John Lennon

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Wonsaponatime Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Released simultaneously with Anthology, Wonsaponatime condenses a four-disc box set into a digestible single disc that feels more revelatory than its parent. That's because the compilers did an excellent job of selecting the highlights from the long-winded box, spotlighting the best alternate takes and unreleased songs. Wonsaponatime has a similar feel to Anthology, since it is culled from the same rough takes and studio rambling, but it's simply more accessible, letting less dedicated fans appreciate everything from the Cheap Trick-backed "I'm Losing You" and "God Save Oz," to alternates of "Working Class Hero," "God," "I Found Out," and "How Do You Sleep?" Again, these outtakes are not revelatory in the manner of Dylan's Bootleg Series, or even the Beatles' own Anthology, but they humanize Lennon, who has often been viewed as something of a saint in the years since his assassination. For that alone, Wonsaponatime is as welcome an addition to his catalog as the exhaustive Anthology.

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