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Music Storytellers - JOHN LENNON
Music Storytellers - JOHN LENNON Photo

ALBUMS:

John Lennon - 

Out of all the BeatlesJohn Lennon had the most interesting -- and frustrating -- solo career. Lennon was capable of inspired, brutally honest confessional songwriting and melodic songcraft; he also had a tendency to rest on his laurels, churning out straight-ahead rock & roll without much care. But the extremes, both in his music and his life, were what made him fascinating. Where Paul McCartney was content to be a rock star, Lennon dabbled in everything from revolutionary politics to the television talk-show circuit during the early '70s. After releasing a pair of acclaimed albums, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Bandand Imagine, in the early '70s, Lennon sunk into an infamous "lost weekend" where his musical output was decidedly uneven and his public behavior was often embarrassing. Halfway through the decade, he sobered up and retired from performing to become a house-husband and father. In 1980, he launched a comeback with his wife Yoko Ono, releasing the duet album Double Fantasy that fall. Just as his career was on an upswing, Lennon was tragically assassinated outside of his New York apartment building in December of 1980. He left behind an enormous legacy, not only as a musician, but as a writer, actor and activist.

Considering the magnitude of his achievements with the BeatlesLennon's solo career is relatively overlooked. Even during the height of Beatlemania, Lennon began exploring outside of the group. In 1964, he published a collection of his writings called In His Own Write, which was followed in 1965 by A Spaniard in the Works, and in 1966, he appeared in Dick Lester's comedy How I Won the War. He didn't pursue a musical career outside of the group until 1968, when he recorded the experimental noise collage Unfinished Music, No. 1: Two Virgins with his new lover, avant-garde artist Yoko OnoTwo Virgins caused considerable controversy, both because of its content and its cover art, which featured a nude photograph of Lennon and Ono. The couple married in Gibraltar in March 20, 1969. For their honeymoon, the pair staged the first of many political demonstrations with their "Bed-In for Peace" at the Amsterdam Hilton. Several months later, the avant-garde records Unfinished Music, No. 2: Life With the Lions and The Wedding Album were released, as was the single "Give Peace a Chance," which was recorded during the Bed-In. During September of 1969, Lennon returned to live performances with a concert at a Toronto rock & roll festival. He was supported by the Plastic Ono Band, which featured Ono, guitarist Eric Clapton, bassist Klaus Voormann and drummer Alan White. The following month, Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band released "Cold Turkey," which was about his battle with heroin addiction. When the single failed to make the Top Ten in Britain and America, Lennon sent his MBE back to the Queen, protesting Britain's involvement in Biafra, America's involvement in Vietnam and the poor chart performance of "Cold Turkey."

Before the release of "Cold Turkey," Lennon had told the Beatles that he planned to leave the group, but he agreed not to publicly announce his intentions until after Allen Klein's negotiations with EMI on behalf of the Beatles were resolved. Lennon and Ono continued with their campaign for peace, spreading billboards with the slogan "War Is Over! (If You Want It)" in 12 separate cities. In February of 1970, he wrote, recorded and released the single "Instant Karma" within the span of the week. The single became a major hit, reaching the Top Ten in both the U.K. and the U.S.. Two months after "Instant Karma," Paul McCartney announced that the Beatles were splitting up, provoking the anger of Lennon. Much of this anger was vented on his first full-fledged solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, a scathingly honest confessional work inspired by his and Ono's primal scream therapy. Lennonsupported the album with an extensive interview with Rolling Stone, where he debunked many of the myths surrounding the Beatles. Early in 1971, he released another protest single, "Power to the People," before moving to New York. That fall, he released Imagine, which featured the Top Ten title track. By the time Imagine became a hit album, Lennon and Ono had returned to political activism, publicly supporting American radicals like Abbie HoffmanJerry Rubin and John Sinclair. Their increased political involvement resulted in the double-album Sometime in New York City, which was released in the summer of 1972. Recorded with the New York hippie band Elephant's MemorySometime in New York City consisted entirely of political songs, many of which were criticized for their simplicity. Consequently, the album sold poorly and tarnished Lennon's reputation.

Sometime in New York City was the beginning of a three-year downward spiral for Lennon. Shortly before the album's release, he began his long, involved battle with U.S. Immigration, who refused to give him a green card due to a conviction for marijuana possession in 1968. In 1973, he was ordered to leave America by Immigration, and he launched a full-scale battle against the department, frequently attacking them in public. Mind Games was released in late 1973 to mixed reviews; its title track became a moderate hit. The following year, he and Ono separated, and he moved out to Los Angeles, beginning his year-and-a-half long "lost weekend." During 1974 and 1975, Lennon lived a life of debauchery in Los Angeles, partying hard with such celebrities as Elton JohnHarry NilssonKeith MoonDavid Bowie and Ringo StarrWalls and Bridges appeared in November of 1974, and it became a hit due to the inclusion of "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night," a song he performed with Elton John. At the end of the year, John helped reunite Lennon and Ono, convincing the ex-Beatle to appear during one of his concerts; it would be Lennon's last performance.

Rock 'n' Roll, a collection of rock oldies recorded during the lost weekend, was released in the spring of 1975. A few months before its official release, a bootleg of the album called Roots was released by Morris Levy, who Lennon later sued successfully. Lennon's immigration battle neared its completion on October 7, 1975, when the U.S. court of appeals overturned his deportation order; in the summer of 1976, he was finally granted his green card. After he appeared on David Bowie's Young Americans, co-writing the hit song "Fame," Lennon quietly retired from music, choosing to become a house-husband following the October birth of his son, Sean Lennon.

During the summer of 1980, Lennon returned to recording, signing a new contract with Geffen Records. Comprised equally of material by Lennon and OnoDouble Fantasy was released in November to positive reviews. As the album and its accompanying single, "(Just Like) Starting Over," were climbing the charts, Lennon was assassinated on December 8 by Mark David Chapman. Lennon's death inspired deep grief from the entire world; on December 14, millions of fans around the world participated in a ten-minute silent vigil for Lennon at 2 p.m. EST. Double Fantasy and "(Just Like) Starting Over" both became number one hits in the wake of his death. In the years after his death, several albums of unreleased recordings appeared, the first of which was 1984's Milk and Honey; perhaps the most substantial was the 1998 four-disc box set Anthology, issued in conjunction with a single-disc sampler titled Wonsaponatime.

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/john-lennon-mn0000232564
 

| Closed on 01/11/13 at 05:00PM
FanIQ Pts? No | Locker Room, Music | Multiple Choice Opinion Poll
14 Fans 
36%a. 10 (RIGHTEOUS)
29%b. 7-9 (AMAZING)
29%c. 5-6 (OK)
0%d. 1-4 (No Interest)
7%e. I REALLY, REALLY SUCK!

 &nbp;
TOP COMMENT * * * * * * * * * * * *
#3 | 594 days ago

I liked him, except when he had Yoko sing on his albums. 

yes
10 (RIGHTEOUS)  
  
17 Comments | Sorted by Most Recent First | Red = You Disagreed
Vote for your favorite comments. Fans decide the Top Comment (3+ votes) and also hide poor quality comments (4+ votes).
#1 | 594 days ago
Nick__ (+)

(Edited by Nick__)
What a gifted and amazing musician!

Beyond his music though, he was such a leader and was always trying to challenge things that he believed were wrong, especially with World Peace.....much admiration to him for doing that!

This past Saturday (12/8) marked the 32 yr Anniversary of his assassination.

10 (RIGHTEOUS)  
#2 | 594 days ago

i liked a few of his songs, but more often than not i loved his message more than his music. one of my all-time favorite artists, harry nilsson almost broke him in the 70's. they'd get drunk and have screaming contests to see whose throat would bleed first. it's uninteresting.
#3 | 594 days ago

I liked him, except when he had Yoko sing on his albums. 

yes
10 (RIGHTEOUS)  
#4 | 594 days ago

Roller Skating, that's where I was when I heard the news he had been shot. Everyone stopped skating and there were lots of tears. He was a great guy and a very talented musician. Still have a couple of his Albums.....heartyes
10 (RIGHTEOUS)  
#5 | 594 days ago

JenX63 wrote:
Roller Skating, that's where I was when I heard the news he had been shot. Everyone stopped skating and there were lots of tears. He was a great guy and a very talented musician. Still have a couple of his Albums.....heartyes
your first sentence made my eyes sting.
#6 | 594 days ago

ms_hippie_queen wrote:
i liked a few of his songs, but more often than not i loved his message more than his music. one of my all-time favorite artists, harry nilsson almost broke him in the 70's. they'd get drunk and have screaming contests to see whose throat would bleed first. it's uninteresting.
"i liked a few of his songs, but more often than not i loved his message more than his music."

^^^^^
This
#7 | 594 days ago

Meh.
5-6 (OK)  
#8 | 594 days ago

He was ok....it was Yoko who was the poison.  Actually, I heard the song "Valotte" the other day (which was a hit for his son, Julian in 1984).  I said to my wife "It's a wonder that Julian didn't hit it bigger, because he sounds a lot like his father".  My wife said one word: Yoko.
7-9 (AMAZING)  
#9 | 594 days ago

He was ok. And the only song I really liked by him is "Imagine"  
5-6 (OK)  
#10 | 594 days ago

MANY THANX 4 POSTING JOHN LENNON
 Hard to believe its been 32 yrs since we were saddened that tragic December night.broken heart
Well we all shine on like the moon and the stars and the sun.
10 (RIGHTEOUS)  
#11 | 593 days ago

wasnt a Beatles fan at all but i remember the night of his death like it was yesterday- he was assisinated on my b/day-GRRRRRRR
#12 | 591 days ago

John Lennon is a Musical and Cultural Icon.


10 (RIGHTEOUS)  
#13 | 590 days ago

John Lennon was a genius songwriter, and if not for Yoko and Linda McCartney fighting, Beatles may have stayed together.
7-9 (AMAZING)  
#14 | 590 days ago
Nick__ (+)

Not true!!!!!   RINGO was the first member that wanted out, followed by John and George......Paul was the only member that didn't want the split.....it's not the YOKO-LINDA feud that caused the breakup.....their fighting was the final issue that cemented it.
10 (RIGHTEOUS)  
#15 | 570 days ago

I can't believe people wrote "he was ok"... OK?????  "All You Need Is Love", "Strawberry Fields" "GoodNight" "Julia" "Happiness is a Warm Gun"  "Help". I could fill up this page 5 times with song titles.  The Beatles changed the face of pop music and the world.  OK?  wow
#16 | 570 days ago
Nick__ (+)

PurrsAlot wrote:
I can't believe people wrote "he was ok"... OK?????  "All You Need Is Love", "Strawberry Fields" "GoodNight" "Julia" "Happiness is a Warm Gun"  "Help". I could fill up this page 5 times with song titles.  The Beatles changed the face of pop music and the world.  OK?  wow
To each their own.......what one person loves another person may not......I can understand, pretty much, any vote except that he sucked.  But that's just me. smiley
10 (RIGHTEOUS)  
#17 | 570 days ago

Nick__ wrote:
To each their own.......what one person loves another person may not......I can understand, pretty much, any vote except that he sucked.  But that's just me. smiley
well the one thing about The Beatles is they didn't promote apathy.  If John Lennon was "okay" then I would love to see who is considered exceptional.  Gives a sense of perspective.  for example... John Lennon was okay I guess but Justin Beiber is a genius!   lmao

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