Thursday, October 1, 2009

John Lennon's Five Best Solo Albums‏

by Jake Topp

Sadly John Lennon's solo career wasn't nearly as long as that of his former songwriting partner (Paul McCartney) because Lennon was killed by a lunatic when he was only 40 years old.

But during his 10 year solo career Lennon did release a number of very good solo albums and it's those albums that I'm featuring in this article. There are five solo Lennon albums that I think are particularly worthy of a listen.

Plastic Ono Band (1970) - In my opinion, Lennon's first solo album was also his best. From the opening bells of "Mother" this is a dark emotionally stark album that leaves the often fantastical world of The Beatles far behind. "Mother" is about his mother's death and his father leaving him as a child. Yeah, this is heavy stuff. The song ends with "primal screams" where it sounds like you can hear his voice being ripped apart by some sort of wild beast. Then there's the heavy rock of "I Found Out" and the lyrics of "Working Class Hero." This is Lennon at his most powerful.

Imagine (1971) - While Plastic Ono Band seemed to be Lennon leaving the sound of The Beatles far behind, with Imagine he sort of returned to it with a much more commercially palatable album. It's also a really good album that's probably his most consistent as far as song quality. If I were to give someone one album to get them into Lennon's solo career, it would be this one. Everyone knows the title track but there's also a lot of other great songs such as "Crippled Inside" and "Jealous Guy."

Mind Game (1973) - I think this album and the next one (Walls and Bridges) are too often overlooked. Are they as good as his first two albums? No, I don't think so. But they are still really good albums that don't deserve to be dismissed. This is actually a pretty fun upbeat album, even though it has a lot of serious political themes.

Walls and Bridges (1974) - The most well known songs on the album are probably "Whatever Gets You Through The Night" and "#9 Dream" but they actually aren't very good representatives of the album as a whole. My favorite track on the album is definitely "Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out").

Double Fantasy (1980) - His final album was released not long before his death and it contained some really great songs like "Watching The Wheels" and "Beautiful Boy" which makes one wonder what kind of great music he could have made during the rest of the 1980s if his life wasn't cut short by a madman.

Jake Topp is a big fan of the blog because it helps him with learning how to record his own John Lennon covers.

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