“Nobody Loves You When You’re Down and Out” acoustic demo

With a few exceptions, demos are genial curiosities, adding context but little else to the standard version. You don’t hear the song any different after.

This one is an exception. Like a lot of folks, I’ve always found this song from Walls and Bridges particularly haunting, given where John Lennon was in his life (and vis a vis the music business); but this version really got me—the break at 3:36 is just amazing. Go listen. (h/t to Stephen Kroninger)

(Stray thought: it might be fun to compile a list of truly essential demos, ones like “I’m Looking Through You.” Put ’em in the comments.)



8 Comments

  1. Avatar Rob Geurtsen wrote:

    Hey that’s good news Michael

    only a few days ago I mentioned this blog in a contribution to ‘The Beatles Review of History’-blog that ” ‘Hey Dullblog’ [5] (…) is currently at rest, if not on death row.”

    I have loads of outtakes from ‘Walls and Bridges’, at least once a year I go thru these. Many years ago I felt that Lennon was able to express his ‘inner-voice’ and criticism of the external world and had a clear musical direction on a solo album. And it happened in a productive period, a year with so much good stuff (Fame, Pussy Cats, etc.).
    It was good news, and what I have learned thru the decades is that Lennon had strong vocals, even when he is jamming, trying to get a proper take. Also that if Lennon wants to succeed in a strong vocal he digs deep, he needs to sense himself, feelings that are currently in his bones and flesh.

    The lyrics of ‘Scared’ are as close to his experience, personality and the lyrical content of former lyrics as he can be. The medium to slow tempo, drawn-out vocals, he is scared and ‘tired’… we have heard that before… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B2Sb61FQBE

  2. Avatar Chris Dingman wrote:

    Beautiful. The singing is raw, vulnerable.

    I don’t think it counts as a demo, but as an outtake, I’ve always loved the laughing version of “And Your Bird Can Sing” from Anthology. Pot-fueled almost certainly, but sheer joy.

  3. Avatar Chris Dingman wrote:

    Beautiful. The singing is raw, vulnerable.

    It’s not a demo, but as an outtake, I’ve always loved the laughing version of “And Your Bird Can Sing” from Anthology. Pot-fueled almost certainly, but sheer joy.

  4. Avatar Tasmin wrote:

    Personally, I loved the Esher Demos from The
    White Album remaster that came out last November.

    “Back in the U.S.S.R,”with just Paul and George on acoustic guitars, and singing, was so fantastic. No drums, piano, jet engine sounds, just them. Paul goofs around at the end, and they sound like they are having fun.

    Also from The White Album remastered, is John’s “Child of Nature”, which eventually became “Jealous Guy.” I’d never heard it before and I love it. So beautiful!

    I was so happy to see a post from Hey Dullblog in my email!!! Yay!!

  5. Avatar Hologram Sam wrote:

    This “Nobody” demo is new to me. I’ve never heard it before.
    .
    I like my Lennon vocals close-mic. I love close-mic, double-tracked Lennon singing. One of the things that irritated me about his solo records was when he tried to “project” his voice.
    .
    The dynamics on demos like this are why I enjoy them so much. At 3:36 when he lets loose, it means something.
    .
    We never got to see John do MTV Unplugged, but this is the next best thing.

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