John Lennon
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band


4.0
excellent

Review

by CrisStyles USER (13 Reviews)
May 10th, 2010 | 16 replies


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.”

It was a shot heard around the music globe. John Lennon, the former Beatle from Liverpool, made a declaration that shocked the world. In an attempt to leave behind arguably the greatest band in the history of music behind him, Lennon turned to “primal scream therapy” with his lover Yoko Ono. The result was Plastic Ono Band and with this phenomenal record Lennon further attempted to establish the argument that he had always been the better songwriter and artist than his Beatle counterpart, Paul McCartney. The competition between him and Paul caused John to write some of his greatest material and distinguished himself from Paul in the greatest fashion. Where Paul had been typically defined as the sweet pop musician, John expressed his views on rock music as he had always seen it, a more antipop point of view. Arguably the greatest album created by a former Beatle as a solo artist, Lennon channels his painful memories from primal scream therapy into some of the most emotional and telling music he’s ever made.

The album opens brilliantly with “Mother”. Once John starts singing it is pretty apparent how he wants the rest of the album to turn out: emotional, filled with pain, and yet beautiful at the same time. His tortured vocals throughout the song, especially during the last two minutes of the song with the repetition of “Momma don’t go, Daddy come home,” place “Mother” among the top tier of Lennon’s solo work. “God” is Lennon’s greatest attempt to alienate himself from The Beatles, but they are not the only “myth” he claims he does not believe in, talking about ideas and famous political figures such as John F. Kennedy and Adolf Hitler. John classifies himself as an individual not tied to the past as great artists sometimes would when they have broken away from their former band. Billy Preston’s piano work, however, is the true highlight of the song that greatly compliment Lennon’s straining vocals throughout.

However, the greatest moment on the album arguably comes from Lennon’s softest song. “Love” is a song of pure beauty and simplicity that is truly riveting and almost unexpected. Songs like “Mother,” “Working Class Hero,” and “Remember” highlight Lennon’s more painful moments, ones of anger and lost hope. “Love” shows a great contrast between a vulnerable, gentle Lennon and the primal scream Lennon that dominates most of the album. Credit must be given to Phil Spector, the genius behind the “Wall of Sound” production technique, who plays the piano throughout “Love.” Spector’s playing provides the song a beauty that arguably would never be equaled in Lennon’s later work.

Not all of Plastic Ono Band is as captivating. After the stunning “Mother,” Lennon completely changes gears with “Hold On.” A much mellower and not as abrasive track, “Hold On” tends to be boring over time, as Lennon sings in a dream-like state that makes his voice sound too nonchalant. When comparing the first two songs on the album, it seems as though Lennon is confused on what direction he wants to go. “I Found Out” and “Look At Me” only add to the dullness. “Power To The People,” one of Lennon’s most well-known and popular songs during his solo tenor, is actually on the more annoying side of the spectrum of Lennon’s greatness, as the choir that provides background vocals for Lennon seems very unnecessary.

John Lennon wanted to prove a point: that he was a rock genius and his former fellow Beatle, friend and rival, Paul McCartney, did not compare to his song-crafting. Lennon fired the first shot with Plastic Ono Band in an attempt to underline the differences between the two brilliant musicians. And he succeeded.



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4.2
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"I was the Walrus...now I'm John."...



Comments:Add a Comment 
NeutralThunder12
May 11th 2010


8742 Comments


"and with this phenomenal record"- phenomenal is not a 3.5 bro. This is Lennon's best. Great review besides being a little short and reading like a 4 or even a 4.5. But great job. I will pos this.

cvlts
May 11th 2010


9708 Comments


yeah, that^^^^


hmm, never listened to this album but after reading this i swear it was gonna be a 4 or 4.5

CrisStyles
May 11th 2010


781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i think i gotta fix the rating cause i got this in the summer and thought it was a 4.5, then listened to it over and over and it was losing it's effect, i think i have to change to a 4 though, that looks bad to switch so quick but what are you gonna do

Ire
May 11th 2010


41945 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

This is Lennon's best.




shut up, progmaster

BigHans
May 11th 2010


30957 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

MAMA DONT GO, DADDY COME HOME!



Good album, but not his best solo stuff.

CelestialDust
May 11th 2010


3168 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review. I've been meaning to get this for years.

RFitzpatrick
May 26th 2010


27 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of the best albums of all-time. And certainly the best Beatles solo album. Not sure how you find I Found Out dull, its one of the heaviest rockers on the album, and is lyrically more topical than Well Well Well, the only song that rocks harder. Song has some pretty terrific snarling bass and guitar work.



Power to the People isn't on the original album, its on the re-release as a bonus track along with Do the Oz.

CrisStyles
June 4th 2010


781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have the re-release that's why I included talking about Power to the People. As far as I Found Out, the vocals don't really do much for me, though I will admit that the bass and guitar work is really strong.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2010


21147 Comments


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH81uwLbqys

random
October 29th 2010


2948 Comments


A working class hero is something to be.

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zakalwe
January 3rd 2020


34473 Comments


Indeed

Pheromone
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2020


14982 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

there's no thread for it, so ill say it here - Ringo's s/t album is fucking bad



he was so clearly the worst

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Pheromone
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2020


14982 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Every time I see you walking down the street

I say, you're the kind of woman I just gotta meet

You look so good and you look so fine

And one of these days I'm going to make you mine

Your eyes are green and your legs are long

And if I'm going to get you, well, I got to be strong

But you're like the devil with horns in your head

The only way I'll get you is to get you in bed




it might even be awful

zakalwe
December 1st 2020


34473 Comments


Say what you want about Ringo the man contributed. He’s worth his weight in gold.

Pheromone
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2020


14982 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

agree completely - for the beatles - his solo stuff is gash

ToneMisfit932
July 22nd 2021


33 Comments


Why does this album have so little comments? It's a great record.

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