At number 23 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest albums of all time is John Lennon’s “Plastic Ono Band”. If you have never listened to this album then prepare for an emotional rollercoaster. It is, in my opinion, Lennon’s best solo album. It was written when he was undergoing “primal scream” therapy, and therefore many of the songs are almost an exorcism of his demons.
It is beautifully sparse and honest album. In most of the songs there are only three musicians, Lennon (often on piano, which he had just learnt to play), Klaus Voorman on bass and Ringo Star on drums. Songs like “Mother“ and “Working Class Hero are harrowing to hear, and “God” wonderfully displays Lennon’s ability to sum up complex ideas in very few words.
God is a concept
By which we measure our pain
I highly recommend listening to this album. The power of the lyrics and the beauty and honesty of Lennon’s voice are sometimes overwhelming. Also, if you get the chance, the DVD on this album in the “Classic Albums” series is well worth watching. It gives a lot of background to the songs, as well audio clips from Lennon’s 1970 interview with “Rolling Stone Magazine” and contributions from Ringo and Klaus.