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Music

John Lennon once named the best album he ever made

@josephtaysom

John Lennon is responsible for some of the purest moments in musical history with The Beatles, yet he once stated one of his solo albums was the best record he ever made.

It’s somewhat unsurprising and a natural conclusion that the ever-progressive Lennon choose to look forwards rather than backwards when making his pick. After all, why would he release an album that he didn’t believe was the best work of his career?

Lennon famously named The White Album his favourite from their acclaimed canon when it came to The Beatles, although his decision might have been influenced by Paul McCartney’s dislike for the record. “[Paul] wanted it to be more a group thing, which really means more Paul. So he never liked that album,” Lennon quipped.

Admittedly, Peter Jackson’s documentary, Get Back, dispels many myths surrounding the end of The Beatles and concludes that the band came to their natural end rather than it resting solely on the shoulders. However, there’s no denying that Lennon couldn’t flex his creativity fully within the vehicle of the Fab Four towards the close of their tenure.

Although Yoko wasn’t responsible for the split of The Beatles, she and John had a creative partnership that allowed Lennon to flourish in a new direction than with his previous musical vehicle.

While on the promotion trail of their debut album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, the duo spoke to Jann Wenner from Rolling Stone (via Cheat Sheet) in 1970 and were full of enthusiasm about their new project.

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Yoko proclaimed: “People say something like ‘Oh, that’s the peak,’ and I’m just so amazed. John’s done all that Beatle stuff and everything. But this new album of John’s [John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band] is a real peak that’s higher than any other thing he has done.”

Lennon reportedly expressed that he agreed with her statement and believed that John Lennon/Plastic Ono band eclipsed anything he made with The Beatles. “I think it’s Sergeant Lennon,” he declared. “I don’t really know how it will sink in, where it will lie, in the spectrum of rock ‘n’ roll and the generation and all the rest of it, but I know what it is. It’s something else, it’s another door.” 

While John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is a much-revered record which features classic tracks such as ‘Working Class Hero’, ‘Isolation’, and ‘Mother‘, but, to say that it’s a superior album than Sgt. Pepper’s or The White Album is nonsensical.

On the other hand, it’s incredibly personal to Lennon and the result of primal scream therapy, which helped him deal with his inner demons. Perhaps, this explains why the late Beatle elected to name it as the best record he ever made because it was the most significant part of him that he’d ever previously poured into making an album.