Picks and Pans Review: Every Man Has a Woman

updated 10/01/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/01/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Various artists

John Lennon had planned to produce an album such as this—all songs written by his wife, Yoko Ono, and performed by other artists—as a birthday present for Yoko. Now Ono's associate, Sam Havadtoy, has admirably completed the project Lennon could never finish. Ono's songs, generally melodically bare and verbally simple, profit from the talent applied to them. Elvis Costello and the Attractions do Walking on Thin Ice. Roberta Flack contributes a lilting version of Goodbye Sadness. Rosanne Cash adds a plaintive note to Nobody Sees Me Like You Do. Lennon's old pal Harry Nilsson sings (or more often, in his curious current style, grunts) three tunes. Lennon's own version of Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him, recorded in 1980 and never before released, is full of poignant emotion. And John and Yoko's son, Sean, 8, adds the charming It's Alright. There are a couple of dreadful tracks: the technorap Dogtown, by Alternating Boxes, and Wake Up, by a German group called Trio. The album is worthwhile, though. It's intriguing in its variety, and there are more than a few affecting moments. (Polydor)

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