Bagism: Albums & Singles

Reviews: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band


"John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" was John Lennon's debut solo album after the break up of the Beatles. Just having completed 'Primal Scream' therapy with Dr. Arthur Janov, John used this album to exorcise some of his demons. Released Dec. 11, 1970 (US & UK)

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Rating: 5.0
Jul 16, 2011
James Jones
A Realmasterpiece. It starts out with Mother, which is in my opinion, the weakest on the album. It's basically John being sad. You've probably heard that before. Then you get hold on, basically a song that seems like it's gonna go somewhere, but doesn't. There werent good thoughts in my head at this time. And finally we get a great song! I found out is one of the more rocking titles on here, and one of the lyrically better ones too. Next up, it's working class hero, probably the best song on here. Although controversational, it's lyrically perfect and musically great too. Then it's isolation, one of the best on here, along with working-class hero. Another lyrically perfect song. Remember fits in about third, being a lyrically good but musically great song. Love is just beautiful, a lovely song by John. Well Well Well sounds like Paul in some places. Not the best, not very good atall actually, no, the weakest on here. Mind you, still worst a listen. Look at me is like hold on, good, but missing something. Okay, now I want you to scrap everything I've said so far about that top songs on here list, as this tops the lot. A true masterpiece, and lyrically the best song ever written. God. Without this, this album would have been along the lines of 3.5-4 stars, but this alone would be worth the price of the album. All in all, 5/5, one of the best records ever made, get it if you don't have it (if you do, dig it up out the cupboard and put it on, you'll suddenly love it all over again).

Rating: 4.5
Oct 7, 2010
cdesim
This is Ringo’s best album. He and Klaus Voormann steal the show. That’s quite an extraordinary feat when you consider the intensity of the song writing. John abandoned the psychedelic pretense of Strawberry Fields Forever and the wordplay of Across the Universe. He stated in an interview in 1970 that he disliked numbers like Run For You Life and It’s Only Love because his craft came too easily. Yet he recognized the confessional nature of the songs Help! and Nowhere Man and this album follows that vein. On the heels of the Instant Karma! single he was in rapid mode. In a few days during the fall of 1970 these tunes were tracked with minimal accompaniment. In an era where the kick drum defined the urgency nobody sounded better than Ringo. He and Voormann anchored the proceedings with a liquid grace while never overwhelming their leader. The bass in I Found Out seems to descend and descend deeper and deeper without coming up for a breath; Voormann literally floats throughout Remember and Ringo fills the space without rushing the performance. The same band is heard on Yoko’s companion album that was released at the same time with a similar cover. Much has been said about John’s emotional outburst but it would not have been such an astonishing album were it not for the sympathetic rhythm section. This was indeed Ringo’s best record. Incidentally John's next album, Imagine, would feature George’s best guitar playing on wax.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 29, 2010
christy
I've read alot of these reviews and some say stuff like mediocre band the beatles and if you like the beatles you won't like this. I love the beatles and i love john lennon, there isnt a huge diffrence between this and the late beatles recordings. This album is fantastic and it has some of the most inspiring and intelligent lyrics ever. Mother is a fantstic start with john screaming mother don't go, daddy come home; It really tells a story. Isolation is a very relaxed comftorble song and i love listning to it. Look at me is also a fantastic emotional song that shows how imensly talented he was. All the songs are fantastic.

Rating: 1.0
May 15, 2010
bobby
Good God people...let's see..."don't compare this to that bad group, the Beatles". That says it all. "It is so emotional". , etc. Really?? I am a musician. If I made a CD like this or did this on stage I wouldn't have a job. Oh, Ringo likes it! No objective opinion there. JOHN LENNON did it, otherwise it failed. Pure prejudice from the Lennon worshipping crowd. John could take a dump and they would have had it enshrined. And in this case that's exactly what happened. If it wasn't for repetition the album would be 2 minutes long. O.K. John, we get it, you had some bad experiences. Here's some news; so has everyone else. Bewailing our plight as human beings does not make an album or offer a solution. Otherwise, study John Prine for real emotional insight. I judge music by how often I want to hear the same song repeated. In this case...I've heard it all, regrettably. Nevermore.

Rating: 1.0
Sep 16, 2009
Zachary
John Lennon's first album after the break up of the mediocre band the Beatles came Plastic Ono Band - an album that has aquired some taste but harsh judgement from others. First it is 'not' a Beatles album so you can not listen and compare it to the Beatles - because you WILL hate it. This is fact because even in some of the music John seems to roast his former buddies(God) which some people deem sour enough to loathe the whole album - this album was much more trying new things and in reality a therapy session for all of Johns pent up anger (hence the screaming at the end of mother) Expecting no emotion or opinion from 'any artist' after the many hurtles in Lennon's life, is the real stupidity, yes it was no Imagine or Real Love, but had he not expressed himself and released his feelings to the world we probably would have never had those songs. So respect we do have one more album to hear a great artists voice than to dismiss the fact he did indeed have fury and needed to express it and expect every album he made to be the best!

Rating: 5.0
Jul 1, 2008
frank
Well you know with this album, you either you get it or you don't. Some people won't relate to it. This album is about reality. OK? With "Mother", we all do go through the grief of losing a parent. The "Working Class Hero", going to school and choosing a career can be a trying experience. That's all he is pointing out. He brings other points in that song that are interesting. IN "God", he is just trying to believe in himself and maybe we all should believe in ourselves. "Remember" he is trying to suggest we all should forget about past mistakes and go forward. "Love" is excellent. He explains all about it there. "I Found Out" he gets a bit carried away but it's a great song. According to him, he's seen it all. Again, he is just pointing out we just should believe in ourselves again. It's a very John Lennon album. John Lennon has to tell you everything he thinks about in his songs. You get all his views on all issues too. I'll give him honesty. I've written about this album before. Paul fans may not like it as we have read in other reviews. They can "Ram On". Maybe this album amazes them. John Lennon is truly amazing.

Rating: 4.5
Jun 18, 2008
mark ede
I can't believe what David Moses wrote about this album. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and he's entitled to his..!!! Melodically, and musically, it's Lennon's masterwork. 'Mother' is a fabulous track and 'God' is a masterpiece. What album are you listening to matey? I remember listening to this record when it first came out as a 14 year old and digging the tunes. Lennon is a master of the three chord trick and writing with simplicity and directness is an art in itself. Personally I love the production and 'rootsy' playing..it adds power and honesty to proceddings and I much prefer it to the other Lennon albums which are a mish mash of sugary and inappropriate arrangements and production values. This record is timeless and powerful..and not solely because of the lyrics...these are are just a great set of songs. Some of the worse music is played by the best musicians (listen to a lot of white jazz1) and it takes a true artist to strip things back to the barest level and still deliver such 'real' music which touches one emotionally and musically. I sa it again 'Mother', as but one example, is a great tune...akin to a Curtis mayfield classic or a blues/gospel standard...just cos it's 'simple' doesnt mean it's not great. You go write something as good??...not easy is it?? No, even the simplistic playing gives it character and humanity....David Moses you are entirely missing the point of music, bro...this is a classic, classic, record, underpinning Lennon's genius in a way his other solo efforts failed to so do...I feel sorry that yo don't 'hear' or 'feel' it, man, for you are missing out bro

Rating: 5.0
Mar 24, 2008
Lennon Rocks
Dave Moses is hilarious, he hates this album just because people like it better than stuff his boyfriend McCartney has done, who he obviously drools over at night, lol! Give it a rest Davy boy! Paul was dead long ago when the Beatles split, John still lives on today, and that's why UR on this site hatin on him, just admit it! Lol!

Rating: 5.0
Aug 5, 2007
greypeace
JUST A WORD TO "OWEN JOSEPH" WHO CLAIMED A FEW REVIEWS BELOW THAT THIS ALBUM WAS REPEATED "LESS INTELLIGENTLY" BY KURT COBAIN- 25 YEARS LATER! FIRST OF ALL, 25 YEARS AFTER 1970 IS 1995 BY WHICH TIME KURT COBAIN WAS DEAD. WHAT YOU PROBABLY MEANT TO SAY WAS 20 YEARS LATER, AND LET ME JUST CORRECT YOU ON WHO KURT WAS BECAUSE HE WAS NO DUMMY. KURT COBAIN WAS A HUGE BEATLES FAN,AND MORE IMPORTANTLY A BIG LENNON FAN.IT IS BECAUSE OF ALBUMS LIKE THIS THAT WE HAVE SUCH ANTHEMS LIKE "SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT" WE GIVE THANKS TO JOHN LENNON THAT HE HAD THE GUTS AND THE COURAGE TO POUR HIS HEART OUT ON VINYL AND JUST ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES. THIS ALBUM DIDN'T SELL TOO WELL AND ALTHOUGH IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE NOW MANY PEOPLE THOUGHT JOHN WAS A LITTLE BIT CRAZY! HE WANTED TO SUPPLY THE PEOPLE WITH SOMETHING THEY LIKED THOUGH AND I'M SURE HE WANTED CHILDREN TO BE ABLE TO LISTEN TO HIS MUSIC SO HE DID "IMAGINE" BUT THIS ALBUM (AS SAID MANY TIMES BEFORE IN THESE REVIEWS)IS NOT A POP ALBUM. JOHN DID NOT DO THIS ALBUM TO SELL RECORDS, HE WANTED TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT! THIS FIRST SOLO ALBUM OF JOHNS' IS A RARE AND PLEASURABLE TREAT INTO HIS LIFE AND AS FAR AS RECORDINGS GO,IT WOULD BE THE LAST REAL ALBUM FROM HIM WHERE HE WAS IN FACT NAKED IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE WORLD.

Rating: 5.0
Jul 20, 2007
Andy Jones
This album is one of John Lennon's most innovative moments as an artist, lyricist, and musician. This album is one that has to be discussed on many levels, so forgive me if I jump around a little bit. Lyrically, the album offers very deep themes of emotion, pain and love, with serious and viable political undertones (and sometimes overtones). The title track, "Mother," as well as the closing track, "My Mummy's Dead," reflect Lennon's pain over the death of his mother and the pain that his father left at abandoning him during childhood. Other songs, such as "Isolation" and "Remember," are very poignantly written but have serious political messages under the surface. "Isolation" reflects the struggles that he and Yoko underwent trying to make a difference in the world, closing with perhaps an environmentalist statement, perhaps a cry that humanity is killing itself, or perhaps a little of both: "The sun will never disappear/But the world may not have many years/Isolation..." "Remember" examines and criticizes how society tries to shove down our throats a rose-colored image of how the good guys always win and the bad guys lose. It closes with what John Lennon referred to as a little joke in Rolling Stone but also could be look at as an interesting statement-- both musically and lyrically. In the song, Lennon talks about they myth that "the hero [is] never hung" but reminds people to be hopeful in the struggle for the world. But then, he closes with the line from an old nursery rhyme, "Remember, Remember, the fifth of November!" and the tape is cut with the sound of an explosion. It could be look at in this way: there is pain in the world, as illustrated by the world, but people keep going, just like the music continues. But then, when people take things too far and try to be violent, the music violently stopped. The next track, "Love," a beautiful melodic composition with a classical feel to it and an expression of John Lennon's belief in love, begins after I think around 10 seconds of silence following the explosion. When "Remember" is coupled with "Love," the sequence is added to: Violence destroys hope, or the music, but love redeems us in the end. Admittedly, this interpretation is a stretch, but I guess my point is that this album is interesting and can be looked at from many different angles. The album is mostly an effort at developing a stronger concept for Lennon's music. The album is about stripping music to its bare essentials and using raw emotional delivery to make up for all the flash that Lennon used on albums like Sgt. Pepper. All of the songs are simple and only use a few chords, but the melodies are beautifully written and the emotional delivery really does make up for the lack of flash. In the end of "Mother," Lennon begins singing, "Mama, don't go! Daddy come home!" repeatedly, each time building until he is screaming it at the top of his lungs. "Well Well Well" was probably the climax of this form of cathartic delivery. John Lennon said that the songs "Working Class Hero" and "God" were probably the two best "concepts" on the album in a Rolling Stone interview. The first is an overtly political attack on western society, and it is notable for being one of the first songs by a mainstream artist to use the word "fuck." The second is both a strong philosophical statement and a heart-felt expression of John Lennon's love for Yoko and his rejection of the way society had tried to place him in a little box called the Beatles. Anyway, I've probably said much more than necessary, but this album is certainly worth listening to.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 21, 2007
philippe
I won't argue with anybody 'cause I don't compare, neither judge.I'd just like to remind everybody that Art is subjectively felt.Anyway,let's have a close look at this masterpiece.This is a rock album unlike any other. Why? John strips himself bare on this one, that's why.But not only, the compositions are brilliant, the voice is emotionally great, the writing daring and beautiful.And it's also commercial, listen to "Love" or "Look at me"! Otherwise it is powerful stuff, in "God" Lennon had never been more lyrical(The end of the song with"the dream is over").In "well well well", he screams his heart out, in "Mother", the singing is just fantastic, "working class hero" makes my hair stand as John delivers lyrics about childhood, school & society."isolation" is a fragile piano ballad about fear,loneliness and weakness.As you can see, it's not a poppy album, rather a piece of Art with a capital A

Rating: 1.0
Apr 10, 2007
David
Frank below notes that if you compare Macca's first solo album to this, it is clear that Lennon is more talented. Fristly, this is a vacuous remark, as how can you compare talent on one album alone? particularly as they both have a wealth of music. Secondly, it is a remark that has no basis, except fot being his own subjective opinion, whereas I can back up my arguments with evidence.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 24, 2007
Frank
This is John Lennon at his very best. This album is the best Beatle solo album. It shows when John Lennon is serious and is applying himself properly, he is the best. If you look the Paul McCartney solo ablum for 1970 "McCartney" and compare it with this one, you can see John Lennon is much more talented than McCartney. Every song on this album is better than the next one, if that makes sense. "Mother", "I Found Out" and "Remember" are just amazing. "Working Class Heroe" shows that John Lennon and just a guitar is a force. It may be a Bob Dylan type song, but John Lennon has a much better voice. "God" is heavy.......but a well written song. I mean this album is better than some of the "Beatle" albums if you ask me. Talk about the all time greats. Elvis had the voice but couldn't write. Dylan could write but sang as well as your next door neighbor. John Lennon had it all. George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" album was great, but he had help from a lot of people. Lennon does it all by himself here and is amazing. This is not a "pop" album. It is a very John Lennon album for intelligent adults. It's not gimmicky like Elton John or Paul McCartney albums which are basically made for young teenagers. This album is a very mature, intelligent piece of great work. It finished 6th in the charts because there is no commercialism at all on this album. Also, listening to this, you can see why the Beatles were as good as they were and who the brains behind that group was. He can write and sing better than the other Beatles easily. Of course, when he wants to do it. He outdoes himself here. A solid A plus.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 26, 2007
Owen Joseph
It's so hard to believe this album was released in 1970, 25 years before Kurt Cobain released a more callow, less powerful and less intelligent version of the same truth. Lennon speaks of the lack of parental attention and support given to youth in 'Mother', although his own biographical loss of his mother gives the song an overpowering poignancy and raw power. It is a theme he returned to less successfully with 'Real Love' during the househusband period, reworked for Beatles Anthology 2. The funeral bells are deliberately echoed ten years later on Double Fantasy, which is unfairly critically lambasted for the Ono tracks. The primal energy of this sparsed down track is then contrasted by the vulnerable, understated but determined Hold On, a message of personal hope against great odds. The gentle, bittersweet melody contrasts too with the next song I Found Out, like Well Well Well a screaming rocker. This album is deceptively unpalatable on first listening, the anger and emotional pain discomforting, but the broad minded (or angry) listener will have their patience rewarded with one of the true great original rock albums. It is a pity there was no room for the iconic Cold Turkey which heralded Lennons first post Beatles musical direction in 1969, and that only Love and Mother have been lifted for compilation Best of collections post 1980

Rating: 5.0
Jan 29, 2007
thebluemeanie
The greatest album ever released. From Mother all the way to My Mummys Dead. This record screams Lennon. From telling everyone how smart he is in working class hero. To the dreadful feelings he sings of in Isolation. It's all here. Look at me tells us of his confusion at times. And of course the amazing Well Well Well just plain one of the most rocking songs of all time. Remember Remember Remember the 5th of november.

Rating: 3.5
Sep 4, 2006
CLOUD NINE
OK If you have never heard this album than let me give you a few warnings: FIRST;John Lennon claims on this album that he is not a Christian, Buddhist, ect..., We all know that Lennon was not a believer but this album is solid PROOF that he did NOT put his faith anywhere but in him an Yoko. Sad really to think that this was his first and last good solo album(not including "DOUBLE FANTASY" which was his LAST solo album) But in this record John lennon was claiming that "The dream is over"...WHAT DREAM?... The Beatles?...World Peace?...Whatever it was that he gave up on after this it was a BIG mistake. He recieved criticism for his "bed ins" with Yoko Ono, I can understand him being upset, but this is too much! Songs like "Isolation" "Hold on" and "Look at me" cut through with such an honesty and haunting realism that you understand that he is just singing his life. "Working Class Hero" also speaks of what he went through growing up in working class Liverpool. "Love" is a beautiful ballad that Phil Spector almost ruins. But the most haunting thing about this album is not "God" in which he pronounces that he doesn't believe in Jesus (silly fool!)But the song "Mother" in which Lennon exclaims" Mother, you had me but I never had you!"(His mother died when Lennon was a teenager) also "My Mummys'dead" is equally disturbing. If you are a Beatle fan and DON'T have this album than i would recommend it. It is simple, to the point, and very moving. If you are NOT a Lennon fan and just want to hear Beatle related music than go listen to "Band on the run"

Rating: 4.0
Jul 30, 2006
Michael
for me, The Plastic Ono Band album is John's breakaway attempt from his Beatles persona.It sounded completely different and John's vocals were haunting, agressive and nerve-shocking so to speak. It really shows the creative Lennon which was really his distinguished trademark though in a negative tone. The songs were honest, asserting, and angry as a prisoner's wail to be free. Mother, the first time i heard this song, i never realized it was John who sang it. I just thought there are really great bands/artist other than the Beatles. and It was a shock for me to find out it was John Lennon of the Beatles after all. Even his wild screaming in their song Revolution is none comparable to that simple self-revealing "Mama, dont go.. Daddy come home" ending of that song. The lyrics were simple yet so engaging, begging for sympathy and angry. It lacked the sophistication of a Beatle song but were monumental in some respect, if we take into account John Lennon as a serious, honest, creative musician he was known to be. God is a purely self-expressive song that defies everything we render as sacred. Its vulgar expositions of his belief "I dont believe..." was more a song of desperation. The current state of affairs now that he had with Yoko and still licking the psychological wounds brought out by breakup with the Beatles. It is as if to affirm to everyone that it was for Yoko, it all started out with her and would end up with her. The Working Class Hero is a social commentary and a satire, one that you would also read from a psycho-analytical handbook. The Working Class Hero is like accepting its reality of being one and begging for anybody who would be enlightened by it and do something. He didn't offer any possible counter-actions. The title is quite provocative because it could have been a communist or marxist followers' anthem song. The proletariat or the working class as a hero in their will to annihilate capitalism-- the solution that was not offered in that song found its answers in Communism. It's just my opinion. Shalom. Be a Beatle Booster........

Rating: 5.0
Apr 30, 2006
Alex
With his first proper album, Lennon reveals his raw talent. I have listened to the album many times via Yoko's 2000 reissue (bonus tracks Power to the People, DO the Oz). The players on the album are, as listed in the booklet, John-Guitar, vocals piano*, Yoko Ono-Wind, Ringo Starr-Drums, and Klaus Voormann-Bass. (*Phil Spector plays piano on Love, and Billy Preston plays piano on God). A song by song review could go on forever, but like the album, just saying things straight out works better. It is a fierce, raw, gut wrenching, screaming, emotionally painful album, that tracks Lennon's feelings in all aspects of his mind, from Love, to God, to anything that is meaningful. Mother is Lennon crying to his first true love, who gave him his real, virgin peace. Hold On is simple, and the message is the title. I found Out denounces everything that Lennon thought was, without forgiveness. Wrking Class Hero cries for someone to rise up despite the matter just discussed a track before. Isolation explains itself. Remember takes you to see yourslef of the past with the mind of today. Love is just 'real' love, nothing more. Well Well Well screams lines of simplicity. Look at Me questions ones own view of oneself. God is like I found Out, but with an answer. My Mummy's Dead reminds us what is at the core of these emotions. (Power To THe PEople is a riotous song, with energy.{'71 single} Do The Oz, from the Lennon anthology was written for the Elastic Oz Band, an Apple label group)

Rating: 5.0
Dec 28, 2005
John Douglas-Reed
John Lennon was a genius beyond all expression whose own introvertion is as apparent on every recording he ever made post 'Rubber Soul' and arguably even before. Those who criticise him for his introspection on 'Plastic Ono Band' must therefore similarly disregard 'Norwegian Wood, 'Tomorrow Never Knows,' 'A Day In The Life,' 'I Am The Walrus' and post Beatles 'Beautiful Boy' for a kick off! What people tend to forget about John Lennon is that such was his chameleon nature that each and every one of his recordings is quite different from both that which precedes and succeeds it. 'Plastic Ono Band' is his towering solo achievement as far as I am concerned, but I think it would be wrong to assess Lennon on the basis of just that one album. It was John Lennon 1970, which was very different from the John Lennon of 1980. I remember very clearly the night he was shot, when some critic or other remarked as to 'Just what have we lost?' Well, on the basis of his decidedly mediocre work Stateside - including the vomit inducing 'Double Fantasy' and the horrendous rushes from the Lennon/Ono album which thankfully never was, 'Milk and Honey' - probably not very much. If, indeed, anything. But it is an insult to his memory to suggest that 'Plastic Ono Band' is any the less for that. We all still love and miss you, John.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 26, 2005
CT Stough
Easily his best and one of the best of the 1970's. To say it is poor is, well, uninformed. Lennon uses the concept of minimilism perfectly. His lyrics reflect simplicity, yet are like zen riddles. The backing is minimalistic and rightly so- Ringo rocks. His singing is brilliant. A nod to McCartney is Lennon's singing on Remember and Isolation, which are similiar to McCarney's new found singing voice(one a many) on Get Back. I could go on, but I'll keep it...minimal.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 20, 2005
Drew Sheafor
“This record is full of pure honesty (much like all of john's work.)” This is a direct quote from bizgotti which I firmly agree with. This album has so much passion put into it whether it’s for love, being scared, society, and anything dealing with life. If you like Lennon you will love it. I do believe this represents his first true solo album. “Mother”, “I Found Out”, “Isolation”, “Remember” , “Love”, and “Well Well Well” are some of Lennon’s greatest works along with many many others. If you like “Look at Me”, you should check out his Anthology version of this although they are both great. The Plastic Ono Band album is not plastic. It is Lennon’s’ heart and soul. I want to ask one question to all the people who follow all solo Beatle albums. As far as McCartney, Lennon, and Harrison with “McCartney”, “Ram”, “ Plastic Ono Band”, and “All Things Must Pass” albums. Can you at all see what I mean when I say that John and George tried to do there absolute best work on their albums and write meaningful, touching, and thought provoking songs such as “Mother”, “Working Class Hero”, “Love”, “God”, “My Sweet Lord”, “What Is Life”, “ All Things Must Pass”, and many more???? I love all the Beatles Solo work including many of Paul’s Albums such as “McCartney”, “Ram”, “Wildlife”, “Red Rose Speedway” “Band On The Run”, “Wings at the Speed of Sound” and others. But is it just me or did Paul kind of poop out on his first couple albums compared to Lennon and Harrison??? Anyone have any comments on this other than that Paul just steers toward the more happy/pop type stuff?? I know he is any excellent musician and very melodic. I also know that he plays every single instrument on the album “McCartney” which he made himself on a four track recorder at home. “Very impressive” and a great album, but Lennon’s words mean more to me. Also, has anyone listened to Harrison’s “Beware of ABKCO” album? I mean these guys write some touching tracks. But Paul just seems to be groovy. I know its all opinion, but does anyone sense this? “Plastic Ono Band” is a hard album to beat by anybody. Lennon is a hell of an artist. Sometimes I wonder how many songs the world missed. Any comments: sheafordrew@hotmail.com thanks alot.

Rating: 3.0
Nov 22, 2005
Mike Eder
I think this is a self indulgent LP. I like the spare production and the raw guitar. I like most of the vocals but hate the stupid screams. I guess I just don't care about John's demons that much. Who wants to hear somebody complain about how bad things are without taking an ounce of responciblity for it? If Mother, God, Well, Well, Well, Working Class Hero, and My Mummys Dead, were not on here I would think much more highly of the album. These songs are just whiny. I do like I Found Out, Isolation, and Look At Me quite a bit. Even Remember isn't too bad. These later group of songs are well performed, and structured. Sure they are personal, but they seem to be less subjective. If I can't relate to something I cannot care. John seems like an OK guy in some ways but he was also a coward in others. I really wish he was still here and much of his work is briliant, but this LP is not a fave.

Rating: 4.5
Oct 28, 2005
bizgotti
for better or for worse this record is full of pure honesty (much like all of john's work.) there is no sugar coating on this album. the emotions in john's heart are put into music on every single track. all the "pop" is left out here and replaced by "in your face" lyrics and melodies. the clever little hooks are still there but they seem to be drenched in a sort of saddness/resentment. the album on a whole kinda gives off a vibe of heart ache and sorrow but in some strange way it also gives off a vibe of stability and understanding. this record (once again like most of john's work) is very personal and straight from the heart. there is no such thing as "filler" here, because every track gives you a little look into the meaning of this record. from the opening morbid bells on "mother" to the last move of "do the oz" it's a full on story of hope,love,hate, and everthing in between.

Rating: 5.0
Sep 2, 2005
Matthew Stead
This is an excellent album, it's painful and aggressive but is also melodic and peaceful. The first track Mother sums up the album with it's heartfelt and agonizing lyrics. Hold On is a brilliant song that grooves along nicely, a very wise track. I Found Out is a great follow on track that reveals an irratable and world-weary attitude. Working Class Hero is a classic simple acoustic guitar track, with a dark, sombre mood to it. Isolation starts off as a slow piano track but then gets quite aggressive. Remember is a great bouncy song with an awesome chorus. Love is an achingly simple piano love song that is soft and delicate but is very memorable. Well Well Well is a brilliant guitar track that is quite simple. Look At Me is my fave song from the album, using just an acoustic guitar but Lennon's voice is so strong. God is an epic track, that lives up to it's powerful title. My Mummy's Dead is a sad song that makes Lennon sound like a child strumming on his guitar playing on a cheap stereo. Power To The People was added to the album and therefore feels a bit out of place, but it's still a great song that you can imagine being played out into the streets during a protest. Do The Oz is a wild drug-sounding track that ends up being a good closing track. The only thing that would make this album the peak of perfection would be if it had songs like Cold Turkey and Instant Karma on it. But this album is still a definitive Lennon classic that has far more bite than anything else did at the time it was released.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 21, 2005
Lennon Rocks
I bought this album after "Imagine", and actually I enjoyed listening to it. I liked how the album started off with the ringing bell of the cathedral. "Mother", the first track contains great lyrics. Lennon's strong voice on "Mother" near the end really creates the mood of the song. "Hold On" had a very nice sound to it. "I Found Out" is a good rocker. Although "Working Class Hero" isn't very melodious, the song contains very powerful lyrics which give a lot of meaning about life. "Isolation" and "Remember" were just fantasitc. The two songs had great melody, beat and lyrics. The explosion sound at the end of "Remember" was very unique. "Love" is one of my personal favorites. It's a beautiful song, one of those John Lennon is so good at composing. "Well Well Well" and "Look At Me" didn't surprise me much, but the lyrics in "God" was a surprise. John Lennon sang, "I don't believe in Beatles." which was ironic, but somewhat understandable since he did one quoted he wanted to quit the Beatles if he ever had the chance. That was way before McCartney left the Beatles in 1970. In "My Mummy's Dead", John Lennon is probably talking the death of his mother after a fatal car accident when he was young. The famous "Power To The People" was a bonus track for the newer albums. It also included John and Yoko's "Do The Oz". Overall an excellent album. I have no choice but to give it a two thumbs up. Great cover photograph too. This album is just incredible. This is a must have for John Lennon fans. This is definately John Lennon's masterpiece.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 8, 2005
DJ Eric
plastic ono band 1.MOTHER- the opening sounds of this tell the story,,Very sad and honest tune as the purge of Lennons true emotions begin,the tune itself is average but the lyrics make it a standout as you can feel the "primal screams" shooting from your speakers-8 out of 10 2.HOLD ON-Ive always found this tune great,it has a bit of a jazzy feel to it with some Lennon wit thrown in "cookie".I love the guitar sound on this and if only the Imagine record had been prduced this way- 9 out of 10 3.I FOUND OUT-A great rock n roll lennon record via 1970 John.Everything is in place from the spartan minimal sounds to the roaring vocal line,a great rocker beautifully done-10 out of 10 4.WORKING CLASS HERO-An epic lyricto a simple tune that Lennon used so well.Again the sparse production makes it sound very indate even today,imagine if spector put his "wall of sound" on this it would have killed it,,thankfully he didnt and its a brilliant commentary and a classic classic track-10 out of 10 5.ISOLATION-one of those tunes that needs to grow on you,again the tune is average and the song is kept by its lyric,a very honest moving lyric,not a great track but the lyric keeps it interesting-7 out of 10 6.REMEMBER-another sort of son of I found out,a telling track which everytime I think this was released in 1970 its amazing,not the best track but again for the lyric it makes it very good-7 out of 10 7.LOVE-close to "oh my love" from Imagine,this is just a beautiful not overproduced and no cheese song,a clear message and epic in its statement,its nothing short of a great song-10 out of 10. 8.WELL WELL WELL-Primal scream to the bone this goes great with "cold turkey".One very spartan in your face tune which really rocks yesterday today n forever,a good lyric and powerful tune-9 out of 10 9.LOOK AT ME-a tune in the same vein as "love","oh my love" but not quite as effective,its not a bad tune the melody is pleasent and the lyric is good but doesnt have the same impact as the forementioned tunes-7 out of 10 10.GOD-A beatle sounding tune saying I dont believe in beatles,While Lennon often went back n forth on his feelings of a subject this tune always sounds great although the remastered version kills the "I dont believe in beatles part" and hurts the impact in my view but the original version is bloody great,I love this track because its a beatle doing a beatle like tune putting down everything except yoko???hmmmmmm.... anyway its a great tune set to a typical 50-60's melody g-em-c-d,and one of his best-10 out of 10. 11.MY MUMMYS DEAD- A Very sad lyric which again you can feel his pain coming out of the speakers,he missed his mother the way we all miss him-10 out of 10 overall his strongest album as an album..why it was dissed when it came out I'll never know,its great plain n simple, peace 4.W+

Rating: 4.5
Jul 13, 2005
Mike Espinoza
This album and The John Lennon Collection are really the only John Lennon albums that I absolutely NEED (although parts of Imagine and STINYC are good, as well). "Mother", "Working Class Hero", "Isolation" and "God" are extremely powerful and overflowing with emotion. "Hold On", "Love", and "Look At Me" are, also, quite beautiful, but are more in a more relaxed and hopeful sense. Many people bash "I Found Out" and "Well Well Well" as being noisy crap, but some of us like dissonance and both of these songs are great in this respect. Both songs have a groove to them that make them quite enjoyable. If you like "Cold Turkey" (which I do), then you may like "I Found Out" and "Well Well Well". Those who like pleasant, relaxing, "nice" music probably should avoid this album. For those of us who like challenging, emotional music, this album is essential.

Rating: 4.5
May 7, 2005
Green Hayes
This album is so essential in so many ways. First of all, it is probably the most honest album ever relased in pop music. Not many artists could make heartfelt songs tackling issuses like being abandoned by their parents, feelings of insecurity and isolation, and sell them to the public. Alot of artists are liked, but John Lennon is loved. It is not by accident, and the songs are Plastic Ono Band touched the very core of many. He sang songs of comfort, protest, and longing and tied it all together with songs of self determination. Probably the best therapy album ever. Mother is one of the bravest songs relased, and with that last line on every verse "Goodbye", he not only excersized his demons, but provided support, and a sound track for others excersizing their own as well. "Hold On" is a beautiful record promising that everythings gonna be alright. "Working Class Hero" is the thinking mans protest song. What makes it all the more impressive to me is that when he wrote it, he was already wealthy beyond most peoples imagination. "I Found Out" is pure therapy, and If you've ever gone through it you'll agree. "Isolation" is a beautiful ballad about not only fame but loneliness in general. In short this is an adult album dealing with mature themes of various insecurity and altimately overcoming our demons and being at peace with ones self. Many albums rock harder, but fewer albums touch have the ability to touch peoples soul as seemingly effortlessly as this one.

Rating: 4.5
Apr 14, 2005
MARK THOMAS
THIS IS JOHNS BEST ALBUM. WALLS AND BRIDGES... CRAP... ROCK AND ROLL...CRAP.... MIND GAMES....EH!... IMAGINE WAS OK. BUT W/O PAUL MCCARTNEY AND GANG THE TRUTH IS LENNON WAS LOST. ONE CANNOT DEPEND ON THE OPINION OF YOKO TO MAKE GOOD MUSIC. OH YOKO! IS ONE OF THE LAMEST SONGS EVER. THE TRUTH IS THAT ALL OF THEIR MUSIC SUFFERED W/O THE OTHERS TO KEEP IT IN CHECK. IMAGINE WHAT GEORGE'S ALL THINGS MUST PASS WOULD SOUNG LIKE IF IT WERE A BEATLES ALBUM... BAND ON THE RUN WOULD BE WAY BETTER! JUST AS PLASTIC ONO BAND. PUT THOSE 4 GUYS IN A ROOM AND THEY RULED THE WORLD.... SEPERATE THEM AND BANDS LIKE LED ZEP KICKED BUTT! LETS PUT IT THIS WAY HAD THEY STAYED TOGETHER ALBUMS LIKE PLASTIC ONO BAND, ALL THINGS MUST PASS, AND ASSORTED TAKES FROM MECCAS 1st, WILD LIFE AND RAM WOULD HAVE KEPT THESE GUYS ON TOP OF MY WORLD. MAYBE IN HEAVEN.

Rating: 1.0
Apr 6, 2005
David Moses
Yes. I admit my comment about the piano playing in the song 'love' was uncalled for, a bit over the top. I respect Lennon just as much as everyone else, I am just sick of the OVER praising he has received and the bashing Macca received- so I thought maybe one little unfair bash wouldn't hurt! It is withdrawn, but the rest I still stand by, while still really respecting Lennon and a lot of his more melodic work. :)

Rating: 4.0
Apr 4, 2005
Kenny B.
I won't totally dismiss all of Dave M.'s analysis, though I do feel he's being overly cynical. There is some truth to what he says. This album does indeed have some pretty bad parts. I Found Out and Well Well Well are definitely crappy songs. John being expressive with his primal screaming you say? Not! No matter how much you dress it up and serve it on a silver platter, crap is still crap. They are overly simplistic and very repetitive for no apparent reason (unlike Love or Mother where repetition is used for effect to stress an emotional beat). However, apart from these two songs the rest of this album is sheer brilliance. Very raw, expressive and honest as it's been said over and over again. And it's done really well. I could just feel John's sheer piss-offness and sense of loss, isolation and despair. So it's a good album in my ears. But is it that *great*, deserving all the praises and accolades given to it from numerous fans and music critics? In my opinion, it only appears that way because of its historical significance and place in time. POB was released immediately after the Beatles split, the end of one decade and the dawn of a new one ("I don't believe in Beatles ... the dream is over", etc). I think if this album were released at any other point in the seventies, most people would consider POB to merely be a decent to good album but not so revolutionary. I believe the exact same things can be said about Sergeant Pepper. Last thing I'd like to comment on, is that last blip Dave M. made in his analysis: "Only good song is 'love', where the simplicity works, probably because someone more competent was on the piano!" No offense brother, I was totally digging your credibility up until that point. Kind of hitting a little below the belt there ain't ya, Davy ol boy? 8o) Reminds of that dude Goldman, author of The Lives of John Lennon. That dude did his homework, but slanted most of the facts towards the negative side of Lennon. It was like he had some hidden agenda to de-mythicize Lennon's legacy, doing is best to remove all the thunder from it.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 1, 2005
Bonzo's Montreux
I'd like to dedicate some excuses to David Moses. I'm sorry not to have respect your opinion about this album, but I just would like everybody to understand the subversive and obviously pervading magic atmosphere present on this record. Just listen to "Love". Isn't it wonderful? It is repetitive? But this is just the strenght of this song. Listen now to "Well, well, well". And the most powerful of all,"God". This just make sense to my hear ; this song is just a thrill itself, a rarely-reached perfection, symbiose, unity, fusion is present there, but can't you hear, feel, understand it? Bonzo's

Rating: 5.0
Apr 1, 2005
Bonzo's Montreux
David Moses. I'm sorry to tell you that, but I think you have not understand what music really is. It's not singular masterpieces, or great works where the musicians show all their valour and what is the best they can do with their instruments. Music is not a way to create complex masterpieces, but this is a way to transmit a message. On this point, this is just like literature. Some literar works doesn't make sense, but are very well written, and in my opinion, that's no kind of interest. Other works are not very good written, and then what is interesting is the message if there is one. Other works have no message and no lyrism, and other are majestic compositions full of senses. By John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band, we can say there is a still-important message, a one you are free to listen to or not. Moreover, the music, even if it is very basic, perhaps sometimes a little too much, is used in the most perfect way expressing what John is expressing with his lyrics.Therefore, there is a perfect fusion, a perfect harmony between music and lyrics. And please, you cannot say the music is awful. If you don't like Plastic Ono Band, you're not able to like or at least to understand John Lennon's work, that's all I can say to you. You just should listen to guitar hero or other kinds of music maestro. Bonzo's Montreux, the already seen frenchman.

Rating: 4.0
Mar 19, 2005
emily
i do not wish to start a flame war here, but i'd just like to point out that in judging music or art as a whole, it should be looked at as a sum of all its parts. john lennon was the first to admit that the beatles were not the most technically proficient musicians. they could not sing like pavarotti nor could play like hendrix or horowitz. but in making a great sound that stimulated the emotions, they ranked amongst the best of them. what they lacked in virtuosity, they more than made up for in artistic innovation. that's what really made them one of the (if not THE) most popular and influential musicians of the 20th century. they always surprised you, kept things fresh, new and exciting. they wrote and played music that constantly challenged you and took your emotions on a helluva roller-coaster ride. they kept their music moving forward, even after their breakup. this album is a great example of this. though it's not so commercially appealing musically, it's quite intellectually stimulating. if you view music as "art", like me, you'll appreciate this album. and with all good art, true and honest expression from the artist isn't just one aspect in its greatness, it's a PREREQUISITE. but if you view music as a mastery of the media, evaluating the mastery and skill-level the artist has for his instruments of expression, or how skillful he is in constructing his work from her artist's palette, then POB can be quite mediocre. my personal rating is based on musicianship=3.0 combined with artistry=5.0. but who am i (or who is anyone for that matter) entitled to dictate what's "good music" (whatever that is). we're all entitled to opinions of course, and all i'm offering are different ways to view and evaluate something, especially something as subjective as music. and for the record, lennon can and has written great "commercially appealing" work when he chooses to. songs like 'woman' or 'starting over' are good examples from his solo career. but john just writes how he feels. if it just happens to be appealing to the masses, so be it. he is a genius who is capable of constantly spitting out hit after hit when he chooses, as he did with the beatles. but he's also a true artist who is more concerned with honestly and truly expressing himself. he knows much of his stuff shall not be approved by all, but doesn't care anyways. this of course can lead to highly experimental fluff like '2 virgins' or 'life with the lions'. but this is what leads to innovation - taking experimental risks. as with many of the greats, lennon was definitely quite the unbalanced individual. but throughout history, weren't all great geniuses and innovators anyway? van gogh, mozart anyone? lennon is up there, and this album clearly shows why.

Rating: 1.0
Mar 16, 2005
David Moses
Being true to yourself is one thing, but that does not automatically equate with creating good music.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 15, 2005
Jess Lopez
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is by far my favorite album by the musical genius John Lennon. I think its the best thing he had ever done. It is realistic and its true to the John Lennon that had been developing over the years from "Help" and "Strawbery Fields." John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is a very personal records. Thats what I love about his music he never did third-person songs. They were all personal,not some made up crap. Ther is an honesty to the record. It is very real. They are very true songs. Though there is no imagery it still is my favorite record. There should be more people singing songs that are true to themselves and simple. Thats what makes a good record.

Rating: 1.0
Mar 11, 2005
David Moses
I recently listened to this album after a long break of silence from Lennon's music. I think the reason people praise it is because they feel like they want to try and connect to John Lennon, to try and understand the history behind his music. This album certainly offers a glimpse into his emotional psychee and all his complexes. So, people generally credit this album as the one where Lennon really was being himself. Problem is an historical analysis of the album is fair enough, but this needs to be distinguished from the actual music on the album. It is crap from start to finish. Simplistic piano parts that could be played by a beginner. Boring, plodding bass and out of tune vocals. The production is incredibly poor also. 'Mother' is a repetitive dirge of a song with absolutely no melody and a boring chordal piano part. So, yes it is emotional and we understand much about Julia and the pain he felt, but the music itself is rubbish. 'God' also has no structure and is a repetitive mess. None of the other songs have anything to credit them either. 'I found out' is truly unmelodic and 'well well well' is just plain nonsense no matter what anybody says. Only good song is 'love', where the simplicity works, probably because someone more competent was on the piano! A laughably bad album that has had heaps of unwarranted praise lavished upon it.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 27, 2005
Bonzo's Montreux
I'm just a poor little frenchman. Therefore I'm not supposed to have something to say about music as we're unfortunatly the poorest music writers ever. But I believe in music, I believe in lyrics, I believe in poetry, I believe in masterpieces, I believe in creation, I believe in dreams, I believe in sadness, I believe in freedom, I believe in humanity, I believe in rock'n'roll, I believe in John Lennon, I just don't believe in ... John is free, free is John... Plastic Ono Band is the most astonishing John's creation ever, full of poetry, love, sensibility. It's just real music. John, you're a genius, and I hope it's not a shame to get such a congratulation from a frenchman.

Rating: 5.0
Jan 11, 2005
Eric Varga
John Lennon & the Plastic Ono Band is a truly seminal album. This is a remarkable masterpiece of emotion and craft shaped into the most important artistic statement of the Rock n’ Roll era. Purposely minimalist, it unintentionally prognosticates the turn popular music will soon take. Lennon’s remarkable life reads like fiction and with this album he attempts to bring himself some closure. Influenced by the work of Dr. Arthur Janov and his theories on Primal Therapy, Janov challenged John to exorcise his demons with his next musical creation. This biopic journey takes us through the emotional trip that was the Walrus. The album is clearly not for everyone and the detractors clearly don’t get it and they never will.

Rating: 5.0
Nov 28, 2004
J.Williams
There is no question this is one of the best records ever released as well as produced, simply for it's pure honest direction! The only thing lacking which John would have agreed on is, "Instant Karma" would have been a great track to open this record with John's count in so to speak of "D-4" and it's 2 piano key chord opening..Da Da...and a thump! Some of these tracks such as "Isolation" were a fit for the Beatles White Album or the track "I'm So Tired" would have been a perfect fit on this 1st solo album! There is no question some of the tracks here are very much with the White Album feel! Over the years I found it odd that many so called Lennon/Beatles fans who skipped purchasing this record, so I find them not the true fans of Lennon's work as this record is pure Lennon at his finest! To this day this record really never got the attention it deserved as I found the track "Isolation" being on the same level as "Imagine" should be playing on some of the air stations today! Most CDs today have come a long way in terms of matching the original records recordings but still do lack the originals but I suggest purchasing the limited production run of this release on the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab master CD, without question this is the best recording of this record ever to be released! All backing hiss is gone, all the highs, lows and midrange are back from the master recording. Its well worth the $24.95 price tag, I suggest you pick this up now as these go up in price per year and they still only press 2500 copies per title! Put on your earphones and its if you are in the walls of sound with Lennon. A must have for the true Lennon fans. And those of the people who stopped listening to Lennon because there is no I love you blah blah blahs, well its your loss! By far one of the best records on earth!

Rating: 5.0
Sep 27, 2004
Rick Jackson
as a die hard lennon fan,anything he did was gold to me, the album is stripped of any studio trickery and bare as his soul, he was going through primal scream at the time with arthur janov, this album was neccesary to put John Lennons demon and pains to rest, aside from this the album is pure brillance.

Rating: 5.0
Sep 16, 2004
Dream Is Over
Maybe I´ll be the first one in saying this...but...after listen carefully this record again and again ( I have the original version, not that one with 2 bonus tracks ) I truly think Roger Waters had this record by the time "The Wall" was released, and "Plastic Ono Band" influenced him. Actually for me this album is the first ever "The Wall" released. "Plastic Ono Band" is based around John´s life..."The Wall" is based around Roger Water´s life. Also there´re a lot of similarities, for example, lyrics like "Isolation" (main idea about "The Wall"), "Mother" (even Roger used the same title years later),"My mummy´s Dead" ( the same ending album style Roger used for "The Wall", both with "Goodbye cruel World" and "Outside The Wall"), very personal and sensitive tunes like "Love" or "Look At Me". Even "The Thin Ice" has the same melody than the first part of "God". The main difference between "The Wall" and this fantastic album is actually the cover art !! ( Travis "The Invisible Band" used the same cover style than "Plastic Ono Band" ). As "The Wall" album, you can´t listen this one skipping tracks, or listening just 2 songs and then listen another John´s album. Rather you must listen this record with all your ears and your mind, and your heart. That´s the only one way you´ll realise how wonderful this album is. Is so sensitive, powerful, clear, deep, raw...most of the time when some reviewer say this word I imagined some kind of dirty Punk half finished records, with cracking vocals, awful sound, distorded guitars and instruments out of tune...that´s far from the truth on this record. Actually when I first listened songs like "God" immediatly I heard strings like "Jealous Guy" ( a fantastic song you don´t notice there´re strings there, but they´re !!), but then I realized there´re no strings !!, that´s talk about how fantastic and beautiful is the sound here, with just voice, guitars, drums, bass and piano. By the way, great Phil Spector work !! It´s no neccessary talk about well known songs like "Love", "Working Class Hero" or "Mother", because every fan who have "John Lennon Legend" have these songs. Also "God" is well known because appeared on the "Imagine" film. "Hold On" is a great song like "Double Fantasy" style. "I found out" and "Well well well" are his best heavy songs ever, probably. "Isolation" is such a great melody tune, and "Look at me" remains me "Julia", another great quiet one. This record is awesome, you won´t be dissapointed with this one. This is John at his best, definitely a poet needs pain.

Rating: 3.5
Sep 16, 2004
burning man
The sound of a grown man having a tantrum. This album is seminal in showing how poor litle rich kids should despise their wealth and fame. A template for the careers of Kurt Cobain and Eddie Veddar, this is the noise a spoilt brat makes when he discovers the world is not the way he wants it to be and there is nothing he can do about it. Although the pain and anguish Lennon expresses is real enough (amplified as it is by his addictoin and dependance to heroin) his solution is to blame the world around him for his feelings and rail against a situation that he helped create. How much honesty does it take to hold the world responsable for your bad hair days? Taken in the context of its time this was indeed a stark and sometimes brutal assesment of where the world had got to particularly coming at the tail end of the "summer of love" (...the dream is over).The production quality is woefull, even though I prefer Spectors under-producing to his over-producing. Spector also contributed the piano part to "Love", one of the highlights of the set. Other great moments are "Hold on" and the completely essential "God". Lennon did not like the sound of his untreated voice, and as such the vocals on all the songs are covered with the sheen of echo, a technique that Lennon used on all his offically recorded work. Don't be fooled. This album only sounds raw through a concentrated effort. Although Lennon would have wanted this work to be seen as a spontanious outburst of emotion a la Bob Dylan, it is a calculated work, quite deliberatly meant to provoke a reaction, and on this level it was hugely succesful. However as a peice of musical entertainment,it fails as it is very hard to enjoy listening to this album particularly in one peice. To be perfectly simplistic, Lennon was a words man, and as such the musicality of this album in particular suffers.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 1, 2004
Morozov Dima
After two months since I wrote my first review about this album here I can surely say one very important thing now: I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this album!!!

Rating: 5.0
Jul 29, 2004
Ervin D.
This album totally defines what real music is. Music without much studio wizardry, very basic and very straightforward. The brutally honest nature of the songs remind me of those old blues records. Very organic and very real. Another part about the album that I absolutely adore is the outright honesty in the lyrics. This is self-expression at its finest, one can feel the hurt in every note John sings on songs like "Mother" and "Isolation." Whenever I hear that scream for "mother!!!..." I immediately picture an abandoned child looking for his mommy, it makes me ache inside. The aggressiveness both in sound and lyric also facinates me. "Well Well Well" has a proto-screamo approach to it, very heavy and angry. As is "I Found Out," very brutal and most times very rude in a very honest and "gentle" way. This album displays the different psyches of the artist during that time, and truthfully, it's very interesting. There's the little boy who longed to be loved. Then there's the angry man that is very sick and tired of his acquired fame. And then, there's the artist who is very proud of his art and who wants to share his art. If you're looking for an artist who can give you total honesty, John Lennon is one of them. And if you're looking for the album that expresses that honesty, then this would be it, in pure primal form.

Rating: 5.0
Jul 12, 2004
Rhonnie P. Fordham
This is one of John's best albums. I mean his singing and songwriting on it is excellent.This album was made right after The Beatles broke up and you could tell John was depressed after hearing ''Working Class Hero''. It is also the only time that I know of that John said the f word. There are also more great songs by John including ''Hold On'' which is about him telling Yoko to hold on after the beatles broke up.Also there is ''Mother'' which is basically John in agony about his mother's death which also there is another track like ''Mother'' called ''My Mummy's Dead'' which if you hear this late at night you will be freaked out by John's soft singing with the slow guitar.''Isolation'' another song written by John while he was depressed is great in music and lyricwise the same with ''Remember'' with that repeating piano banging along with John's excellent voice.''God'' is another great song by John when he was depressed but also sending a message saying basically the beatles are over.My favorite song on the album was ''Working Class Hero'' which is one of the greatest John songs ever made when he was a solo artist.Buy this album you will not regret it.

Rating: 4.0
Jul 3, 2004
Lennologist
A scream of an album, for sure. John's first solo album is one of the most painful and expressive albums ever made. As always with John, he doesn't cover up his songs in strange talk like Dylan does, he's honest and always tells the truth, even if the truth is sometimes painful. The opening track, 'Mother', opens with the now famous church bells which seems to go on endlessly before John shouts the title of the song and you almost jump into the air from fright. This song is what sets us up for the rest of the album. It is emotional, but angry and it is John at his best. This is light years away from the world of She Loves You and I Wanna Hold Your Hand. John then calms down for the beautiful next track, 'Hold On', before stepping back into angry mood with 'I Found Out' and the slightly quieter 'Working Class Hero'. One vulgar line in this song sums up the whole mind set of John at the time and that is "And you think you're so clever and classless and free, but you're still fucking peasents as far as I can see". Never has anyone been this honest in a song before and you can only imagine what the reaction of former teenage girl fans must have been when they heard this. Surely this wasn't the same lovable mop topped lovable joker that we saw in 'A Hard Day's Night'! Surely this must be some evil person trying to live off his name! Well, the John Lennon of The Beatles was the artificial one and this is the real one here, at his most honest. The remainder of the tracks can go up and down. They're all good, but some are better than others. The last four tracks, though, are absolute genius. Well Well Well, Look at Me, God and My Mummy's Dead let John get out everything he has wanted to say for probably his whole life and when the album ends, we breathe a sigh of relief, probably along with John. It's the most emotional of almost any of his albums, it's definitely the most painful (although 'Walls and Bridges' is up there too) and it's pure genius from start to finish. There is one minor problem I have and it isn't with the album 'Plastic Ono Band' but the new CD release that has the two extra tracks Power to the Peopleand Do The Oz. I felt these two songs took away from the emotional impact of My Mummy's Dead, not to mention that they are two of John's worst songs, in my opinion. If they wanted to put on extra tracks, they could have at least put on something relating to 'Plastic Ono Band' and the time it was made, like some demos, outtakes, John's cover of Baby Please Don't Go, Long Lost John or the full version of My Mummy's Dead, the opportunities are endless. Still, it's a brilliant album and I highly recommend picking it up.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 1, 2004
The Full Lennon
On December 8th , 1980, news of a earth-shuttering event filtered across the airwaves about John Lennon, one quarter of the most famous pop group the world has ever seen, was dead at the age of 40, he was murder by a fan outside his New York home. The Chilling broadcasts were hard for many to comprehend. John Lennon was not just a popular musician by the end of the 1960’s he had also become one of the most prominent standard bearers for world peace.

Rating: 5.0
May 30, 2004
Morozov Dima
When I was writing to this site a year ago I thought that "Imagine" was the greatest John Lennon's album. Now I'm taking my words back.Two months ago I bought the MP3 disc with all Lennon's albums and soon I found out that his best studio album is "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band"! For the first time I listened to this album I loved "Hold On","Working Class Hero","Love" and "God". But soon I loved "Isolation","Well Well Well","I Found Out" and "Look At Me". Actually, I love all the tracks in this album although,in my opinion, the Anthology vrsion of "God" is better.I'd like to notice that this album is my favorite STUDIO album but I also like the "Lennon's Anthology" album, "Menlove Avenue" and "Live In New York City" albums. Anyway' this is gret album and I'd recomend to listen to this album for everyone!

Rating: 5.0
May 26, 2004
J. Starling
PLASTIC ONO BAND is not only a departure from Lennon's work in the Beatles, its mininalist production also stands in contrast to his later solo work. Almost every song features Lennon, with piano or guitar, Klaus Voormann on bass, and Ringo Starr on drums. Billy Preston performs gospel piano on "God". Lennon's voice has fully evolved as a powerful instrument, capable of conveying any emotion, and his vocal performance on this album is among the finest in all rock music. Ringo Starr's drumming is the other musical highlight of this record. He is a severly underrated drummer. I am certain none of the "superstar" drummers that Ringo is often unfavorably compared to could deliver such a superb performace as the one Ringo delivers on this album. I have rarely heard drumming that so effectively complimented and served the songs. This was a very personal album for John, and while John wanted to distance himself from the Beatles at this point, he also needed the support and collaboration of old friends such as Ringo and Klaus Voorman, to keep his work grounded. The opening song "Mother" is, in my view, the strongest of the album. The minimalist production (I am almost convinced the credit to Phil Spector is a joke) provides John's voice with space to emote. The rests between the piano chords and phrases provides a deep sense of emptiness, as if John is truly alone in the world. The closing admonition, "children don't do what I have done" is the most revealing moment in the song: John is acknowledging that he is as guilty as his own parents in being an often uninvolved father. "Hold On" is a short but beautiful song, with simple but warm guitar notes cradling his words of support for his wife, and the rest of the world as well. It is a beautiful gesture of optimism in an often bleak album. "I Found Out" as "Well Well Well" is based on a scraggly guitar riff and driven by some direct drumming from Ringo. These songs anticipate the sound and spirit of punk rock, as does "Working Class Hero", with its sneering description of a dead end life based on the pursuit of material objectives. "Isolation" addresses the vitriol directed at himself and Yoko; in the middle break John seems ready to clench his fist and explode with rage - but instead he finds a way to empathize with his critics. "I don't expect you to understand, After you've caused so much pain, But then again, you're not to blame, But you're just a human, a victim of the insane" In the end, he reminds us that we all share the same human condition. There are no disappointing songs or major defects on the album. One cause for complaint is the curious mix of "Love" The piano intro, which is quite beautiful, is almost inaudible at a normal volume setting. This album is, without question, John's very best.

Rating: 5.0
May 11, 2004
Peter
John Lennon's first "true" solo album "Plastic Ono Band" was originally released in December, 1970; a full year after the Beatles technically broke up. It is, by far, the most powerful and honest album that Lennon produced during his tragically brief solo career. This album even rivals some of his best work within the Beatles. Remastered this year under the supervision of Yoko Ono, "Plastic Ono Band" sounds twice as clear as the original cd release. New liner notes and packaging were added, including some nice pictures of John and Yoko during this period and examples of hand-written lyrics by John for every song. This is an extremely attractive looking re-issue, which is fitting for a classic album of this quality. What's so timeless and appealing about "Plastic Ono Band" was Lennon's ability to record a simple and sparse sounding album that contained some very deep and diverse songwriting. He brought in a very solid group of musicians for these sessions; Ringo Starr on drums, Klaus Voorman on bass, Billy Preston on piano, Yoko on wind (whatever that means!), and Lennon himself on vocals, guitar, and piano. The album was produced by veteran/eccentric producer Phil Spector. The album begins with the most well-known song from this album, "Mother". It's a painful reminder of the loss that John felt with his mother's death and the abandonment from his father. The song was written during John and Yoko's primal scream therapy period, and the song does come off sounding like a release of some very strong/deep rooted feelings Lennon had at that time. It's only fitting that "Mother" would follow with the hopeful sounding "Hold On": "Hold on John, John hold on... it's gonna be alright. You're gonna win the fight." This song features some nice echo guitar to an easy going melody. Lennon actually sounds like an angry punk on "I Found Out" and "Well Well Well". Gritty guitar-work accompanies both songs, and "I Found Out" contains the classic line "I've seen through junkies, I've been through them all. I've seen religion from Jesus to Paul". John never had a problem with being honest about himself or his feelings about his ex-mates. With the Beatle's breakup still fresh in his mind, John tries to set the record straight on "God". He attempts to discredit reliance in religion and many rock icons at the time such as Elvis, Bob Dylan, and even the Beatles. "I just believe in me, Yoko and me, and that's reality" is how the song finishes. But, even with John setting his life apart from being a Beatle, he still has a few songs on here that would fit well on any Beatle's album. "Look at Me" sounds like it came right off the "White Album" and "My Mummy's Dead" wouldn't be too out of place on "Revolver". The latter song ends "Plastic Ono Band" in a sad manner, but it's a true statement to what Lennon was going through at the time. He wore his heart out on his sleeve, and he never did it quite better than on "Plastic Ono Band". As a nice addition, this re-issue contains the bonus tracks "Power to the People" and "Do the Oz". The latter track is really just a throw-away song that already appeared on the Lennon box set. "Power to the People" is a timeless anthem with plenty of soul to it. I always thought of this song as being a more militant version of "Give Peace a Chance"! In addtion to this album, "Imagine" and "Double Fantasy" were also remastered and released with new liner notes. It's a great way to remember Lennon's solo work 20 years after his murder. Hopefully, the rest of his releases get the same treatment. If you have to own just one Lennon solo album, "Plastic Ono Band" would be the one to own. I always thought that if you took a few of these songs along with some selections from the other Beatle's first solo albums (Harrison's "All Things Must Pass", McCartney's first album, and throw in a little bit of Ringo such as "It Don't Come Easy"), you would have a pretty impressive final Beatle's album. Oh well, a fan can still dream a little can't he?!

Rating: 4.0
May 9, 2004
Kelvin
So here's John in all his glory. None of that happy clappy Beatle image anymore, John is raw and powerful here and although the album is produced by Phil Spector, it never seems too "wall of sound" for my taste. Of course, most of you will know that this was John's first real solo album and the result of primal scream therapy. This may lead some people to believe it's basically an album of him wailing for forty minutes or so. Although tracks like 'Mother' and, most noticeably, 'Well Well Well' feature a lot of screaming and pain in their lyrics, quiet tracks like 'Love' and 'My Mummy's Dead' are much more quiet, thoughtful pieces although still displaying the same emotion. It's really hard to say what makes this album so powerful... Part of it is really due to the fact that it is a slightly disjointed album. Pain displayed through two emotions, screaming wildly and quietly contemplating. The cover, featuring John and Yoko lying in the grass, has an almost dream like feel to it and the picture of John as a young boy on the back is his way of saying that this is the real John, no fancy image stuck on, like it was for most of the Beatle years. Although most of the results of this non-image John aren't pretty, it finally lets him loose, taking away the frustration of the Beatle years. This album works as the perfect companion piece to the book 'Lennon Remembers', both showing a side of John that was completely angry and raw, but at the same time thoughtful and witty. 'Plastic Ono Band' would be topped by other Lennon albums over the years but it still shows a side of John that we saw only once, for a short period of time, and we're all the better for seeing that.

Rating: 4.5
Apr 14, 2004
Nigel
This is John's best album. It shows the pain he went through and the search to find himself and to release the demons. The Primal Album explains it all. This album got me through some very bad times myself and when ever I think that I don't need to work hard to keep the "good times" good I play this cd and I remember the pain. Working Class Hero / Mother / *Isolation* does it every time. Reality is a bitch the alternative is worse.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 11, 2004
Christian
Not only Lennon's best album, but one of the best albums ever. As you may read below, some may be put off by the minimalistic production, but that's the point of the album and one of it's strongest features. The lyrics, playing and production are all spare at first listen, but on repeated playing you may discover that there is a grand canyon of depth to this album. The screaming on Well,Well Well is the best that Rock and Roll has produced. The guitar on I Found Out is gloriously gut wrenching. The lyrics to Love are the best love song lyrics i've ever heard; it describes it perfectly. Working Class Hero has aged poorly, but i liked it the first 20 listen's or so. My favorite is Remember. It is a great song because it sounds ominous and sad, but it's a very positive song. This leads me to one of the most strongest features of this album. The more one listen's, the better one likes it. Each tune reveals more of itself with each listen. The singing on this album is fantastic; easily the best of Lennon's career. What I like best about this album is that it hits you in the gut; and that's what Rock and roll is all about.

Rating: 3.0
Mar 21, 2004
Fast Eddy
One of the most difficult albums to describe, review, or even experience of all time. When I was a teenager in the 70's, this was the greatest thing I'd ever heard, I related so much to the feelings of frustration, lonliness, and pain. Nearly 30 years later, I rarely listen to this anymore, and to be honest someone who isn't a John Lennon fan, or is merely a casual fan will be turned off by this album. It's two biggest strengths are; its bare-bones production (it could easily be mistaken for home demos or bootlegs with good sound quality), and its purging confessional honesty. Its two biggest weaknesses are; the bare-bones production (except for Billy Preston's piano on "God", there isn't anything else that sounds like professional musicianship), and the purging confessional honesty. It's almost like a letter you write to yourself to get your feelings out in the open, but never intend for anyone else to ever see. John's purging of all his inner demons was a huge comfort for me when I was a depressed youth, now it seems like some huge self-indulgence. I really doubt it would've ever seen the light of day if anyone other than someone of John's stature had recorded it. All that aside, there are great songs on it, some a bit overrated (Mother, God), some that were daring and topical in 1970 but sound dated and tame today (Working Class Hero, I Found Out), and some simple tunes that still sound great today (Isolation, Remember, Love). For the casual fan, or for the person who wants to get an introduction to John's work, "Imagine" would be a better starting point among the solo albums, but any of the collections or anthologies may be better yet.

Rating: 1.0
Feb 9, 2004
SupaFish
While it can be argued that Lennon is showing his true feelings on this album, I feel that anyone who really wants to know who Lennon is should listen to Double Fantasy/Milk + Honey or STiNYC: the man who is alive, and not wallowing in the past. Mother is the most honest, and one of the best, works on this album but, as my first review says, the album goes downhill from there.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 4, 2004
Jos Witteman
I still consider POB the best solo-album by an former Beatle, it's pure .. simple and very honest. John at his best. Klaus Voormann on bass ... Ringo on drums ... what more do you need? And on one track Billy Preston. I play this record over and over.

Rating: 4.5
Feb 3, 2004
Dingy
I won't give perfect cuz musicly it aint, but conceptually and artistically it is, reminiscent of ex-beatle JWL's former Revolver and Pepper heydays. An album that simply exhibits how raw "Art" can be combined with music seamlessly, something Lennon paved the way for most 21st century musicians of today. Musicians today are STILL catching up with what Lennon the poet/writer/artist/musician had done over 30 years ago, and this album is one that exemplifies this. A great introspective piece of work that self-expresses all angles of a man's state of emotions, angst and philosophies that couldnt have been done any better in any art media for that matter. A simply brilliant piece of work. (To the 1-star rating? I think not!!)

Rating: 5.0
Jan 21, 2004
Thomas
I simply CANNOT UNDERSTAND why people would rate this 1 star or 2 stars. This is a GOOD album. It may not be the best musicwise, but if you look at the lyrics, they are geniuinely showing John's feelings. I would recommend this to any one who has an open mind.

Rating: 1.0
Jan 10, 2004
SupaFish
Certainly Lennon's weakest album release (after 1969 as I do not know what the previous material was like) and at times painful to listen to. The strongest song is by far 'Mother' as you feel an articulate expression of pain and anguish. 'Hold On' is another quite good cheery song but with this exception the album is depressive and painful to listen to. Parts of the album suffer heavily from over-Spectorisation with walls of sound looming aggressively at the background of the music. Probably the worst song is the roaring hatred of 'I FOund Out' which is filled with aggressive, arrogant hatred of almost anything, when compared to Imagine and other classic tracks, it gives almost the opposite message that Lennon strives to give in the rest of his career. As a concept, God is good for destroying flase ideals, though again filled with egocentrism (esp. final verse). For someone who grew up in pleasant middle-class suburbia for most of his life, Working Class Hero is somewhat hypocritical but that can be argued for most music in some way or another. Working Class Hero is nice enough to listen to and could be a really cheeey and encouraging (I don't mind the cynicism)song but the low dull stretched sound really detracts from what are otherwise good lyrics and arrangement. Isolation is a nice expression of the Lennon's situation with the media at that time but is still very downtrodden and lacks sparkle beyond simple aggression. Remember is a good rock-an-roll song about life and is a shining song in an otherwise dull album. Remember s followed by Love (bit repetitive) and Well Well Well which is lively and original, but let down by weak and repetitive lyrics. Look at Me, I feel is thwe first truly honest Lennon song, instead of railing and shouting and hating, he just asks 'who am I suposed to be?' even though the lyrics sheet claims this to be pre-Janov (the master of Primal Scream therapy, which John was undergoing at this time). At least in Look at Me, you feel he is searching for an identity and not just shouting wildly that he hasn't got one. The last track on the original album is probably the worst: to the tune of 3 Blind Mice, John sings bluntly about the death o9f his mother. Unlike 'Julia' on the White Album though, there is no positive note to the song and the album ends in a depressed deep hatered of the world and eveerything because though Lennon is singing about something very personal to himself, as in Isolation, you are invited to feel this with him when most of the emotions are manufactured. On the CD re-release, there is Power To the People; a brilliant classic and Do The O; flip to God Save Oz which both go to show the great musical heights Lennon could aspire to in the future. With only a few mediocre songs, this album is by far the worst album by Lennon that I have ever heard.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 29, 2003
Laura
Imagine what a surprise POB must have been on its release. No songs about your typical Beatles stuff...no peace, love, and flowers...just pure, unaltered thoughts and emotions from John at that time. Plastic Ono Band deals with John's feelings on his whole life up to that point...his mother's death, his father's abscense, The Beatles' fame and popularity, abscense of friends and support, and (of course) the solace he found in Yoko. Sometimes the tone of his lyrics and voice are quite harsh, and he can be very finger pointing on this album, but when you really think about it- John had to go through this. He wasn't JohnPaulGeorgeandRingo anymore...He was John Lennon and he was ready to make a place for his own voice in the world. I highly reccomend you this album. It's amazing, the words, the music. Perfect.

Rating: 4.0
Dec 20, 2003
Chopboy from philippines
Classic! A very honest John Lennon! Although Lennon's albums produce heavy feeling inside, you'll still love it. God, Love and Isolation are the best tracks in this album, goodbye! You know I don't give long comment that says nothing at all- Back in the US sucks( too much audience close-ups)

Rating: 4.5
Dec 12, 2003
Richard
To many this is Lennon's finest solo album. I can see why; it is perhaps the most human of his albums in terms of feelings of pain, isolation and loneliness which all of us feel occaisonally. The sad confessional songs and the raw emotion of the sometimes screaming vocals really pull at the heart-strings. You can really understand and usually feel the pain of the songs. The sparse arrangements of the songs (like the solo acoustic 'Working Class Hero') create a sound and feel unique to Lennon's music on this album, it may not be his most pioneering work but it's his most heart felt and honest work (Bob Dylan's 'Blood and the Tracks' plays a similar role). I just love the acoustic songs and Ringo's drumming is perfect throughout. This album is just such a great piece of work and an album that anyone with an interest in music must hear.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 3, 2003
Kyle (Working Class Hero)
Plastic ono band what can i say one of lennons greatest albums he has ever made from start to finish, it is a masterpiece. First of all we have the classic song MOTHER which starts off with funeral bells then lennon comes in with his excellent voice and the song kicks off.Next up is HOLD ON JOHN which is a more slower song it is very relaxed and peacful a nice song.I FOUND OUT goes back to the more rockier sound with lennons voice on top form,the guitaring in this song is great from lennon. Next up is probaly one my favourite tracks on the album WORKING CLASS HERO which is lennon on acoustic singing about life of a working class hero this song is very deep it deals with what lennon was going through at the time very good track. ISOLATION starts off with a nice piano introduction then goes into lennon really getting into the song then slows down very nice song. REMEMBER starts of with a very nice beat from RINGO on the drums this carries on till the end good work from the two beatles.LOVE is next one of lennons famous songs this starts off if nothing is happening and then you can hear the piano come in then lennon with a very nice soft voice. WELL WELL WELL this a fast rocker with an excellent guitar at the start of the song.Lennons voice is very rocky and hard a great rock song keep you rocking forever GREAT!. LOOK AT ME is a very soft song with lennon with is very soft voice nice song.GOD is next one of my favourites this has lennon talking about what he does'nt believe in such as Elvis,Beatles Jesus he only believes in him and yoko a very good song.The album ends with a song called MY MUMMYS DEAD which is sang in a sort of nursery rhyme form with lennon talking about how his mum has died like going back to the mother at the start of the album The remastered edtion comes with a very nice bookley with lyrics and nice pictures of john and yoko in 1970 it also come with two bonus tracks power to the people and do the oz which are great tracks to end this great album hope this review is useful to you happy listening

Rating: 4.5
Nov 13, 2003
Sylvia K.
John Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band" was the perfect demonstration of the maturity he experienced while in the process from breaking away from the Beatles. It would be his first solo appearance as a revolutionary songwriter and although this was exhibited slowly while he was a Beatle, the chord struck home when alone he stood and told the world with his album "this is me". One of the most remarkable trends he started was the use of music as a way to get a message across by true, and emotional personal experiences. "Mother" is a perfect example of this. . . not only do the words play a song quite different from its beautiful and peaceful melody, but he also uses his voice to emit his frustration, pain, and sadness. It was perhaps the first time I could honestly say that the "imperfect" voice was the best way to display real feelings. The song "Love"'s haunting melody also makes one sit and realize that the subject he is singing of is as deep as the music that accompanies it. Not only does he use his lyrics and music to voice a message, but he also plays around with the volume of the song, phasing in and then out at the beginning and end as if to symbolize you never are aware of when love is arriving or preparing to leave. The album as a whole has these type of new and trendsetting features but what I think is the best song of the album is one that is the true testament to Lennon as we know and love him and that is "God". From the beginning, Lennon boldly contests our current perception of God as something sacred- to merely a tool used to intimidate and control people. He goes through a list of things, ideas, and people he refuses to believe in and as it goes on and on, there is a building strength. It finally climaxes when he says "i just believe in me. . . me and yoko- that's reality". It's one of the most powerful messages he has given to us, nicely wrapped as a gift. It was the ideology that prompted the rest of his beliefs until the end of his life- and that is- YOU are in control. Because of this basic belief, he is able to take conventional, untouched yet accepted ideas ( like religion, established "role models", and the like) and boldly face them, destroy them- and move them aside to see what is the truth. Through "God" he showed that what is true is what is clear and simple - "i just believe in me and yoko, that's reality". anything else is dressed up to be something it really isn't as is there merely to control you. This was the first statement he made as a solo musician that paved the way for everything else he introduced to us-and instilled the belief in all of his listeners that we are in control of our lives, our surroundings, and world and that we should do everything in our power to pursue what is right and what is true and to let nothing stand in our way. A true musician is known by the effects he generates in his society. With just his first album, Lennon did a hell of a job*

Rating: 5.0
Sep 4, 2003
Nowhere Man
First of all, I want to start up by saying that I think this is John's best album. Actually, it's my most favourite album of all music albums I've ever heard. This is pure Lennon, without any major Yoko Ono influences. The Janov therapy made him scream out all his feelings which he kept inside and it produced this album. Some people might dislike it, but I particulary enjoy the simple instrument arrangement on all songs. Not more than 4 instruments included on any of them (not counting Power to the People and Do the Oz, which are included as a bonus on some CD versions). It starts on a quite creepy tune with the ringing of a bell which eventually crosses into Mother, a sentimental piano song in which he expresses his feelings towards his ma and pa. And it ends with great roars on "Mama don't go/Daddy come home". Really makes you admire this guys voice. The second song, Hold On, is a simple tune but it is very nice, makes you relax after the Mother experience. Then comes I Found Out, where he basicly reflects what Dr. Janov told him. Kind of reminds me of I don't Want to be a Soldier (from the album Imagine) but it is less experimental and it has both more lyrics and melody (but don't get me wrong, I don't... is good as well). Then comes another highlight after Mother - Working Class Hero. A great protestsong inspired by Dylan (my friend actually thought it IS by Dylan), criticising the extreme pressure that the capitalist society puts on a person. What I love about this song is that it's only guitar, nothing else. The next song is a great ballad, Isolation. Not much to say, a very good piano song. Remember is track number 6. It's another piano song but definetly not a ballad. For some reason it's one of my favourite overall. Then comes love, a fantastic ballad with only Phil Spector on the piano. One of Lennon's best songs (although I don't like it that much, it's too soft for my taste). Next is Well Well Well, a quite average Lennon song (by average I don't mean bad, but it is "only" good). Lyrics are about the uprising feminist movement. And yet again, a wonderful series of roars, like on Mother but even stronger. Nice ending I have to say... Then another ballad, based on the chords of Julia from the White Album (Beatles - a little band Lennon was in before his solo career). The type of Julia/Oh My Love song but I like it best of those three. And then ot comes, for me the absolute highlight of the whole John Lennon career (although I haven't heard Serve Yourself yet, they say that it's even better) - God. Undescrivable (if that is a word). Billy Preston on the piano, John on vocals and you can hear that he FEELS the song. It's fabulous (I'm runnung out of adjectives here). Here he refuses all the ideas that Maharishi Yogi told him in India. Includes the famous "I don't believe in Beatles/I just believe in me/.../And that's reality". And cleaning himself from the Beatles brand by "I was the walrus/But now I'm John". And after that, after a beginning on a creepy note, also an ending on a creepy note. My Mummy's Dead. A simple childsish song with freezing lyrics. That's the end of the official album. The CD version has also two bonus songs - Power to the People and Do the Oz. Power is good but it kind of ruins the mood of the album for me. Do the Oz is co-written by Yoko Ono. Need I say more...? All in all, it might seem that I'm a Lennon fanatic who sees the album as something godly although it actually sucks. That is a wrong conclusion. It is a great album, even for non Lennon fans. The one who says the opposite has some issues going on. That's all. Only one recommendation - if you don't have it, buy it. Nowhere Man.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 2, 2003
Rene Butler
In my opinion, Lennon profited from being without the Beatles if you consider this album on it's own merits. I was forced to give it five stars, I did'nt set out to. Believe me, it more than deserves the highest possible accolades. You would not have thought that Ringo was the drummer on this and that the normally, elaborate Phil Spector produced it. 'Mother' is a song which portrays Lennon's turbulent childhood relationship with his parents.Musically speaking I rate it. 'Hold on' has a distinct bass line from Klaus Voormann. It has a pleasant melody and gentle vocals. The anti-establishment feel is heard in both the great 'I found out' and the Buskers classic 'Working class hero'. The former has fighting spirit and no nonsense lyrics. 'Working class hero' hits the nail on the head (though I'm not sure just how Working class Lennon actually was). Superb acoustic sound with a potent cause. 'Isolation' is a very underrated track. Soothing vocals with a crescendo. The Piano makes this song. The sentimental 'Love' is certainly worth it's hype. Just John, his Piano and an acoustic. Lennon at his best. 'God' seems like John Lennon is clearing his mind (as one may clear their throat). A series of what he does not believe in, God, Yoga, Elvis etc. It signified that the Beatles really were over should anyone have been in doubt. Although 'God' fails to inspire musically it is an important song with a fitting end "The dream is over". Plastic Ono Band is a personal and very uncommercial sounding album....and all the better for it.

Rating: 4.0
Mar 6, 2003
Gabe
Well, what more can be said about Mr. Lennon's actual first studio album, that hasn't already been said? Although it was indeed his fifth album release (one of them being live), this was truly the first of strictly songs that had been newly recorded. One should keep that in mind whilst reviewing this piece of work, that it was his first (obviously not in the studio, but by himself). A first often has faults that would be improved on a following project. The songs, as any one who's heard this knows, are nothing but TRUTH. This record is John's heart. It's his soul. Much of the record is used to express pain and suffering from various sources in John's life, such as "Mother", which John himself actually said that it was not about his parents, but I refuse to believe that, as most JL Fans would. The Beautiful, yet very simple "Love" is marvellous. "Working class hero" Shows some of John's disgust with the worldly systems and expectations of Him and others. Several of the album's 10 tracks are slightly repetetive ("Well Well Well") But Fun to listen to. "God" showcases John's frustration with dependency on Father Figures, Leaders, Many People are named after He sings.."I don't Believe In..." Such names inlude Hitler, Kennedy, Etc. but at the end He sings the above, and says... "Beatles...." then the music stops and he continues with... "I just believe in me.." That's John Lennon. Over all, this album is raw, Meaty, full of substance, yet it is sometimes quiet, calm, and simple. Very honest and a first step in The Direction of John's tremendous musical outpouring over the next ten years.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 16, 2003
bandontherun
POB was John Lennon's "real" debut solo album--the others are just bookends for the music of the genius. The single edit of "Mother" (on Lennon Legend) is better, but the bells and screaming are an important adjunction to the song, and I'm glad both versions are available. The next song is the musical warning to calm down, it will all be fine. "Hold On" is a beautiful song. Next up is "I Found Out," an excellent guitar based number with screeching Lennon vocals--a must. "Working Class Hero" is an anthem, the "Imagine" of POB. "Isolation" is so powerful. It's almost a shame CDs aren't two-sided, as this closed side one, giving the listener a chance to reflect upon the statements in the previous songs before flipping over the record and going into "Remember," a piano-based song where John takes the sugar-coated versions of what we knew and gave us the truth--heroes *don't* always get away. "Love" is so simple, and yet it says more than almost any Lennon track released after it. Breathtaking. "Well Well Well" is based on one repetitive guitar lick that runs just a bit too long, but it is still great. "Look at Me" is calming, but it leads to "God," which, I'll admit, is overrated. "My Mummy's Dead" is pointless, but is a better way to close the album than with "God."

Rating: 4.0
Oct 14, 2002
Andrew Bowman
As John's first solo album, this really stands out as a masterpiece. Perhaps tellingly, he doesn't give everything away, and it's almost as if he's writing a couple of the songs as an outsider. (Well Well Well and Working Class Hero). The latter of these is, of course, the strongest track on the album as it deals with subjects such as a broken childhood, bullying and career choices, to retirement and death. But to put these tracks in context, and rather than an overall review, let's look at each track individually. 1) Mother This song has one of the most remarkable openings, the bell chimes. Obviously slowed down to accomodate the general mood of the song, it is as haunting a piece of music as a solo cello in an operatic aria. The song itself is perhaps the most telling, as it came off the back of his primal scream therapy with Arthur Janov. His anger at his parents soon becomes forgiveness, as he pleads for their return. Hauntingly beautiful, and a strong, if understated, opener. 2) Hold On This is quite a simple song, with contribution from Ringo on drums. It seems that this is a gentle plea with the world to let him live as he chooses, as the third verse seems to testify. On a lighter note, there seems to be some confusion as to what John says in the instrumental break. Some say 'Cocaine' although I believe it is nothing as serious, a rather innocent 'Cookin''. 3) I Found Out This is a hard hitting song, with ferocious bass guitar played in time with the vocal. The subject matter seems to change with each verse, but concentrating mainly on religion, in particular, the Mararishi. The line 'I've seen religion from Jesus to Paul' is an obvious reference to his comments about Jesus in 1966, and the sledgehammer approach that Paul alledgedly adopted in the last years of the Beatles. A reasonably strong track. 4) Working Class Hero A personal favourite of mine, which I believe no review could possibly do justice. My advise would be to listen to it youself, as you are more than likely going to get something different out of it than me, although the second verse mirrors my school-life, so it seems quite personal. Sorry for sounding pretentious, but there you are. 5) Isolation A rather Beatle-y sounding track, that wouldn't have seemed out of place on the White Album. A suggestion of things to come, it holds it's own amongst a collection of strong songs. Should have been considered for release as a single. 6) Remember Perhaps it could be said of this track that he tries to hard to find something to write about. The fact that he scruppulously nicked the opening to Sam Cooke's Bring It On Home To Me suggests that he was struggling with this one, and as a consequence, doesn't make a very convincing opener for the second side. 7) Love This hauntingly beautiful love song was finally released as a single in 1982, and was quite a big hit. The song itself features Phil Spector on piano, which is superbly understated. Another strong track, and another that requires independent listening. 8) Well Well Well The title says it all, but fails to deliver. With lines like 'I took my loved out to dinner' rhyming with 'and though we both had looked much thinner', the song seems forced, and an unnecessary addition to a strong album. 9) Look At Me Another gentle plea, but this time it seems too simple to convey any real meaning, almost relying on the strength of Hold On. That said, a nice track which could have achieved more. 10) God The song that ended it all. Here he declares that the dream is over, and that he no longer believes in the Beatles. An interesting song which has a '50's doo-wop style opening verse, which leads into a litany of things he doesn't believe in, ending with a promise of the future with Yoko. Should have ended the album like this. Instead... 11) My Mummy's Dead The title seems like a sick joke, and the song is sung to the tune of Three Blind Mice. An attempt to recapture the power of the opening track, and falls flat on it's face. Disappointing. Overall, the album is strong enough to carry the weaker tracks, and Phil Spector's uncharacteristically understated production allows the songs to breath. One of his best albums. A must.

Rating: 5.0
Sep 21, 2002
Joe
This album, the first "real" solo release John put out, is simply amazing. To call it anything but a masterpiece is blasphemy, but I will add an asterisk to my five star rating: this is not an album simply for listening. It is intensly personal, and definitely not a party record. That said, the album is very noticably double sided, side one being predominantly about John and Yoko, and how they feel. Side two, on the other hand, is John (and Yoko, depending on your personal feelings) talking to us, trying to pass on their message. Track one, "Mother" opens with a low, haunting funeral bell, struck four times, possibly for each Beatle, but probably because we expect only three. The song cuts in on the trailing edge of the last bell, with John singing very well and the very simple piano does not seem in any way lacking. By striking the chords one at a time, he lets his voice carry through the verses, with excellent effect. The end of the song builds to his repeating scream of "Mama don't go, Daddy come home!" with the very last scream so raw and primal that we wonder how he summoned that degree of power to his voice. On a much more optimistic note, we have "Hold On" taking the number two spot, with a very nice tremolo guitar. Ringo's druming is very timid, and goes well with the very jittering, self assured tone of the song. John is singing to himself, "Hold on, it's gonna be alright," even though he isn't sure that is. At number three, we get "I Found Out" a great rocker, with wicked riff at the beginning and John singing over some very nice muted guitar. If you listen, you can pick out the same style of guitar line seen in "How Do You Sleep," but it a much more savage form. Here he's singing about how he sees through the artificial, patronizing world, basically saying "I see through your shit, get out of my life." Working Class Hero is probably the least personal song on the album, for while it conveys Lennon's working class background, it was obviously written with some of the underground movements in mind, a la Revolution. It's just John and his acoustic, as scaled down as it gets. The whole album is played with a three piece group, but this vocal/guitar combination is Lennon doing a very strong, sarcastic "Dylanesque" tune, far better than Bobby ever did. At the end of the song, we here Lennon destroy his earlier ambiguity, with the line "If you want to be a hero, well just follow me." The number five song, and final on side one, is Isolation. In my opinion, this is probably some of John's best piano work, much more dynamic than Imagine. It is a song about lonliness and pain, how he feels so cut off from a world that hates him, all their affection is simply for his music. The middle eight, with it's powerful double tracking and fantastic chord progression is excellent. The very last line his especialy great. Side two begins with Remember, a song to the public about growing up in the idealic fifties, then maturing to deal with the same issues that Lennon was singing about on side one. He consols us with the chorus "And feel sorry/about the way it's gone. And don't you worry, about what you've done." The staccato piano really drives the tune, despite the fact that some criticize it for it's lack of variety. But it is bare and simple, without any illusions to cover the message. This song becomes political in the last line, "Remember the Fifth of November." Referring to Guy Fawks day, when the English rebel tried to blow up Parliament. At number seven we have love, featuring one of the most beautiful melodies John ever wrote, and the classic piano melodies played by Phil Spector is well backed by John's acoustic. The verse is primarily a combination of inversions: Love is real, real is love. The combinations are very true, very ingenious, and it is simply John singing about love, what he felt for Yoko, and allowing us to see it. Oddly, this song has the same place on the LP that the similiar "Oh My Lover" has on Imagine. The number eight song is Well Well Well, one of my all time favorite rockers by any artist. Heaving than anything the Beatles ever did, this is grunge rock, and you can easily picture Lennon picking out the distorted blues scale that makes the intro and verse, as well as the grinding chords of the chorus. Lyrically, it isn't much, but this song is all about the music. John plays an excellent guitar, with an overdubbed solo against the chorus about halfway through. And despite the basic nature of his "Well well well, oh well" lyric, he's basically saying "So?" And as he goes into his primal screaming it is almost as if he is fighting himself to get past the issues of life, screaming the dismal "well." This song has been emulated several times, noteably by Kurt Cobain, but I think it could be placed up against any rock song of today. Number nine is "Look at Me" a live recording of a song written in India, with the same acoustic finger picking sound as Dear Prudence. It is John alone with his guitar again, trying do discover who he is. He's played the tough guy, but deep down, he just wants some one (his mother, Yoko) to look at him, love him, and respect him. The peak of this album is God. Billy Preston plays the piano part, which is frankly, beyond Lennon's skill level, but wonderfully written. The famous litany of disbeliefs is has some dated topics, but many others are just as valid today as they will always be. Casting off all illusions, all false "isms," all the institutions that people join to let their selves die, Lennon sees through all of them. The very last line of the sequence is "I don't believe in Beatles" followed by a pause, then John singing alone "I just believe in me, Yoko and me, that's reality." From there, he precedes to tell us that the "dream" is over, that he: "was the Walrus, but now, I'm John." The emotion is undeniable, and the truth is striking. Lastly, we have the heartbreaking "My Mummies Dead" bringing the album full circle, beginning and ending with mother. The tune is simple, and the recording was done on a simple tape recorder with only two chords. It is a such a personal tune, we can truly see the weakness of John. The two bonus tracks take away from the album, Power to the People is alright, but Do the Oz is a piece of crap. It was a B-side to what John admitted was a mediocre record "God Save Oz" and is insulting to end such a masterpiece. If bonus tracks were that important, Instant Karma and Cold Turkey would have been much better choices, as they follow the spirit of the album. Overall, this is masterpiece, both intensly personal but understandable to all.

Rating: 1.0
Sep 11, 2002
David Moses
I find it bewildering how people can actually like this album. The songs are under produced, simplstic, and for the most part tuneless. Granted many of the songs are autobiographical, but this does not make the music good. Anyone who praises this album is either a Lennon fenatic, or just has no ear for a good melody. 'Mother' is tuneless, with Lennon wailing an out of tune vocal, that increasingly gets worse. The piano is so simplistic, anyone could pay it. This truly is a dirge of a song. Other terrible tracks inlude 'I found out','Remember', 'Well, well, well', which are all just noisy nonsense, that goes nowhere. As for 'God' it has no structure and the repetitive nature of the song soon tires. The only song that is not beneath redemption, is 'love', but even this is badly sung by Lennon and rather uninspired. Still, this is a nice song with a heart felt sentiment. A shocking solo album to start with. It just shows what rubbish Lennon came up with, when left to his own devices. Rubbish. I'd give it O, if I had the option.

Rating: 5.0
Sep 3, 2002
James
This is plain and simple a great album! It strips away the studio production which was so prevelent in the latter years of the Beatles and takes full advantage of John's amazing vocals and poetic lyrics. I know I probably shouldn't do this, but don't listen to Kevin. He's got the right to his opinion and everything, but I just don't feel that a song that wasn't even on the original album can be the best song on an album. God is probably my favorite on the album, just for the sheer emotion in the lyrics. Love is a masterpiece. Lyrically it is so caring, and musically it is very unique. Mother is also amazing (the primal screaming at the end is very moving). I Found Out is one of many angry songs on the album, and I feel it's the best of the songs in which John is pissed at the world. Well, Well, Well, is, well, very stripped down and raw. The screaming is kind of cool, but a little bit too much of it makes the song drag on a bit, but it is definitely a great rocker. Working Class Hero is a bit over-rated in my opinion, but I still love the song, with it's biting lyrics and soft instrumentation it fits in well with the themes on the album. I'll let you decide for yourself on the other songs on this album, except for the final track on the actual album, My Mummy's Dead. This song is soooooo incredibly personal and sooooooo painful that it makes me wanna cry everytime I hear it, and I haven't even lost my mom. To call it a waste of space is just rude. Anyway, the last two songs really don't belong on this remastered masterpiece, but they are, but you can always do what I do, and end the album where it's supposed to be ended, with a short, haunting sentiment, just like John planned it.

Rating: 5.0
Sep 2, 2002
Kevin
John's first excellent album to be released and my favorite by him, IMO. On this album you have "Mother" which is a very powerful song and I like this one. "Hold On" is a short and sweet song which definitely belongs on this good album. There's the decent "I Found Out" with the cool guitar. "Working Class Hero" is a classic and one to remember. "Isolation" is awesome, great vocals, great lyrics. "Remember" is alright but nothing so striking about this one. "Love" is extremely annoying and the second worst on the album. "Well Well Well" is my second favorite off the album, I like it when John screams like that. "Look At Me" is a dull and boring song. "God" is a powerful song but it doesn't impress me as much as it does with other people. "My Mummy's Dead" is a waste of space although it's really short. "Power To The People" is my favorite off the album. Great vocals! "Do The Oz" is a nice rocker and I like it. This is Lennon's best album. Buy it now!

Rating: 4.5
May 17, 2002
Liam
John's first "proper" solo album, this is very popular among the fans, and you can see why at a glance through the lyrics - quite simply, this album is Lennon's best as a lyricist. Working Class Hero is of course the real standout track of the album, simply played on a guitar, and sung with more emotion than you can shake the proverbial stick at, this is THE social commentary. Equally moving is "God (The Dream Is Over)", a very poignant song about being relatively alone in the world, with nothing to believe in. The piano line is a killer on there. As if that wasn't enough to make you fill up, "Love" is another stunning ballad, again acoustic on piano and guitar, describing what love is in so many ways. The album is worth the price you pay for it for these three songs alone, but these are just the merest glance of what it holds - the emotional monolith of an intro, "Mother", features John practically crying about being abandoned by both parents in some way or another, and makes a lump come to my throat every time . . . equally poignant is "My Mummy's Dead", the finale. Musically, it sounds like the sort of song you might sing in infant school . . . except for the lyrics, which are fairly straightforward enough! More social commentaries abound in the form of "Remember", and "I Found Out" - which features strong language, as does Working Class Hero, I should mention. At the same time, I must point out that this is not used for its own sake, but rather it is for effect. On the "lighter" side, we have Hold On, with its lyrics trying to reassure the narrator that things will be ok. Further commentaries round off the album. This is quite clearly John's bridge from Beatles to solo work. And brilliant at that.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 16, 2002
Stacia
The greatest thing about John Lennon, whether you like or hate his music, is that the man was just brutally honest. He just said it like it was and never tried to cover any of it up. Now that music has taken a terrible shift into CRAP (like all these little boy bands prancing around to music written by some guy in Europe), I think it is important and very satisfying to have albums by people like Lennon in your collection. And ESPECIALLY this one. "Platic Ono Band" is, to me, the best solo Beatle album, and one of the greatest artistic achievements in music ever made. You hear music from people like Alanis Morrissette and PJ Harvey, and you can completely see the influence. This was the second album I got by John Lennon (the first being "Double Fantasy"). I honestly was shocked by the entire thing the first time I heard it. I had never heard a record where a person's emotions were so openly put on the line for observation, and I fell in love with it. Besides, these are damn good songs on here. "Mother" has to be one of the most powerful songs ever written. The way he sings, then screams, then sings...its beautiful. "God" is a masterpiece. Simple and poignant. It is so obvious that he is just trying to say that he no longer has something/someone to hero-worship or follow, that he has dropped all his gurus. He was just saying "I want to be normal now..." Amazing song. In fact, there is not one bad song on this record. Every song conveys a strong message, but then it is sung to make that message even more understandable.I would have to say my favorite song is "I Found Out" because of the songing, the beat, and the entire feeling put into it. The words are incredible. This whole album is a masterpiece. Beautiful. Passionate. Definite. Vulnerable. I now know what was/is so great about John Lennon, and why so many people site him as an influence in their lives. He wasn't just a brilliant songwriter and lyricist. He could sing with such passion songs that were so personal and soul-bearing, and make them matter to anyone who could hear them-even for those 2,3 minutes. Its unbelievable. Happy pop songs are really nice-sometimes- (cough*McCartney*cough), but in reality the world isn't just this happy little place where everyone is going to get "hi hi hi" or "with a little luck" everything works out. As we all know,in reality,the world has a lot of really shitty, serious issues. And its good to see that someone can take these issues and express feeling that many people would like to say but can't. Its good to know, as well, that it can be expressed in such beautiful music. God bless him...he was special.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 6, 2002
Blue Jay Way
The 'Primal Scream' ellement of this album really enhance the music. This is really the only album where you see John's more insecure side, all the songs on the album show what John thought about himself or the world. The album begins with the chilling 'funeral bells' at the beginnign of 'mother' really set a tone for the screaming and wailing of John releasing his sadness, grief and almost hatred for his mother for dying. When I first heard the album, I was woried when 'Hold On' began, and thought it was going to be like the moozak on Double Fantasy, but was rather relieved to find a song about love and the world. The best track on the album by far, is 'I Found Out', the hard guitar notes and the heavy singing and beat puts the song well into the top 5 solo John Lennon songs, the lyrics are also brilliant, they cover religion and drugs and life in general and are just.... great. Another classic song is 'Working class hero', it starts off about the way the working classes are looked down on, but, John spoils the idea of a working class anthem with the 3rd verse (You think your so clever and classless and free...), however, this verse could be taken to show that although workers think they're so free, they're not. Remember is probably the weakest track on the album, being about growing up in the fifties, and the ending is silly (5th of November). 'Isolation' is much better, being John talking about the way the press and public attacked him and Yoko, the most memorable part for me being 'I don't expect you to understand after you caused so much pain, but then again your not to blame, your just a human, a victim of the insane' which is talking about the way the public are lead along and believe what is written in the press. 'Love' is a lovely song, sort of a quiet twin of 'Give peace a chance', 'Love' describes all kinds of love. 'God' is Johns own feelings about religion, and beliefs, he denounces Maharishi, Buddah, Jesus, Hitler, Kennedy, Elvis, Bob Dylan and the Beatles. 'Look at Me' is a phoney song talking about what John felt before Janov, but probably written in retrospect and cannot be trusted to see into what John thinks. The last song on the album is totally real and about John losing his mother, it is based on the very simple tune of 'three blind mice' and is like a release of pain, John's voice is very croaky and waily and as if he doesn't really want to sing about his mother's death, leaving you with a 'more more more' feel to see what music would come on the next album, however, you would be disapointed.

Rating: 5.0
Jan 23, 2002
Lee Rundle
Every time I listen to this great album i never skip a track. The Opening Chimes are sound so old and unsettling, the impact of MOTHER is fantastic, with great emotional screaming at the end, the song is called MOTHER but could easily have been called FATHER it is John (as always) being honest. After the dramatic opening song we are given a mellow but an uneasy song with HOLD ON giving us more truth about John. GOD represents John`s dissolusion with myths (Denouncining belief in Kennedy, Buddah, Hitler and The Beatles among Other things) some might say he is saying to us dont get caught up in all the crap that goes on, however you percieve it, GOD is still an interesting song. I FOUND OUT is a great rocker, it sounds as if they are using very battered instruments, enhancing the the biting theme of the song, (something many have done since) WORKING CLASS HERO is (in my Opinion) about people he had to attend dinner parties with as a Beatle, people who look down on the Working Class, John returned his MBE back with these views as well as protesting against war. LOOK AT ME was written with the same finger picking technique as JULIA and DEAR PRUDENCE, and is the most mellow track on the album. MY MUMMYS DEAD is a very unsettling song, this track will obviously bring personal feelings that make it unbearable, but it is the most apropriate ending to this brilliant album, that shows an artist in his most honest and dark mood.

Rating: 5.0
Sep 30, 2001
Lance Noyes
First off, I have to say that I believe this was one the best albums ever created by anyone ! All of John's music always seem to make a connection with life as it was then and still is (in several different ways) today. True some of his music may have sounded off the wall to some people, but to those people who didn't or don't have a hint as to what he was trying to say with his music have, and are losing out. This part that I now say is very true, and hopefully a wake up call to some,I remember very clearly to this day, I was in my bedroom back in 1971 (drugs were of course the Big Thing back then) anyhow I was listening to this album and sniffing a spry can of underarm deodorant in a plastic bag, I remember being higher than hell and the bag was stuck to my face, but I did not relaize that I was cutting my air supply off, when all of a sudden Mother began to play with the bells ringing it seemed to be so loud that it made me snap out of my high and pull the bag away from my face. But I noticed afterwards that the volume was not turned up loud, I honestly feel to this day that John Lennon saved my life. I was always a big fan of John and intend to remain so until the day I leave this world. I only hope that I am lucky to meet with John then. John had written so many great songs its really impossible for me to say which was the best, but the one that I will always treasure will be MOTHER. God gave us John and John gave us his thoughts which he put into music, what a great gift God and John has given us! Lance Noyes

Rating: 5.0
Jun 15, 2001
The Cookie Monster
You lot have got it all wrong. 'Plastic Ono Band' is a tremendously positive, life-affirming record. It is John Lennon's quest to find the true meaning of his life. Throughout the album, John confronts major issues and events he has faced in an effort to understand them and, if possible, overcome them. In 'Mother' he confronts his parents for abandoning him when he was a child. In 'Working Class Hero' he confronts all the people who tried to hold him back when he was growing up. In 'I Found Out' he challenges the hangers-on who tried to exploit him when he became famous. This process of confrontation culminates in the track 'God'. After a charged litany denouncing more fake idols, John reaches the singular statement: 'I just believe in me, Yoko and me, and that's reality'. What could be more positive, more life-affirming? In this light, the cover of 'Plastic Ono Band' represents John and Yoko as a modern day Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden sitting under the tree of knowledge. John and Yoko have reached a point of knowledge within themselves that all they need is each other and that is enough. The last piece on 'Plastic Ono Band' is absolutely heartbreaking but, still, it is another attempt by John to come to terms with an episode in his life. This time, it is the profoundly tragic death of his mother when he was just seventeen. Such a public display of such private grief could have been disastrous, a cheap stunt of emotional exhibitionism, but 'My Mummy's Dead' is affecting beyond words. John regresses back to a little boy exposing all his vulnerability and sensitivity, a remarkable step for such a 'tough-guy'. I personally feel I have no right to hear something so personal and painful but if the act of performing 'My Mummy's Dead' aided John's comprehension of his Mother's death then it was worth doing. This album is incomparable. Trust me. Don't listen to the yedders.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 7, 2000
Johnny Savage
This is John Lennon's first true solo album and is some of the best music he ever laid onto recording tape. His previous excusions with partner Yoko Ono, such as the 'Life With The Lions' or 'Two Virgins' albums, must be considered self-conscious, "arty" efforts. 'Plastic Ono Band' is the sound of a man stripping bare his music and his soul. It is a titanic success, if only because this album could've ultimately been an embarrassing, self-pitying mess. Instead, using old friend Klaus Voorman on bass (Voorman designed the cover for 1966's 'Revolver') and trusty Ringo Starr on drums, Lennon sings and plays both guitar and piano like there's a hellhound on his trail. For much of the record, the sound the trio achieves, with John apparently allowing for little rehearsal or retakes, is nothing less than an amalgam of garage punk and early rockabilly. They really rip it up! "I Found Out" cuts all bullshit to the quick, with wicked, nasty guitar licks and lines that dismiss spurious religious cranks, phony machismo and even the Christian idea of resurrection. On a rare Japanese pressing of this track, you can hear John segue into Carl Perkins' 1955 Sun single "Gone, Gone, Gone" as it fades out! "Working Class Hero," where Lennon condemns the status quo ideology, is one of the first songs by a major songwriter to use expletives in a way that amplifies rather than diminishes its lyrical impact. Listen closely and notice how John shoves his acoustic six string right next to his vocal mic after the final chord, adding a very emotional flourish to an outstanding work. "Love" takes simplicity to a higher level, with John crafting an almost child-like prayer to the essential need we all have for this emotion. The neo-classical piano, provided by co-Producer Phil Spector, is a superb compliment to Lennon's gorgeous vocal. "Hold On" features John's heavily-tremeloed electric backing a lyric about surviving personal adversity; although less striking than others on the album, his double-tracked vocals make it worthwhile. Alternating between anger ("Mother," "I Found Out") and self-reflection ("Remember," "Look At Me"), Lennon drives the record home with "God," a tune that echos the majesty of "A Day In The Life" while kissing goodbye the Beatle dream. Using a simple verse structure and no chorus over a sweet, mid-tempo melody, Lennon essays us through 15 consecutive negations of various icons (Hitler, Buddha, Elvis and even his own band) before concluding with what he always advocated: self-reliance: "I just believe in me." His singing is devastating; once you've heard this performance you'll understand why people called John an amazing vocalist. 'Plastic Ono Band' had an impact on many future artists, such as U2 (listen to how they evoke "Isolation" with "Running To Stand Still" from 'The Joshua Tree'), and remains a clear dividing line in John Lennon's career. He would never return to work with all three Beatles and yet could not replicate what he does with this release, either. The one cleared the decks of his pain, frustration and yearnings in a way that all of us can relate to, the mark of a true artist. 'Plastic Ono Band' has my highest recommendation. Note on the 2000 CD re-issue: the choice of bonus tracks "Power To The People" and "Do The Oz" doesn't befit such a landmark effort. The two awesome single A-sides that should have been selected, 1969's "Cold Turkey" and 1970's "Instant Karma," greatly complement the original album musically and thematically.

Rating: 3.0
Nov 27, 2000
laurie marks
This is an album which is almost universally lauded to the point where expectations are raised so high that any new listener is likely to be disappointed by it. "The Best Rock Album Ever" is a mighty tough title to cling to decade after decade, and with all due respect to some fine moments on this album, it is overstating its merit to describe it as such. It is no coincidence that its tracks have been largely forgotten over the years by the non-Lennon fanatic music listening public, with the exception of the track "Mother". This is not to say there are not some other fine tracks on the album, since most albums also become largely forgotten over 30 years or so. One of the basic problems with the album is that lennon was writing to a particular idea which was not trying to produce the greatest ever rock album. The album represented Lennon spilling out all his pent up anger and emotion at his life to date, including his childhood and the Beatles, inspired by Dr. Janov's primal therapy sessions. As a result, the album is bare-faced, minimalist, bittersweet and raw in the extreme. However, it is also uneven, since one suspects some of the tracks made it to the final production as much to staisfy Lennon's inner demons as much as to appeal to anyone else listening to it. Hence, there are the tracks which exude class - "God", "Working Class Hero", "Love" and "Mother". There are other pleasant but less effective songs "Isolation" and "Look At Me", a half-baked rocker in "Remember", and then it deteriorates into tracks for the fans only, such as "Well Well Well" and "I Found Out", "Hold On" and "My Mummy's Dead" (in which John sounds remarkably like his erstwhile former songwriting partner). Some of the sparsity of the album wears a little thin when it is repeated on every track, and it is too easy to conclude that had McCartney written the other half, then the album would be better balanced. It is like "McCartney" as an album because it offers a few excellent tracks but some other material that would have likely been cut had someone else been offering up alternative numbers. But again, I accept that the album was partly for Lennon's own benefit and not designed to be the greatest ever collection. With the benefit of hindsight, the album was a necessary step for Lennon to move beyond the Beatles and onto "Imagine", writing some precious songs along the way that are of a distinctive quality so as not to have dated as much as most music from 1970 has over the last 30 years. In itself, this underscores the quality of songwriting on some tracks, it just being a pity the final collection remains uneven and generally leaves the impression of being half finished. But again, the extremely high expectations placed on it are probably part of the reason for such reaction.

Rating: 5.0
Oct 24, 2000
John Germain, Liverpool
What can I say about Plastic Ono Band that has not already been said. Well apart from more Lennon magic the album would compete with any album ever made and be good competition. It is made with Yoko, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman, Billy Preston and Phil Spector. It starts with Mother. This begins with a slow church bell like a death knell. Could this represent the death of The Beatles? Or the death of his mother? A simple melody but the words are important here. (I wanted/needed you, you didn't want/need me)They show the relationship with his parents and the pain for him. Track 2 is Hold On. Simply a bright positive glimer to the future(It's gonna be alright.) Track 3 is I Found Out. The first of my two favourite songs on the album. Here Lennon speaks from experience and shows his views. He tells us his view about drugs, religeon and relationships. The angry rock feel makes you wanna turn it up. Track 4 is Working Class Hero. This famous track sums up life. From childhood and parents, to adulthood and media. He tells us how we are expected to fit into everyday life and being a "normal" person. Track 5 is Isolation. This tells of how John and Yoko really feel behind their mask. They say they are (Just a boy and a little girl) And we are (Just a human.) Track 6 is Remember. This shows us the innocence of childhood and we learn when we grow up what life is really like. Track 7 is Love. This gentle ballad tells us about simply about Love. Track 8 is Well Well Well. This tells us about John and Yoko's day to day existence. Track 9 is Look At Me. This shows Lennon's uncertainty and looks to his lover. Track 10 is God. The second of my favourite tracks. Here Lennon tells us "the dream is over." He has given up everything for him and Yoko. He clears himself to look to the future. Track 11 is My Mummy's Dead. Again he talks of his mothers death. A very simple song that shows inside he is hurt. He could "never show it." Overall the album is a master piece but don't believe me, you have to listen to it!

Rating: 4.5
Sep 28, 2000
Andrew Gray
John Lennons solo debut was the most eagerly awaited of all of the Beatles solo albums. With McCartney having released his eponymous album, everyone was eager to see how John would fare. He responded with 'Plastic Ono Band', a stunning album of painfully bleak songs describing his state of mind at the time. He was always the most confessional in his songs, but this was unlike any efforts by the Beatles. The start of the opening track gives you a clue as to which way the album is going to go. The dark, ominous sound of a bell leads into 'Mother', in which John talks of the pain of rejection he suffered as a child. Like all of the songs on here, none are particularly musically complex, but the lyrics and the simple chords are what stand out. With that opening, one is rather surprised by the optimistic 'Hold On'. With a great guitar riff and a delicate lead vocal, it stands out on the album because of its mood of optimism. With the positively scathing 'I Found Out', Lennon screams his way through a vitriolic rant on his former band, particularly a certain Paul McCartney, and follows it up with the acoustic 'Working Class Hero'. EMI objected to this song because of John's double use of the F-word. The hurt and anger he must have felt is never more clear as on here. The mood of uncertainty appears for the first time in this song and it is quite clear that John was'nt as comfortable with his God-like status as he appeared to be. 'Isolation' continues that mood and is actually my favourite track on the album. The vulnerability in his voice is what makes this so touching and it is even more evident on 'Love'. I consider these to be two of the best songs he ever wrote and the standouts on this album alone. The acoustic 'Look At Me'is another in the uncertain mould and is followed by a rather uncharacteristic rant in 'God'. The final verse of the song pretty much destroyed the faint hopes of a Beatles reunion and at that point, it was clear that the magic could never work again. The song finished with the line;"The dream is over". Ten years later, it well and truly was. I do genuinely love this album but it does'nt possess the qualities that make 'Imagine' and 'Mind Games' my personal favourite Lennon albums. The production is very minimal as is instrumentation. It does'nt have the rich sound of the strings behind it. Other than that, I cant fault it. I would'nt want to.

Rating: 5.0
May 13, 2000
Colin Heddle
If I had to go to an abandoned Island & could only bring 10 records with me, this would definitely be one of them!! This is one of the most brilliant albums ever made. It is an extremely underrated record. It contains almost every talent John could put into a record. Some of his best writing is on this record. I dont think anybody can write another "Working Class Hero" or another "Mother". The group John uses for the album is amazing. Himself, Klaus Voorman, & Ringo Starr. Simple. John, well everybody knows he is a genious. Klaus Voorman, another underrated musician. I mean just listen to that brilliantbass palying. And then there is good ol' Ringo proving that he is the best drummer of all time. My personal favourite song on the album is "God". I beleive it is the only John Lennon song that he really truly expresses all his emotions & all his love. That love being for Yoko & himself. "Working Class Hero" is my favourite Lennon composition ever. His best song, no doubt about it. Much better than any song he wrote with the Beatles. "Hold On" is a good song. John can still prove he is a comedian doing his impression of cookie monster. The album is closed with the depressing "My Mummies Dead". A song wich sounds like it was recorded with a little portable tape recorder. So what if it was, it should touch everyone. Overall I would recomend this record to everyone!!!! I dont understand why anybody would not like this masterpiece!! Imagine is great but nothing to this. All I can say to end this review is "Thank you John!"

Rating: 5.0
Jan 22, 2000
Erik
You want stark beauty? Then listen to this amazing record, the brightest jewel on the Lennon crown still today. I'm surprised that Phil Spector could have such a sparse production. He was actually forced to on this-he had to capture the raw emotion of the songs, and in doing so there's no way he could have turned it to mush. Can you imagine "Mother" with a "Long And Winding Road" makeover? No. Spector, as the smart producer that he is knew what to do-let Lennons heart lead the music.As a matter of fact,on this album more than any you can actually feel the pain that Lennon was seemingly always tortured by. Most of the songs have sparse, acustic arrangements, featuring just acustic guitars, piano, and drums. Less is definitly more in this case-songs like "Isolation", "Mother", "Love", and "Look At Me" benifit greatly from this. Of course Lennon was a natural rocker- two great, heavy screamers do show up in the mix ("Well Well Well" and "I Found Out"). They are two slabs of Lennon at his best and most raw. Raw. Stark. Melloncholy. Freaky. Whatever you call it, this is John Lennons best album.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 3, 1999
Ward
So do the bells at the start signify the death of Julia or the Beatles? Does it matter? Nevertheless, one's attention is grabbed and off we go on the journey. Mother sets the tone for simplicity as John laments the lack of connection he's felt with his parents, complete with a warning to the 'children' who may be listening and following his lead. (As Neil Young would say one day "Take my advice/Don't listen to me".) In this frank manner, the rest of the album falls into place. (And an album it is, for nothing else in John's post-Beatle career would be as succinct, cohesive, or clear-cut as the statement that is Plastic Ono Band.) Hold On John is a temporary pick-me-up, pushed aside by the edgy I Found Out, the irritated Working Class Hero, and the weary Isolation, which sports perhaps the best bridge of John's songwriting career (and he must have thought so too, since he copped it for Real Love as heard on the Imagine soundtrack LP). If you're still wondering why he feels the way he does, Remember starts off side 2 to explain it all, complete with explosion. (Dramatic license or wishful thinking?) Love is another perfect extension of simplicity, and suggests for a brief moment that he may have figured it all out. After the musical illustration of Primal Therapy that is Well Well Well, Look At Me deflates this idea, sugesting instead that self-examination is never-ending; this may be the most important song on the album as far as I'm concerned. God starts off stately enough then builds up to the (in)famous litany of all the illusions that let John and his fellow travellers down; if you look past the intentionally show-stopping declaration "I don't believe in Beatles", you're left with "I just believe in me", which all listeners would do well to learn from (and if you want to include Yoko in your personal "Yoko and me", that's your choice). Just in case you think John's simply found yet another guru to make life palatable, he leaves us with the simple fact summed up in My Mummy's Dead. By keeping it simple, he set the standard for honest songwriting, against which he would be judged long past his death. His most perfectly self-containted songs make up Plastic Ono Band, and while he would come close, nothing else in his post-1970 catalog would ring as honest, even though honesty would from here on out be his calling card. Sadly, it took John's death for this LP to get better distribution; before 1980 it just didn't get the proper exposure -- perhaps people weren't ready for the truths it told? After 1980 it was all moot. It's a shame everything John learned as preached on this album just didn't make him happy for the rest of his days. This is still his most powerful statement, and quite a declaration of independence. Unfortunately, having torn everything else down, he had nothing left to hide behind, leaving only his worst fears -- that of exposure and rejection -- strongly in evidence. Luckily for us, more great music had yet to surface.

Rating: 5.0
Jul 22, 1999
Brad A.
1970's Plastic Ono Band is a truly remarkable album. For the very first time, an artist has chose to bare his soul over an entire album. The last few Beatle years (1967-1969) saw Lennon create truly remarkable music, but undeniably under the heavy influence of drugs, and with the exception of a few songs(most notably 1968's "Julia") his songs were not overtly personal, instead telling whimsical fictional stories, "Glass Onion", "Polythene Pam", etc. In 1970, a sober Lennon totally shedded all the Beatle mystique and sound, and made a stark, revealing album- unadorned by strings and other overdubs. This album is Lennon singing basic songs, with spare instrumentation- communicating the pain he has buried for years- the pain of losing his parents, and the lack of freedom he has a superstar. "Mother" tells of his grief, "Hold On John" is a song of self-motivation. "I Found Out" is one of the best on the album- Lennon is dismantling the optimism of the '60s, all the gurus and drugs in the world couldn't help make him personally fulfilled. "Working Class Hero" sounds much like Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" and is a biting commmentary on capitalist society. "Isolation" and "Love" are particulary beautiul songs. "God", with Beatle session man Billy Preston on piano, is the great epic of the album- here Lennon dismantles the Beatles in song, and prepares himself for the rest of his life without them. A classic album, Lennon's best.

Rating: 5.0
May 16, 1999
Chad
JOHN LENNON/PLASTIC ONO BAND is absolutely remarkable. I feel that this album, which contains some of Lennon's most emotional works ever, rivals the genius of most of the Beatle's albums. The main reason that I love this album so much is that Lennon's lyrics and songs are "quite simple" when compared to some of the psychadelic, yet obviously great works, he compiled while being a Beatle. It is like he turned over a whole new leaf into a world that seemed to not exist while being in the world's most popular band. The album's first song entiltled "MOTHER" is a profound example of John's ability to communicate his feelings through music as you feel a pain that he obviously has. The song "GOD" absolutely blows my mind. It is, as I have already mentioned, a compleate 180 degree turn from his days as a Beatle; and he mentions the Beatles in a surprising way. The album's seventh song, and my favorite Lennon song ever, is called "LOVE". This is truely the most beautiful song with lyrics that I have ever heard. Any memory or experience of love or someone you love can be brought to the forefront of your mind while listenging to this song's brilliant simple elegance. I reccomend this album for any Beatle's or John Lennon fan, or for anyone that just enjoys great, heart-wrenching music.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 22, 1999
Glenn Moran
Lennon's masterpiece. When you come across an album such as this and wish to review it, the temptation is to rant on about how you think each song is great. However, the "fan with a typewriter" approach does not do justice to it, in fact it diminishes what is one of the most significant pieces of art in music. Everything lovers of "real" music could want is on this album. Its deeply personal themes are vintage "Help" Lennon. It has anger and pain in "Working Class Hero" and "Mother" to name but two songs on those themes, but also tenderness in the aptly titled "Love" which is simplistic yet beautifully crafted. If you wish to learn about Lennon's music/life/beliefs/pain then buy this album, whatever it is you want you'll find it. Almost thirty years after its release, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band has not faded or dated in any way. Buy it, treasure it, learn from it, but mostly just LISTEN to it, "it's all about the music" and music does not come better than this.

Rating: 5.0
Jan 14, 1999
Joey Royal
John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band is quite possibly the most brilliant rock album ever recorded. The production is stripped down to the bare minimum, giving the entire album an intimate, painful, eerie, beautiful, and startlingly honest feel all at once. The albums opens with "Mother", a track where Lennon lays bare all the pain he feels at the loss of his mother. Lines such as the repeated closing line "Momma don't go, daddy come home" are so emotional, the listener can feel Lennon's pain. "Well well well" is another standout track on the album. Lennon's primal scream vocals shred through the guitar distortion, bringing to mind our generation's tortured poet Kurt Cobain's primal screams on In Utero. "I found out", the album's third track takes a bitter look at the world through the eyes of a hardened cynic. Lines such as "Don't let them fool you with dope and cocaine / No one can harm you, feel your own pain" sound like Lennon is giving us the truth, as harsh as it may be. While all of the tracks are nothing short of brilliant and all deserve special attention, the one track that needs to be mentioned is the album's centerpiece, "God". Lennon opens it with the statement, "God is a concept, by which we measure our pain" and then repeats it before one by one expressing that he no longer believes in our society's icons and heroes. Among them are Jesus, Buddha, Kennedy, Dylan, Elvis, and, of course, Beatles. And while I don't agree with many of Lennon's ideas expressed in "God", I cannot deny that "God" is possibly the most moving piece of music ever heard. And, as an album Plastic Ono Band stands alone. We will probably never see the likes of it again.

Rating: 4.5
Jan 7, 1999
anonymous
"Mother" is a heartfelt, soulful song; the lyrics open up new doors and show John was beginning to bring out his true feelings in his songs. However, a bit slow and the lyrics aren't very detailed. It has a beautiful melody. "Hold On" is a rather simple song, nice tune but not very deep meanings. "I found out" is one of the albums few rock songs, has a good beat. The lyrics are raging ones, more of a complaint song but that's ok. Rather new way of singing, different then when he was with the Beatles. "Working Class Hero" my personal favorite with steady guitar strummings, a lovely instant-karma like tune, although not as fast. The lyrics, once again, are about "power to the people" one of his songs for "the workers" although it's lyrics are deeper and have a greater meaning. "Isolation" perhaps a sad song, but seems to be glad that he is in isolation. Pretty tune. "Remember" a punk-rocky song, as in "Mother" it is about his childhood, brings forth new ideas such as how "the hero was never hung" when he was younger. "Well Well Well" not one of my favorites, perhaps in the style of Elvis. A steady rock song with simple love lyrics. "Look at Me" a beautiful, gentle tune from the earlier times of "Julia" and other such songs written for the white album. Good Lyrics. "God" has excellent lyrics, however while John lists what he doesn't "believe in" it goes on for a bit too long. Nice melody, it seems like the finale to Plastic Ono Band. "My Mummy's Dead", a very haunting song sung in a childish voice, but it is short and sweet though very sad. All in all, Plastic Ono Band is a wonderful CD and I highly reccommend it, it gives the listener great pleasure with a little bit of everything.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 22, 1998
Christine Paldino
Arguably not only the most "confessional", "soul-baring" album of John Lennon's entire career, but probably of any contemporary musical artist, Plastic Ono Band clearly demonstrates beyond any doubt Lennon's unique ability to reach inside to the deepest part of himself for lyrical inspiration. Written and recorded in the period following John and Yoko Ono's experience with Dr. Arthur Janov's "Primal Scream Therapy," the music here was John stripped down, naked, exposed, laying bare the pain, anger, frustration and fear that he carried with him for so much of his life. Janov's controversial therapy was grounded in the belief that the primal "scream" would allow the participant to dig to the most private, personal recesses of his/her heart and soul, confront the demons that dwelled within, and "scream" those demons out, to be rid of them for good. Quite appealing for someone like John Lennon. The result is a harrowing, chilling, piece of work, disturbing while at the same time achingly beautiful, collection of some of the most powerful music of Lennon's career. The musical backing itself is minimal and sparse, assuring that the lyrics, by far the most important part of these songs, remain the focus. In contrast to the bright, tinkling bells John would use to usher in "Just Like Starting Over" ten years later, the first sound we hear on POB is a deep, tolling funereal bell of 'doom' and 'sadness' - which segues into "Mother," one of John's most heartbreaking, gut-wrenching performances. Here he laments the loss of his mother, his father, and in many ways, himself…"Mother you had me (Father you left me) , but I never had (left) you…" He is at once the grown son desperate to reach out to the family he never had, and the lost little boy begging for his mum and dad not to leave him…"Mama don't go, daddy come home." It is the incessant repetition of these two lines at the song's long fade where we see the first evidence of 'primal scream' - with each repeat, he tears through a bigger and bigger piece of his heart, until the words themselves become indistinguishable from the scream. This track on first listen is not for the faint-hearted. I still sometimes cannot handle the raw emotion of it. But it's so beautiful. "Hold On" is mellow, soft, and hopeful, with a positive message; here John tells himself, Yoko and "the world" to hold on: "It's gonna be alright, you're gonna win the fight." We somehow believe that he will. In "I Found Out," he recounts the many things that have caused him such disillusionment in his life; he pleads with them to leave him alone…but they won't. None of these so-called "answers" are the answer for him. His answer lies in the line: "Now that I found out, I know I can cry." Primal scream? My guess is yes. In "Working Class Hero", one of John's most bitter, angry, sarcastic, irony-filled songs (and probably my vote for the album's best track), he lashes out at the (perceived) authority figures he has encountered through his life who tried to turn him into what they wanted him to be; crafting his identity for him, and alienating him in the process. He uses a series of ironic statements to make his very strong point: "They hurt you at home and they hit you at school, they hate you if you're clever, and they despise a fool, till you're so f***ing crazy you can't follow their rules"; "There's room at the top, they are telling you still, but first you must learn how to smile as you kill, if you want to be like the folks on the hill." He then tells us: "If you want to be a hero, well just follow me" - sarcasm at its most biting. What helps make this song's message so powerful is its musical presentation: here John accompanies himself on acoustic guitar, with the vocal track placed right at the front of the mix. Next up is the hauntingly beautiful "Isolation." The lyrics no doubt were inspired (at least in part) by the overwhelming alienation John and Yoko felt in the earliest years of their partnership - "just a boy and a little girl, trying to change the whole wide world." Yet, he is at the same time forgiving, understanding: "But then again, you're not to blame, you're just a human, a victim of the insane." "Remember" is the album's most "upbeat" track, both lyrically and musically, with its musical focus being the staccato-like piano present throughout. Here is John, reflecting on the ideals of youth: "Remember when you were young, how the hero was never hung." He is at the same time telling us, not to regret, or feel sorry, for mistakes we've made. "Love" is an attempt to illustrate in honest, simplistic beauty one of the most complicated of human emotions: love is real, real is love…love is you, you and me, love is knowing we can be…" If only it were that simple. John makes it seem that way: If you want it to be, it will be. Here the simple acoustic piano backing is understated and lovely (although the Lennon Anthology contains an outtake of this track using guitar instead of piano, which is even more haunting). From the quiet strains of "Love" we are hit full force again with "Well Well Well." Following in the footsteps of "I Found Out," the music here is raw, unflinching, dirty. Lyrically the least "dense" of the album's tracks, it revisits some of the themes in "Isolation" - the ideals of wanting to change the world - "get things done." Where "Mother" gives the listener a taste of "primal scream," here John is absolutely relentless. The throat-ripping vocal performance on this track reminds me of John's "chew them up and spit them out" versions of "Twist and Shout" and "Money" on the early Beatles' albums. Probably my least favorite track on the collection, if there could be such a thing. "Look at Me" lays bare John's deep-rooted insecurities yet again; here, again alone with his guitar, he asks, "Who am I supposed to be?" The isolation theme again appears: "Nobody else can see, just you and me…who are we?" When I listen to this track, I can picture John sitting alone, guitar in hand, really trying to figure out the answers as he sings the words. Who am I? Am I who I want to be, or who you want me to be? Quiet, pensive…soul-searching. We now arrive at what is probably the most gripping track on this collection - and certainly the best-known. What can be said about "God"? Without warning, John launches into a complete, total dismissal of everything and everyone he once believed in: every hero, every leader, every religion. The song's most compelling moment arrives at the end of the litany: in tandem, John sings the infamous line "I don't believe in Beatles…" followed immediately by a pregnant pause in the music that leaves the line hanging in midair challenging anyone to ignore its significance. "I just believe in me…and that's reality." He then tells us that the dream is over, and that we must carry on. I have always felt that this was as much a message to the listener that the dream had died, it was also a coming to terms, an acceptance, that the dream he had always wished for, that had come true beyond his wildest expectations, was gone, killed by its own reality. The sadness at times is overwhelming. Tacked on to the end of the album, almost as an afterthought, we have John's final acceptance of the overwhelming loss of his mother. "My Mummy's Dead" is a short, haunting rhyme sung almost to the tune of "Three Blind Mice." It is bone-chilling in its simplicity. It is over almost before it begins, yet I find it extremely difficult to listen to - this is John in the most private of moments, lost in the memory of his childhood - touching the root of it all: he is again just the boy who lost his mother. Overall, this album is brilliant. It is without doubt one of the most unadulterated, uncompromising pieces of rock music ever recorded, and will undoubtedly remain so. It is a must-have for any John Lennon fan's collection. This one deserves a page in rock history.%t rev

Rating: 5.0
Dec 22, 1998
Michael Deatherage
JOHN LENNON/PLASTIC ONO BAND, the first album released by "the witty Beatle" after the breakup of the group in 1970, is an extreme departure from the accessible pop music known to Beatle fans. It is stark, harrowing, and almost defiantly honest. It is not an easy album to listen to, but gives great insight into the personality of its creator. With never more than three instruments on any individual song (and some with only one), the raw nature of the subject matter is allowed to speak for itself. The album opens with the ominous sound of funeral bells and launches immediately into "Mother", a song of childhood needs denied, still haunting the grown man. Heartbreaking in its candor and relentless in its almost mechanical rhythm, the song speaks loudly to the traumas experienced not only by its author, but also many of his listeners in early life. From there, "Hold On" gives some glimmer of hope for the future, before the album hits us over the head again with "I Found Out", a song of near-total disillusionment. This theme continues with "Working Class Hero", "Isolation", and "Remember" (a surprisingly catchy song in its own heavy-handed sort of way). Then, there's "Love", almost sweet and desparate in its apparent need to express belief in something. "Well Well Well" is harrowing. The Primal screaming previewed (gut-wrenchingly) in "Mother" comes to fruition in this song. "Look at Me", in its self-doubt and questioning, is achingly sad. The centerpiece of the album in my opinion is "God". In this song, John throws off, by name, everything that he has ever believed in. The album as a whole is one of the most honest trips through a troubled mind and soul seeking peace that I can possibly imagine. A supreme achievement in every sense.

Rating: 4.5
Oct 8, 1998
J.A.S.
John's first solo work after the Beatles broke up in 1970, this is a really strong, emotional, and at times provocative album. I've read that he made most of the album after "primal scream therapy" with a Dr. Janus, I do believe. And the therepeutic thoughts definintly stand out on this album! "Mother" seems to be about his childhood and directed toward his mother and father, and even towards us, the audience, near the end of the song! But at the end of the song is when it REALLY becomes intense, when John launches off screaming "MAMA DON'T GO! DADDY COME HOME!" Its beautiful. "Hold On" has more of an optimistic tone. A good song, first John sings to himself, then to Yoko, and then finally, to the world. "I Found Out" seems to me to be about finding out that so many of the world's ideals are false illusions, while in "Working Class Hero", probably my favorite song on the album next to "God", John sings about growing up in today's world and how its all a bunch of B.S. and its really going to hurt you. "Isolation" and "Remember" both seem to follow up on the ideas presented in "I Found Out" and "Working Class Hero". Probably the weakest song on the album, "Love" is a nice little short and sweet song, talking about how good of a thing love is. "Well Well Well" may not be as strong on the lyrical side, but its nice to listen and John gets into more of the primal screams here, so its very intense listening to it. "Look At Me" seems to be about questioning oneself's identity, and its sort of on the weak side, musically, and lyrically. "God" is definintly the most provocative song on the album and possibly the strongest, emotionally. At first, John speaks his mind about the "concept" of God. Then he goes on to say the things he doesn't believe in, among them, "Magic", "Bible", "Tarot", "Hitler", "Jesus", "Kennedy", "Kings", "Elvis", and finally, "Beatles". Then, John sort of explains to fans that the Beatles are over and that now he's "reborn", that he "was the walrus", but now he's "John". He goes on to say, "And so dear friends, you just have to carry on. The dream is over." Finally, "My Mummy's Dead" is another song about his Mother. He grieves over his mother's death at such an early age and how its so painful to live through. This song has a nice little effect to it. It kind of sounds like you're listening to it on a tape that wasn't recorded in the studio. It gives the song a marvelous effect and makes it THAT much more enjoyable. Plastic Ono Band is definintly a must have for ANY John Lennon fan.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 28, 1998
Gary Jacobs
Minimalist and stark, this superlative album captured Lennon's life at the time completely. "Mother" and "Well Well Well" were influenced by the Primal Scream therapy that he had recently undergone, and the rawness of his vocals when he sings "Mommy don't go" may seem harsh to some, but to me the raw outpouring of emotion has always stood the hair up on the back of my neck. "Working Class Hero" with its use of the word "f*ck" twice must have really gotten folks wondering what had happened to John Beatle. The song, which features just John and his guitar, is an eloquent condemnation of 'the system,' with a good deal of his own personal experience exposed. "Isolation" lays bare some of John's deepest fears and insecurities. In "Love," John uses simple lyric and melody to convey the rawness of that emotion. "God," with its famous litany of "I don't believe in...," ends with what is, in my humble opinion, the quintissential message of the album: "I was the walrus, but now I'm John." The album ends with its shortest, and (again, IMHO)most powerful song: "My Mummy's Dead." He uses a singsongy guitar and a schoolyard melody, then absolutely tears out his heart with the lyrics, which he sings like a dirge. The effect is absolutely as chilling and moving as the first time I heard the album. If you are unfamiliar with this album, I cannot stress enough how seminal this album is to Lennon's work. Buy this disc right now.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 27, 1998
DR TRAX
One of the most unique concepts for an album was given to us by John Lennon when he wrote a collection of songs using himself as the subject. John was loved because he spoke the truth about himself. This album was his finest work setting that truth to music.His biggest hang up in life was his mothers rejection as a child and then her early death.The opening song, Mother and the second song, Hold on set out to exorcise this hang up by firstly getting all the pain out in the open and then recognizing that hope never dies. For the listner, Mother is a hard song to take but the nerves quickly settle when, Hold on, tells you to , Hold on! The next song, I found out, is dedicated to the book, The Primal scream by Dr Janov. After taking the course prescribed in the book John was able to tell us all to 'feel your own pain'. I particulaly liked the line 'there aint no jesus gonna come from the sky, now that I found out I know I can cry' meaning of course that the Lord helps those who help themselves. However lots of people took it as yet another lousey Lennon anti religeon thing! I found out, is a hard edged rocking sound that I reccomend you play at full blast. Working class Hero, is becoming better known as the years go by and more and more cover versions appear.This has to be one of the best lyrics produced by anyone ever and I will say no more until you hear for yourself. Side one finishes with isolation, again a very straight talking Lyric dealing with the various reactions to Johns art as the Beatles were finally consigned to history. Side two opens with the toe tapping Remember, although its upbeat belies the feeling of nostalgic depression behind the words. Love is......the eternal message, the eternal truth is the next song. Great melody which almost makes you forget that you are in the middle of a great exorcism, however the reminder comes next with 'well well well' as more expression from the Primal Scream explodes in your ears. Again full volume is the recognized dose. The greatest amount of introspection comes toward the close of the album, first with 'Look at me' and then God. These two songs build steadily to finally overpower the listener with the simple truth that if you want to make the world a better place, start in your own back yard. Dont follow leaders and always speak the truth! Again because he dared to mention God and Jesus people assumed it was another, yes yet another lousey Lennon anti religeous thing. Finally 'My Mummys dead' concludes the album showing us all that to accept what you cant change is the first step to healing. A great album if you havent heard it then you have a treat in store. Thanks for reading the review and to Mark Chapman a quick message.......Speak the truth, come into the light where we can all see you.

Rating: 4.5
Jul 29, 1998
Stacy Tartar
John Lennon’s first major sojourn into the virgin territory of his solo career is very much what you might expect from the Beatle with the greatest heart and wide open soul. Plastic Ono Band is starkly personal, uncompromisingly honest, musically diverse, and—primal screams and all—even theraputic, maybe for the listener as well as the artist. In deeply personal songs like "Mother," Lennon explores the pain of losing his mother and father at a young age, while in "Isolation," he paints a pallid, lonely, even paranoid face on his and Yoko’s fame. Lennon’s interviews with Playboy in the early 70’s revealed a man who seems relieved finally to be honest with himself and with his fans, and this album does much the same. Stripping away the myth and revealing the man, Lennon sings on "God": "I was the dreamweaver, but now I’m reborn/ I was the Walrus, but now I’m John/ and so dear friends, you’ll just have to carry on…" The song rejects all forms of illusion and hero worship; we can hear Lennon urging himself to stand naked and vulnerable, to reclaim his real core self. But sometimes this process of dymythologizing himself leaves Lennon meditative, maybe gently confused, as in the soft ballad "Look At Me": "Look at me/who am I supposed to be?/Who am I supposed to be?/Who are we?/ Oh my love…" Then, there’s the acoustic underground classic, the acidic "Working Class Hero," a powerhouse solo performance fitting for Lennon's first ever solo album, perfect in its Dylanesque stinging plaintiveness. The stripped down sound of Plastic Ono Band—bass, guitar, drums—enhances the album’s simple, lucid honesty. And—treat of all treats for fans of Lennon’s guitar style—lots of bare Lennon guitar licks, up close and personal. There’s no doubt who’s quivering those strings. I think if you try it you’ll agree that Plastic Ono Band is John Lennon’s finest solo album.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 17, 1998
Daniel Phillips
Plastic Ono Band....what could I possible add to this review that the others haven't said...nothing I doubt....but I had to add my thoughts to this list. The somber tone of the opening bells set the mood for the oncoming "Mother". it was John's way of releasing the pent-up memories that had obviously haunted him his entire life. being forced to choose at such a young age, then again losing his mother again...his father returning after the Beatle stardom had hit. My favorite line is "I couldn't walk..and I tried to Run". The sheer emotional in John's screams at the end is enough to stagger the most coldest heart. "Hold On" opens the theme I see alot of in this collection, that of isolation (obviously) and dealing with the weight of the world....if we could only put aside all the differences and work together as one..the world would be a better place "I Found Out"...I truly dig this one, John lays it all on the table for all to see..this is what makes Lennon real. He is not afraid to say what he wants to say. The jabs at Religion, Parents, Hare Krishna, Paul, Drugs, & Machoness all cut through in the typical Lennon sharpness. "working Class Hero" follows and continues on the attack, albeit in a much more subdued setting. The bleakness in his voice matching the bleakness of the subject matter. A masterful job with very visual lyrics over a very simple guitar...and the line "There's room at the top they are telling you still/But first you must learn how to smile as you kill/If you want to be like the folks on the hill....is a perfect description of a cutthroat society. "Isolation" reminds us the costs of being such a public figure and for being so outspoken. I have always love the subtleties of strings behind John's music. "Remember" to me, deals with the unspoken things learned as a child. True, the good guy never lost..you must always be the 'good guy', and the obligatory 'my kid will go far' attitude--you were always told what to do, how to act..and never had a word in edge wise....so why feel sorry for you've done..altho I must confess..I have no idea what November the 5th has in reference to this! What can possibly be said about "Love"----John describes it as well as I have ever seen it. Plus it is a two way street, reaching for love for it to reach you. The simplicity of the piano and the overall tone of John's delivery make this an all time classic. Makes me sick to see it being used on commercial TV. "Well Well Well" is about the only tune on here that slowly grates on my nerves. I enjoy the extreme roughens and the nasty guitar riffs, but the screeching at the end eventually gets to me. This selection sounds like what all the grunge rockers have been trying to get for years. I get the feeling that they were in the studio just jamming 'til John about tore his throat out! "Look At Me", is another classic in my opinion. Wanting Yoko to look only at him for him, not as Beatle John, or Activist John....That no one really knew him, but that he was aching for someone to discover the real him...and pull that person out of the hiding and shelter he had built up around himself. "God" follows and really puts the cherry on the cake. Immediately the lyric lays it on the line...not once but twice, proving again, that Lennon isn't afraid to speak his true feelings. Then the list of what he doesn't believe in is intense to say the least, probably offending several thousands of people....but in truth, you have to believe in yourself first and foremost to get anywhere, and that is how John closes that portion of the tune. "I just believe in me, Yoko and me, and that's reality". "The dream is over" section really gets to me. He seems to be saying to the world, that the myth of the magical Beatles is gone, and now you are seeing the John Lennon stripped down, unmasked. The games are over. I love the entire feel to this tune, plus It will always be in my memory as the song the TV station played over a picture of Lennon on that fateful night December 8 1980. "My Mummy's Dead" is another exorcism of releasing pain long held it. Witness the line "I can't explain/so much pain/ Icould never show it/ My Mummy's Dead". It is impossible to me to not hear the pain in that man's voice. In closing, this is, to me, the best solo LP of the Lennon releases. The sheer honesty and brutality he unleashes on this release. He opens himself up to everyone, says things he's always wanted to say. This is a definite MUST HAVE if you are even remotely interested in Beatle music...I have to say, that this LP is the best thing I have heard from any of the four Beatle's solo years.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 9, 1998
Brian Mc
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is an excellent album and A great start for the Solo Career of John Lennon. it is defintely one of his top three albums. It is best described as Stripped Down, Basic, and in your face type music. What makes it special is the lyrics. THis Album has meaning...It starts off with Mother a dramatic Ballad which Documents When he was five and his parents gave him a choice of which one to live with He sound like a screaming child, you can feel the pain. Hold On is about how John seems to feel at the current time he feels that he and Yoko are isloated and they should "Just Hold On" its kind of similar to Dont Let me Down musically..I Found Out is one of the stronger tracks because of the lyrical message Its pure truth, its what John has discovered this lifetime "There aint know Jesus up there in the sky now that I found I know I can Cry" Working Class hero is both the simppliest and most lyrically important song it deals with Johs CHildhood, he sounds angry on this song...Its classic...Isloation is similar to Hold On in meaning but more impressive musically....Remember is a catchy tune that seems to be talking about How John has been crucified by the Meida in the most recent years prior to 1970...Love is the Best Love SOng lennon ever wrote during his solo career...Well Well Well Drags on a bit but if you like Lennon when screams youll like this one kinda like Cold Turkey stripped down......Look At Me is a very soothing song it relaxes the soul after listening to the intensity throughout the Album..GOD has great lyrica and a simple melody..John states what GOd is and what he doesnt beleieve in.....My Mummy's Dead is recored on a simple tape recorder and sounds like Ring around the Rosy but in a depressing way... it brings the Album to a intense ending. Overall John Lennon/PLastic Ono Band could be best described as In your Face, Raw, Intense Music with Powerful, the most Powerful lyrics in John Lennons solo career If You are Aa Beatles Fan or Like Lennon solo this is a must buy.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 25, 1998
Joseph Piscopo
This album is a masterpiece not one bad song .As a Singer/Songwriter myself this album is one of my favorite Lennon Beatles albums.Mother is a great song because of John pushing his voice to it's limits at the end a great melodie also.Hold on is a good song even though it's so short Working class hero is a classic the lyrics are so powerfull John was not a Working class hero but the song speaks to everyone like myself who want to be somebody and don't care what anyone tells us.Remember is great also such a great melodie.Well Well Well is great to because John blows his voice out smartly at the end he stops before he can damage his voice.I found out is nasty with him bashing Paul.God is an emotional song you get chills when you hear him sing with such pain the dream is over Love is a great song that shows that John could write ballads like paul.One of John's best if you only have one album get this one......

Rating: 5.0
Apr 15, 1998
Rob
This album stands out as the best of all the solo Beatle releases, matching any of the Beatle albums themselves whilst sounding totally unique. Here, John laid bare his soul, something artists are renowned for avoiding. Lyrically bleak and brutally honest, the sound hauntingly sparse, despite the legendary "Wall of Sound" Phil Spector at the helm. From the tolling bell (4 times - 1 for each Beatle???) announcing a very different album, the despair of "Mother", the anger of "Working Class Hero", the beauty of the simple yet poignant "Love", through finally to "God" where John debunks all possible heros leading dramatically to the Beatles. All he needed, he said, was Yoko and himself. Tragically, this was not allowed to be. It takes a strong person to hear the final short demo like "My Mummy's Dead" and not feel tears well up. An album of distilled emotion that really only the brutally honest and lyrically astute Lennon could muster. If you haven't already, buy today, listen on your own; you'll feel the presence of John close by.

Rating: 4.0
Apr 1, 1998
Spike
Plastic Ono Band hasn't aged well - the primal screams date it - but its audacity and iconoclasm beats anything any ex-Beatle ever cut. Lennon was reacting against everything here, from Paul McCartney to his dead mother, from God to the lush sound of Abbey Road, and his response was to cut everything to the core. Lyrics streamlined, instrumentation sparse, hardly any Yoko. As with most great rock 'n' roll, more important than what Lennon sings is how he sings. Phil Spector produced this set in association with the Unhappy Couple, but you'd never know it. Lennon's voice is relatively effect-free, and the only immediately apparent sound augmentations are echo and reverb that add weight and tension. Lennon was going back to his musical as well as emotional roots; as Tim Riley writes in Tell Me Why, the echo and reverb here are Lennon's way to summon the sound of his beloved Sun-period Jerry Lee Lewis. (Think about it.) Throughout album, Lennon is as pained as the Killer was when the latter pushed into the barbed-wire C&W standards that ate at his soul. The pastoral-delight cover photo on this album is wishful thinking.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 25, 1998
Jerad Moxley
This is not a happy album. It seems strange to say that since at the time John claimed to be more happy then he had been in years. I think maybe this album was meant to be a cathartic experience for John. This album is vocally stong, I have a difficult time imagining how John could have sang better. With the same thought though the album is musically very raw. This rawness is best exemplified by the songs "I found out" and "My mummys dead." The first song is has just a guitar being strummed harshly at the beginning before a harsh drum rift is added. The latter is the song that completes the album. It is a negative note to end on. The song itself sounds like an old blues recording. The album begins with "Mother." This powerful song about the disertion of John by his parents and his withdrawl from the world. I love this song because I can feel the pain in his voice. Then the album moves on to "Hold On." This song is a positive song with a good bass-line. "Working Class Hero" is one of John's many messanic songs. I don't believed John was a real working class hero. Yet I like this song anyhow. Its got a really good acoustic guitar rift, and John's lyrics though arrogant are powerful. Keeping on the acoustic train of thought one of my favorites on the album is the contemplative "Julia" clone, "Look at Me." Even though it is a clone it is abs

Rating: 5.0
Mar 22, 1998
Christian
"Plastic Ono Band" is Johns first real solo effort, I don´t count "Two Virgins", "Life With The Lions", "The Wedding Album" and "Live Peace In Toronto". I see them as a good option for John getting away from the at the time high pressured Beatles. Anyway, on "Plastic Ono Band" there´s 11 strong tracks performed very raw with a four-piece group. John on guitar, piano and vocals. Yoko on wind (?), Ringo Starr playing drums and one of Beatles closest friend from the Hamburg days, Klaus Voorman on bass. When you hear "Plastic Ono Band" you really hear tracks with emotional strength. The first track "Mother" starts off with a church bell, the song is about Johns longing after his late mother and father. At the end of the song he screams "Mama Don´t Go/Daddy Come Home". True therapy. After "Mother" comes the short "Hold On", a song about justice and peace. And I personally think that this song gave birth to the idea of "Imagine". Then comes the angry "I Found Out", he tells his feeling about the Jesus deal in 1966, his heroine problem in late 1969 and his resentment against Paul McCartney. "I seen religion from Jesus to Paul" he sings. And then one of my favorites tracks on the album, "Working Class Hero" a song about the tough schedules in 1963-1966. John said in a interview that the period took his youth away, because his was working 24 hours a day when the other people was goofing of. Then comes the also briljant songs "Isolation", "Remember", you really feel the depressiv John sing through them. He´s got the blues feeling sort of. And then the extremely beautiful song "Love", John gives it a warm caring, you know, the only thing we need is love. It´s a kind of sequel to "All You Need Is Love" but more serious. And it has a less commercial effect also, which is good. And after "Love" the angry "Well Well Well" song comes, when I heard this song for the first time, I knew without a doubt that this very song gave a enormous effect on the late Kurt Cobain in Nirvana. The song starts off a little calm and later John screams without any bounders. "Look At Me", I would guess that this song is about John thanking Yoko for showing John the meaning of success. When Yoko met up with John, she didn´t know anything about Beatles, and didn´t want to either. I suppose that this song is John graditude to Yoko. And it reminds me a little of the Beatles song "Julia". And for the very epic song "God", it must be the most important song on the album as "A Day In The Life" had on Sgt. Pepper. This is a true confession of Johns opinions on various things. He starts of with saying "God Is A Concept By Which We Measure Our Pain". And then he starts off a "mantra" saying that he don´t believe in magic, the bible, Hitler, Kennedy and for the last object, in Beatles. "I Just Believe In Me/Yoko And Me/And That´s Reality". The dream is over. The last song on the album, "My Mummy´s Dead" almost feels like a home made demo of "Mother", he sings "My Mummy´s Dead/I Can´t Get It Trough My Head/Though It´s Been So Many Years". A very emotional song that ends "Plastic Ono Band". A very strong and good debut album from a former Beatle. John was beginning to show his real side, and what good start with a fantastic album. The nightmare was over.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 19, 1998
Carl Field
This is my second favorite Lennon solo album, a very close second to Double Fantasy. It also has a definite continuity with the latter. Plastic Ono Band opens with a church bell tolling for, I assume Johns mothers untimely death and the death of the innocence and security of John's childhood. The church bells echo interminably. Ten years later, Double Fantasy opens with the wistful chiming of Yokos wishing bell. It, and the ensuing songs suggest on that album suggest a healing and resolution of the pain of Plastic Ono band, and of a restoration of the lost innocence expressed in Plastic Ono Band. Taken together, the two albums are a lovely epiphany. But the epiphany begins with pain, and that's what Plastic Ono Band is all about - pain and disillusionment. John's disillusionment with his parents in Mother and with the broken promises of the sixties with I found out. That song has a great line about the Maharishi types of that era - "There aint no guru who can see through your eyes" and the shouted line to his audience to "Feel your own pain!" Well said John. Regarding the sequencing of the songs, they veer from the very biting and sarcastic, like Working Class Hero with its slap at the working class when he sneers "You're still fucking peasants as far as I can see." Songs that nasty are followed by beautiful, soft ballads like "Hold On" and the sublime "Love," beautifully sung lyrical couplets that see saw back and forth interdependently, "Love is real, real is love," etc. "Well Well Well" is one of his nastier songs and a brilliant anticipation of punk rock six years later. "God" is another beautifully sung song where John strips himself of all hero worship and false belief. It's a stripping down process. "I don't believe in Elvis" he sings. Or Buddha, or finally even the Beatles are rejected as false idols. Finally when he's stripped naked to his audience, he sings "My mummy's dead. I can't get through my head" That's how the album concludes: in cathartic, resigned sadness unmatched by any artist save Dylan in "Time out of Mind" John's following the advice he gave his audience in an earlier song, he's feeling his own pain with absolute honesty. He's laying the foundation for the resolution of "Double Fantasy." The album is a masterpiece for John personally, and for his times

Rating: 5.0
Mar 1, 1998
Adam Miller
An absolute masterpeice. Although the songs on the album aren't on many greatest hits compilations, they seem like they shouldn't be. The obscurity and depression of the tracks is something on it's own. It can never be replaced, the tracks on it must be listened to side by side with themselves. What an album.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 28, 1998
Zach D
the album screams to you of pain and hurt. a true feeling come from it, something that no Beatles or for the most part no other artist has ever done, atleast to these depths. "Love" and "Working Class Hero" bring out the best in him and show the darker but very honest side of him and human nature. great album.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 26, 1998
Tom Panasci
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band clearly marks Lennon's transition from Beatle to individual. "MOTHER" proves that beneath the surface, Lennon longed to be loved by his parents. The lyrics: "Father, you left me/I never left you" indicate that John was bitter toward his father because of what his father had done, not at who he was. Very few refrains are as heart-felt as Lennon's "Momma don't go/Daddy come home" at the end of the song. "HOLD ON" is Lennon's way of telling Yoko that his past will be put behind him after this album, and that the future is their's if she stands by him. "I FOUND OUT" is Lennon's rock anthem, as it deals with everything from his separation from his parents, his battles with drug addictions, and his relationship with Paul McCartney. This song, more than any other, indicates that Lennon knew what it was like to be let down, and that it was up to him to now move forward. "WORKING CLASS HERO" is a simple acoustic song that is hauntingly revealing. Despite speaking of a fictional character, it is clear that "WORKING CLASS HERO" is about Lennon: who he is and who he wants to be. The lines "They hurt you at and they hit you at school/They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool" illustrate Lennon's separation from piers and family as a boy, and show that if he speaks his mind about such things as peace, people argue with him; but it is also a society where someone as important as John cannot be expected to keep quiet. "ISOLATION" is a statement concerning the life he plans to lead with Yoko: a life where they are one. It is clear that he and Ono feel that they are all they have with lines like "We're afraid of everyone/Afraid of the sun/Isolation." "REMEMBER" shows Lennon's disgust with his parents' actions, once again as he asks: "Do you remember, your ma and pa/Just wishing, for movie stardom?" In other words, "Did your parents have unrealistic expectations for you too?" "LOVE" is one of Lennon's most beautiful songs; simple and moving, and contrasts nicely with the rock sound of "WELL WELL WELL": a song that could have easily gone on Lennon's "SOMETIME IN NEW YORK CITY" album. The song discusses women's liberation, and demonstrates the fact that Lennon had political views, and was planning on showing them. "LOOK AT ME" is another song written to Yoko, with a feeling of Lennon's need for her acceptance. "GOD" is perhaps the most striking song ever recorded. In it, Lennon separates himself from the world's politics, religion, and fellow celebrities. Lennon states with equal affection that not only doesn't he believe in Jesus, but he doesn't believe in Hitler, either. Not only doesn't he believe in Zimmerman, but he doesn't believe in The Beatles, either. But despite the power of these lyrics, the most heartfelt come at the end of the song when Lennon states: "I was the dreamweaver, but now I'm reborn/I was the walrus, but now I'm John/And so, dear friends/We'll just have to carry on/The dream is over." This clearly shows the life he has left behind for the life he has chosen to lead. The album ends with the acceptance of his mother's tragic death, with the troubling song, "My Mummy's Dead." John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is simply the most complete and heart-felt album Lennon ever made.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 24, 1998
Bret Staples
Well I'm listening to it right now, and what is there to say? Mother is simpily---spectacular, John screaming over the loss of his parents to a tuneful backing. Then the echo filled "Hold On" Which is of course a great song flying through the angry Working Class Hero to the beautiful Love, the honest and almost scary God, and a short song about facing his mothers death in My Mummy's Death leaving having started the album begging for his parents and leaving it accepting his pain....genious, Lennon gives us a slow moving song that shows his feelings. Your must hears are Mother, Working Class Hero, Love, and God.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 24, 1998
brian
the greatest album made by john lennon. fresh off of the beatles he was now finally free. he didn't have to get anyone elses approval and it showed. he got to discuss his views through great music. the songs are so powerful and they let us all in on a little bit of john's life.

Rating: 4.0
Feb 4, 1998
JIMMY
John Lennon's debut album after the Beatles Split in 1969 was the quintessentially Lennon album "Plastic Ono Band". The album being rather introspective on Lennon's behalf was a musical masterpiece with a certain rawness, that may have left Lennon's commercial "moptop" fans gasping. Certainly with songs like "MOTHER" and "GOD" lennon was revealing his true self to the mass of his fandom, no doubt after his primal scream therapy with Janov. "Love" however is a pure ballad that some say sound more like Mr McCartney than Lennon . Lennon did not play piano on this track however it is a lovely track. "WELL WELL WELL" proves Lennon's role as a pioneer of grunge guitar or as Lennon put it "making the guitar speak". Generally one of Lennon's finest albums. Four Apples.

Rating: 5.0
Jan 22, 1998
The Sod
This is truly a great album, beginning to finish. It is very autobiographical and has some of the most gut-wrenching, emotional lyrics and singing ever recorded. The music is spare (no strings or lush arrangements) but overwhelmingly powerful-a true rock and roll record with an attitude. It opens with the classic track "Mother", Lennon's ode to his deceased mother Julia. You can feel the pain when he sings "Mama don't go, daddy come home" at the end of the track. "Hold On" seems to be John reassuring himself everything will be allright as long as he has Yoko. The album was made during a tough part of Lennon's life; the Beatles had just broken up, there were lawsuits everywhere, and to boot, he and Yoko weren't the most popular people in England. "I Found Out" is fantastic bluesy rock, with John showing his cynical side with lines like "There ain't no Jesus going to come from the sky, Now that I found out I know I can cry." "Working Class Hero" is probably my favorite on the album. The music is simple, just John on an acoustic guitar. But oh, how powerful it is. The lyrics are fabulous, truly showing John's skills in that capacity. Although "Isolation" may not be remembered as a Lennon classic, I hold it in high regard for the emotional singing and beautiful melody. "Remember" is another lyrical masterpiece, although I still haven't figured out the signifigance of the Fifth of November line at the end of the song. "Love" is a beautiful ballad, the only real love song on the album, so it's aptly named. "Well Well Well" ranks among my favorite Lennon songs. In two words-it rocks. His screaming at the end is awesome, showing off his Primal Scream therapy results. "Look at Me" is an introspective song with a good melody. It sounds like it could have gone on the White Album, very similar to "Julia." "God" is John's statement to the world that he had separated himself from the band which made him famous. Throughout the song, Lennon rips things he no longer believes in, and included are Jesus, Hitler, Elvis, Dylan, and of course the Beatles. It is a fantastic song. Finally, the album closes with "My Mummy's Dead", another song dedicated to his mother. In a few words, the album is a must-have for not just Beatles or Lennon fans, but for music fans in general!

Rating: 5.0
Dec 3, 1997
Matt Carney
This has to be one of the most soul bearing and just terrific albums ever made. Every track is great on here, although this is probably one of Lennon's least commercial real albums(not counting unfinisished music) it really is awesome. Lennon is here stripped to the bone, accomplishing what the Beatles failed to do in there Let It Be Sessions. Lennon really bares it all to his listener and therefor making this album touching to anyone who gives it an honest listen. The honest and also depressive John starts off with "Mother" which is a terrific about his parents and his message to all of us. It is one of Lennon's most personal songs ever. "Hold On" is John realising that although it is tough now he will be able to overcome it. "I Found Out" is John telling the world that he found out about life and that he is going through one of his many changes in his life. It is a real rocker on the album and one of the album's best tracks."Working Class Hero" really sounds like an extremely good Bob Dylan song. Here Lennon is proving that he can do Dylan even better than Dylan himself. This is a tremendous song about Lennon talking of being against the establishment and it is up there with the best songs ever written by anyone. "Isolation" is again John discussing about how he and Yoko can cope with each other and get through the terrible things that the press are saying about them. This is one of the better melodies on the album and is another great song. "Remember" is the weakest song on the album as far as melody goes, but the lyrics are great again with Lennon talking about how people value fame and fortune too highly and that it really doesn't get you happiness, also commenting on what I assume is him telling people to remember to vote at the end possibly against Nixon? "Love" is a great metaphor song an a beautiful melody, the happiest song on the album it shows that all is not lost with John. "Well, Well, Well," is lennon's primal Scream thing and it is terrific. Lennon's voice is terrrific with this song, his screaming can be shocking really terrific. "God" of course was Lennon's statement to the world, he was telling them about life and etc, he also says that he doesn't believe in establishments and even Beatles and that the dream is over. A great song again one of Lennon's best. Finally maybe my favorite song on the album is the very depressing but very heartfelt "My Mummy's Dead". Here lennon invokes such sadness and the production is superb. It sounds as if it is coming from a music box that is sitting in anyone's homes. It just shows how hard this loss must be on Lennon and makes the listener feel deeply for him. A great ending to one of the most personal, and best albums ever made. Plastic Ono Band would make someone's collection worthy just by owning it alone.

Rating: 4.5
Nov 21, 1997
Fredrik Kinbom
This great record really shows us John Lennon´s music stripped to the bone. The instrumentation is minimal and the songs can´t hide behind massive layers of overdubs - they stand strong all the same. The same nakedness goes for the lyrics (due to the "primal scream-therapy" John had experienced at the time). This first "real" John Lennon solo album includes some of his greatest (and most well known) recorded work, for example "God", "Working Class Hero" and "Mother". (Who could have been a more suitable drummer for this record than Ringo? - he does a great job!).

Rating: 5.0
Nov 17, 1997
Aaron Shawn Hadsock
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is in my consideration, one of the best albums ever made. In each song is the evidence of what anger and pain can produce. I FOUND OUT is a perfect example of an angry man's rage, and is also an excellent display of "no hold's barred" songwriting. While Paul was "playing with words" while taking subliminal jabs at JohnandYoko, John on the other hand just came out with it. I feel that this album will always reign as the best solo effort to come out of the Beatle breakup.

Rating: 5.0
Nov 15, 1997
Chris McIntyre
This is John's greatest album, and probably the most honest, personal album ever recorded. John bears his soul with John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. The music is sparse, but it proves the maxim of "less is more". Elaborate strings or production would have only detracted from it's message. The first song, Mother, is one of the best of the bunch. John expresses all the pain of his childhood. Mother is an example of why this is known as John's primal scream album. He calls out to his parents. This is a song about abandonment, and being alone. Then, comes one of the little bits of optimism he lets come through, Hold On. It tries to reasure, and give hope. Plus, as an added bonus, he, for some reason, added in the voice of the Cookie Monster. :) After that is a peice of raw, unadulterated rock. I Found Out had a wonderfull blues/rock guitar. The lyrics come from a cynical man, who's been hurt by fame. It tries to expose what John sees as hypocracy, and to warn listeners about becoming caught up in the system, much like the next song, Working Class Hero. For this, John uses a very basic setup. It's just him sining live in the studio to an acustic guitar. The point is that you're supposed to focus on the lyrics instead of the music. He wants people to hear what he has to say. He sings about how society can warp people, and force them to do what they know isn't right just to survive. Side 1 then closes with Isolation. There's a strong sense of hurt in this song. It's him and Yoko against the world, and all they have is each other. Side 2 begins with Remember, a song with a more upbeat tune, but the lyrics of someone who's been scared and disalusioned (sp) by society. Then he breaks from all this negativity for a slower tune where John tries to define love. Love truely is a beautifull song. Then comes Well Well Well for a sharp contrast with Love. This is a blistering rocker, where John screams his heart out. The blistering guitar is wonderfull. This is the forerunner of modern alternative and grunge. Next is Look At Me. John sounds very frail during it. Extremely vulnerable. God comes after that. It is the album's climax, where he rejects everything that's influenced him in his life. He strips away all protection, and what is left is John at his most naked (next to the Two Virgins cover, of course ;)). Instead of being some larger than life figure, he is very human, with the same weaknesses anyone else has. And finally, is My Mummy's Dead. This song was recorded with bad sound quality on purpose to give it a feeling of sorrow and pain. It's obvious that Julia's (John's mother) death was an extremely crucial turning point in his life that he'd never recovered from. All I have to say is: Buy This Album! JL/POB is truely a must have for any Lennon fan.

Rating: 5.0
Oct 15, 1997
Maxwell
This was one of the best john lennon albums ever, other than imagine which kinda was up there just because of that song alone. This has been noted his primal screems album and for good reason. It was all out rock n roll and proved that lennon had nothing to hide. There are classic songs on this record, such as Mother which he wrote about his child hood, God which he wrote about the break up from the beatles, and many others. The raw gritty guitar songs in I Found Out and Well Well Well, prove that he new how to write good hard rock n roll, while songs like isolation proved that he was still an all around writer. All in all the album went through his entire life, and is probably the best album of his career. IT ROCKS!!!!!!!!

Rating: 4.5
Sep 25, 1997
Jon Hammond
The best solo-Beatle album recorded after the breakup, this once and for all ends the dreams of a reunion and the ideals of the sixties. It is John at his weariest and bleak, yet he maintains his sarcasm and a touch of hope, for himself and Yoko, of course. A must-have for Beatles and Lennon fans, and a musical "happening", just as John would like it.

Rating: 5.0
Sep 12, 1997
MATILDA MOTHER
This album is probably John Lennon's best music ever. I love the Beatles, but this album is more meaningful to me than any other Beatles album. From the opening primal-screem inspired Mother. Lennon bares his soul out to his listener. You really can identify with his lyrics"Momma don't go, Daddy Come home!". It is a symple melody, but Lennon's voice is so strong and powerful that this song can never be redone. Hold on is a good song with more melody than Mother. Then comes I found out. This song is another remarkable song.Lennon is realising that his phones are tapped and he speaks against the govt, against organised religion, and etc. It is truly awe inspiring.Lennon's lyrics are symply the best by any artist on this album. Working class hero is a strong lyrical statement written in a dylanesque style. It is his attack against society and what they value. It reminds me of Dylans Like a Rolling Stone, or Pink Floyd's If. It is just a strong statement and a beautiful song. Isolation really hits to heart that everyone can feel alone, and it is tremendous. Love is a beautiful ballad, and Look at me is a nice refreshing melody that helps gel this album together. God is a very incredible statement of beliefs. Here Lennon is denying everything except for Yoko and him. It is truly great. But, the highlight to me is the short ending song My mummy's dead. This song sounds as if it was coming through a music box that his mom gave him. The lyrics here are just excellent and the image that one gets when listening to it. "My Muumy's dead, I can't get it through my head,Though its been so many years, My mummy's dead, I can't explain, so much pain, I could never show it, My mummy's dead". Breathtaking-An album any music fan needs to get!

Rating: 4.5
Sep 5, 1997
The Eggman
This album rocks! Its classic Lennon pure and simple. You can hear the fire in his voice, and the smacking of the drums that tells you Lennon is in a fit of rage. Its just Rockin! I mean the overall sound of the album is nothing like I ever heard before. The drum tracks are brought to the forefront, and the reverb is turned up, Lennon is yelling at the top of his lungs on songs like 'WELL WELL WELL', and 'I FOUND OUT', then the mood is calmed a bit by ballads like 'ISOLATION', and 'OH MY LOVE'. I also think 'WORKING CLASS HERO' is one of the best songs (lyrically) ever written. The album is not for your mother of father to listen to because its kind of loud, but its definitely in my opinion Lennon at his most honest moment around that time.

Rating: 4.0
Aug 9, 1997
Brett Bisceglia
PLASTIC ONO BAND is by far the best, most sincere, insightful, and powerful solo work ever put out by John Lennon. In later years John Lennon himself complimented it as "all meat and no fat." No strings, no orchestrations, no production tricks, no "wall of sound" like on his next album, IMAGINE. Just guitar, piano, bass, drums, and powerful music. The music talks for itself on this album. In MOTHER, the opening song, Lennon sets the tone for the entire album. It is a musically stripped down song with the raw emotion of Lennon's words taking the forefront. The simple piano chords and drum beat accentuate the rawness of Lennon's emotions perfectly. MOTHER leaves no doubt about it: this album is about a man and his music, alone, naked, and in the open for all to see. WORKING CLASS HERO is an honest portrayal of the way we grow up in society and what it does to us. Lennon sees society as a viscious and dehumanizing machine that stifles our spirit and individuality by "giving you no time instead of it all." The message is so right on that it makes the song truly beautiful. Other songs on Plastic Ono Band include HOLD ON, I FOUND OUT, ISOLATION, REMEMBER, LOVE, WELL WELL WELL, LOOK AT ME, GOD, and MY MUMMY'S DEAD.

Rating: 5.0
Jul 31, 1997
Jim Jacobs
What can one say about this album but that it shows John Lennon at his artistic best. The album shows John in his rawest form & being completely honest to his fans about his childhood years-Mother,My Mummy's Dead,about his life in general-Working Class Hero, & about the breakup of The Beatles as well as his other disbeliefs that he lists-God. The album also shows a soft side to John Lennon showing that he could write a ballad-Love. The remaining tracks on the album speak for itself. The album is very personal & painful to listen to but the quality of the songs cannot be taken for granted. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is a must for the serious John Lennon listener.

Rating: 4.0
Jul 26, 1997
Pauldo
JL/POB, johns first legitimate solo release, contains a lot of lightweight, infectious pop with catchy hooks and stunning backing vocals....oops, wrong album! In fact this album is the opposite. Mostly dominated by acoustic ballads with a few rockers thrown in for good: Well well well. In this garage rocker the band really let their hair down. Often cited as the first grunge rocker, although i've heard earlier grunge, this song is more well known. Of most interest is MOTHER, johns ode to his parents, clocking at nearly 6 minutes, is nice shoutathon. The production? there isn't any! the letdown for this album is the stark, underproduced quality of the tracks, theres only 3 instruments and johns voice. No backing vocals or strings. Which really surprised me coz phil spector produced. This record is interesting for the lyrics than any complex productions or catchy tunes. And to close the album, the tune of 3 blind mice is borrowed for a song called 'my mummys dead' which is self explanatory, and its the shortest song on the album! In conclusion: Get the record! Its a good place to start for uncompromising, underproduced, in-yer-face rock which is quite autobiographical. If you want to know how Lennon felt in 1970, take a listen by yourself as i don't see these songs being used for parties do you?

Rating: 5.0
Jul 24, 1997
Dave Laing
This album is John Lennon at his best. His singing on this album is better than any singer on any other album ever. On "Mother" you can feel his pain along with him. "I Found Out" and "Well Well Well" are excellent rock songs. Strong ballads include "Love" and "Hold On". "Working Class Hero" is a strong folky type acoustic song. "God" shows that John didn't believe in much at that time in his life, except for him and Yoko. Overall, one of the best (if not the best) albums ever made.

Rating: 5.0
Jul 6, 1997
Amy S.
It's kind of funny to see the album cover on this record because it is so peaceful looking. John and Yoko are relaxing together at the foot of a tree, but when you hear the album you know that it is not simple pleasures that held them together, it was deep need, and understanding of each others pain; a compassion that only those that listen to the album appeciatively can understand. 'Mother' really is the most intruiging track on the album because it is so simple, yet compact in meaning. Kind of like 'Imagine,' yet harsh. John knew (whether conciously or not) how to use his vioce to convey his feelings. He knew how to play the guitar, and write his lyrics in that same purpose. When he sings, "Hold on Yoko, Yoko hold on, it's gonna be alright," you don't have to guess, you know exactly what his heart was trying to say. This is true for all of the tracks. I personally like to hear, 'I Found Out' because it is so raw and INYOURFACE. But also, 'Love' is so gentle and ethereal that it could float away into the sky. 'God' is a masterpiece and it really shows the soul inside John, although others would say he has no soul for having spoke so truthfully. The point is, John Lennon knew his medium, and he used it with purpose. He wasn't shouting off truisms to shock the world, he was speaking honestly and didn't give a damn if people liked it or not. It is hard to say that each track is this or that, because they all lead up to a whole perception that John had at that moment about life. Seperate them into bad or good, and you seperate the man into bad or good. When it comes down to it, 'Remember' speaks the most truth, it is constantly profound for all: "Don't you worry bout what you've done, don't worry about the ways it's gone....Just Remember."

Rating: 5.0
Jun 26, 1997
Myke Carter
Four lonely, heavy peals supposedly from an iron bell open this album and immediately set the mood for the 40-minutes of music which follows them. Judging from the personality of this album, 1970 was a very negative year for John Lennon and his wife, Yoko. Yet, as is often the case with artists, such negativity proved to be very inspiring to him as well. "Plastic Ono Band" was John's first musical studio album as a solo artist and arguably his best work as such. Its musical arrangements are incredibly sparse and its production is uncommonly simple yet both worked very well together to create a remarkably effective record. John's lyrics often bite with an intense, honest clarity unconcerned with who they might offend. Rather than to write about peace, protests and politics, with this album John chose to write about himself, his life, his demons, his past, his present, his society, and his just-the-two-of-us-against-the-whole-world marriage with Yoko. "Mother" is a lament for the loss of his parents at a very young age; his father by abandonment and his mother by death. One would have to be a very callous individual not to have a great deal of sympathy and/or empathy for John as a human being after hearing this song. It is a tremendous opener for the album and clearly documents his interest at the time in Arthur Janov's "Primal Scream Therapy". "Hold On" is a simple song of hope for a brighter future during lonely times. John makes good use of tremolo guitar in this one. "I Found Out" is an acidic song of defiant, self-assertion with anti-religious sentiment. "Working Class Hero" is a Lennon classic that champions common individuals who succeed in society without kowtowing to its "Cookbook For Success" on their way up and who, therefore, are able to maintain their modesty and a proper perspective of their placement in humanity. "Isolation" is a song mostly of John's & Yoko's isolated existence in a hard, cruel world. The lyrics of "Remember" are to me a bit abstract although it seems as if John is attempting to draw a comparison between himself, a self-styled "working class hero" and public figure being attacked by society, and the Hollywood heroes of old who never seemed to suffer for being what they were. "Love" is a quiet, simple attempt by John to define love and express his love to Yoko in the process. Love is unselfishly choosing the highest good for another. "Well Well Well" is, I suppose - and correct me if I'm wrong - a rather noisy song about nothing much. "Look At Me" is a placid revolt by John Lennon, the man, against John Lennon, the former-Beatle and public figure. "God" is John's official declaration of independence from the rest of the world and his own past as a Beatle, etcetera. Of all the gods that the world had chosen to place upon pedestals and worship, including the Beatles, none of them mattered to him anymore as his only, true god had become his marriage with Yoko. "My Mummy's Dead" is a short song sung in part to the tune of "Three Blind Mice". It closes the album and, in effect, brings it back "full circle" to the theme of its opening track "Mother". Despite the very depressing tone of this album, it is filled with creative excellence. One might say that it is akin, at least thematically, to Pink Floyd, "The Wall" even though its instrumental arrangements and production values are completely opposite to it. Ah, the art of loneliness, fame and pain.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 24, 1997
Joyce
First of all, I had heard a lot about this album, and finally got the chance to go out and buy it yesterday. I called up HMV and asked if they had POB in stock -- much to my surprise, the person on the phone was unfamiliar with it!!! It seems that it's such a shame that John's work is not well known by everyone nowadays -- although it did go unappreciated in the 70s as well, with its low record sales. Anyways, as soon as I got home, I listened to it, and from the first listen, I FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS ALBUM!!!!.............. "Well well well" was an amazing listen -- one of the first great alternative songs, I think. "Working Class Hero" -- very Bob Dylan-esque, except with John's "better" vocal cords (apologies to Dylan fans). "Hold On" -- a pretty, somewhat silly song, with its counterpart also present on the album -- "Love", a more serious but absolutely beautiful ballad. Of course, "God" is a thought provoking song, with John's philosophy written all over it. "I Found Out" is another song revealing some of John's self-realizations after his long journey as a Beatle. One thing I must admit, is that I don't like "Mother" very much -- once I heard the live version on the Imagine: John Lennon soundtrack, I couldn't go back to the Spectorized version. I prefer "My Mummy's Dead" But I would say every song on this album is excellent, with the exception of my unability to listen to "Mother" due to being spoiled by John's real, raw voice =) ........... This is definetely one of my favorite albums now, I like this more than almost all other albums, more than John's second album Imagine, and maybe more than any Beatle album, and that's saying a lot! So -- if you haven't bought this album, run like an idiot to the store and get yours just like I got mine! Peace.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 24, 1997
Blainer
Possibly the finest record that Lennon ever made. He shows that Beatle John is dead, and that a stronger John Lennon has emerged from the ruins. When I bought this album, "God" was the only song that I had heard from it, but the things I'd heard about it influenced me to buy it. The morbid bells grab your attention immediately, filling your sences and announcing that this isn't The Beatles. Lennon faces his demons one by one, sometimes with teeth bared in agony (Mother, for example), other times lowering his voice, instead of raising it, to make his point (Working Class Hero, God). A good album, worth the dough.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 23, 1997
Steve Andrisevic
On first listen this album was quite a bleak experience.I first heard it when it was released in the seventies.At that time I was expecting a nice poppy Beatle album.That is not however what I got.Beginning with the bells to the tinny conclusion the concept of coming to terms with fame and life was very eveident in all the tracks.As I began to mature the true beauty of this masterpeice became evident.The most eloquent statement that was ever made on a pop album by a superstar was the song WORKING CLASS HERO.Not since Dylan had a an artist put so much blood on the tracks(in fact that Dylan masterpeice was recorded a few years after this )ISOLATION was a song that as a youth I could strangely identify with and in fact that it what makes this such a great album theres something here for everyone.I RECOMMEND IT HIGHLY

Rating: 4.5
May 30, 1997
joanna
As soon as the bells of"Mother" ring you know the albums going to be a belter.The spinechilling screaming at the end of the song is excellent."I found out" proves that John started the album mud slinging with i've seen religion from Jesus to Paul."isolation the brilliant ballad that inspired many of julian's Valotte tracks.But "well well well" spoils the album for me it's a totally uncessary track.But "God" and "My mummy's dead" are classics in their own right. I'd advise any Lennon fan to buy it.

Rating: 5.0
May 9, 1997
Derek Osedach
I'm going to go as far as to say that this album is the greatest solo ablum ever made. John proves that he is the almighty song writer. The tracks are all so impressive and meanful, while John hardly utilizes any kind of heavy metal like he had used during the white album. "Well, Well, Well" is an exception. "Mother" is my favorite song on the album ; because of the way John sings it. There is not one filler song on the entire album. Only The Beatles, themselves, could produce such a flawless work of art. This album flows togther so beautifully ; I can only listen to it with awe.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 29, 1997
Fred
"She's So Heavy..." just about sums this album up...if such a feat is possible...An album of deconstruction (God, I Found Out, Working Class Hero, My Mummy's Dead) and genesis (Love)...probably the best single album as metaphor for John Lennon, but at the same time John is much more than this album...this is the man who also wrote #9 Dream, Imagine, Nobody Told Me etc. While this is an album which is supreme in its individual moments (the endings to God and Remember, and the vulnerability on Mother, My Mummy's Dead & Working Class Hero, all spine-chilling), it is also an album that is nearly greater than the sum of these moments because it sets such a solid precedent for future artists...this is the most popular Lennon album I have found, and while its not my favorite, it is certainly among his very best.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 22, 1997
D English
The real Lennon. Honest, dark and moody, existential to the core. Without McCartney to buffer Lennon's angst, it is truly difficult for the first time listener to recognize the album's genius, however. That is, it is not a "pop album." It often reminds me of Lennon's songs from the "White Album"… i.e., "I'm So Tired," and especially "Happiness is a Warm Gun". Yet, this album is direct and focused, with mature anxiety and authentic confusion ("Look at Me" comes to mind). Like most important works (whether it be book, painting or song,) it requires a certain stamina… a reverence of sorts. This is perhaps the most important album ever to be recorded….familiarity with this album is a MUST.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 3, 1997
Dean Prescott
The best album of all time, perhaps. Lennon,s best solo album, perhaps.The best Post Beatles album, perhaps. We know it's all up to the listener, but the undisputable truth is that this is the only album in the 20th century that does tell the truth. Shedding all imagery and being John Lennon (the millionaire, famous person), I am STILL after 26 years blown away by every word and note on this album. The production is stark and beautifully baren, and beleive it or not Phil Spector had Production credits with John and Yoko. I think this album shows John Lennon A lot more naked than Two Virgins.

Rating: 4.0
Mar 28, 1997
Emile S. Dalkey
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is in my opinion the best album any of the Beatles released after the breakup. It contains a musical directness and honesty which would have been impossibl with the Beatles, and riveting lyrics which would have been too forceful for the Beatles mass audience. The album vassilates between raging protopunk slabs of screaming guitar rock like "Well Well Well", gospel inflected condemnations of organized religion like "God", and angry celtic folk like "Working Class Hero". This album reveals the Lennon revered by modern rock fans in all his ragged glory. It is one of the rawest and most direct recordings ever made, the band consisting of Lennon on vocals, accompanied by his own guitar or piano, Ringo's spare drumming, and Klaus Voorman's unembelleshed bass. However, for all it's merits, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band lacks the melodicism, variety, and depth of the best Beatles records. It would be interesting if the Beatles had figured a way to stay together to hear how Lennons progression toward journalistic writing and raw rock music would have collided with Paul's maturation into a serious composer. The results could have been very interesting indeed, perhaps reminiscent of a much more interesting and musically ingenious Pink Floyd. Certainly, the group would have had one great accomplishment had they gone on well into the seventies; the Stones/Beatles compettition which prodded the Stones to such masterworks as "Beggar's Banquet" and "Let it Bleed" would have prevented "Goat's Head Soup" and "It's Only Rock and Roll". An emboldened Lennon, as evidenced by Plastic Ono Band, joined to an ever ambitious and musical McCartney may have prodded a few more "Jumpin' Jack Flash" quality rockers from the Glimmer Twins, saving us from a decade of "Angie" and "Starf***er".

Rating: 5.0
Mar 24, 1997
tom
For me, this is not only the best of Lennon's solo albums, it's the best of the Beatles' solo discs and the only one that ranks with the best of the group's work, while being utterly different from it. It's lyrics have received the most attention over the years, for their famous picking at the wounds of Lennon's childhood and Beatles years. But the music is equally memorable. If you haven't heard it before, don't expect easy listening, "catchy" tunes or rock & roll. But although often harsh, bitter and (especially) pained, POB contains some of the most beautiful songs and singing of Lennon's career. I'd say three songs (Mother, God and Love) are major Lennon, and several others (Remember, Working Class Hero, Isolation) aren't far off. For its day, the instrumental work gave new meaning to the word "spare." Lennon alternates for the most part between ragged electric guitar and rudimentary but effective piano, sonically enhanced, no doubt, by producer Phil Spector. Klaus Voormann plays simply, and that's all he needs to do. And Ringo not only provides the solid foundation he always gave to Beatles tracks, he keeps up, as always, with Lennon's eccentric way with time (check out the opening bits of Remember, where the shifting time signatures throw his snare work alternately on and off the beat). As for the singing . . . well, rock critic Greil Marcus wasn't wrong when he once suggested that the final verse of God might be the best singing by a rocker on record. But I'd add that Lennon rises to that high level on several other occasions too: Mother, Love and Remember are all given vocals that rank among the best of his solo work. Overall, POB is raw, uncompromising, and very moving -- from the heart, as yet another writer said. It's essential.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 24, 1997
Moondog
Well said, and I must agree. This album IS John Lennon in his truest form. He said the album didn't sell well because it was too real. But this is the form he was meant for as a performer and as an artist. A working class album, raw and stripped down to it's bare essentials. Using a basic trio of Lennon with Voorman on bass and Starr on drums, Lennon sounds both powerful and vulnerable, and his lyrics are simple and intimate. This is a very emotional album, and Lennon vents alot of anger, in some regards the album forshadowed alot of aspects of punk and alternative, in terms of it's rawness, it's power, and it's emotional honesty. In my opinion this is the best and most important Lennon or Beatles album.

Rating: 4.0
Mar 20, 1997
James Thurston
With a little help from his friend Ringo and bass by Klaus Voorman, this sigificant album provides John with a release for all the frustration he had accumulated during his Beatle career which had just ended. The depressing clanging of a bell sets the tone for one of Lennon's most brutally honest albums -- the listener unknowingly takes a seat to witness John's self-help therapy. In "MOTHER" John is direct and to the point -- it's obvious the lyrics are autobiographical. We hear the pain in John's voice as he screams "Mama don't go, daddy come home." However, the bleak portrait painted by "Mother" is quickly replaced by the more cheerful "HOLD ON." Nothing heavy here -- just John's gentle guitar. Despite the criticism he and Yoko were facing at this time, "Hold On" is a good testimony to John's endurance and optimism. And what song would be complete without the disembodied voice of "Sesame Street's" Cookie Monster? We may never know why John threw that in. "I FOUND OUT" continues to express John's disillusionment with the establishment and religion, and his voice and guitar become more intense as the song progresses. Only John Lennon could take a simple two-chord pattern and make a memorable song like "WORKING CLASS HERO." John wants us to pay attention to the words and not be distracted by the background, and his guitar provides a subdued accompaniment to the message. Next we hear "ISOLATION" with a slow, thoughtful pace. The only break occurs when John's voice rises for the middle part -- then everything returns to normal. "REMEMBER" begins with a steady piano which continues throughout the song -- the piano often changing chords before John's vocals do. The bridge, however, stands in contrast to the rest of the song -- this sounds like something the Beatles might have done, the piano-playing style and bass in particular. John might not admit it, but Paul's influence surfaces briefly before the song returns to the familiar style. With no logical place to end the song, John screams "Remember the Fifth of November" right before the sound of a large explosion. Fans of today's alternative music can appreciate "WELL WELL WELL." Of all the songs on the album, this one has the most edge. Ringo's drumming is a great asset, changing styles at precisely the right times. After the opening verses, the song consists mostly of John singing (then screaming) "well well well." The musical intensity increases with John's voice. (One could imagine that John didn't record very many takes of this, mostly to avoid permanent vocal chord damage!) With the song in high gear, John sends everything to a crashing halt with some final emphatic screaming. Only the steady bass remains unharmed, and the music then returns to a somewhat more subdued level. Following the driving intensity of "Well Well Well," we hear "LOOK AT ME" which contains a playing style suspiciously similar to "Julia." The lyrics aren't particularly significant. The opening sounds of "GOD" let the listener know that the words are going to be important. On purpose, John repeats the opening line twice: "God is a concept by which we measure our pain." Then he launches into a systematic rejection of everything that had been important to him. The instrumentation provides an ominous accent for each name John denounces. The intended climax, "I don't believe in Beatles," stops everything. After the silence, John returns with a sincere voice singing, "I just believe in me..." Seemingly a message to abandoned Beatles fans, John sums everything up: "Dear friends, you just have to carry on, the dream is over." The album started with a song about John's mother, and that's how it ends. The eerie, echoing words of "My Mummy's Dead," along with the intentionally bad sound quality, create an unspeakable effect. This is as brutally honest as John gets, and now the listener can breathe a long-awaited sigh of relief. At the same time, however, we walk away with a greater apprecation for John's human frailties -- and we're compelled to listen again.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 20, 1997
Charles (Give Me Some Truth)
"Plastic Ono Band" is one of the most brutally honest albums ever made. It's a psycology session. John lays on a couch and tears at his childhood, broken dreams, myths, and criticism of him and Yoko. Some songs are angry and vengeful, yet some are delicate, showing him hurt and frightened of who he is. The album came about after primal scream session with Dr. Arthur Janov: face everything head on. The music is a raw and bare as his emotions, nicely fitting the mood of each song. The tone for this album is set with a somber funeral bell. MOTHER - John painfully recalls the childhood rejection of his mother and father. It ends with primal screams (pleas) to both. HOLD ON - The closest thing to optimism on this record. John feels he could overcome everything stacked against him. Accompanied by uplifting music. I FOUND OUT - The first angry, image shattering song. John states his life as a big lie: childhood, religion, drugs, Paul. Backed by an effectively ugly tune. WORKING CLASS HERO - One of the highlights. A bitter Bob Dylan style folk protest song attacking all aspects and expectations of the society that raised him: a society that raises all of us. ISOLATION - The first glimpse of John's delicate side. This is a fragile song about his fear from hurt and criticism. J&Y against the world. REMEMBER - Another childhood reflection: growing up with "the way things were supposed to be." I love the tune: it's bouncy and somewhat happy as it's trying to recall old days that should have been happy, but were not. LOVE - Between the anger and hurt comes one of the most tender love ballads John ever wrote. Beautiful. WELL, WELL, WELL - The heaviest song on the album. Again, it deals with people's rejection of John and Yoko - this is us, as a matter of fact if you even care. There are a couple minutes of effective primal screaming. LOOK AT ME - John searches his own mind for identity. Another touching song. GOD - The album's biggest and most controversial song. John, once and for all, has to clear his mind by denouncing every thought, concept, and person that influenced him up to 1970. Coming only 8 months after the breakup, Beatle fans were not thrilled with the last part of the song. MY MUMMY'S DEAD - "Plastic Ono Band" closes with perhaps the bleakest song of all. A straightforward song to the death of his mother, Julia, based loosely on the classic children's tune, "3 Blind Mice." This "kids song" could also be interpreted as his lost childhood (though Mimi gave him a good upbringing). "Plastic Ono Band" is a tough, painful record to listen to - which resulted in initial poor sales. You have to be in the right mood to listen to it. It's one of the more important records ever made.

 

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