John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band

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Can't believe this album hasn't been polled yet.

Wikipedia summary:

John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is the debut solo album by English rock musician John Lennon. It was released in 1970 after Lennon issued three experimental albums with Yoko Ono and Live Peace In Toronto 1969, a live performance in Toronto credited to The Plastic Ono Band. The album was recorded simultaneously with Yoko Ono's debut avant garde solo album Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band at Ascot Sound Studios and Abbey Road Studios using the same musicians and production team, and featured nearly identical cover artwork. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is generally considered one of Lennon's finest solo albums and a landmark recording. Rolling Stone named it the twenty-second greatest album of all time.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Isolation 11
God 8
Working Class Hero 8
Well Well Well 6
Look at Me 5
Love 5
I Found Out 4
Mother 3
Remember 2
Hold On 2
My Mummy's Dead 0


I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Thursday, 27 May 2010 17:20 (eleven years ago) link

God

emotionally abusive jowls (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 27 May 2010 17:22 (eleven years ago) link

that song is perfect - except when he says he was a dreamweaver

Brio, Thursday, 27 May 2010 17:23 (eleven years ago) link

One of the greatest records of all time. And very close to the top of the most intense emotional discs you're likely to find.

ImprovSpirit, Thursday, 27 May 2010 17:48 (eleven years ago) link

isolation but depending on the day I could vote for a bunch of these

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Thursday, 27 May 2010 17:56 (eleven years ago) link

Went for the underrated "Look at Me".

Darin, Thursday, 27 May 2010 18:41 (eleven years ago) link

"I Found Out" — his guitar really does talk.

Jazzbo, Thursday, 27 May 2010 18:48 (eleven years ago) link

"Well Well Well" is the one for me, I guess b/c it's most representative of what I come to this album for.

Euler, Thursday, 27 May 2010 18:51 (eleven years ago) link

God, closely followed by Mother

Tough one

PaulTMA, Thursday, 27 May 2010 19:21 (eleven years ago) link

Well Well Well

Grisly Addams (WmC), Thursday, 27 May 2010 19:27 (eleven years ago) link

Isolation

I guess for copraphiles this is gonna be awesome (Pancakes Hackman), Thursday, 27 May 2010 19:28 (eleven years ago) link

"Hold On" for me, such a quintessential Lennon kind of song. It sounds instantly familiar the first time you hear it, like it's always existed. And plus, I can't picture any other album that is criticized for taking itself too seriously having a song where "COOKIE!" is whisper-shouted into one channel out of nowhere in the middle of an instrumental passage.

fuck it we're going to Applebee's® (Z S), Thursday, 27 May 2010 21:42 (eleven years ago) link

lol forgot about cookie

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Thursday, 27 May 2010 21:42 (eleven years ago) link

His guitar on "Hold On John" is pretty great too.

Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 27 May 2010 21:44 (eleven years ago) link

welll well well for me as well. well. i found out is close, as is mother... basically any of them that are really violent. although i do like the more quiet tracks (especially god and isolation), it's the loud stuff that i'll show people who have never heard it. the combo of this and ono's pob is just about as good as rock music got in the early 70s.

zingzing, Thursday, 27 May 2010 22:05 (eleven years ago) link

"Love" is a beautiful song on an otherwise very, very, very overrated album.

Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Thursday, 27 May 2010 22:21 (eleven years ago) link

Not enough power pop, Geir?

Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 27 May 2010 22:22 (eleven years ago) link

Geir, I would love to see you rank the tracks on this album best to worst. Really. Just curious.

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Thursday, 27 May 2010 22:24 (eleven years ago) link

Love

Dr X O'Skeleton, Thursday, 27 May 2010 22:32 (eleven years ago) link

Geir is real, real is Geir,
Geir is feeling, feeling Geir,
Geir is wanting to be Geir.

Geir is touch, touch is Geir,
Geir is reaching, reaching Geir,
Geir is asking to be Geir.

Geir is you,
You and me,
Geir is knowing,
We can be.

Geir is free, free is Geir,
Geir is living, living Geir,
Geir is needing to be Geir.

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Thursday, 27 May 2010 22:36 (eleven years ago) link

This ay be the most difficult poll I'll attempt to vote in.

PappaWheelie V, Thursday, 27 May 2010 22:44 (eleven years ago) link

Mother

iago g., Thursday, 27 May 2010 22:52 (eleven years ago) link

COOKIE

Adam Bruneau, Friday, 28 May 2010 01:35 (eleven years ago) link

I can hardly believe I have never owned this album. "I Found Out," I suppose.

confusion is a walrus (_Rudipherous_), Friday, 28 May 2010 02:56 (eleven years ago) link

I discovered this in my parents' record collection the day I received my GCSE results, and the day of my first festival. That was 1997 and I remember how raw and visceral the emotions that struck me that summer's evening. It's so hard to pick a track, the album seemingly greater than the sum of its skeletal parts.

village idiot (dog latin), Friday, 28 May 2010 08:49 (eleven years ago) link

voted "I Found Out", as it's the one I'd put on right now if I had the album here.

village idiot (dog latin), Friday, 28 May 2010 08:50 (eleven years ago) link

I'd've said the same, but I put it on just now and it's 'Remember' that stood out most.

Which McCartney album would this go best with?

Ismael Klata, Friday, 28 May 2010 09:00 (eleven years ago) link

"Ram" for me, which also reminds me of the same period in my life. I had "Ram On" stuck in my head for the whole of Reading 97.

village idiot (dog latin), Friday, 28 May 2010 09:11 (eleven years ago) link

"Look at Me" is my favorite - "Love" is pretty, but "Oh My Love" from Imagine is a better take on the same basic idea. Lots of great songs here though. I love the raw starkness of this record, especially astonishing given it was produced by Phil Spector...

Lee626, Friday, 28 May 2010 11:01 (eleven years ago) link

lol never noticed the COOKIE thing (always thought it was "okay")

emotionally abusive jowls (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 28 May 2010 15:45 (eleven years ago) link

uncredited guest-vocal by John Entwistle

Grisly Addams (WmC), Friday, 28 May 2010 15:46 (eleven years ago) link

always thought people kind of hated this album, don't know why

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 28 May 2010 16:16 (eleven years ago) link

"Isolation". Anyone who votes for "Working Class Hero" to be banned from ILX.

Wenlock & Mandelson (Tom D.), Friday, 28 May 2010 17:01 (eleven years ago) link

because they're smarter than everyone else?

Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 28 May 2010 17:30 (eleven years ago) link

I can understand the Double Fantasy fans hating on this record. For that matter Mind Games or Walls & Bridges. Plastic Ono Band is very difficult by comparison, very raw & naked.

FWIW, I went for "Well Well Well."

ImprovSpirit, Friday, 28 May 2010 17:52 (eleven years ago) link

there are fans of Double Fantasy?

I mean Kiss Kiss Kiss is awesome, and Watching the Wheels go round is pretty nice... but ugh so much glop on that one

The "cookie" thing is a Cookie Monster reference/sample, yeah? I always thought so.

SongOfSam, Friday, 28 May 2010 19:11 (eleven years ago) link

I'd say that "glop" is a perfect word for Double Fantasy.

ImprovSpirit, Friday, 28 May 2010 20:11 (eleven years ago) link

It's definitely John and he is definitely referencing Cookie Monster! The man had impeccable taste and timing

iago g., Friday, 28 May 2010 20:25 (eleven years ago) link

Yoko's songs range from pretty good to great though, and all that studio polish accentuates their subversiveness, imo.

Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 28 May 2010 20:25 (eleven years ago) link

xpost

Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 28 May 2010 20:25 (eleven years ago) link

John Lennon was apparently a giant couch potato and tv addict, for long stretches, which makes me feel better

iago g., Friday, 28 May 2010 20:25 (eleven years ago) link

I always thought the Cookie Monster thing was a joke for Sean.

Brio, Friday, 28 May 2010 20:38 (eleven years ago) link

McCartney's the opposite, I learnt from reading his book - couldn't sit still for a minute for chasing skirt, drawing fliers for crappy art projects, slinking about in disguise, etc etc. Could do with a bit of that myself.

Ismael Klata, Friday, 28 May 2010 20:42 (eleven years ago) link

Yes, now he likes to remind everyone that he was listening to Stockhausen and palling around with Tom Jefferson and John Adams during drafting sessions of the Declaration of Independence.

Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 28 May 2010 20:51 (eleven years ago) link

I always thought the Cookie Monster thing was a joke for Sean.

Sean wasn't born until 1975.

I guess for copraphiles this is gonna be awesome (Pancakes Hackman), Friday, 28 May 2010 22:37 (eleven years ago) link

First time I heard "cookie" I seriously thought someone had fucked with the mp3 I downloaded.

Vaguely Threatening CAPTCHAs, Saturday, 29 May 2010 00:29 (eleven years ago) link

I love the production on Double Fantasy. "Starting Over" is a great sounding single.

timellison, Saturday, 29 May 2010 00:39 (eleven years ago) link

Anyone who votes for "Working Class Hero" to be banned from ILX.

― Wenlock & Mandelson (Tom D.), Friday, May 28, 2010 11:01 AM (7 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

because they're smarter than everyone else?

― Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn)

Because that was the "hit".

Deep album cuts only, plz. You've been warned.

a reprehensible gentility of trouser (staggerlee), Saturday, 29 May 2010 00:48 (eleven years ago) link

This is one of the most self indulgent albums ever released.

More than "Two Virgins"?

I'm possibly the only person that thinks it has a charm all of it's own.

I've searched for reviews but most degenerate into straight-out racism.

Mark G, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 09:33 (eleven years ago) link

Played it again today. Remember is just so quietly insistent till the final boom

Dr X O'Skeleton, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 14:46 (eleven years ago) link

one month passes...

The Classic Album Plastic Ono Bank is currently on BBC iplayer (if you're in the UK) till 21st July.

Struck by how much Arthur Janov looks like Michael Palin with a wooly wig. And Elliot Mintz doing himself no favours with a creepiness aura.

Ringo and Klaus come over pretty well.

Bob Six, Saturday, 10 July 2010 13:34 (eleven years ago) link

two years pass...

COOKIE!

but the boo boyz are getting to (Z S), Wednesday, 24 October 2012 18:05 (nine years ago) link

I don't believe in magic
I don't believe in I-Ching
I don't believe in Bible
I don't believe in tarot
I don't believe in Hitler
I don't believe in Jesus
I don't believe in Kennedy
I don't believe in Buddha
I don't believe in mantra
I don't believe in Gita
I don't believe in yoga
I don't believe in kings
I don't believe in Elvis
I don't believe in Zimmerman
I don't believe in Beatles
I just believe in me
Yoko and me
And that's reality

The dream is over
What can I say?
The dream is over
Yesterday
I was the dream weaver
But now I'm reborn
I was the Walrus
But now I'm John
And so dear friends
You just have to carry on
The dream is over

love this song, so much. it's amazing that a piece with a relatively slow tempo can build up so much tension (the series of I Don't Believes). that last bit ("the dream is over", etc) is such a perfect coda, lyrically and compositionally. it feels like the end of the 60s, not in a sad way or a optimistic way, it just is. he was in the center of the zeitgeist so i suppose it would make sense that he'd be one of the first to recognize that a unique moment had passed, but were dragged from the 60s kicking and screaming it still seems impressive.

but the boo boyz are getting to (Z S), Wednesday, 24 October 2012 18:14 (nine years ago) link

sorry, meant to say "so many people" were dragged from the 60s blab blag blah

i still don't really think i understand the beginning of the song, though: "god is a concept by which we measure our pain". lennon told RS "pain is the pain we go through all the time. You're born in pain. Pain is what we are in most of the time, and I think that the bigger the pain, the more God you look for." i get that, sure...but did he mean that pain is the primary element that drives people to create the concept of god? and what kind of measure was he talking about? or was he just high?

but the boo boyz are getting to (Z S), Wednesday, 24 October 2012 18:19 (nine years ago) link

He left out "I don't believe in yesterday". But at least he worked that line into one of his last interviews

Lee626, Wednesday, 24 October 2012 18:21 (nine years ago) link

the way john sings the last two verses of 'god' -- after the whole 'i don't believe...' section -- is so crushing. just so gorgeous and sad it's almost painful.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 24 October 2012 18:21 (nine years ago) link

I don't think he knew what he meant tbh

xp

Force Boxman (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 24 October 2012 18:22 (nine years ago) link

kinda feel like it's time for the anti-lennon backlash to take its course -- for my money this one and 'imagine' are the only two beatles solo albums i ever feel like hearing all the way through.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 24 October 2012 18:25 (nine years ago) link

It's an all-time favorite! Why surprised?

― I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Tuesday, June 8, 2010 12:51 AM (2 years ago)

Hope you weren't waiting all this time for a reply, ilxor! (Or whatever you're calling yourself now, if you're still around...) Anyways, it was just some old poll you started plus a few random posts made me assume you hated the entire "classic rock" canon, or whatever.
(Sorry if there's any typos in this post - currently got asevere migraine & can only see the screen peripherally...)

Faster than food (Myonga Vön Bontee), Wednesday, 24 October 2012 20:48 (nine years ago) link

i still read occasionally, i just dont ever really post, busy with life-- not big on classic rock but i do unequivocally love almost all beatles, lennon solo, and early mccartney/harrison solo (mccartney, ram, all things must pass...)

ilxor, Sunday, 4 November 2012 18:55 (eight years ago) link

"Hold On" still my favorite here. I love the sound of this album, particularly how "Remember" feels like it could really fall apart at any moment, and does.

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 4 November 2012 19:45 (eight years ago) link

The pre-POB Lennon/Ono solo stuff is really wonderful and way too overlooked. I mean how awesome is it that singer/songwriter in the world's biggest pop band released this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBicW0CDdp4

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 4 November 2012 19:48 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

*cookie*

Do Not POLL At Any Price (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 9 October 2014 19:57 (seven years ago) link

otm

Karl Malone, Thursday, 9 October 2014 20:00 (seven years ago) link

new screenname in honor of the number nine birthday boy

Bobby Ono Bland (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 9 October 2014 20:06 (seven years ago) link

catalog added to spotify, btw (the major-label parts, anyway)

warning, #4 can't be unseen (WilliamC), Thursday, 9 October 2014 21:09 (seven years ago) link

Today?

Bobby Ono Bland (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 9 October 2014 21:19 (seven years ago) link

I
I found out

Bobby Ono Bland (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 9 October 2014 21:32 (seven years ago) link

couple of days ago xp

warning, #4 can't be unseen (WilliamC), Thursday, 9 October 2014 21:33 (seven years ago) link

This and YO/POB have so many moments of unfuckwithable Ringo brilliance.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 9 October 2014 23:47 (seven years ago) link

otm...I like to think of them as one of the great double-album-that-never-were

Sir Lord Baltimora (Myonga Vön Bontee), Friday, 10 October 2014 00:00 (seven years ago) link

Yeah the Starr-Voormann pocket rules.

a drug by the name of WORLD WITHOUT END (Jon Lewis), Friday, 10 October 2014 02:28 (seven years ago) link

Yeah, the songs and beats are not nearly as arranged as in The Beatles, but there is still hella groove.

Bobby Ono Bland (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 10 October 2014 02:35 (seven years ago) link

? jim keltner is the drummer on John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, not ringo

Karl Malone, Friday, 10 October 2014 02:40 (seven years ago) link

wwhahaaaaa? i'm totally wrong! wow, i never realized! go ringo

Karl Malone, Friday, 10 October 2014 02:41 (seven years ago) link

*cookie*

Bobby Ono Bland (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 10 October 2014 02:51 (seven years ago) link

ha

curmudgeon, Friday, 10 October 2014 15:19 (seven years ago) link

Speaking of which, and this will be a real longshot, but is anyone familiar with a cover of "Love" from around '91 or so, came out (I think) not long after St. Etienne's cover of "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" and very much in the same vein (female singer, Soul II Soul-ish groove, etc.)? I heard it once, in a record store in Vancouver, thought it was great, didn't think to buy it, have never heard it since, have never been able to find anything about it on the web. I may have been stoned that day and imagined the whole thing. Please tell me I'm wrong.

― sw00ds,

I remember this! Early '91 and probably by The Dream Academy. Sounded like Danielle Dax's own cover of "Tomorrow Never Knows."

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 October 2014 15:25 (seven years ago) link

COOKIE

marcos, Friday, 10 October 2014 15:32 (seven years ago) link

hold on could be my favorite song on this album

marcos, Friday, 10 October 2014 15:32 (seven years ago) link

John's guitar and John's guitar sound = greatest ever?

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 October 2014 15:48 (seven years ago) link

the way it's mixed too. Scary shit.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 October 2014 15:48 (seven years ago) link

COKIE

a drug by the name of WORLD WITHOUT END (Jon Lewis), Friday, 10 October 2014 18:23 (seven years ago) link

It was Ringo. There's a 'classic albums' documentary on this album in which he appears.

Twist of Caliphate (Bob Six), Friday, 10 October 2014 18:40 (seven years ago) link

production on this album is amazing, lennon's guitar on "hold on" sounds like nothing else i've ever heard. there are also lots of weird, unsettling shifts within songs where it sounds like they cut from one take to another -- happens in the middle of "working class hero" and then in the 'I DON'T EXPECT YOU TO UNDERSTAND" part of "isolation," maybe a couple other places too. reminds me of the famous shift in PiL's "memories." used to bug me as a 14-year-old beatles fan who expected abbey road style production from everything, now i love it.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 10 October 2014 20:21 (seven years ago) link

Keltner doesn't show up on Lennon's stuff until Imagine.

Voorman/Ringo rhythm section is a monster, also shows up on Don't Worry Kyoko on "Fly"

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 October 2014 20:28 (seven years ago) link

re: the changing guitar in "Working Class Hero," there's a funny bit in the Classic Albums doc where engineer Phil McDonald recalls John needing to re-do that last part of the song. Phil said, "Wait, you have to use the same guitar you used on the rest of the song!" John said, "Yeah, don't worry, it's the same one." Of course, John wasn't exactly meticulous about that sort of thing, and it wasn't the same guitar, which is why the sound changes.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 10 October 2014 21:01 (seven years ago) link

Good bits here in which Voorman and Yoko praise Ringo's drumming here and on YO/POB:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiayxqppujA

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 October 2014 21:15 (seven years ago) link

Always feel like one day I will end up being disappointed with this album, that the veil will torn away and the artifice and self-regard will be laid bare, an embarrassment for all to see, but it never happens like that, he really knew exactly what he was doing when he made this and hit right in the center of the bullseye.

Bobby Ono Bland (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 11 October 2014 02:58 (seven years ago) link

I don't expect you to understand

Bobby Ono Bland (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 11 October 2014 03:11 (seven years ago) link

Wish I could've voted in this. Mother. But a great album all around.

LimbsKing, Saturday, 11 October 2014 17:41 (seven years ago) link

This thread uses *cookies*

Bobby Ono Bland (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 11 October 2014 18:22 (seven years ago) link

This thread needs reposting of
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVDpPX37fkU

Bobby Ono Bland (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 11 October 2014 18:23 (seven years ago) link

Geirness is pain

Bobby Ono Bland (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 11 October 2014 18:30 (seven years ago) link

six years pass...

New box set up on Spotify. I've only listened to a fraction of this, but hearing John, Ringo, Yoko and Klaus discuss arrangements of each song in the "Evolution Documentary" disc is a joy.

bookmarkflaglink (Darin), Saturday, 24 April 2021 16:03 (six months ago) link

Haha these are so great. Ringo and John seem to be having a lot more fun than on those Fabs '69 out-takes, in fact Ringo barely speaks at all on those. Some of the songs on this album make it all sound so *easy*; Hold On especially, so it's a treat to hear they were actually enjoyable to make.

piscesx, Saturday, 24 April 2021 17:58 (six months ago) link

It’s wild to me how many takes they would do. Lennon’s talent and wit shines here ( he doesn’t sound nasty or irritated).

curmudgeon, Monday, 26 April 2021 15:28 (six months ago) link

five months pass...

the episode of the song exploder podcast on 'god' is incredible. super highly recommended even if you do not like that podcast, because it's totally different from every other episode. just an awesome audio documentary on the making of the song with great archival interviews with john, ringo, klaus voorman, even john's psychologist arthur janov (john came up with the lyric 'god is a concept by which we measure our pain' during a therapy session) and clips from demos

https://songexploder.net/john-lennon

Earlier this year, I got an amazing email—the estate of John Lennon said that they have a treasure trove of audio material from his life, and they were wondering if I would be interested in making an episode around the song “God,” from John Lennon’s first solo album. I’ve never tried making a posthumous episode before, because hearing directly from the artist is at the heart of Song Exploder. But with all the interview archives that they have of him speaking, plus all the isolated tracks from the recordings, and the original demo, it actually seemed possible. So this is a very different and special episode of the show.

flopson, Saturday, 9 October 2021 00:21 (two weeks ago) link


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