Celebrating John Lennon on his 80th birthday

October 9th, 2020

As anyone who listens to Radio Nowhere (or, really, aything I say) knows, I am a huge John Lennon fan. As in, I have his self portrait and signature tattooed on my shoulder, huge fan. As the man would have turned 80 years old today, I figured now was as good a time as any to take a bit of a deeper dive into his solo cataloge than the radio hits. Here now are fave favorite songs fron John Lennon's solo catalogue that were not hits.

 

Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins; Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions; Wedding Album

(w/ Yoko Ono) (1969)

For people who thought "Revolution 9" from the White Album was too mainstream. These albums are really only for the most hardcore of hardcore John and Yoko fans. Not a song to be found on the three. Moving on....

 

John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band

(1970)

For all intents and purposes, his debut solo album. Sparse, ugly, beautiful and powerful.

"God"

"I Found Out"

 

Imagine

(1971)

As lush and busy as the previous one was sparse.

"Crippled Inside"

"Gimme Some Truth" (Ultimate Mix, 2020)

"Oh Yoko!"

 

Some Time in New York City

(w/ Yoko Ono) (1972)

The politics of Imagine meet the music of Plastic Ono Band.

"Angela"

 

"The Luck of the Irish"

 

Mind Games

(1973)

I think of this one as similar to Imagine, but I think that's just me. Recorded at the begining of John and Yoko's separation. First self-produced album.

"I Know (I Know)"

"Bring on the Lucie (Freda Peeple)"

"Out the Blue"

 

Walls and Bridges

(1974)

Cocaine, alcohol, and heartbreak.

 "Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out)"

"Going Down on Love"

 

Rock 'n' Roll

(1975)

His covers album, originally conceived to avoid a lawsuit, but an overall strong album in execution. I like it more the older I get.

"Slippin' and Slidin'"

"You Can't Catch Me"

 

Double Fantasy

(w/ Yoko Ono) (1980)

The last album released during his lifetime. Sometimes the early-'80s production gets in the way, and not all of Yoko's songs are great, but really a terrific album. Went straight to number 1 when John was killed less than a month after its release.

"Dear Yoko"

"I'm Losing You"

 

Milk and Honey

(w/ Yoko Ono) (1984)

The planned follow-up to Double Fantasy, this album was shelved when John was murdered in 1980. Yoko eventually finished it and released it in 1984. Arguably the first of many examples of Yoko's tireless, beautiful, and loving curation of John's music since his death.

"Grow Old with Me"

"I Don't Wanna Face It"