Album Remarks & Appraisals:
2005 reissue features a mixture of remixed and remastered tracks and three bonus tracks, 'Whatever Gets You Thru The Night' (Live With The Elton John Band), 'Nobody Loves You (When You're Down And Out)' (Alternative Version) and John Interviewed By Bob Mercer. Capitol. 2005.
Uncut (p.88) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The laddish duet with Elton John, 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night', remains one of Lennon's best post-Beatles achievements."
Personnel: John Lennon (vocals, guitar, piano); Booker Table, Dr. Winston O'Ghurkin, Hon. John Saint John Johnson, Maitre D's, Kaptain Kundalini (guitar); Doctor Dream, Rev. Fred Ghurkin, Dwarf McDougal, Dr. Winston O'Reggae (acoustic guitar); Howard Johnson (baritone saxophone); Frank Vicario, Steve Madaio, Ron Aprea (horns); Elton John (piano, organ, background vocals); Rev. Thomas Ghurkin, Mel Torment (piano); Klaus Voormann (bass instrument); Julian Lennon (drums); Jesse Ed Davis (guitar); Eddie Mottau (acoustic guitar); Bobby Keys (tenor saxophone); Nicky Hopkins (piano); Kenny Ascher (electric piano, Clavinet, Mellotron); Jim Keltner (drums); Arthur Jenkins (percussion); Harry Nilsson (background vocals).
Audio Remixers: Peter Cobbin; Roy Cicala.
Recording information: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY (11/28/1974); The Record Plant, NY (11/28/1974).
Authors: Dr. Winston O'Boogie; Edward Maclysaght.
Photographer: Bob Gruen.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Steve Madaio; Ron Aprea; Frank Vicari; Joey Dambra; Lori Burton.
Arrangers: John Lennon; Philharmonic Orchestrange; Plastic Ono Band; Little Big Horns.
WALLS AND BRIDGES was made during Lennon's marital separation, while carrying on a Yoko-approved dalliance with May Pang. Lennon addresses the awkward yet open triangle with songs to each of them. In "Bless You," he wistfully wonders how and where Yoko is during their time apart and proclaims an eternal love. "Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird Of Paradox)" finds him admitting to being jaded to the point of self-delusion only to find beauty, love and surprise in the form of a new lover right under his nose. "What You Got" affirms "You don't know what you got until you lose it"--clearly a man struggling with a personal situation through his art.
"Beef Jerky" sounds like an homage to that great '60s instrumental by The Barkays, "Soul Finger." "Ya Ya" is a true oddity: Lennon and 11-year-old son Julian, future rock star in his own right, in a short, bluesy piano/drum duet. Of course there is also his duet with Elton John on the partying, fun-loving "Whatever Gets You Through The Night." The gem of the bunch, though, is "#9 Dream," easily one of Lennon's best post-Beatles efforts, steering through myriad moods and grooves and adding up to a bona fide pop masterpiece.