My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band was recorded in September and October of 1970 and was released in December of the same year. The instrumentation on the album was pretty spare, giving the album a straightforward rock sound one I would say ironically The Beatles where aiming for with Get Back/ Let It Be.Ringo Starr plays drums on the album (I knew it even without Wikipedia, he style is so unique).
What I think: Despite being a pretty big Beatles fan, I’ve never given any of the individual members a chance beyond listening to their greatest hits collections. I never felt the pieces were ever as good as the whole. This album really showed me what I was missing out on. It is one of the most powerful and emotional pieces of music I’ve ever heard. These are eleven songs that document Lennon’s ability to be to function in this world. The man had very difficult childhood, was catapulted into space as the biggest pop culture star there ever was, and never learned how to live. These songs are him trying to find his place in that world. “Mother” deals with some of the childhood tramas, “Hold On” is him telling himself things are going to be ok and it goes from there. “Working Class Hero” is a song that resonates with me as someone born in the working class and now live firmly in a middle class environment. It’s a totally different world there. “Love” is an song that I would usually dismiss as sentimental, but here it just fits and it’s sad, and it’s brilliant. “Well Well Well” is pure emotion and anger and brings out the elements of Primal Scream therapy. The gem here is “God” where Lennon throws down all idols including The Beatles and says that all he believes in is himself and Ono. It’s spine tingling and shows a person who has torn everything apart and is ready to start rebuilding. It’s a completely raw piece that shows how little material items do for you, if things aren’t right in your own head.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? It may be my favorite thing that Lennon has done. It’s a supreme masterpiece!
Rating (Out of 5): 5
Amazon Review (Out of 5): 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (149/192)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 78%