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John Lennon


Did you know that John Lennon is THE MOST OVERRATED GODDAMNED SOLO BEATLE?! Look, I'm not gonna sit here and kiss the dead man's ass (note to people who still get weepy in December: he's dead. he has been for over twenty years. he was just a musician. get the hell over it.) like most people. Jesus, I think even Ringo had about as many good songs as Johnny here. And you don't see him getting slobbered over.

review index: Plastic Ono Band / Imagine / Mind Games / Walls and Bridges / Double Fantasy

missing albums: Sometime in New York City and various posthumous/live/other crap things.

apex: Imagine
nadir: Walls and Bridges
overlooked: um..uh...HEYLOOKOVERTHERE! *runs away*

Plastic Ono Band - 1970

Rating: **1/2
Best songs: Working Class Hero, Isolation, Love, God
Worst songs: Mother, Look At Me, Well Well Well, Hold On


Hey, it's an undisputed classic album. And I'm not overly thrilled with it. Are you surprised yet?

Well, I love half of it, anyway. "Working Class Hero" is John making social commentary and sounding sincere and all that crap and it actually works for once. "Love" is absurdly simple, yet still affecting. "Isolation" has that piano thing that I love. "God" and "Remember" are also good pieces of work, but I will not waste time on that.

The other half, that half which I do not enjoy, consists mainly of dull amelodic crap like "I Found Out" and "Well Well Well", as well as the stupid jazzy "Hold On". Oh, there's also "Mother", which everyone else just adores. I would like it if it didn't have the "primal scream" stuff at the end. It just ruins the song for me. Why can't it be more like the supremely moving "I Want to Know What Love Is"? Well, we can't all be Mick Jones, can we? Except for that guy from the Clash.

I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Imagine - 1971

Rating: ***1/2
Best songs: mmm...all of side one!
Worst songs: Gimme Some Truth, How Do You Sleep?, Oh Yoko


Oh my god! Oh my god! This album has "Imagine" on it!! It's like, the greatest song ever!!!

No, not really. I like it, but the lyrics are pretty naive (and hypocritical, considering there's some awfully bitter sarcastic stuff like "How Do You Sleep?" on the same record album). Either way, side one is really good, to put it bluntly. "Jealous Guy"? "Crippled Inside"? Excellent songs? Well, duh. Too bad side two sucks. Indeed, the only reason this album gets such a high grade is because side one is so incredibly great, because if I have to sit through crap like "Gimme Some Truth" and "Oh Yoko" for much longer I'm going to renounce my position as "most positive WRC member". I mean, for god's sake, John, quit whining. Married to a Japanese performance artist, former member of the world's most popular rock band, total financial security for the rest of your life -- not to mention you're forever ensconced as the coolest Beatle with scads of "artistic integrity". I don't think your life's quite that problematic. Okay, so "Oh My Love" isn't bad. But the rest of side two is. Blah.

Hey, did I mention Alan White plays drums on here? And you know any album with Alan White on it is worth hearing. Even Tormato.

Even. Tormato.

Mind Games - 1973

Rating: *1/2
Best songs: Mind Games
Worst songs: Aisumasen, One Day (at a Time), Bring on the Lucie, Meat City


After some pointless political dicking-around called Sometime in New York City (oh-so-cleverly acronymed into STINK), there's this thing. Apparently John was a big prog fan back in the day, as the title track clearly states "Yes is the answer". I couldn't agree more, John, Yes is the answer, especially when I ask myself, "do I want to listen to Yes or to Mind Games?"

Well, on side one you've got the title track, which is more or less a classic, I suppose. "Tight A$" is a cute 50s rock-type number and thank god they got Klaus Voorman off of the bass, cause there's no way he could've played that little 1-5 bassline. Nice slide solos, too. Unfortunately, things go downhill from that point. "Aisumasen" is quite a bore -- it includes, after all, the requisite reference to Yoko in the lyrics, and "One Day (at a Time)" is about as entertaining as the TV show of the same name (which I've never seen, but random pop culture references = good writing). "Bring on the Lucie" is a lame attempt at some kind of anthem -- like I care. Rock star politics, yawn.

Side two is, by and large, the second half of the album. It's also boring me. I'm going to take a nap, you listen to this side, okay?

[20 minutes later]

So, how was it? Dull, huh? Well, so much for that then. No good grade for you. NEXT!

Walls and Bridges - 1974

Rating: *
Best songs: #9 Dream
Worst songs: Beef Jerky, Whatever Gets You Through the Night, What You Got, Steel and Glass


This was recorded on the infamous "Lost Weekend". What did John lose? Apparently whatever songwriting talent he had left, because man, this really stinks. It starts out with the plodding sounds of "Going Down on Love" -- get used to those simplistic basslines and annoying spastic horn section, there's plenty more where that came from! And Jesus Christ, could you repeat the lines "got to get down / down on my knees" a few more times, John?! Then there's the ingratiating-as-fuck Elton John duet "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" (not this song, for sure!), which hit #1 on the charts, but remember, this was 1974, the year when mainstream rock music began to disintegrate into the pile of goo that it is today. Hey, Elton! Past. Your. Prime. Wasn't the fact that you were in Tommy enough to clue you in? Song #3 is "Old Dirt Road", which might be decent if it did something with itself other than flop around pointlessly like the excruciating orchestrated ballad it is.

Look, I'm not gonna sit here and bitch about the entire record. I like "#9 Dream", it's the only thing that doesn't suck on here (though like half the songs on here has some goddamn annoying wah-wah guitar and generic "atmospheric" strings). The rest is just really crappy, it's all either drippy soft-rock or annoying self-righteous mid-tempo "rock". Give me a break. Let's hope for peace? Let's hope for some goddamn silence!

Double Fantasy - 1980

Rating: ***
Best songs: the John songs
Worst songs: the Yoko songs


Hey, um.. Wow. This one's actually got some good songs on it. I guess in that half-decade of non-activity he managed to slap together some nice melodies to put on this album. "Just Like Starting Over" is a goddamn friggin' happy classic song, baby. The rest of his songs may not be quite as classic, but hey, I'm just glad they're not in the Walls and Bridges school of crapitude. Except "Beautiful Boy", which unfortunately is permanently marred by its presence in that sappy movie Mr. Holland's Opus. Also, it's more fuel for Julian Lennon's bitter tirades about his crappy father. I don't blame him, but geez, get over it already.

Of course, with his happy new outlook on life, John felt the need to share everything with his loving wife. Including space on this album. Gah. "Kiss Kiss Kiss" has a cute little sing-songy melody, but ugh, orgasm noises? No thank you. "I'm Moving On" is okay (except for the ending...blargh, Yoko, sing like a normal person), but it pretty much uses the same backing track as the previous song, "I'm Losing You".

Sorry, I can't finish this. I think I'm going to go shoot myself.

Not really, but it's the sentiment that counts.

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