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Author Topic: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?  (Read 201 times)

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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« on: May 24, 2016, 07:24:44 PM »

John has always been my favorite beatle, including the solo careers. However, not every solo album by John attracts my ears. I've found that I'm not fond of the two extremes of John's solo career: his first, under-produced and sad album (Plastic Ono Band); and his last, over-produced and happy album (Double Fantasy). I'm not taken into account less relevant works like the early expermental records or the posthumous Milk And Honey.

I think John in 1970 was a dead John, because the live John would never have concluded an album with the phrase "the dream is over". And John in 1980 was a fake John, because the true John would never have jumped to that over-sugary wagon. Thus, the John I prefer is that from 1971-1975: more authentic, resurrected and still free from 5 years of househusband contamination. But paradoxically, Plastic Ono Band is his most critically acclaimed album and Double Fantasy may have been his most chart-successful work (though his sad death had something to do with that). So I guess I'm swimming against the current here...

Anyway, there are four John's albums that I really need: Imagine (1971), Mind Games (1973), Walls And Bridges (1974) and Rock 'N' Roll (1975). I'm afraid Sometime In New York City (1972) is too Yoko-contamined for my liking. The four mentioned albums are the source of essential songs like "Imagine", "Jealous Guy", "Oh My Love", "Mind Games", "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night", "#9 Dream" and "Stand By Me". They also contain some hidden gems like "How?", "Out The Blue", "Steel And Glass" and "Slippin' And Slidin'". I think the introspective, ironic and nostalgic John can be found in those records, which may not be constantly brillant, but I spend a good time listening to them.




What about you? Which John's albums do you need or listen more frequently?
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 09:36:55 PM by Hombre_de_ningun_lugar »
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Bingo Bongo

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2016, 08:38:22 PM »

Other than “Greatest Hits" albums, I never cared for any of the solo LPs, other than Macca 1970-1977!
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016, 08:52:21 PM »

Other than “Greatest Hits" albums, I never cared for any of the solo LPs, other than Macca 1970-1977!

From Paul and George I just need Band On The Run and All Things Must Pass. Then I like some well known songs from each beatle, e.g. "Give Peace A Chance", "Instant Karma!", "Maybe I'm Amazed", "Live And Let Die", "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)", "It Don't Come Easy", etc. But in my opinion the relevant time for the solo careers concluded in 1975.
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Klang

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2016, 09:09:56 PM »


Interesting coincidence for me that this topic comes up now. I have all the official releases from each of the guys, but I don't listen too much. Anyway, last night I heard a nice sounding song on the radio that I didn't recognize, but I thought to myself, "This sounds like Paul." Sure enough, the DJ confirmed that it was Paul, but I didn't quite catch the title. So, now I have a mission of rediscovery ahead of me. I've listened to everything at least once, but some of it just never stuck. I like that song, and I know it's in there somewhere. Wish me luck, I'm going in.

 glassesslip

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blmeanie

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2016, 12:50:21 AM »

"Which John Lennon's albums do you need?"

...the next one we will never hear
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Moogmodule

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2016, 07:50:32 AM »

I actually do think Plastic Ono Band is an essential John record. Admittedly it's not the easiest of listening. But it did show John stretching the boundaries of pop/rock, not something any of the Beatles did much of after the break-up. His extreme confessional approach with very Lo fi arrangements was totally at odds with the trend toward bigger and more polished arrangements of the 70s. And there's some decent songs on it as well.




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tkitna

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2016, 11:58:40 AM »

Anyway, there are four John's albums that I really need: Imagine (1971), Mind Games (1973), Walls And Bridges (1974) and Rock 'N' Roll (1975). .

Get the first three, but 'Rock-N-Roll' is sh*t.

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What about you? Which John's albums do you need or listen more frequently?

I'm a completist so I have to have all of them.  Which ones do I listen to,,,,,none of them.  I'm an idiot.

Bobber

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2016, 12:38:27 PM »

As a matter of fact Walls And Bridges reached the cars cd-player recently. That's about it. I'm not a great fan of Johns solo work, but that's just me. Rock And Roll is far from essential and unlistenable to my ears.
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2016, 02:49:55 PM »

I actually do think Plastic Ono Band is an essential John record. Admittedly it's not the easiest of listening. But it did show John stretching the boundaries of pop/rock, not something any of the Beatles did much of after the break-up. His extreme confessional approach with very Lo fi arrangements was totally at odds with the trend toward bigger and more polished arrangements of the 70s. And there's some decent songs on it as well.

Of course Plastic Ono Band was essential in John's solo career. And I have no problem with its sound, actually I think it's interesting, I like that under-produced feeling. What I don't like is the general message of the album. The album is usually praised because of its supposed sincerity, and probably that was true in 1970; but I don't feel it represents the John we have known during the rest of his life. Not having hope and not believing in anything is not what a dreamer does. That's why I think that John resurrected in his following album, especially with the song "Imagine".
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2016, 03:00:27 PM »

Get the first three, but 'Rock-N-Roll' is sh*t.

Rock And Roll is far from essential and unlistenable to my ears.

Of course each one can have its own opinion about the album. And sure, Rock 'N' Roll was a minor work even in John's short solo career. But I like listening to the nostalgic John, even though I'm not a big fan of 1950's rock & roll. When I listen to that album I don't expect a masterpiece, I just have fun as I feel John is having fun too.
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nimrod

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2016, 09:10:48 PM »

My Favourite would be Imagine, I guess, but like others Im no fan of any Beatles solo work, I dont know, Ive tried ....

Maybe for me the magic just isnt there for me. Ive tried to analyze it but I cant.

From the first album of his I quite like the song 'Remember', something about it sounds like The Beatles, probably its Ringo's drumming with Johns voice, I always could imagine it on a Beatle album.......and I always thought Johns voice on 'God' was terrific
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'#9 Dream' is a nice song, as is 'Out Of The Blue'

I'll never forgive them for breaking up.
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Moogmodule

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2016, 09:55:25 PM »

Of course Plastic Ono Band was essential in John's solo career. And I have no problem with its sound, actually I think it's interesting, I like that under-produced feeling. What I don't like is the general message of the album. The album is usually praised because of its supposed sincerity, and probably that was true in 1970; but I don't feel it represents the John we have known during the rest of his life. Not having hope and not believing in anything is not what a dreamer does. That's why I think that John resurrected in his following album, especially with the song "Imagine".

Can't disagree on the message bit.  As compelling as it could be that tortured self-pity wasn't something to base a long term solo career on. And overall I find Imagine much more listenable and enjoyable.
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Moogmodule

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2016, 09:56:54 PM »

Of course each one can have its own opinion about the album. And sure, Rock 'N' Roll was a minor work even in John's short solo career. But I like listening to the nostalgic John, even though I'm not a big fan of 1950's rock & roll. When I listen to that album I don't expect a masterpiece, I just have fun as I feel John is having fun too.

Rock and Roll had some OK cuts. But I just can't get over the paleness of the singer on this compared to the one we heard in the early to mid 60s.
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Klang

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2016, 10:18:33 PM »

I'll never forgive them for breaking up.

They needed a break, not a break up.

As most have opined, they were at their best as a team. There should have been a mutually agreed to temporary break and probable reformation, instead of the rancorous mess that took place. Well, water under the bridge now.

 roll:)
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2016, 01:07:40 AM »

My Favourite would be Imagine, I guess, but like others Im no fan of any Beatles solo work, I dont know, Ive tried ....

Maybe for me the magic just isnt there for me. Ive tried to analyze it but I cant.

I think the problem is that we tend to compare the solo works with the Beatles production as a band. I guess that's unavoidable for a fan. But that's not a surprise if we see the Beatles as the best band ever, so that each member had nothing to do but going down after the break up.

From that point of view, it's easy to think that their solo careers were worthless. Other fans, perhaps the most devoted ones, have a diametrically opposed position and still expect each solo release as if it was a new Beatles album from their glory days. Talking about me, I used to be closer to the first case than the second one. But now I'm more in a half-way, I've learned to appreciate some solo albums for what they are and not for what the Beatles were.

Anyway, there are not so many solo Beatles albums that I really like, since I usually listen to no more than half-dozen of those records; but I find that they're quite good even though the old magic is not there.
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2016, 01:27:27 AM »

Can't disagree on the message bit.  As compelling as it could be that tortured self-pity wasn't something to base a long term solo career on. And overall I find Imagine much more listenable and enjoyable.

I think I understand what you mean. Perhaps the pure and sincere John was shown in Plastic Ono Band and the John we have known before and after that album was a diluted John. It's said that sadness or crazyness tends to potentiate what we really are. However, I've always seen John as a brutally honest man, for good and for bad. And people change over the years, especially an unstable person like John. So I don't need to think that John was fake in 1970, 1963 or 1975; they are all just different versions of the same John. Maybe I have a different view about 1980, but that's just a personal opinion. My point is that I don't take the John we can hear in Plastic Ono Band; I prefer the John we have known before and after that brief period.
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In My Life

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2016, 01:41:49 AM »

Rock and Roll had some OK cuts. But I just can't get over the paleness of the singer on this compared to the one we heard in the early to mid 60s.

I've never actually listened to the whole thing but I've heard enough to say I agree with the above statements. I do like "Stand by Me" though. It just kind of hit me after hearing it for years. And as I was pondering whether I should even comment in this thread I heard that song on Pandora. The only album I know well is Imagine. I like it a lot, for the most part. I would even say that I need it.  :)
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 01:43:41 AM by In My Life »
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2016, 06:28:25 PM »

Answer (won't be popular) - those nearest, or in, the 60s.
That said, even I haven't fully explored John's pre-'Plastic Ono Band' ones, not least because they always seem so expensive.

I really only own/play one Paul C.D. ('McCartney' - often) and one John C.D. ('Plastic Ono Band' - rarely). My favourite solo record is 'Wonderwall Music,' I genuinely enjoy it and it is important because it was made/released in '67/'68.
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Which John Lennon's albums do you need?
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2016, 07:48:49 PM »

Answer (won't be popular) - those nearest, or in, the 60s.
That said, even I haven't fully explored John's pre-'Plastic Ono Band' ones, not least because they always seem so expensive.

I really only own/play one Paul C.D. ('McCartney' - often) and one John C.D. ('Plastic Ono Band' - rarely). My favourite solo record is 'Wonderwall Music,' I genuinely enjoy it and it is important because it was made/released in '67/'68.

Wonderwall Music is easily the best of all those solo albums from the late 60's, I actually enjoy some parts of it. But in my opinion, the rest of those "weird" records doesn't deserve a second listening.

Like yourself, I'm a 60's rock nut who pays more attention and gives more relevance to the music released in that decade, but I have some limits. The time is important for historical reasons, but the content is always essential. "When" talks about originality and "what" talks about quality; I always take into account both things.

In my case, I think only Imagine, Band On The Run and All Things Must Pass approach the Beatles level, and they are still far behind the best albums of the band. I also like other few solo albums by Lennon, as I've mentioned, but I do know they are not as good. I just think that some solo albums from the first half of the 70's still have something of historical relevance and quality content.
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