Shaved Fish

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Shaved Fish
Superimposed on a background consisting mostly of a cloudy, pale blue sky is a three-row by four-column borderless grid.  Eleven of the 12 blocks in the grid contain the title from one of the songs on the album and an illustration for that song.  The 12th block, located in the first row, third column, has a white background.  Starting from the top, the words "SHAVED FISH LENNON" are vertically aligned, appearing in large black block capitals with a red dot centred in a separate row between "FISH" and "LENNON"; below "LENNON", in a single row of smaller block capitals, are the words "PLASTIC ONO BAND".
Compilation album by John Lennon
Released 24 October 1975
Recorded June 1969 – July 1974
Genre Rock
Length 41:55
Label Apple
Producer John Lennon, Yoko Ono
& Phil Spector
John Lennon chronology
Rock 'n' Roll
(1975)
Shaved Fish
(1975)
Double Fantasy
(1980)
Singles from Shaved Fish
  1. "Imagine"
    Released: 24 October 1975 (UK)

Shaved Fish is a compilation album by John Lennon, released in October 1975 on Apple Records. It contains all of the singles that he had issued up to that point in the United States as a solo artist, with the exception of "Stand by Me", which had been released earlier that year. The only compilation of his non-Beatles recordings released during his lifetime, it was a commercial success, reaching number 8 in the UK and number 12 in the US, ultimately becoming one of the world's first platinum albums.[1] It was Lennon's last original release on Apple Records.

Content[edit]

The compilation includes many of Lennon's most popular solo recordings, five of which had not yet appeared on an album: "Cold Turkey," "Instant Karma!," "Power to the People," the holiday single "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," and "Give Peace a Chance." The latter appeared in truncated form, split to begin side one and end side two. Eight of these singles made the Top 40 on the Billboard chart, with "Whatever Gets You thru the Night" going to number 1; five made the Top Ten in the United Kingdom. "Imagine," never previously released as a single in the UK, was issued as such concurrent to the release of this album, going to number 5 in the UK chart. Several of the master tapes were unavailable for the compilation, and dubs were used, some with shorter fadeouts.[citation needed] A later compact disc issue used the original masters,[specify] restoring the full fadeouts of these songs.

Its release came less than three weeks after the resolution of Lennon's long-running immigration dispute and the birth of Sean Lennon. The name of the album originates from the Japanese food katsuobushi, a kind of dried fish.[2]

Release, reception and aftermath[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau B+[4]
MusicHound 4/5 stars[5]

A Creem magazine reader's poll in 1975 included the album among the top five "Best Reissues" of 1975, placing fourth, behind two Rolling Stones compilations, Made in the Shade and Metamorphosis, and Bob Dylan's The Basement Tapes.[6] Robert Christgau called the album "eleven shots in the dark from the weirdest major rock and roller of the early '70s" and said "not counting the two available on must-own albums, the only great cuts are 'Instant Karma' (Lennon's best political song) and '#9 Dream.'"[4]

The album was released in the UK on 24 October 1975, peaking at number 8.[nb 1][7] Released from the album on the same day in the UK was the single "Imagine", backed with "Working Class Hero", charting at number 6.[7] The single was also Lennon's last single for Apple Records.[7] The album later re-charted in the UK on 17 January 1981, at number 11.[7] After the release of the album, Lennon's recording contract expired, in February 1976; Lennon was uninterested in re-signing with Capitol/EMI.[8]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by John Lennon, except where noted.

Side one[edit]

No. Song Length Notes
1 "Give Peace a Chance" 0:57
  • Only the first minute of "Give Peace a Chance" is excerpted here
  • Issued as a single 4 July 1969 (UK) and 7 July 1969 (US).
  • Credited to Lennon–McCartney on the original single issue and vinyl edition of Shaved Fish,[9] the song now appears as credited to Lennon alone.[10]
2 "Cold Turkey" 5:01
  • Issued as a single 20 October 1969 (US) and 24 October 1969 (UK).
3 "Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)" 3:21
  • Issued as a single 6 February 1970 (UK) and 20 February 1970 (US).
4 "Power to the People" 3:21
  • Issued as a single 12 March 1971 (UK) and 22 March 1971 (US).
5 "Mother" 5:03
  • Exclusive edit, different from the single edit issued on 28 December 1970 (US) of track from John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. This edit includes the bells at the intro not present on the single edit, and fades out later than the single but earlier than the LP version.
6 "Woman Is the Nigger of the World" (John Lennon, Yoko Ono) 4:37

Side two[edit]

No. Song Length Notes
1 "Imagine" 3:02
  • Issued as a single 11 October 1971 (US) and 24 October 1975 (UK).
2 "Whatever Gets You thru the Night" 3:03
  • With Elton John on piano and backing vocals.
  • Single edit issued 23 September 1974 (US) and 4 October 1974 (UK); a longer version was later released on Walls and Bridges.
3 "Mind Games" 4:12
  • Issued as a single 29 October 1973 (US) and 16 November 1973 (UK).
4 "#9 Dream" 4:47
  • Issued as a single 16 December 1974 (US) and 31 January 1975 (UK).
5 "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" /
"Give Peace a Chance (Reprise)" (Lennon, Ono)
4:15
  • "Happy Xmas" issued as a single on 1 December 1971 (US) and 24 November 1972 (UK).
  • An excerpt from a live performance of "Give Peace a Chance" recorded at the 1972 "One to One" concerts is crossfaded into the song's ending.[12]

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ UK Apple PCS 7173[7]
Citations
  1. ^ RIAA website
  2. ^ "John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band - Shaved Fish". Beatles Vinyl Record Collectors Online Shop, retrieved 8 December 2010.
  3. ^ "Shaved Fish". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  4. ^ a b "John Lennon: Shaved Fish". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  5. ^ Gary Graff & Daniel Durcholz, MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, Visible Ink Press (Farmington Hills, MI, 1999), p. 667.
  6. ^ "CREEM Magazine 1975 Reader Poll Results". Creem. rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Blaney, John (2005). John Lennon: Listen to This Book (illustrated ed.). [S.l.]: Paper Jukebox. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-9544528-1-0. 
  8. ^ Ingham, Chris (2003). The Rough Guide to The Beatles (1st ed.). London: Rough Guides. pp. 110–111. ISBN 978-1-84353-140-1. 
  9. ^ Shaved Fish. Apple Records SW 3421, 1975, back cover credits.
  10. ^ John Lennon. Working Class Hero. Capitol Records CDP 0946 3 40391 2 3, 2005, liner notes.
  11. ^ Some Time in New York City. Apple Records SVBB 3392, 1972, side one track timings.
  12. ^ Madinger, Chip; Easter, Mark (2000). Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium. Chesterfield, MO: 44.1 Productions. p. 80. ISBN 0-615-11724-4.