Remembering John Lennon (w/poll)

Expanding on my post from earlier today

John Lennon was shot dead 29 years ago today.  Daily Kos user noweasels remembers him and that night.

I was born shortly before the Beatles broke up, but I remember loving their music even as a small child. My older siblings played a lot of the records, and I practically wore out the two cassettes from the “red album,” a collection of songs recorded between 1962 and 1966.

Although Paul’s always been my favorite Beatle, I love a lot of John’s work too. More memories and a Lennon poll are after the jump.

“Help!” still sounds so fresh:

“Norwegian Wood” isn’t one of my personal favorites, but it was a very influential pop song because of the way it incorporated non-western musical elements.

Revolver is probably my favorite Beatles album. I prefer Paul’s songs, but John’s contributions to this album, especially “She Said She Said” and “Tomorrow Never Knows,” made this album one of the “very first psychedelic LPs.”

“A Day in the Life” is a phenomenal track. There is no way Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band would have had the impact it had without that song. The album isn’t one of my favorites from the Beatles, and I’ve never been a big fan of  “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” but “A Day in the Life” is just perfect. A few years ago I saw the performance artist Brian Olsen paint a huge Lennon portrait from beginning to end while “A Day in the Life” played. I wish I could find a YouTube of that, because it was so fun to watch.

I don’t think Magical Mystery Tour is anyone’s favorite Beatles album, but “I am the Walrus” has had a lot of staying power.

The “White Album” was uneven in quality, in my opinion, but “Revolution” is right up there with the Beatles’ best records.

I heard somewhere that Lennon didn’t care for the Abbey Road album. That used to be one of my favorites. “Come Together” and “Because” are the most memorable Lennon tracks.

Lost of people don’t care for the Let It Be album. I don’t think it’s that bad. “Across the Universe” is one of the highlights.

Lennon released about a dozen albums outside of his work with the Beatles. “Imagine” is clearly his most influential composition, but I’ve always preferred “Instant Karma”:

Please take the poll and share your own thoughts or memories about John Lennon.

  • How the world has changed....

    With the deluge of Beatles tracks coming out on commercials and the new video game,  it makes me wonder if John’s cultural significance is at all part of the awareness of younger Americans-  God,  I’m getting old!

    I used to do a lot of remodel work in the Dakota in the 90’s and walked across the spot John was shot twice a day- tourists (mostly foreign) would be standing there in meditation almost every time I passed. I guess that indicates that John’s art and politics still resonate with some of us…..Thanks for posting this.

  • If you love the Beatles

    and you’re in Las Vegas, go see ‘Beatle Luv’ at the Mirage.  I saw it in May.  The show is about 1.5 to 2 hrs.  The production has their own state-of-the-art theatre.  The cast is fantastic as is the choreography.  Well worth the price of admission which is discounted some nights if you buy tickets on-line @ the Mirage website.

  • As a professional musician

    these guys inspire me like few other musicians ever have.  Only Duke Ellington comes close to their achievement, in my view, but even he couldn’t match their poetic gifts.  

    I’m about the same age as you, but as the oldest child of avowed Beatle-haters, I found them purely by fortunate accident.  I was 5 years old when box of second-hand 45s found its way to my Fisher-Price phonograph.  In the box was an already-well-worn copy of I Want To Hold Your Hand.  It absolutely electrified me;  I must have played that thing for 3 or 4 months straight, by which time the disc was completely jukeboxed.  It was the first time that music of any kind had ever moved me like that.  I didn’t realize it until many years later, but hearing that record was the experience that ultimately led me to pursue a life in music.  

    Hard for me to pick a favorite since each album has its own distinct personality and charms.  (And yes, turkeys, too, although we probably wouldn’t agree exactly on which songs are “hits” and which are “misses”.)  But if I had to pick one, I’d go with you and pick Revolver.  It embodies The Beatles’ best work not only as songwriters but also as recording artists, and is their only album that really encapsulates both their “early” and “late” styles.  Tomorrow Never Knows, in particular, is quite possibly the most radical and most significant work ever produced in pop;  its impact on the art of recording is simply incalculable.  

    That said, I have all their recordings – albums, singles, and about to go buy the new remasters – and I don’t think I could part with any of them.  (Not even Let It Be.)

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