John Lennon Solo Albums Poll

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John Lennon solo albums poll

Poll Results

OptionVotes
1970 John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band 33
1971 Imagine 7
1980 Double Fantasy 5
1969 Unfinished Music No.2: Life with the Lions 2
1968 Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins 1
1984 Milk and Honey 1
1973 Mind Games 0
1974 Walls and Bridges 0
1975 Rock 'n' Roll 0
1969 Wedding Album 0
1972 Some Time in New York City 0


village idiot (dog latin), Monday, 7 June 2010 11:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

voted Life with the Lions, prob Lennon's heaviest gtr rec

Ward Fowler, Monday, 7 June 2010 12:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

I would like to be the sole vote for Rock 'n' Roll, which I do like an awful lot, but Imagine is better, and really the only Lennon solo album I play with any regularity.

MumblestheRevelator, Monday, 7 June 2010 12:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

i have only heard POB, Imagine, maybe Rock'n'Roll a long time ago, Double Fantasy and Milk & Honey. Plus a few compilations, so I'm familiar with No9 Dream and Mind Games which are great songs. Not heard the Beatles-era experimental albums. I can imagine they have a lot of heroin-aided shrieking all over them but are they really any good at all?

I remember not minding Milk & Honey (at least the Lennon songs - never could stand Yoko), particularly the sweet "Grow Old With Me".

Voting POB btw.

village idiot (dog latin), Monday, 7 June 2010 12:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

Re: Some Time in New York City, Mind Games, Walls and Bridges. You're not missing much

Wenlock & Mandelson (Tom D.), Monday, 7 June 2010 12:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

I think Mind Games is half an excellent album, with a half dozen good to great songs spread out amongst a half dozen fair to poor songs. Walls & Bridges and Sometime in New York City are largely bores, though with a couple good songs each.

MumblestheRevelator, Monday, 7 June 2010 12:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

half an excellent album, with a half dozen good to great songs spread out amongst a half dozen fair to poor songs.

Every album I've heard by him tbh.

village idiot (dog latin), Monday, 7 June 2010 12:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

Plastic Ono Band over Imagine. I prefer Milk and Honey over DF, tbh.

Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 7 June 2010 12:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

Voted Plastic Ono Band.

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Monday, 7 June 2010 14:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

Unstarted music would have been preferable in those 1st two album's cases

PaulTMA, Monday, 7 June 2010 14:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

You missed out Live Peace in Toronto.

Mark G, Monday, 7 June 2010 15:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

Live albums don't count obv.

anagram, Monday, 7 June 2010 15:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

JL/POB. THis still ranks as one of the most intense sonic exorcisms you're likely to run across. Its also a prime example of stripped-down rock punch. Gnarly & intense meets soft, melodic & intense, with a touch of mostly crazy thrown in for good measure.

ImprovSpirit, Monday, 7 June 2010 15:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

xpost Lifew/ Lions is half live.

Mark G, Monday, 7 June 2010 15:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

only 2 contenders really, Plastic Ono Band for its artistic qualities and Imagine for the tunes. Everything else too patchy for my vote.

Dr X O'Skeleton, Monday, 7 June 2010 17:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

yeah there's some really great stuff scattered here & there, but POB & Imagine are the only two i could call solid

used to bull's-eye Zach Wamps in my T-16 back home (will), Monday, 7 June 2010 17:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

Agreed re. POB & Imagine. 'Some Time in NYC' would prolly make third place for me.

The 'Unfinished Music' & 'Wedding Album' things are an excellent preview of what Nurse With Wound would be up to a few years later & had more to do with Yoko's aesthetic than John's. STinNYC would merge the two much more gooder. However, Lennon seems to have been coming from "I am so totally NOT going to do anything like THAT!" (meaning tunes that are remotely 'pop' or resemble the Beatles in ANY way) whereas NWW was all "Damn! I really want to do THIS!" You can sorta tell the difference.

The smug cynicism of 'Mind Games' never did anything for me. 'Walls & Bridges' just mostly blew. Nilsson's 'Pussycats' is just as worthy a listen as most of Lennon's solo output & I mean that in a basically good way. The last couple of discs saw John veering off into well-worn Billy Joel semi-profound MOR goo and away from his earlier bristling art attacks that had me longing for his return. I filed 'Double Fantasy' away after 1 or 2 spins, drank way too much Rebel Yell, blasted 'POB' & pondered the WTF question...

ImprovSpirit, Monday, 7 June 2010 19:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

are the first two/three those noise/loops records he made? i always thought pob was the first post-beatles record of actual music

teflon donk (samosa gibreel), Monday, 7 June 2010 19:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

Musically, Some Time in New York City is actually not bad if you can ignore him drinking the lefty Kool Aid lyrically. Please tell me his "Right on, sister!" is meant at least a little sarcastically.

Hideous Lump, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 01:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yoko Ono supervised remixes of the more popular solo albums - anyone have any thoughts on these? WHY? etc.

PaulTMA, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 11:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

uh, why not?

(runs way)

Mark G, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 11:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

i think the remixes are improvements. i know some people disagree but they did a really good job, just adding some separation in places to spector's wall of mud. it did take some of the 'whoomp' feeling out of some of it I suppose but I still like them. the earlier cds sounded terrible and original vinyl is hard to find anyway.

POB is my boring choice, will Walls and Bridges or Imagine next. W&B is really overlooked and underrated.

akm, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 14:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

First two Plastic Ono Band records totally rule. "Fly" owns most of John's catalog.

Adam Bruneau, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 14:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

Although spotty in a few places, 'Imagine' narrowly over POB for me.

I heard DF for the first time on Dec 7 '80. So sad.

Lee626, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 06:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 13 June 2010 23:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

easy one.

chromecassettes, Monday, 14 June 2010 01:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

Lennon is generally overrated as a solo artist, but "Double Fantasy" was great. Would have been even better without the Yoko tracks though.

Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Monday, 14 June 2010 07:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

Oh, and I am not saying "Imagine" is a bad album. Just a pity the rest of the album doesn't hold up with "Imagine", "Jealous Guy", "Oh My Love" and "How?"

Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Monday, 14 June 2010 07:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'd have thought "Mind Games" and "Walls/Bridges" would be up yr alley, geir.

Mark G, Monday, 14 June 2010 08:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

Nah, "Tight A$" and "Meat City" too . . . well, you know.

I guess for copraphiles this is gonna be awesome (Pancakes Hackman), Monday, 14 June 2010 13:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Monday, 14 June 2010 23:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

Wow.

ilxor has truly been got at and become an ILXor (ilxor), Tuesday, 15 June 2010 04:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

o_O

The order is what I was expecting, but the landslide? Only two points' difference between Imagine and Double Fantasy? I didn't even think PBO was that well known let alone popular.

village idiot (dog latin), Tuesday, 15 June 2010 09:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

I didn't expect Mind Games or Walls & Bridges to both get shut out. Neither are particular faves of mine, but I could have sworn that I have heard love for both on ILM in the past.

The whine that winks back at you (KMS), Tuesday, 15 June 2010 14:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

Lennon is generally overrated as a solo artist, but "Double Fantasy" was great. Would have been even better without the Yoko tracks though

Oh, and I am not saying "Imagine" is a bad album. Just a pity the rest of the album doesn't hold up with "Imagine", "Jealous Guy", "Oh My Love" and "How?"

Geir lives in Bizarro world - down is up, black is white, etx

If you can believe your eyes and ears (outdoor_miner), Tuesday, 15 June 2010 15:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

i find it quite reassuring myself.

"enduring lack of street cred" (Ioannis), Tuesday, 15 June 2010 16:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

http://www.google.co.uk/logos/2010/lennon10-res.gif

Mark G, Friday, 8 October 2010 11:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I think I disagree with pretty much every single conclusion Wolk draws in today's Pfork review, with the exception of his dismissal of Sometime in NY

the first Asian legislator in our Nevada State Assembly (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 22 October 2010 17:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

Mind Games deserves alot more love than it gets.

Telephoneface (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 22 October 2010 17:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

I mean

Mind Games, on the other hand, isn't particularly off-putting-- it's just creatively exhausted and timid. The title track has a nice tune; the session dudes who play on the album are entirely competent; "Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)" is a sweet sentiment. But there is not a single risky or urgent moment on the entire thing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx0ZqyqO8Wg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l1ILO2DZwA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJSMvVyRVZ0

Yeah, perhaps if you take away those above songs and the title track.

Telephoneface (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 22 October 2010 17:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yoko's songs on Doubel Fantasy are better than John's. FACT

the first Asian legislator in our Nevada State Assembly (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 22 October 2010 18:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

About to listen to "Life With the Lions" for the first time.

Telephoneface (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 22 October 2010 18:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

John can really play some feedback!

Telephoneface (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 22 October 2010 18:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

I imagine there are some 1967 jams where John is doing this while George plays sitar and Paul and Ringo play maracas & congas.

Telephoneface (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 22 October 2010 18:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

never heard Life with the Lions. neighbor had a vinyl copy of it that he wanted to sell for $150 though. lol

the first Asian legislator in our Nevada State Assembly (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 22 October 2010 18:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

Rawer than Metal Machine Music, tbh.

Telephoneface (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 22 October 2010 18:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

I like the insouciance of Wolk's review! It's like he wrote his own Walls and Bridges.

raging hetero lifechill (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 22 October 2010 18:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

insouciant? seems like a lot of received wisdom to me - Imagine is overplayed hippie drivel, POB is good except when you think about it in terms of whiny rich guy, etc

the first Asian legislator in our Nevada State Assembly (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 22 October 2010 18:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

i think it's really hard to write a review of john lennon, or any of the beatles (and *especially* the beatles themselves). some parts of this review (particularly the mind games overview) seemed dismissive to me, but then again, short of writing another book, pretty much anything you say is going to dismiss some aspect of the guy. The notion of yet another compilation of his music does make me tired just thinking about it--- despite the fact that it did make me listen to a bunch of solo lennon today, and like pretty much everything I played. interesting guy!

Dominique, Friday, 22 October 2010 18:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

Wow, now it's total freejazz territory. Sounds almost like Coltrane w Yoko screaming over it.

Telephoneface (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 22 October 2010 18:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

And right beneath it is a photo of John’s face in his coffin. Brutal tabloid shit

calstars, Saturday, 25 November 2017 19:52 (one year ago) Permalink

(xx-post)

I agree, so far we've had people saying that Lennon suffered from writers block from 1975-1979 when there's no evidence to support this. His lack of releases during this period only proves that he didn't release anything, it doesn't prove he didn't write anything, and there is evidence that he had been writing songs during that period. All of this is based on fact. Everything else is speculation.

It's ridiculously SO not difficult to grasp.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 19:52 (one year ago) Permalink

why on earth is this important to you

gimme the beet poison, free my soul (Doctor Casino), Saturday, 25 November 2017 19:58 (one year ago) Permalink

LOL yes!

(xp) So all you say is, "I don't know how many songs he wrote in this period, I'm not sure I can even provide a rough estimate, but I know he wrote some songs, I know the names of three of them". Goodnight Vienna... hold on that's Ringo.

The buttermilk of Beelzebub (Tom D.), Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:00 (one year ago) Permalink

*penny_falling_in_slow_motion.gif*

*golf_clap.wav*

Finally!

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:08 (one year ago) Permalink

like to be clear, turrican, sure, your version of events where lennon was writing tons of songs on the regular is plausible! totally! so is the version where he had writer's block. or just lost the muse or wasn't focused on songwriting. or whatever! they're all speculative guesses into the life of an artist we all like. this is called "interpretation," and it is something fans and critics do both with the content of the work and the lives of the artists.

adopting your i-have-the-objective-facts-and-everyone-else-is-wrong tone (where your take is right and other people's just show they've been sidetracked by "mythology"), which you've now done back-to-back across two different beatles-related threads (completely derailing whatever other conversation might have been possible), is condescending to all other posters and also just really boring as a mode of conversation. i don't know what you're getting out of it unless you just get a kick out of trying to get a rise out of people (aka trolling), in this case for a week straight on one fairly narrow point.

gimme the beet poison, free my soul (Doctor Casino), Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:10 (one year ago) Permalink

(x-post)

The amount of bootlegged demo recordings that have so far made it out of Lennon's personal achives is irrelevant - it proves that Lennon was writing songs, it does not prove he had writers block. Facts are facts and logic is logic.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:15 (one year ago) Permalink

in a world where you weren't being a complete junior-high-school music nerd authority about this, someone would probably have the energy to engage in a friendly discussion about how writers' block takes different forms, is not an on-off state change, and is not mutually exclusive with having written some songs at some point in a five year period. people might even share from their own personal experiences or make informed or off-the-wall comparisons with other artists. you know, like a bunch of friendly people talking about music they like might.

but given the bigger problems here i mean why bother? you're not interested in engaging with any of these points of view; you just want to defend lennon against the apparently heretical speculation that he might not have written all that much material in the late 1970s.

gimme the beet poison, free my soul (Doctor Casino), Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:19 (one year ago) Permalink

like to be clear, turrican, sure, your version of events where lennon was writing tons of songs on the regular is...

...*record scratch noise* Yeah, stop there. That's your wording, not mine. I said he was writing songs and there is evidence to support this. This is fact.

I also did say "everything else is speculation" didn't I? Yes, I did. Several times, which I shouldn't have really needed to do.

I would have been happily done with this conversation two days ago, and I would have been if I wasn't forced to repeat myself.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:26 (one year ago) Permalink

Hahaha wtf
This is pure entertainment

calstars, Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:29 (one year ago) Permalink

Is there not a thread on ILM about writers block already?

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:30 (one year ago) Permalink

Apologies but you do realize that writer's block doesn't necessarily mean that the sufferer produces absolutely no work whatsoever.

The buttermilk of Beelzebub (Tom D.), Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:31 (one year ago) Permalink

Can someone explain the love for “Whatever Gets You Through the Night”? There’s virtually no tune to speak of, the arrangement is this godawful Steve Douglas disco groove that somehow doesn’t groove. And the lyrics leave no impression whatsoever.

How on earth this became his biggest hit remains a mystery to me.

― Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, November 25, 2017 11:30 AM (one hour ago)

I always liked this record, not as something particularly tuneful (although the whole thing is sung in harmony). I like it as some kind of rhythm record. Doesn't strike me as a disco groove, I don't really know what it is. Do not like the mix.

timellison, Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:38 (one year ago) Permalink

Like I said, we know that he was writing songs during that period. As to how many songs, this is pure speculation since we don't get the full picture from what has been bootlegged, and who knows how many songs were written but weren't demoed? There isn't enough evidence to show that Lennon had writers block, no matter how you try and frame the argument.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:46 (one year ago) Permalink

And also there’s bootlegs which seem to show many attempts to try to finish just a few songs in the domestic period, rather than a lot of songs overall.

Luna Schlosser, Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:48 (one year ago) Permalink

Consistent with writer’s block

Luna Schlosser, Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:50 (one year ago) Permalink

I always liked this record, not as something particularly tuneful (although the whole thing is sung in harmony). I like it as some kind of rhythm record. Doesn't strike me as a disco groove, I don't really know what it is. Do not like the mix.

― timellison, Saturday, November 25, 2017 8:38 PM (eight minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I agree about the mix, it feels a little bit cluttered and muddy - I always think the bottom end should be a bit beefier. I see what you mean about not considering it to be a disco record - it seems to have more in common with the "plastic soul" that Bowie was doing (even though it predates Young Americans) than what Chic were doing (which it also predates) or even the Bee Gees...

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:53 (one year ago) Permalink

And also there’s bootlegs which seem to show many attempts to try to finish just a few songs in the domestic period, rather than a lot of songs overall.

― Luna Schlosser, Saturday, November 25, 2017 8:48 PM (four minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yes, I've already covered the fact that the bootlegs in and of themselves don't prove anything other than Lennon was writing songs.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 20:55 (one year ago) Permalink

xxpost:

It's unusual, thinking about it, because even though I think a fair amount of Lennon's Walls and Bridges output is nowhere near his greatest work, I can't really fault the production on stuff like '#9 Dream', 'Steel and Glass' or 'What You Got' ... but yeah, 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night' could have been better.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 21:11 (one year ago) Permalink

Can we all just agree that Lennon had “good song” writers block? We can? Good.

Anyway, “Whatever Gets You Through the Night” is shit.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 25 November 2017 21:13 (one year ago) Permalink

Whenever I think of the track, the first thing that pops into my head is the fucking sax break!

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 21:18 (one year ago) Permalink

It’s like the worst track ever, I agree. Sonic vomit

calstars, Saturday, 25 November 2017 21:22 (one year ago) Permalink

i like it. sorta repetitive but w/e. production is fine. surprised so many here dislike it, hate it even. #9 dream is the keeper from W&B tho

flappy bird, Saturday, 25 November 2017 21:24 (one year ago) Permalink

'#9 Dream' is one of my favourite things Lennon ever did, including with The Beatles, so I can't disagree. Sublime production, string arrangement, lyrics, melody, chord progression... everything just came together beautifully on that song.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 21:29 (one year ago) Permalink

Yes.

calstars, Saturday, 25 November 2017 21:37 (one year ago) Permalink

Wah filter ftw

calstars, Saturday, 25 November 2017 21:38 (one year ago) Permalink

#9 Dream is ear candy but not much more. Which, given what we were getting from Lennon around that time, isn’t nothing.

I haven’t read any of the Lennon biographies but here’s what I believe we do know:

*Lennon recorded about two albums’ worth of material when he came out of retirement in 1979-80.

*In the intervening 37 years, not much new music from Lennon has emerged from 1975-1980. The “Dakota” disc on Lennon Anthology didn’t add that much to the canon.

*Lennon hadn’t exactly been at the top of his game for the previous 3 or 4 years either. Quality-wise, the songs he recorded when he returned were probably better than what he was writing before he retired but rarely a patch on his work pre-Mind Games (I rate three really good songs apiece on DF and M&H but YMMV).

*Team Yoko has very carefully presented what we know about those years.

*John Lennon didn’t write a ton of music around the time of Sgt. Pepper either – Ian MacDonald notes that he was in bed a lot and his productivity immediately prior to meeting Yoko was low.

What we don’t know:

*Whether he has “writer’s block” from 1975 on (is that even a real thing BTW? I mean, do psychologists actually diagnose this? or is it just a catch-all phrase for “I can’t write stuff”)

*Whether Lennon had a drug problem in those years.

*How “happy” Lennon actually was during that time (one thing we do know about artists is that many tend to be productive when they are in turmoil).

*Whether he actually baked bread.

So is it possible Yoko Ono is hoarding some treasure trove of material John wrote during those years? I suppose. But unless there’s a good reason she hasn’t come out with them, it seems pretty unlikely. Does that mean he was blocked? Maybe? Or maybe he was just uninterested in music – which frankly seems a lot more in keeping with what we actually know about his life then as well as him from before.

Also, Turrican, aren’t you also having some fight over on the George Harrison thread about the number of Beatles references in their solo work? What gives?

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 25 November 2017 21:41 (one year ago) Permalink

I don't know - already having said my thoughts on the matter might have something to do with it!

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 21:48 (one year ago) Permalink

Turrican is kind of weird. Doesn’t like Presence. Sad

calstars, Saturday, 25 November 2017 21:54 (one year ago) Permalink

I would also just add: I don’t think there is any way any of us can really understand what it was like to be a Beatle and the impact an experience like that would have. Yes, it was only a decade, and, yes, there is no lack of stars that have blown up unimaginably in the years since, facing all the same paparazzi mania.

But it’s not actually that surprising that Lennon pretty much tanked for most of the decade after they broke up. When you consider that no band since has even come close to having the same cultural significance—and then, how many issues he had to work out from his childhood through his marriage to Cynthia and abandonment of Julian, etc.—it kind of makes sense that he might have simply dried up creatively once he separated from all that and started a new family. Many others have found themselves creatively spent dealing with less.

And FWIW, this isn’t exactly unique to Lennon within the Beatles. Outside of what came out in the immediate aftermath (POB, ATMP, “Maybe I’m Amazed,” etc.), the more time passes, the more you realize how little of the music the Beatles made music outside of the band compares even remotely favorably to what they did together. And, that’s okay.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 25 November 2017 22:06 (one year ago) Permalink

Nah, I disagree... McCartney continued to write classics for a long time after the Beatles split.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 22:23 (one year ago) Permalink

cf. "One of These Days"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPizFm-2jo8

flappy bird, Saturday, 25 November 2017 22:25 (one year ago) Permalink

“I don’t think there is any way any of us can really understand what it was like to be a Beatle”
No shit?

calstars, Saturday, 25 November 2017 22:28 (one year ago) Permalink

The more time passes, the more I realise that McCartney was essentially the driving force during the later Beatles years - not just in terms of coming up with concepts and pulling the band together to work, but... Ram sounds more like Abbey Road than Imagine or All Things Must Pass do.

McCartney kept delivering hit after hit for decades, and wrote a great number of classics from 1970 onwards, and to be honest, I'd rather hear him talk more about that stuff than The Beatles again.

Give me 'Once Upon a Long Ago' over 'Tell Me What You See' any day of the week.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 22:36 (one year ago) Permalink

I agree with all that. In the case of McCartney, his craftsmanship alone carried him along after inspiration left him (even some of those songs are classics – craftsmanship counts a lot in pop). But do *any* of those songs (again, those not released in the rush of the breakup) really rank w their Beatles work?

That’s not a knock on the later songs. It’s a credit to the earlier ones, what each brought to them and what the Beatles enterprise brought to them.

“I don’t think there is any way any of us can really understand what it was like to be a Beatle”
No shit?


I mean, I don’t think Taylor Swift knows either. Or Mick Jagger for that matter. The Beatles were always different. That’s all I mean.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 25 November 2017 22:52 (one year ago) Permalink

Yes, I think songs like 'Jet', 'Bluebird', 'My Love', 'Live and Let Die', 'The Note You Never Wrote', 'With a Little Luck', 'Coming Up', 'Take It Away', 'My Brave Face', 'This One', 'Calico Skies' etc. (I could go on - I won't) are as good as any song he wrote 1962-1969.

In fact, if we view Paul's Beatle songs for what they are, rather than just assuming they have some sort of automatic superiority (which they don't) then I would rank plenty of Paul's post-Beatles stuff higher than 'P.S. I Love You', 'Hold Me Tight', 'Tell Me What You See', 'Every Little Thing', 'I'll Follow The Sun', 'All Together Now', 'Your Mother Should Know', 'Yellow Submarine', 'Lovely Rita', 'Rocky Raccoon', 'She Came in Through the Bathroom Window' etc.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 23:13 (one year ago) Permalink

This is before we get to 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' and 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' ... I'll take 'Listen to What the Man Said' and 'Silly Love Songs' over either.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 25 November 2017 23:16 (one year ago) Permalink

Junk, One of These Days, Coming Up are absolutely among his best.

flappy bird, Saturday, 25 November 2017 23:38 (one year ago) Permalink

and McCartney II is a stone cold curveball classic, no other Beatle ever made something as progressive & idiosyncratic & intuitive & of its time after 1970.

flappy bird, Saturday, 25 November 2017 23:39 (one year ago) Permalink

When I first dug into solo McCartney in the late 90s, I actually tried to make the case to a fellow musician friend of mine that Paul’s post-Beatles work was as good as his Beatles stuff and in some cases better (this isn’t something you can really try to do with Lennon). I played him songs like “Arrow Through Me,” “Back Seat of My Car,” “However Absurd,” “I’m Carrying,” and “Letting Go.” He looked at me like I had three heads. Which wasn’t a knock on the songs – he liked them fine. But the idea that this was world-changing stuff was silly to him.

The point is, I’m not reducing this to Beatles = Better. And you will find few ILMers more enamored with McCartney than me. I prefer his stuff to a lot of Beatles material in part because there is still something for me to discover. That medley at the end of Red Rose Speedway with the nonsense lyrics tells me more about the artist who made it than another listen to side two of Abbey Road.

Are their best solo moments better than or “When I’m Sixty-Four” or “Good Morning, Good Morning”? Sure. But there are no solo tracks these guys did as deathless as “Yesterday” or “Norwegian Wood,” as deeply weird as “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” or “Helter Skelter,” or as perfect as “Martha My Dear” or “I’m a Loser.”

And again, that’s fine. I like living in a world with all these things.

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 26 November 2017 00:30 (one year ago) Permalink

"I prefer his stuff to a lot of Beatles material in part because there is still something for me to discover."
this is a great point

calstars, Sunday, 26 November 2017 00:39 (one year ago) Permalink

Johnny will be spinning in his grave.

The buttermilk of Beelzebub (Tom D.), Sunday, 26 November 2017 00:47 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah like i could never make the case that "beware my love" or "loup" is better than "for no one" or "hey jude" or whatever but finding yourself in the zone for speed of sound or red rose speedway is a pleasant experience and the journey should be savored imo. precisely because it's quirky and odd and not always "finished" or polished (in songcraft, performance, and/or production). sorta like how i feel about the white album tbh. or 70s dylan. there are lots of artist where it's fun to just spend time rummaging in their back catalogs and back pages.

gimme the beet poison, free my soul (Doctor Casino), Sunday, 26 November 2017 00:48 (one year ago) Permalink

"Cookin' (in the Kitchen of Love)" on Ringo's Rotogravure is from early in the John Lennon retirement period.

timellison, Sunday, 26 November 2017 02:42 (one year ago) Permalink

en I first dug into solo McCartney in the late 90s, I actually tried to make the case to a fellow musician friend of mine that Paul’s post-Beatles work was as good as his Beatles stuff and in some cases better (this isn’t something you can really try to do with Lennon). I played him songs like “Arrow Through Me,” “Back Seat of My Car,” “However Absurd,” “I’m Carrying,” and “Letting Go.” He looked at me like I had three heads.

To be fair, I also probably would have looked at you like you had three heads if you tried to prove this with 'Arrow Through Me' and particularly 'However Absurd' - bad choices.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Sunday, 26 November 2017 08:59 (one year ago) Permalink

But there are no solo tracks these guys did as deathless as “Yesterday”...

'Live and Let Die'

as deeply weird as “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” or “Helter Skelter,”

'Secret Friend'

or as perfect as “Martha My Dear”

'No More Lonely Nights' ('Martha My Dear' is a really bad example)

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Sunday, 26 November 2017 09:04 (one year ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

excellent post alfred, though i would (predictably perhaps) put #2 as #1

montoya (Ross), Sunday, 7 October 2018 17:16 (two months ago) Permalink

My rankings🕸.

I am increasingly seeing Xgau mannerisms bubble up in your writing, Alfred. Inside jokes, peculiar semi-historical observations, Beefeater dry humor.

Not that I’m complaining.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 22:37 (two months ago) Permalink


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