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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

John Lennon: Plastic Ono Band/Let It Be

I've completed my task. I have listened to every solo Beatles' album released in 1970, along with their "final" album release. Let's first begin with my observations of John Lennon's solo debut.
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
1. This is by far the angriest album I have ever heard in my entire life. Lennon takes every single emotion and puts it on display for you to see. (The bell tolling sets the mood.) The listener hears him raging against his parents for their acts of abandonment. You hear him defending the working class, and finally you hear him talk about how he has lost faith in everything in his iconic song God.

Yet the last track is the real heartbreaker. Clocking in at under 1 minute, My Mummy's Dead is pure sadness. It's 17 year old Lennon screaming for his mother. And even though he is still mad at her, Lennon still misses her. Dare I say love her and need her. Every time I hear this song, it's a real struggle not to cry.

2. It's bare, and not in a bad way. Where All Things Must Pass is grandiose, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is intimate. Other than Lennon, the only other musicians are Ringo Starr on drums, Klaus Voormann on bass, Billy Preston on piano for God, and Yoko Ono as "wind". Because of this, I feel a closeness to the material. It's almost like you are included in on the secret.

3. Quite simply, there are some great songs on this album. In addition to the more famous tracks such as Mother, God, and Working Class Hero, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band includes hidden gem tracks such as Well, Well, Well, I Found Out, and Love. Like All Things Must Pass, this is an iconic record.
Let It Be
1. For the people that say this is the Beatles' worst album, I have one question. How? Out of the 12 songs on this album, 7 of them are iconic songs. I'm of course referring to: Two of Us, Dig a Pony, Across the Universe, Let it Be, I Got a Feeling, Get Back, and The Long and Winding Road. (Full disclosure, I despise The Long and Winding Road.)

2. I really like the talking between songs. Makes the album feel like a jam session.

3. Don't know what else I can say. Really the music speaks for itself.

I think my ultimate conclusion of my grand experiment was that 6 LPs were released in 1970 in which each were unique, catchy, and beyond enjoyable. For me, it is just further proof that The Beatles will always be the greatest rock n' roll band of all time.

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