It's simultaneously boring, pretentious and arrogant. Yeah, it's John Lennon's solo career
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is the debut solo album by English musician John Lennon. Backed by the Plastic Ono Band, it was released by Apple Records on 11 December 1970 in tandem with the similarly titled album by his wife, Yoko Ono. At the time of its issue, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band received mixed reviews overall, but later came to be widely regarded as Lennon's best solo album. Co-produced by Lennon, Ono and Phil Spector, it followed Lennon's recording of three experimental releases with Ono and a live album from the 1969 version of the Plastic Ono Band. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band contains a largely raw production sound with songs heavily influenced by Lennon's recent primal scream therapy. Its lyrics reflect Lennon's personal issues and includes themes of child-parent abandonment and psychological suffering. The tracks were recorded in September and October 1970 at Abbey Road Studios in London, simultaneously with Ono's similarly titled solo album. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band peaked at number eight on the UK Albums Chart and number six on the US Billboard 200. In 1987, Rolling Stone ranked it fourth in its list "The 100 Best Albums of the Last Twenty Years" and in 2012, ranked it number 23 in their list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". It was voted number 244 in Colin Larkin All Time Top 1000 Albums.
It's simultaneously boring, pretentious and arrogant. Yeah, it's John Lennon's solo career
On John Lennon's first solo album, we see him coming fully into the material that was first hinted at on the White Album. He embraces more soul and jazz touches that lends the music a grittier tone standing in contrast to some of the more vulnerable moments. Some of Lennon's best songs can be found here including 'Mother,' 'Love,' and 'Working Class Hero.' I had heard most of this album, but even the non-singles fit well into the flow of the album. This would be a career high for any other artist.
I always found John Lennons later Beatle output too whimsical but this album is raw, personal and direct.
The best solo work by John. It’s raw, stark, and honest to a fault. The production matches the mood of the songs. It’s really a masterpiece, regardless how you feel about John Lennon as a husband, father, and human being. John was an imperfect human being, but he was always trying to become a better person, and this album captures that effort perfectly. 5 stars.
This is John Lennon's debut solo album after the break-up of the Beatles. At the time, he had been going through some primal scream therapy with his psychiatrist to help work through some childhood trauma. You can really hear it through the lyrics on this record (especially the song Well Well Well where he is almost sacrificing his vocal chords for his screams). The themes of this record include childhood abandonment (Mother), and psychological pain. The song God is almost a farewell letter to the John Lennon everyone knew from the Beatles, and hello to a new John Lennon. This album was mostly performed in a 3 piece band format, featuring Lennon on guitar and vocals, Ringo Starr on drums, and Klaus Voormann on bass (this is apparently the artist who drew the cover art for the Beatles record, Revolver). The song Love features Phil Spector on piano. Phil also had a hand in producing the record along with John and Yoko. Upon seeing the title of the record, I was scared that it was going to feature the awful moaning of Yoko Ono, but thankfully, it did not. Apparently John and Yoko both released a record in 1970 named Plastic Ono Band; how cute. I'd rather listen to pigeons fuck than listen to Yoko Ono. I also had a preconceived notion that I would hate this record because it was John Lennon (the only Lennon solo songs I knew are Happy Xmas (War is Over) and Imagine, and I don't care for either one) but this was so much more than that. There was a lot going on with this record, and I really enjoyed it. Overall, I was very surprised with today's album. It is beautiful. Lennon laid his heart out on tape, and it really comes through. I will definately listen again. Favourite songs: Well Well Well, I Found Out, Hold On, Mother, Working Class Hero Least favourite songs: Isolation, Remember, Love 4/5
Music is a clear 5 star overall obviously, but I am not so keen on the lyrics (cf. Mother or the last "song", which should be skipped). So, whereas the 5 stars for the Imagine album were easy to give ..giving 5 stars to this albums feels more difficult to justify, but still.. 5 stars.
Very relatable record. Perhaps not in its precise sentiments as John is asking us to dig into his own personal drama, but the process itself is cathartic. He tears down his walls, screams into the void, lets go of everything, and accepts starting from scratch. Much of it is demanding, even the minimalist yet pulsing instrumentation, but it is a valuable experience. It's very much John's "therapy album" but I think it's a damn good argument for therapy. Some people might not have cared when he went left field in the 70s and people probably still don't care because he's an undesirable figure in the current climate. But the message has only gotten better with time. On one of my favorite cuts of the album, "God", he speaks of religion and all social structures as tools with "which we measure our pain" and that's what this album is about. Moments like "Mother" may be painful but confronting the pain head on is the only way to heal. This album is merely the beginning as it would take John up until his death to discard the bitterness that once defined him.
On this album, John Smellon goes monkey mode. Just full on primal vine-swinging Donkey Kong Barrel Blast™ monkey mode. Guest starring the Cookie Monster. "I was the Walrus, but now I'm John" - Factually untrue, the Official Lore clearly states that the Walrus was Paul. His best post-Beatles album, but that's not a very high bar, innit. Extra marks for no "Imagine" at least. Also obligatory: https://i.imgur.com/XoPXrdJ.jpeg What a silly guy, I bet his domestic life was completely uncontroversial.
It's not better than the Beatles. It's alright and there's some good songs like Working Class Hero.
Suena bien... no estoy segura si me encanta pero si esta cool. No si me gusto, creo que le estoy agarrando un gustillo a los beatles por este programa la verda haha
No podia estar més allunyat del que havia fet feia només uns mesos amb els seus companys de banda. Disc catàrtic com pocs, exorcisme de tots els seus fantasmes, altaveu d'uns sentiments enquistats durant anys. Però a la vegada disfrutable, amb cançons de pop perfeccionat i produït per un dels seus mestres. Primer disc en solitari, i primera obra mestra
J'ai vraiment aimé super original et les toune sont magistrales 5
I know & love this album.... been one of my favs for years. It's a bit depressing at times, but beautifully so. This album takes me back to early mornings working in California, at like 5 am when no one else is around. I especially how John is pushing is vocals throughout, and comes out with something very musical.
Lennon's greatest work outside of The Fabs, and possibly the best album any of them did after the breakup. Part of me wants to downgrade it because it pales in comparison to anything he did as a Beatle, but that's the case with damn near every album. Another part of me wants to give it a 5, because as a whole it sounds like a 5, and the goddamn album is still a 5 over 50 years later.
Rating: 9/10 Best songs: Mother, I found out, Well well well, Look at me
John is mijn held. Toegegeven, ik ben misschien een zo obsessieve Beatles en John Lennon fan, dat deze muziek mythische proporties heeft aangenomen in mijn hoofd. De gekte en het buiten de lijntjes kleuren is wat mij nog altijd zo enorm aanspreekt in John Lennon zijn vroege solo-werk. Later in zijn carriere ging hij (net als McCartney) helaas ook tranentrekkende muzak maken. Maar dit album staat bol van de spanning en creativiteit. Geweldig.
This was the first time I’ve heard the album in full. For some reason I’d always dismissed it. It sounds like John was exorcising all of his demons at once. Burnt out by Beatlemania possibly, realising that the world was fucked up maybe. There’s a real anger in the songs, but there’s also hope. Loved it, will be adding this to my collection.
Not sure if I'm relieved or disappointed in the lack of wailing. I've always sensed a bit of creepy energy from old John but the man can write a fucken song or two
The title track alone would give this album four stars. Long live the spirit of Lennon.
Great album (do I know the last song?)
Yeah this is boss, no denying it
i don't believe in beatles but i believe in me
This album is so raw and personal it’s no surprise that it got next to no airplay. It has four tunes I'd put in the fabulous category: Mother, Love, Working Class Hero and God. The first three have all been covered but God probably can never be covered due the part of the song after the list. The rest of the songs are largely unknown but also quite good.
lots of pain and some anger, some hope and encouragement too. love as well. a very human album. i’ve only listened to it once so i won’t say more
Brutally honest and sparse. It sounds personal and pained. An excellent emotional album that is compelling start to finish.
Lennon. Venga, vinilo por Working class hero.
A great album. Instead of continuing to try and chase the highs of The Beatles, this album is highly personal, with one of the main themes being letting that phase of his life go. The last line of the last song (outside of the glorified outro) is ‘the dream is over’. Other parts of the album discuss other parts of his life. All in all, a highly personal album and a great listen.
John Lennon Such an original distinct voice as a songwriter So much primal screaming - so personal feeling. Tough one to rate. It’s a pretty imperfect record but maybe that’s a good thing or possibly the best part about it . Idk 4.5?
Несмотря на то, что я не могу сказать, что я как-то особенно музыкально наслаждаюсь альбомом, эти песни имеют какой-то странный терапевтический эффект. Особенно в грустный, лиричный период. Искренние, социальные, о наболевшем
A very personal album. Love all the emotion in the vocals on every track. Even on my least favourite songs on the album have amazing vocals which make up for it. Probably John’s best solo work. Definitely my favourite of his solo albums, just slightly better than Imagine. Deserves its place on this list. 9/10 Top 5: 1. God 2. Mother 3. Isolation 4. Love 5. Working Class Hero
Arguably Lennon’s finest work since leaving the Beatles. A shame that we were deprived of more
Perhaps one of the most raw, achingly vulnerable explorations of one person’s pain ever put to tape. It could be argued Lennon never quite reached these musical heights in his solo career again.
Probably the most emotionally vulnerable album made by an A-list artist.
Stunning album. The original introspective deep dive into one's personality set to killer music album? Genius.
This is a great album. The way he communicates raw emotion through the music, and through his voice - these songs really demonstrate that he's one of the best ever to do it. I would not put all of these songs in the top tier, but there are enough knock-outs to fully make up for it - "Mother" "I Found Out" "Working Class Hero" "Isolation" "Well Well Well" and "God" are my favorites. One of the things that stuck with me on this listen was the way he is playing guitar in "I Found Out" - it's rather violent, dirty staccato playing that adds a lot to the song rhythmically and emotionally. I found it inspiring.
I LIKE THIS ALBUM ACTUALLY
Pretty solid record. Not my favorite solo Beatles work. This one is super raw and filled with emotion, which I appreciate.
I listened to this one a month or two ago out of curiosity, but I think I enjoyed it a little more upon relistening. There's a couple songs I don't really care about, but there's good stuff on here too. Sometimes his voice gets a bit too gruff when he's yelling, but it's not that big of a deal since it only happens a couple times. I love the haunting moments on here, like the beginning of the first song and the entirety of the last song. Wish there was a tad bit more of it. My favourite songs were Love, My Mummy's Dead, and Hold On.
Better than it should be
Way better than I was expecting, thought it was going to be very experimental, but was actually solid and full of feeling.
I didn't enjoy this album as much as I expected. Still, it's easy to see echoes of the last Beatles songs together with some experimentalism that would be impossible to be released under the Beatles brand even after the "White album". It's a interesting album, even far from what it can be considered the best
The best solo release from John Lennon and one of the best of any of the post-Beatles albums. This is Lennon at his best, at a high point of his career but totally free to make his own art. It's close to perfect but I think could have been improved by using some alternative takes of a few songs. But there's still a lot to love about this album.
4.1 + Having been thoroughly unimpressed by "Imagine", I came to this project with some trepidation. Whereas "Imagine" finds Lennon sounding jaded, here he sounds open-hearted, baring his soul while confronting an existential crossroad. He comes to terms with past traumas ("Mother"), finds meaning in new spiritual paths ("Hold On"), while recalibrating old mindsets that left emptiness in their wake ("Remember", "God"). Considering the meteoric rise of the Beatles (their studio recordings span just 7 years), it's little wonder that so much should change in Lennon's sound just one year later with the release of "Imagine." It's refreshing to hear him sound so human and so relatable.
For an album with Yoko Ono, it’s not as experimental as I thought it would be. Maybe it’s the poppier, John Lennon side of things, but John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (different from Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band) is a very raw pop album. The production is very minimal, you can hear all the imperfections, only improved by John Lennon’s performance. His screaming really adds something to this album, specifically on the tracks Mother and Well Well Well. Mother is a very nice and pleasant pop track, ending in Lennon screaming out for his mother and father. It’s very, very emotionally potent and one of the best tracks on the album. Well Well Well is more akin to blues rock with an odd interlude, delving into garage rock sounds with screamed vocals. This has the best and rawest performance on the album, hands down. This is all over the album but I believe these two songs to be the best examples. Generally, the sounds are close to pop and rock music. It’s very nice in all honesty. But the rawness and the production takes it to truly another level. Hell, I believe the production and performances to make this album worthy of a 9/10 rating.
It was surprising to actually like this, but it is still missing something in my opinion to really finish it off and make it shine, and I think it is mostly in the songwriting area.
An honestly pretty strong showing from my least favorite Beatle. I think this is his best work that I heard, and Working Class Hero was honestly INCREDIBLE.
this album is pretty heavy as far as its subject matter… dealing with childhood trauma and self discovery. it’s clear that john lennon had a troubled childhood and this album was his way of dealing with it. great album.
Lot of great solo Lennon. A couple forgettable tracks
Debut post Beatles solo album from everyone’s favourite resident hypocrite and sook. Regrettably though, even considering my dislike for him (and his whining and primal screaming on several songs) this is still unfortunately a good album. ‘Mother’ is as harrowing a song as I’ve ever heard. Fuck me.
The music is pleasant and enjoyable. I just don't particularly love John's voice.
I thought I never really liked John Lennon’s solo work based on the stuff that got airplay. But I really enjoyed this! I don’t think I have ever heard any of the tracks on this album before. Top picks for me are “Working Class Hero”, “Remember” and “Well Well Well”
Plastic Ono Band showcased Lennon going through a production change, and even though there are ups and downs throughout the tracklist, the overall songwriting feels personal.
If imagine is on here it will get a 5. I think this album was probably a bigger statement piece at the time than it is today. It is still painful to hear him say he doesn’t believe in Beatles, but I imagine that was earth shattering in 1970. Mother, and Working Class hero are excellent songs, but not everything on here is that level. You can feel Paul’s absence. I get that these songs were more about primal feelings but I don’t think the execution was perfect. Would get a 4.5 if possible.
Quite a few really great songs here but some weaker ones thrown in. Give Peace a Chance, Cold Turkey followed by Instant Karma is a fantastic closing trio.
I never loved yoko, and I was expecting her on the album. She's not there, luckily. He went down on the primal scream thing, but I must say it was a good listen.
Phew, finding neither screaming nor "Imagine" was a relief.
likte detta bedre enn eg såg for meg
A really heart-wrenching and emotional album, you can tell that John was pouring his heart into this one. Sometimes he gets a bit screechy which does feel a tad over the top, and keeps this from being rated higher.
Wonderfully and stylishly produced - with some really powerful songs. Of the Beatles I think Lennon is for me the most punk and has the most ‘fizz’ so to speak - Working Class Hero is as a classic as they can possibly come - so is ‘I found out’ and ‘Mother’. A great record.
Very solid album and one I really enjoyed. 4/5
This sounds good from the start, which is always a great sign! However, the first song is incredibly sad. Reminds me of Nick Cave's 'Ghosteen' a little bit. I also understand he is screaming due to his therapy but it is incredibly unsettling to listen to. Nevertheless, I think the screaming/rasping actually does complement the music in the first song. It gets old quickly, as shown when he does it in other songs. 'Hold On' is excellent. This man is not a good singer. I knew he was an acquired taste from 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' but one full album is hard to listen to. This would be a 5/5 with different lyrics. I know it was important to him that he wrote the songs with those lyrics but they are very, very depressing and/or difficult to listen to. Those instrumentals are class. Except for that strange bomb noise at the end of 'Remember'. Favourite songs: 'Hold On', 'Isolation' 7/10.
My second favorite post-Beatles album. John just dumps everything on the floor. His therapy and marriage to Yoko help him put out some of his best writing ever. Just hearing his voice makes me sad that we were robbed of some of his best work and perhaps a reunion with Paul. 4/5.
Dug this. Has a lot more sauce than (what I remember of) Imagine.
The musical equivalent of an open wound. Emotionally honest and even nihilistic at times in a way that's frequently hard to hear, but also deeply compelling. But while John Lennon has a way of pulling out every emotion and wringing it until not much is left, I find the weak point of this album is his songwriting, which is fairly repetitive and simplistic. Fave Songs: Working Class Hero, I Found Out, Mother, Isolation, Well Well Well, My Mummy's Dead
Simple, catchy and soothing
This isnt as good as the best Beatles material, but for someone who beat his wife its still damn great.
Mother is always a great song. Plenty to enjoy here.
I don’t like John Lennon. He’s a confirmed sack of shit, but god damn if this album isn’t catchy. Subtract a star for trash bag but still dang
Great. Amazing lyrics and beat. Definitely glad that I revisited it.
I like this one a lot, maybe my favourite solo outing of John Lennon. Backed by incredible musicians he made some very strong songs! 8,5 out of 10
Some absolute trash mixed in with some of the prettiest pop songs ever written.
first Lennon after Beatles, good
I don't think I've ever listed to solo Lennon before and I loved this. 4.5
I didn't know anything about this album but it grew on me with every listen. There are aspects that remind me of White Stripes -- a very simple, broken down, raw emotion. The notes say that Lennon was into "primal scream" therapy at the time, and that clearly shows up in a couple of songs. Interesting that it wasn't very popular at the time but has grown in importance over time.
I really like Lennon's solo/Yoko albums (yes, even Double Fantasy). I think their dreamy melancholy appeals to me. I am Pro-Ono
Much better than expected even though I am usually more of a McCartney fan.
It’s John Lennon. It’s great. Not as good as the Beatles but still great.
I saw Ono in the title and was immediately thought I’d be skipping through this album to save my ears from bleeding. Yet to my surprise it was lovely. John has some great songs on this album. 3.5 but rounding up for 4⭐️
Good album, good to finally listen to Lennon’s full first album. Lot of pain in the album, powerful lyrics, good music, albeit more simplistic than the Beatles compositions. 4/5!
Not bad for the 3rd best Beatle
Pleasantly surprised, some songs are a lot heavier than I thought they’d be. Feels like a natural progression for Lennon, although some could literally be Beatles tracks. 3.5 to 4
Well, well, well. I struggled to rate this album, at first, I gave it a 3 because of Lennon and Ono's pretentiousness. But after listening to a few songs a second time, I can respect the appeal and even find myself enjoying the music. God is the standout song on the album. IF this song wasn't included the album would be a 3/5
Classic Lennon. This isn't my favourite kind of music but you can't deny Lennon's mastery of it. I would absolutely listen to this on a summer morning
Have you ever seen the footage of John Lennon singing with Chuck Berry? Yoko is there too, and contributes quite astoundingly. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend with all my heart that you look that up before doing anything else with your day. I’ve not heard today’s album before, but the mention of Plastic Ono Band definitely makes me hesitant. Songs I already knew: none Favourites: Working Class Hero, Isolation This felt like a pleasant soft rock experience. It didn’t feel quite as strong as Paul or George’s solo endeavours, or indeed anything by the Beatles as a whole, but it was still enjoyable. Thankfully, I didn’t notice any Yoko vocals (if you watched that video above, you’ll know why I’m thankful). This album was filled with emotionally charged lyrics, seemingly referring to a not-so-nice childhood and complicated feelings towards his mother.
Good!! The opening track is my favourite.
A pretty good album, but not as good as the Beatles together in my opinion.