John Lennon's Top 10 Solo Songs
Cactus Music is hosting a Beatles & John Lennon DJ session featuring DJ Black Slacks from 5-7 p.m. today in the Record Ranch, 2110 Portsmouth.
Today marks 30 years since humanity lost John Lennon. The man has haunted Craig's Hlist since he was very little, when the man broke out from being the "cool" Beatle, in our heads at least, to be a solo artist, author, poet, and talisman for what some poor kid could achieve with some grit and heart.
For most people in CHL's age group, a song like "Imagine" isn't just a single on classic-rock radio. It's very much this separate, secular world anthem now. Even the very word has become shorthand for everything he achieved over his 40 years or anything that comes after related to him.
Last year, on what would have been Lennon's 69th birthday, Craig's Hlist wrote a long essay supposing what Lennon would have done had he lived into the present. We wonder how he would have dealt with aging, but can say almost for sure that he would've worn it well, and probably embraced it. Even at 40, he seemed to be gearing up for something we couldn't fathom.
Then there are some that slag the last two studio albums he released, Double Fantasy and Milk & Honey, as glittered tripe. Both albums for sure weren't as fiery and pissy as some of his prior solo efforts, and they were very much spousal affairs, but come on, the guy was in love and happily married. Look at Mates of State as their progeny if you will. They are married and make excellent music.
In hindsight, frankly, Yoko Ono's input was minimal. Even then, most of the stuff she was making isn't that far off from most the No Wave that would come just months after Lennon's death, or even what bands like Crystal Castles and Animal Collective do today. Thanks to Ono, Lennon was in love, and he wrote great songs about being in love that stand to this day,.
That didn't stop us from wondering aloud about the prospect of Lennon in the '90s as a "dirty old man stalking around the Viper Room bathroom with Kate Moss or taking ecstasy at a Chemical Brothers show." It's fun to think about. Maybe the Lennons would have grown dowdy together and made kids' music, which is alternately terrifying and amazing.
The possibilities are endless: An album with his two sons, an acting career, his own No Reservations-type music show, noise albums with Thurston Moore, a guest role in Spice World...
As for the prospect of a Beatles reunion, it gets sticky when you think about '80s production values and notoriously bad comeback albums. We shudder at the thought of a flannel-ensconced Fab Four making like the Eagles on a Hollywood sound-stage.
But what if they would have melded all they learned apart, from Wings, Plastic Ono Band, All Things Must Pass, and Caveman to make a monster of an album? With Sir George Martin executive-producing and Rick Rubin producing? Great, now our pants hurt with nerd-boners.
Here are some of CHL's favorite solo Lennon songs, the ones we are spinning today in honor of the man, his music and what would have been a bitching VH1 celebreality series.
10. "Nobody Told Me"
9. "Stand By Me"
8. "Working Class Hero"
7. "Oh Yoko"
6. "Well Well Well"
5. "Instant Karma"
4. "Gimme Some Truth"
3. "Jealous Guy"
Editor's pick: This one, which was in the Top 5 of Billboard's Hot 100 the week Lennon was killed.
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