Initial response to DOUBLE FANTASY?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by WLL, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. WLL

    WLL Popery Of Mopery Thread Starter

    What was the initial response to John and Yoko's DOUBLE FANTASY, in the period between it coming out and John's murder? - When everyone's feelings would have totally changed (and any criticism of it likely to make one persona non grata:sigh:).
    I recall a contemporary...Screen? of it, written post-murder, which claimed that some major mag (not Creem itself, to make this 100% clear) had spiked a not too positive review post-the shooting.
    There's loads here, I'm sure, who were aware of it before the death - and probably a fair number who had bought it already. That whole thing of buying-a-new-release-at-12:01 store parties didn't come along til' Soundscan, I guess...But did some retail outlets put on lower-key events of their own? Did any posters here just show up the first day?
    Singles-wise, IIRC, it's been found that " Starting Over ", as a single, did well, reaching the Top 10 prior to that Dakota evening...but probably, or actually, had peaked. How far in advance of the LP had it come out? Did anyone here buy it? Leo Sayer was apparently given an eternal beef, anyway:laugh:!!!!!
    Dodoz likes this.
  2. Chuckee

    Chuckee Forum Resident

    Upstate, NY, USA
    Starting Over had only gone up the charts & was gonna go up to #4 the next week too. Charts were prepared in advance. Double Fantasy was at 11, but was out less time than the 45.
    dee likes this.
  3. MGSeveral

    MGSeveral Forum Resident

    "Starting Over" had been top ten, yes.

    I reckon "Woman" would have made no 1 anyway.

    The album? I think it was a "glad he's back, the next album will be better, right?"
  4. Chuckee

    Chuckee Forum Resident

    Upstate, NY, USA
    Woman probably would have done well, doubt there would have been 3 singles, altho Watching The Wheels is commercial too.
  5. Craigman1959

    Craigman1959 Forum Resident

    Alabama, USA
    Not sure when 'Starting Over' hit the radio...but all the Beatle fans were ecstatic that John had finally seemed to have gotten it all together. I think 'Watchin the Wheels' might have hit after his death, but i'm not sure about that.

    I do remember hearing it from Howard Cosell on that December night....i still get chills when I remember.
    Paul P., lightbulb and Michael P like this.
  6. sami

    sami Mono Rules

    Jersey Shore
    The presence of Yoko songs made it a non-starter for me out of the gate. But then I'm not a big Lennon fan anyway, and I'm sure it wasn't even a thought for most.
    Man at C&A, warewolf95 and savemenow like this.
  7. Andrew Chouffi

    Andrew Chouffi Forum Resident

    Albany, NY
    "Starting Over" was solid hit on all levels (airplay, sales, early callout) prior to John's murder.

    "Watching The Wheels" received AOR play as an album cut upon initial release of 'Double Fantasy'.

    xilef regnu likes this.
  8. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Remember some folks feeling it was not edgy enough and was too domestic and that Yoko's tracks sounded a lot more contemporary.

    Personally I loved Starting Over, Woman, Watching the Wheels and Oh Yoko (or was it Dear Yoko - I get them confused) from first listen, and finding the other John tracks appealing enough.
    Man at C&A, Paul P. and mbleicher1 like this.
  9. majorlance

    majorlance Open-minded skeptic

    Collingswood, NJ
    I was in my early 20s when DF came out. A fan since '64.

    Was glad JL was back in the game, but I found his DF tracks to be merely pleasant, nothing special. ("Nobody Told Me" & "I Don't Wanna Face It," which of course surfaced a few years later, are a notch or two better than that.)

    But the events of 12-8-80 still preclude any truly clear-eyed critical evaluation from me. :shake:
    somnar, Horse Brunsby and lightbulb like this.
  10. MHP

    MHP Forum Resident

    Reviews and reactions were mixed, both from fans and critics. That all dissappeared once faith had been sealed.
  11. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    Like most, I was happy he was out of hibernation. I thought the album quite good from the start and it was doing fine.

    JL's music has always been very autobiographical and Double Fantasy was simply documenting his life at that phase- emphasis on being a father, husband, and less of an artist. Made sense to me then and now.

    But it became so associated with his death, that I stopped listening to it and never put it on. I will listen if one of the songs comes on the radio though.
  12. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    I seem to remember hearing quite a few tracks from Double Fantasy on the radio (CHOM-FM Montreal) before his death. This made me think it was very well received. I don't remember reading any reviews at the time.

    I thought everything I heard from the album was great at the time. A little on the commercial side, and CHOM did play "I'm Losing You" a bit much for my taste. but I remember that the first time I heard "Starting Over" I thought, "He's back, and it's great!"
  13. California Couple

    California Couple dislike us on facebook

    Newport Beach
    My initial response in 1980 was the same as it is now. John, Paul, George, Ringo; their Beatle quality songs were a distant memory.
    ronm and somnar like this.
  14. Mr-Beagle

    Mr-Beagle Forum Resident

    Was it really 37 years ago?

    His songs were quite pleasant: can't say the same for Yoko's. I like the stripped down DF too.
  15. beatleroadie

    beatleroadie Forum Resident

    I think a "Woman" single released prior to the LP would have been a savvy move for a #1 hit. Hindsight 20/20.
    Culpa likes this.
  16. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    The ATX
  17. Dear 23

    Dear 23 Forum Resident

    Midwest USA
    Loved it immediately, but hated having to suffer through the Yoko contamination. ;)
    BwanaBob and bobdylansbarber like this.
  18. jmxw

    jmxw Forum Resident

    ithaca, ny
    My initial response was "It's great to have him back!", followed by "it's a bit of a drag that he's splitting the album with Yoko", followed by "Urgh!!! I wish we could have him back...." :cry:
    Man at C&A and forthlin like this.
  19. rene smalldridge

    rene smalldridge Senior Member

    My personal response was "meh". Don't have a personal Yoko aversion but her songs were nowhere near as interesting as her previous solo albums.
    John's songs seemed blase as to what he had done solowise earlier on.
    My opinion has not changed in all the time since.
  20. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd

    Mahwah, NJ
    Exactly right.
    MHP likes this.
  21. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    Here in the UK I remember Starting Over was already falling down the charts at the time of Lennon’s death. It had peaked at #8 and then gone to #10 and after that #21. A week later it was #1.

    Early in 1982, both Woman and a reissue of Imagine made #1. Happy Christmas (War Is Over) got to #2. Roxy Music’s cover of Jealous Guy made #1 in March. Lennon’s Watching The Wheels peaked at #30 a month later.

    Double Fantasy was the first Lennon album I bought. I’d never heard Yoko sing before! I thought the album was patchy, but actually liked some of Yoko’s tracks more than John’s. I still enjoy the album today and bought the Japanese SHM SACD a couple of years ago.
    stewedandkeefed likes this.
  22. McRich

    McRich Forum Resident

    I was 15 at the time and a huge rock fan. I loved “Starting Over” when it came out. There seemed to be a lot of excitement about John finally releasing an album after so many years away. It kinded of reminded me of a Billy Joel style album and production when it came out.
    somnar likes this.
  23. blackdograilroad

    blackdograilroad Forum Resident

    Devon, UK
    I seem to remember it was sort of “’s...........all right..........ummm......”

    Some people liked Starting Over and Woman, some thought they were weak.......

    I’m Losing You seemed to be the least disliked, which figures as it’s probably the most edgy and angsty......
    somnar likes this.
  24. Maranatha5585

    Maranatha5585 Forum Resident

    Down South
    I was there for my "Starting Over" 45/PS the day it was released. I picked the best sleeve the store had .. It was a great song I thought, and my peers thought the same. It was a happy time.. John was back after five years of silence. And, it
    was almost Christmastime... then it was all over.
    edenofflowers, mrjinks, Dodoz and 3 others like this.
  25. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    I was disappointed upon it's release, too much Yoko for my taste and to commercial sounding.
    Mickey2, Daven23 and Dodoz like this.

Share This Page