The decade that changed everything

This album was at first badly received, and then the events of December 1980 changed it all.

Lennon had just came back from a 5 year musical break, and he had been inspired to begin to write again, not only by the birth of his son, and the encouragement of his wife, Yoko Ono, but also by the events of a trip to Bermuda, where bad weather caused him to have to take charge of his yacht, and although he found this hard, he also found it invigorating. This album was the second Lennon album which both he and Yoko had material on (the first one being ‘Sometime in New York City’), and they both decided to keep the recording sessions secret until they were happy, at which point, record labels flooded John and Yoko with offers. The pair decided to sign for the newly discovered label, Geffen Records, because owner David Geffen credited Yoko’s work on the same level as John’s, and also signed them without hearing a single track.

Initially, this album flopped in the charts, with a peak position of 14th in the UK charts, before then dropping to 46th, and in the US only peaked at number 11. However, just 3 weeks after the release of the album, John Lennon was murdered outside of his apartment by a crazed fan, and the album skyrocketed in the charts, reaching top position straight away in the US, and reaching 2nd in the UK, then ended up at the top for 2 weeks. Had Lennon not been murdered, then the album would probably have been a flop, however, the album moved fans, especially with songs such as ‘Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)’, which was a song about watching his youngest son, Sean, grow up and ‘come of age’.

Some of Lennon’s best songs were featured on this album, however, it could be argued that the success of these songs was due to Lennon’s murder, but this can never be proven. For this album John and Yoko wanted to try and tell a story through their songs, and they set out the tracks, Lennon – Yoko – Lennon – Yoko. The full track-listing is as follows;

  1. (Just Like) Starting Over
  2. Kiss Kiss Kiss
  3. Cleanup Time
  4. Give Me Something
  5. I’m Losing You
  6. I’m Moving On
  7. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)
  8. Watching The Wheels
  9. Yes, I’m Your Angel
  10. Woman
  11. Beautiful Boys
  12. Dear Yoko
  13. Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him
  14. Hard Times Are Over

Songs such as ‘Woman’, ‘(Just Like) Starting Over’, ‘Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)’ and ‘Watching The Wheels’ are some of Lennon’s most famous songs, and without these songs, I feel that this album may have been forgotten about, as the majority of it’s fame and success came from Lennon’s death. However, these songs deserve to be recognised for what they are, because they are truly fantastic songs, that showed how much of a genius Lennon could be, and were probably his best songs since leaving The Beatles.