ARTIST: John Lennon
TITLE: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
YEAR RELEASED: 1970
CHART ACTION: #6 US, #8 UK
SINGLES: Mother (#43 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Hold On, Working Class Hero, God
LINEUP: John Lennon, Klaus Voorman, Ringo Starr. Phil Spector and Billy Preston each played piano on a track.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First true solo album by Lennon is influenced by Yoko and their Primal Scream therapy. It’s a brilliant but draining album.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Music is supposed to affect ones emotions. The first real solo album by John Lennon is full of songs that make you feel exactly what he’s feeling – even after all of these years the songs are powerful, chilling, and poignant.
There’s gentle tracks about love (“Hold On” – with its silly Cookie Monster aside, “Love”) and some gut wrenchers (“Mother”, “Isolation”, “Well Well Well”) where you can tell he poured out his heart into those songs. Lennon can still rock with the best of them (“I Found Out”) and can proselytize his world view effectively (“Working Class Hero”, “God”). What this record doesn’t have is filler.
John and Yoko had just finished Primal Scream therapy and all of those feelings and emotions and grief just poured out of him. His vocal on “Mother” shows the effect of the therapy as his voice is ragged and hoarse at the end.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: There was no track listing on the back, nor title on the front.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with two non-LP singles.
GRADE A+: Powerful and evocative today – as it was at the time.