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John Lennon

Out of all the Beatles, John Lennon had the most interesting -- and frustrating -- solo career. Lennon was capable of inspired, brutally honest confessional songwriting and melodic songcraft; he also had an undying love of straight-ahead rock & roll. 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 Band and 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 Beatles, Lennon'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 Ono. Two 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. Lennon supported 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 Hoffman, Jerry 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 Memory, Sometime 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 John, Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon, David Bowie and Ringo Starr. Walls 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 Ono, Double 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. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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nicinskia5
Oh come on man gtfo keep that s**t to your self. Now yeah he is a great musician.
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Everyone with a brain should love and remember John Lennon
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Very nice song
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you are gone from us now but we will never forget John Lennon!
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Imagine says it all
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njessica97
O
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kevin-burns9
God Bless u John Lennon and happy st Patricks day John !!!nobody told me !!!wow boy we definetly miss!!!!!u so!Much!!!pk b 4 5
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Forever with Julia, Stu,Mimi &Uncle George. Always at The Grapes. Shine on Mate.
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john is my everything
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LOVE JOHN LENNON
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chelseaolivi a c r a m e r
Love the image song
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I. Am
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Great!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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I'm a George Harrison fan myself, but Lennon added an enormous amount to the group
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summitstreet
Lennons solo career may not have been as successful as McCartney's, but in the end, Lennon's deeper, simple yet extremely powerful melodies and lyrics far outweigh Paul's more trivial, pop-oriented work. Lennon's pieces remain as anthems to humanity, its successes and failures, while Paul's are test to extreme musical talent. But as the Beatles, they perfectly countered and complemented each other, making the Beatles the greatest musical creation in modern times... or so it seems to me anyways
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I love you John Lennon where ever you are ��❤️✌️��
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Just give some truth
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jblacklock39
Frustrating solo career? According to who?
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jane.r.hammo n d
also love john lennon's Imagine.
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pnotchr73
I love oldies
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Getting off a heroin addiction cold turkey...... . . n o fun, but a great song.
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I am a huge Lennon fan, as well as a huge Beatle fan. But his solo career does not even come close to McCartneys. But to be totally honest they were great together. Thats What made the Beatles who they are. The greaest band ever!!!!!
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labastida007
Great song!
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another if only situation .... like Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Duane Allman ... etc etc etc -- if only these artists had lived, I often try to imagine what direction their music would have gone. It's an intriguing way to appreciate each artist's legacy
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19maykmg
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE.
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LIKE !!!!
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I honestly don't like Most of his songs...but "imagine" is another story.He was a good man all he wanted was peace that was all,but someone had to come along and shoot him!!! -.-
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beverlycwp9
Enjoying all the music;) it's so peaceful
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But it's soooo much FUN! I take most of this JIbbah-Jabba h as light hearted fun rousting back and forth. Only a few of them I take seriously... Like the homophobes the racists and the idiots who constantly bag on bands they hate or know absolutely nothing about... like boobonnit = Moron :)
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drh6187
You people need to lighten up
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I have to say that nicko must have sucked a little too many dildos from his mom's house and woke up to his boyfriend sucking his d!çk on the wrong side of his gay bed.
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Don't worry tlandry043 your parents are in good hands and I hear they are sooo cooperative with the staff. Me I only go there to visit my mom , bless her heart. I work In a genetics lab.
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tlandry043
Looks like grandpaw crobar is busy at the nursing home
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COOKIE!
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janclick11
Personally, I like to choose songs I like, get an audio and sheet music, then pull out my martin and pick and sing along. Isn't music great!
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I only engage in this type of activity in my down time. Come at me in a nice manor and I'll give you the shirt off my back but take a jab at me like 'To the ignorant douchebag below.' and it's Game On, Lets Do This. I'm still confused as to where you say my grammar is incorrect(?) I wish I had spell check. It would really help with my typing skills and quickness. ANYWAY, people are proly gettn tired of reading our 'back and fourth', while others are proly- ((this got all messed up- R2L,L2R))
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I ❤️ John Lennon he is my idol if he was still alive �� I would love to go to a concert that would be so awesome he died before I was even born
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getting a kick out of it. I know I do and have quite a few other convos similar to this one still goin'round. It just helps with the down times being sooo sloooooow. Nothing personal.
'Peace out dummy' ML :)
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supre60
I wish Pandora would comment on where these live versions were performed. My absolutely favorite song!!
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Love This SongJohn Lennon was the Best Of Them
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tlandry043
Should shut off pandora and go outside a little. Peace out dummy
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tlandry043
Hahahaha. Bouncer. Ok. Anyway I've seen your spelling and grammar and you're definitely no intellect . You've apparently and finally figured out how to use spellcheck . Good job. Calm down bad a** it's just pandora. Nobody's gonna think you're cool cause you're a self proclaimed bad a** on here. Grow up grandpa asswipe and let stuff slide off. Don't take this too seriously . Who cares if someone says something about you. Don't be so sensitive . If you get this bent out of shape then maybe you sh
Report as inappropriate
'Too much info'? What's the matter? Comprehensio n skills still only at a 3rd grade level? 'fat sweaty keyboard warrior without writing a book', where Do you come up with such comedy and wit? Actually my girlfriend IS a fetish model, but were not really into slappn' each other round. And 'Grandpa'? I have no children and I'm only 45.By No means am I a bully but Wow do I miss being a bouncer and confronting snotty nose, peach fuzz, spot faced, insubordinat e 'think they know it
Report as inappropriate
all $#!T heads like your self. Not so much as locking them up and tossing them out and embarrassing them in front of the line of people waiting to get in (possible law suite? but just verbally 'brow beating' them , leaving them walking away, confused and wondering what just happened with their tail between their legs. I'll stop now. Give you a chance to catch up to the rest of the group...
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tlandry043
Too much info. You can be a fat sweaty keyboard warrior without writing a book. Only trip to the ER is going to be when the lady that you're bullying slaps you around like a ️sissy . Catch ya later grandpa crobar
Report as inappropriate
YES 'nicko likes to feel the hurt in his a**', I realize that, but it was too late to correct as I had already posted my comment. I don't see you winning any spelling bees' any time soon either you f**king genius. I DO however see a trip to the emergency room in your future. Not only to have the dildo removed from your rectum but to have your jaw reset and your eyebrow stitched up after you lip off to the wrong guy or girl for that matter.
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P.S., PLEASE wear a condom so you can't reproduce. One of you on this planet is more than enough, well.... I guess we don't really have to worry about that happening as you will most likely be engaging in anal sex seeing as how you have such a fascination with puckered starfish and dildos you ignorant f**k. ENJOY BEING ASSRAPED IN PRISON $#!T FOR BRAINS! :)
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tlandry043
Ditch
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tlandry043
To the ignorant douchebag below. If you're so smart, you'd know to put a ? instead of a . after the word response. After all , it is a question that you're asking you dumbass. Maybe you shouldn't English class to go deep throat your dildo..... You dildo.
Report as inappropriate
Was that a jab at me Laura??? As I said before, it's soooo easy to determine peoples level of intelligence around here just by their response to posts.. Laura, did you even understand the message behind my response, apparently it suits you as well. Oh, and next time... don't ditch math class to go smoke ciggies behind the boys locker room. :)
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