Rock 'n' Roll

John Lennon
Rock 'n' Roll - Front cover Rock 'n' Roll - Rear Cover
Rock 'n' Roll - Front Cover Rock 'n' Roll - Rear Cover

Label Apple
Catalogue No. PCS 7169
Release date 21st February 1975
Total time 39:39
U.K. Album Chart Detail :
Entry Date :8th March 1975
Highest Position :6
Weeks in Chart :25
+3 ... On re-release, from 17th January 1981, when it reached no. 64
Detail : John's tenth solo album release, and first with no songs written by himself.
Credited to John Lennon.
Personnel :
1973 Sessions.
John - Vocals and guitar
Jesse Ed Davis - Guitar
Jim Keltner - Drums
Leon Russell - Keyboards
Jose Feliciano - Acoustic guitar
Nino Tempo - Saxophone
Steve Cropper - Guitar
Hal Blaine - Drums
and Jeff Barry and Barry Mann.
1974 Sessions :
John - Vocals and guitar
Jesse Ed Davis - Guitar
Eddie Mottau - Acoustic guitar
Jim Keltner - Drums
Klaus Voorman - Bass
Arthur Jenkins - Percussion
Ken Ascher - Keyboards
Bobby Keyes - Brass
and Peter Jameson, Joseph Temperley, Dennis Morouse and Frank Vicari.

Originally to be called "Oldies But Mouldies", recording started last quarter 1973 with Phil Spector in the producing chair. But, John and Phil constantly "disagreed" over the product, and the sessions fell apart. At this time Phil had the tapes, was then involved in a car accident and John was unable to get the tapes back from Phil. When eventually he did get them back, he decided that only four of the takes were acceptable, and decided to re-record the others. This was done just after the release of "Walls And Bridges" from 21st-25th October 1974, and so it was decided to hold back the release of the oldies album until April 1975.

The next part of the interesting history of the release of this L.P. concerns "Come Together" ... Maurice Levy was the publisher of Chuck Berry's song catalogue and sued John for copyright infringement, claiming that "Come Together" was a plagiarised version of Chuck's "You Can't Catch Me". John agreed, out of court, to recompense by including some Chuck Berry songs for his next album, including the aforementioned problem tune. John gave Levy tapes from those first Spector sessions of the Chuck Berry songs, and Levy created an album which he advertised on U.S. T.V. and released 8th February 1975.

This album was called "John Lennon Sings The Great Rock & Roll Hits", and was sub-titled "Roots" (it's more familiar name). It even added two tracks omitted from the official version, "Angel Baby" and "Be My Baby" (see The Bootleg Single)
Also see a bootleg release of the entire Roots album with sessions outtakes: Roots - The Bootleg.
The release stated that it was authorised by John Lennon and Apple Records, which was hotly denied by both.
Levy sued Lennon (and Apple and Capitol) when "Roots" was pulled out of circulation. Lennon then counterclaimed.
John was awarded $145,300 on 20th February 1976, but this was reduced on appeal to $84,912:96.

It was the "Roots" release and furore that caused Apple to bring forward the "Rock 'n' Roll" issue date.

"Angel Baby" eventually surfaced legitamately on "Menlove Avenue".
Three other tracks from the original sessions also appeared on "Menlove Avenue", these were "My Baby Left Me", "To Know Her Is To Love Her" and "Here We Go Again".
Also recorded but remaining unreleased were, "That'll Be The Day", "Thirty Days" and C'mon Everybody"

The album is single sleeved, with no added gimmicks like in more recent releases.
The cover photograph of John was taken by Jurgen Vollmer in 1961 in Hamburg. The blurred figures are George and Paul, plus EITHER Pete Best OR Stuart Sutcliffe. The format of this cover was designed by Ray Kohara.
The record label is the standard green Apple.

You should have been there - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

Side 1

Track Composer Recording Information Time
Be-Bop-A-Lula Davis-Vincent Recorded 21st-25th October 1974
Originally a hit single for Gene Vincent in 1958.
Stand By Me King-Glick Recorded 21st-25th October 1974
A hit for Ben E.King in 1961.
   Rip It Up
   Ready Teddy
Blackwell-Marascalco Recorded 21st-25th October 1974
Both tracks were recorded by Little Richard in 1956, and released as two sides of one hit single.
You Can't Catch Me Berry Recorded October-December 1973
Recorded by Chuck Berry in 1956.
Ain't That A Shame Domino-Bartholomew Recorded 21st-25th October 1974
Oddly, first a hit for Pat Boone in 1955.
Do You Want To Dance Freeman Recorded 21st-25th October 1974
Originally by Bobby Freeman in 1958, first a hit here by Cliff Richard in 1962.
Sweet Little Sixteen Berry Recorded October-December 1973
Originally a hit for Chuck Berry in 1958.

Side 2

Track Composer Recording Information Time
Slippin' And Slidin' Penniman-Bocage-Collins-Smith Recorded 21st-25th October 1974
The Little Richard B-side to "Long Tall Sally in 1956.
Peggy Sue Holly-Allison-Petty Recorded 21st-25th October 1974
Buddy Holly's 1957 smash.
   Bring It On Home To Me
   Send Me Some Lovin'
Recorded 21st-25th October 1974
Bring It On Home To Me was originally by Sam Cooke in 1962, first a hit here for the Animals in 1965.
Send Me Some Lovin' was Little Richard's B-side to "Lucille".
Bony Moronie Williams Recorded October-December 1973
A 1957 hit for Larry Williams.
Ya Ya Robinson-Dorsey-Lewis Recorded 21st-25th October 1974
Originally by Lee Dorsey in '61, it was first a hit here by Petula Clark in 1962.
Just Because Price Recorded October-December 1973
Released originally by it's composer Lloyd Price in 1957.

Released Versions

First pressings (1975) - is worth about 10.
The album was deleted March 1980.

25th November 1981 - "Rock 'n' Roll" is re-issued on E.M.I.'s budget label, Music For Pleasure on MFP 50522 (+ TCMFP 50522).


26th May 1987 the C.D. was first issued on catalogue number CDP 7 46707 2 with no bonus tracks.

4th October 2010, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of John's birth a campaign was launched with all John's original albums remastered.
They were each available singularly or as part of the eleven c.d. boxset: The Signature Box
This album was issued with no extra tracks on EMI with a catalogue number of 906 5062
It failed to chart.

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