Milk and Honey (album)

Milk and Honey (album)
Milk and Honey
Studio album by John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Released 27 January 1984
Recorded August–late 1980, 1983
Genre Rock
Length 36:49
Label Polydor (original release)
Capitol (2001 reissue)
Producer John Lennon, Yoko Ono
John Lennon chronology
The John Lennon Collection
Milk and Honey
Live in New York City
Yoko Ono chronology
It's Alright (I See Rainbows)
Milk and Honey
Singles from Milk and Honey
  1. "Nobody Told Me"
    Released: 6 January 1984
  2. "Borrowed Time"
    Released: 9 March 1984
  3. "I'm Stepping Out"
    Released: 15 July 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (A)[2]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[3]

Milk and Honey is an album by John Lennon and Yoko Ono released in 1984. It is the first posthumous release of Lennon's music, having been recorded in the last months of his life during and following the sessions for their 1980 album Double Fantasy.

Milk and Honey was the duo's projected follow-up to Double Fantasy, though Lennon's death caused a temporary shelving of the project. It took Ono three years to be able to resume work to complete it. Ono's material largely comprises new recordings, which she undertook during the album's preparation in 1983, which give her songs a more commercial and contemporary edge. Conversely, Lennon's material, being rough takes and rehearsal recordings, has a more casual feeling.

"Nobody Told Me", a song Lennon had intended for Ringo Starr's 1981 Stop and Smell the Roses, was released as a single and became a worldwide Top 10 hit. Other singles from the album were "I'm Stepping Out" and "Borrowed Time".

The album title came from Yoko Ono, who explained that it referenced their journey to the USA, 'the land of milk and honey'. "But also, in the Scripture, the land of milk and honey is where you go after you die, as a promised land", Ono went on to say. "So it's very strange that I thought of that title. Almost scary - like someone up there told me to call the next album Milk and Honey."[4] The cover is an alternate take from the same photo session that produced the front cover of Double Fantasy, though this time it appears in colour.

Predictably, the reaction to Milk and Honey was less fanatical than the one that greeted Double Fantasy, but it was still well-received, peaking at #3 in the UK and #11 in the U.S., where it went gold.

After a falling out with David Geffen, whose Geffen Records had initially released Double Fantasy, Ono moved future projects to Polydor Records, which initially released Milk and Honey. EMI, home of Lennon's entire recorded output—including that with The Beatles—acquired this and all Lennon releases in the late 1990s.

Jack Douglas, who had co-produced Double Fantasy with Lennon and Ono, also had input into the initial sessions for Milk and Honey, though Ono declined to credit him after their professional relationship soured following Lennon's death.

In 2001, Yoko Ono supervised the remastering of Milk and Honey for its CD reissue, adding three bonus tracks, including a 22-minute excerpt from John Lennon's last interview in the late afternoon of 8 December 1980, hours before his death.

The songs "Let Me Count the Ways" and "Grow Old with Me" were written by John and Yoko to each other using inspiration from poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. They are presented in their demo form.


Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "I'm Stepping Out"   John Lennon 4:06
2. "Sleepless Night"   Yoko Ono 2:34
3. "I Don't Wanna Face It"   John Lennon 3:22
4. "Don't Be Scared"   Yoko Ono 2:45
5. "Nobody Told Me"   John Lennon 3:34
6. "O' Sanity"   Yoko Ono 1:05
7. "Borrowed Time"   John Lennon 4:29
8. "Your Hands"   Yoko Ono 3:04
9. "(Forgive Me) My Little Flower Princess"   John Lennon 2:28
10. "Let Me Count the Ways"   Yoko Ono 2:17
11. "Grow Old with Me"   John Lennon 3:07
12. "You’re the One"   Yoko Ono 3:56
2001 reissue
No. Title Writer(s) Length
13. "Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him"   Yoko Ono 3:19
14. "I'm Stepping Out (Home Version)"   John Lennon 2:57
15. "I'm Moving On (Home Version)"   Yoko Ono 1:20
16. "Interview with J & Y, December 8th, 1980"     21:55


  • John Lennon - guitar, keyboards, vocals
  • Yoko Ono - vocals
  • John Tropea - guitar
  • Earl Slick - guitar
  • Howard Johnson - horn
  • Jimmy Maelen - percussion
  • Elliott Randall - guitar
  • Gordon Grody - vocals
  • Billy Alessi - vocals
  • Bobby Alessi - vocals
  • Pete Cannarozzi - synthesizer
  • Andy Newmark - drums
  • Paul Griffin - drums
  • Neil Jason - bass
  • Arthur Jenkins - percussion
  • Tony Levin - bass
  • Steve Love - guitar
  • Hugh McCracken - guitar
  • Wayne Pedziwiatr - bass
  • George Small - keyboards
  • Peter Thom - vocals
  • Ed Walsh - keyboards
  • Kurt Yahjian - vocals


Chart positions

Chart (1984) Position
Australian Kent Music Report Chart[5] 4
Austrian Albums Chart[6] 12
Canadian RPM Albums Chart[7] 15
Dutch Mega Albums Chart[8] 4
French SNEP Albums Chart [9] 10
Italian Albums Chart[10] 16
Japanese Oricon LP Chart[11] 3
New Zealand Albums Chart [12] 34
Norwegian VG-lista Albums Chart[13] 7
Swedish Albums Chart[14] 3
Swiss Albums Chart[15] 15
UK Albums Chart [16] 3
U.S. Billboard 200 [17] 11
West German Media Control Albums Chart [18] 20

Year-end charts

Chart (1984) Position
Australian Albums Chart[5] 67
Canadian Albums Chart[19] 82
Italian Albums Chart[10] 64
Japanese Albums Chart[20] 83

Certifications & Sales

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[21] Gold 50,000^
Japan (Oricon Charts) 106,000[22]
United Kingdom (BPI)[23] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[24] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Robert Christgau review
  3. ^ Rolling Stone review
  4. ^ Ono, Yoko (October 2010). "Milk and Honey 2010 Remaster Liner Notes". 
  5. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0646119176. 
  6. ^ " John Lennon / Yoko Ono - Milk and Honey" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  7. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 39, No. 24, February 18 1984". RPM. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  8. ^ " John Lennon / Yoko Ono - Milk and Honey" (in Dutch). Hung Medien, MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  9. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  10. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1984" (in Italian). Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  11. ^ a-ビートルズ "- Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) - Albums Chart Daijiten - The Beatles" (in Japanese). 2007-12-30. a-ビートルズ. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  12. ^ " - John Lennon / Yoko Ono - Milk and Honey". Hung Medien, Recording Industry Association of New Zea Land. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  13. ^ " John Lennon / Yoko Ono - Milk and Honey". Hung Medien, VG-lista. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  14. ^ " John Lennon / Yoko Ono - Milk and Honey" (in Swedish). Hung Medien, Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  15. ^ "John Lennon / Yoko Ono - Milk and Honey —" (in German). Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  16. ^ "Chart Stats - John Lennon and Yoko Ono - Milk and Honey". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  17. ^ "allmusic ((( Milk and Honey > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  18. ^ "Album Search: John Lennon" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  19. ^ "Top 100 Albums of 1984". RPM. 1985-01-05. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  20. ^ "日本で売れた洋楽アルバムトップ30 (Top-30 international albums on the Japanese Oricon Year-End Charts 1984". Archived from the original on 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  21. ^ "Canadian album certifications – John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Milk and Honey". Music Canada. 
  22. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4871310779. 
  23. ^ "British album certifications – John Lennon/Yoko Ono – Milk and Honey". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Milk and Honey in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  24. ^ "American album certifications – Lennon, John & Yoko Ono – Milk & Honey". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

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