John Lennon

John Lennon’s 1971 album Imagine, his second solo release, was a great deal more commercial and consequently more pleasant in attitude than its predecessor. Though patched with anger and riddled with barbs against Paul McCartney, the material was by and large optimistic, or at least fairly concilliatory.

The album’s title track–Lennon’s signature song–is by far the best-known song on the album, though the mea culpa “Jealous Guy” still gets a good deal of airplay. “Crippled Inside”, something of a companion to “Imagine”, stresses the need to confront human hypocrisy and change the world by changing oneself. The most serene track, “Oh My Love”, is a first-class love song. The album is turbulent but steady as she goes, with Lennon as closely approaching as possible the solo voice he’d longed to establish while with the Beatles.

“Oh Yoko!”, Imagine’s last track, is the best. It’s a simple, honest, jaunty little song in which Lennon tells his wife as plainly as possible what she means to him, graced with fine Nicky Hopkins piano and a little harmonica too. Their relationship was rocky and not very well understood by the rest of the world, but it was sincere and perhaps Lennon’s proudest achievement (until Sean came along).

John Lennon “Oh Yoko!”