didn't work out. However, it is rumored that the attempted recordings of the song exist, but who knows where. The song was redone in 1998 in a version that was orchestrated by the Beatles producer George Martin. It appeared on a Lennon anthology box set that year.


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