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Today in History (1970): John Lennon Releases His Debut Solo Album, ‘John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band’

It was only months after The Beatles disbanded when one of its founding members John Lennon released his very first album, which would eventually go down in history as one of the greatest ever.

Photo via Greg Wilson

Lennon recorded “John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band” between September and October 1970 in London. It was released on this day exactly 43 years ago in the US and the UK, the same time as his wife Yoko Ono released her own solo debut, “Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band”. Prior, the couple had already collaborated on a few releases.

The photos used in the album art for ‘John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band’ (left) and ‘Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band’ were taken using an Instamatic by actor Daniel Richter, who once served as their assistant. In an interview with Playboy in 1980, Lennon pointed out the differences, ‘In Yoko’s, she’s leaning back on me; in mine, I’m leaning on her.’ Photos via Greg Wilson and Betty Livin

“John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band” contained a lot of highly personal materials, owing greatly to the fact that for months just before it was recorded, Lennon and Ono subjected themselves to primal therapy in California with Dr. Arthur Janov for four months. As a result, most of the songs centered on the themes of child-parent relationships and psychological distress. The track “God” in particular had Lennon citing idols and concepts he does not believe in – including The Beatles – and proclaiming, “I just believe in me, Yoko and me…”

‘God.’ Video via YouTube

Aside from “God,” Lennon’s album also included the tracks “Mother”, “Hold On”, “I Found Out”, “Working Class Hero”, “Isolation”, “Remember”, “Love”, “Well Well Well”, “Look at Me”, and “My Mummy’s Dead”.

While Ono’s record was said to have failed to gain the critics’ favor, probably in part because at the time she was being blamed to have caused the Fab Four’s breakup, Lennon’s ended up being warmly received and praised by critics. It placed within the top 10 of charts in the UK and US, and spent a total of 18 weeks in the top 100 shortly after its release.

Regarded as one of Lennon’s best works, “John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band” has been included in various “greatest” lists, including Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003, Q magazine’s 100 Greatest British Albums Ever in 2000, and Time magazine’s 100 Best Albums of All Time.

All information in this article were sourced from the Wikipedia pages of John Lennon, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, and Yoko Ono/Plastic Band.

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written by chooolss

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