"John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" - vote please!!

Backslapping time. Well done us. We are fantastic.

"John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" - vote for your favourite track, please!!

1. Mother
16
16%
2. Hold On
1
1%
3. I Found Out
5
5%
4. Working Class Hero
24
24%
5. Isolation
13
13%
6. Remember
6
6%
7. Love
9
9%
8. Well, Well, Well
5
5%
9. Look At Me
0
No votes
10. God
21
21%
11. My Mummy's Dead
1
1%
 
Total votes: 101

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Moleskin
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Postby Moleskin » 23 Mar 2005, 13:20

This is easily the best Lennon album. I like the pared-down sound of it. The songs are nearly all rubbish, but that doesn't detract from the overall effect. This was Lennon writing in diary mode, and while that makes for an interesting and arresting lsitening experience, I don't think any of the songs (Working Class Hero excepted) stand up outside the context of the album.

Much better than Imagine, which consists of a handful of good songs, a bit of filler, and the worst song of all time, the title track, which is as vacuous and patronising a piece of posturing clap-trap as I've ever heard. Vomit inducing. On the plus side we get 'Jealous Guy', 'Crippled Inside', 'How', 'Oh! Yoko', and 'How Do You Sleep?', but five decent songs does not a work of genius make.

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Postby Quaco » 23 Mar 2005, 19:26

Chris Chopping wrote:It's interesting that someone further up this page should talk about God being a "list" song. Obviously it does have that long list at the end but for me that is sort of an extended outro. The bit before that is absolutely brilliant!

The bit before it is only repeating one line twice! If anything, the list is the beginning of the song and the quiet "The dream is over" part is the ending.

By the way, I finally voted: "God".
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The Modernist

Postby The Modernist » 24 Mar 2005, 13:06

Chris Chopping wrote:Despite things I said earlier in the thread this album has really grown on me lately. I still am skeptical about working class hero however.


Why? it's a fantastic lyric. Re-read the thread to understand what he was trying to say here.
On Lennon's class, it's been kind of assumed on here that he was middle-class. Let's not forget his father was an ordinary seaman. Class is usually defined through occupation, a job like a seaman would almost certainly be considered working-class. It is true he was brought up in a middle-class area of Liverpool. But with an absent father and presumably a lack of money all round, I don't think Lennon was straightforwardly "middle-class" in the way the term is used today.

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Re: "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" - vote please!!

Postby Diamond Dog » 20 Sep 2007, 14:50

The standard of writing on this thread is fantastic - take the time to read it again.
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Re: "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" - vote please!!

Postby whodathunkit » 20 Sep 2007, 19:29

Of course it's "Mother". If you don't get "Mother", you don't get Lennon.
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Re: "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" - vote please!!

Postby bpd9 » 19 Oct 2007, 01:54

i picked ''god'' merely because of it's topic...but the album does have to be taken as a whole and not broken down to it's singular parts. 'Imagine' reached a wider audience (popheads) because it is more formualic musically...i don't think Radio 1 would have enjoyed 'Mother' being number 1 in the charts... ;)

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Re: "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" - vote please!!

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 11 Nov 2007, 09:48

Great album, but almost ruined by the clumsy and embarrassing 'Working Class Hero'. The continuing acclaim for that piece of shit amazes me, frankly.

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Re: "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" - vote please!!

Postby Diamond Dog » 10 Feb 2009, 19:15

Playing it again now, I have a question some of you muso's may be able to answer.

Do you think the fact that so many of the 'better' tracks were clearly written on piano, as opposed to guitar, lends the songs to a certain 'austerity' that may not have been there had they been guitar based? By that I mean, the sparseness of the chords (and overall sound) - would it have been achieved by guitar based songs?

The outro of "Mother" is still spine tingling, isn't it? Fantastic.
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Re: "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" - vote please!!

Postby Charlie O. » 10 Feb 2009, 19:23

The guitar-based songs on the album sound no less spare and austere, to my ears.
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Re: "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" - vote please!!

Postby Diamond Dog » 10 Feb 2009, 19:26

Charlie O. wrote:The guitar-based songs on the album sound no less spare and austere, to my ears.


Listening to it now, you may be right Charlie. :D

It may simply be that I prefer the piano based tracks?
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Re: "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" - vote please!!

Postby Charlie O. » 10 Feb 2009, 19:30

I voted for "Love", but my second-favorite would probably be either "I Found Out" or "Well, Well, Well". I'm glad John switched off between piano, acoustic and electric guitars - I don't think the album would be the classic that it is if he'd stuck to any one of those, great songs or no.
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Re:

Postby Diamond Dog » 10 Feb 2009, 19:43

Diamond Dog wrote:I'm surprised that my choice, "God", has only got the small amount of votes it has. The sheer starkness of the "I don't believe in Beatles - I just believe in me, Yoko and me" is still fantastic even now.


And it still does the biz - the sound of a man knowing he's writing something that will be quoted for centuries to come. He knew it, I tell you.
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Re: "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" - vote please!!

Postby Goat Boy » 12 Feb 2009, 15:38

God is the best track on the album and it often makes me cry. It also has possibly the finest vocal performance of not only Johns career but anybody else in rock n roll.
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Re:

Postby Quaco » 05 May 2011, 20:25

Quaco wrote:
Chris Chopping wrote:It's interesting that someone further up this page should talk about God being a "list" song. Obviously it does have that long list at the end but for me that is sort of an extended outro. The bit before that is absolutely brilliant!

The bit before it is only repeating one line twice! If anything, the list is the beginning of the song and the quiet "The dream is over" part is the ending.

By the way, I finally voted: "God".

I totally lied. I say I voted "God" but apparently voted "Mother". Well, "Mother" is certainly an album opener par excellence, and sets the tone perfectly.
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Re: "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" - vote please!!

Postby jannypana » 23 May 2011, 08:04

I love the album - "Mother" and "God" are my favorite ones...

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Re:

Postby Quaco » 07 Jun 2013, 22:36

The G Experience! wrote:
Chris Chopping wrote:Despite things I said earlier in the thread this album has really grown on me lately. I still am skeptical about working class hero however.


Why? it's a fantastic lyric. Re-read the thread to understand what he was trying to say here.
On Lennon's class, it's been kind of assumed on here that he was middle-class. Let's not forget his father was an ordinary seaman. Class is usually defined through occupation, a job like a seaman would almost certainly be considered working-class. It is true he was brought up in a middle-class area of Liverpool. But with an absent father and presumably a lack of money all round, I don't think Lennon was straightforwardly "middle-class" in the way the term is used today.

Another thought is that, in the song, he was roughly defining as "working-class" people who aren't upper-class. In his interviews, such as the Red Mole one I quoted earlier, he's not splitting hairs about different classes. He's talking about the difference between the Establishment in power on one hand, and the rest of the world on the other. So, getting caught up in details about "Was Lennon actually working-class? Was he middle-class? Or maybe he was lower-middle-class!" misses the point that he's simply referring to the lower group -- the 98%, you might say -- that isn't in power and actually has to work for a living. To them -- us -- he says it's useless trying to be some kind of hero because the Establishment will always get you.
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Re: "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" - vote please!!

Postby jl » 28 Sep 2015, 09:00

Working Class Hero was the first song I ever felt a genuine connection with. I can still remember the feeling of being receptive to something like that for the first time.

Not listened to the album for years though, and tbh I prefer Yoko's version if only for Greenfield Morning I Pushed An Empty Baby Carriage....

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Re:

Postby jl » 28 Sep 2015, 09:52

The Modernist wrote:
neverknows wrote:
Mr. Jim wrote:But it does seem to say that what Lennon meant by "Working Class Hero" was that you're completely fucked from the day you are born, and that the only hope you have these days is to be a pop star. And we know what he thinks of that particular fate.

In other words, not that different from "Street Fighting Man". Another song of questionable veracity: was Jagger really a street fighting man? Does it matter?


Jagger was singing in a rock'n'roll band so at least his lyrics make sense.

I still don't get the 'something to be bit', the more I think of it.


Well I addressed this earlier. But I really don't think it's so mysterious. Whewn he sings a "working class hero is something to be" he's being sarcastic. The lyric details the way the working class are neutered and stripped of power. Individual success stories such a Lennon's only serve to distract the masses further thus inadvertantly, in his success, he is upholding the power structure (hence the absolute disdain and bitterness with which he sings the lyric). This idea of culture being used as a means of enslavement was a popular idea in leftist circles at the time, The Situationists built their philosophy around this and earlier writers such as Gramsci and The Frankfurt School were very popular because of the way they addressed such issues.


Broadly agree with this -- it's a kind of release of his own bourgeois guilt along with the post-primal scream therapy of the rest of the album. He's found room at the top, leaving his peers in Liverpool behind, and smiled as he killed to get there. He's saying if you want to make it you have to play that game too -- knowing that this itself keeps the workers too occupied with sex and TV. It's blunt and ironic enough to be a twitter post, but what more can a few chords give. I still think "they hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool" is one of most perceptive lines in music.

I've seen the house he grew up in (my brother lives close by, I didn't purposefully hunt it down) and it's suburban enough (has a servant bell system, though it wasn't utilised during his time there). It must be remembered that he was fostered there from a much poorer and dysfunctional side of the family. I don't think his own description of upper working/lower middle is too erroneous to give him much grief over, especially since playing up to a rough upbringing is part of the Northern English condition.