John Lennon’s 5 Most Poignant Solo Tracks

John Lennon's 5 Most Poignant solo Tracks

Feature Photo: Peter Fordham, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Today is December 8th, 2022, and for those who aren’t aware, it’s also the anniversary of John Lennon’s – my favorite Beatle – death. Polarizing as he was, John Lennon remains an iconic hero amongst the masses. The music he created with his flagship band, The Beatles, is steeped in folklore and legend. But if we dig deeper, Lennon’s solo career was equally as meaningful, even if it wasn’t as commercially successful and didn’t garner the same attention on FM radio.

When it comes to John Lennon, there’s a whole lot I’d like to say, but often, I have trouble finding the words. As I’ve grown older, many of his songs have engrained themselves in my psyche. Moreover, the closer I get to 40 – the same age Lennon was when he was murdered – his latter-day lyrics speak to me more and more.

And so, when we think of John Lennon, there’s a whole lot that I’d like to say, but ultimately, I’m not sure that anyone can do him justice, let alone retrospectively. But looking back on that fateful evening some 42 years ago when Lennon was gunned down in front of the Dakota Building, I can say that my resentment toward his killer hasn’t waned, and like many others, it probably never will.

On December 8th, 1980, the world was robbed of a troubadour, a freedom fighter, a champion for peace, and most importantly, a human being who deserved better than to die alone in the back of a police car. So, what can we do? Well, I can tell you what I’m doing; I’m looking back on the legacy of John Lennon the only way I know how. And so, what follows are John Lennon’s five most poignant solo tracks.

# 5 –  Watching the Wheels (1980)

One of the most well-known cuts off  John Lennon’s final album Double Fantasy, “Watching the Wheels” is also one of the ex-Beatle’s most reflective. Indeed, it seemed that at 40, Lennon was prepared for the next phase of life and seemed to harbor hope that the best was yet to come. “When I say that I’m okay, well, they look at me kinda strange. Surely, you’re not happy now; you no longer play the game,” a self-assured Lennon sings with a clear eye toward the future. Sadly, he didn’t have the chance to live out what appeared to be his most full-filling chapter yet.

# 4 – Give Peace a Chance (1969)

It’s no secret that John Lennon was a freedom fighter. True to form, the ever-fiery rocker laid the infamous “Give Peace a Chance” to tape in 1969. An enduring anthem for the disenfranchised and those pre-disposed to bouts of protest, “Give Peace a Chance” served as a slogan for unity during a tumultuous era. Meaningful to this day, perhaps now more than ever, “Give Peace a Chance,” and its voraciously chanted message, “All we are saying is give peace a chance,” can easily be used to stifle the perpetual ignorance seen in the modern age.

# 3 – Instant Karma (1970)

“Instant Karma’s gonna get you, gonna knock you right on the head. You better get yourself together; pretty soon you’re gonna be dead,” Lennon stridently declares at the onset of 1970’s “Instant Karma.” One of the most incredible things about Lennon was that, in many ways, he was an everyman. Never afraid to make mistakes – and he made many of them – “Instant Karma” is a commentary on the fact that the consequences of our actions are often immediate rather than later. Owing much of its vibe to Lennon’s laconic nature, in many ways, “Instant Karma” is most reflective of Lennon’s personality.

# 2 – Working Class Hero (1970)

John Lennon had two approaches to getting his message across: the first being whimsical and the second being strident as all hell. In the case of “Working Class Hero,” he chose the latter, and boy, is it a doozy. “And you think you’re so clever and classless and free, but you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see,” Lennon says as he saliently rages over a steady acoustic riff. In many ways, “Working Class Hero” is the flipside to a coin that also features “Give Peace a Chance;” the message is indeed the same, but the delivery is altogether different and incredibly powerful.

# 1 – Imagine (1971)

We’d like to think that Lennon intended “Imagine” to be his most famous song considering it contains his most poignant message, and that’s saying something. You’ve heard it before, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one,” but it never seems to get old, does it? Filled with lush textures and serene imagery, which myopic types boil down to “communism,” in truth, “Imagine” idyllic vision is a blissful cry for the world to unite as one rather than remain divided. Sadly, some 52 years after its release, and 42 years after Lennon’s death, we still haven’t figured it out.

John Lennon’s 5 Most Poignant Solo Tracks article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain creative commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with ClassicRockHistory.com. All photo credits have been placed at the end of the article. Album Cover Photos are affiliate links and the property of Amazon and are stored on the Amazon server. Any theft of our content will be met with swift legal action against the infringing websites.

DMCA.com Protection Status

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Agnostic Front Songs
Top 10 Agnostic Front Songs
Daryl Hall Solo Songs
Top 10 Daryl Hall Songs As A Solo Artist
Arctic Monkeys Albums
Complete List Of Arctic Monkeys Albums And Discography
John Oates Lead Vocal Hall & Oates Songs
Top 10 Hall & Oates Songs With Lead Vocals By John Oates
15 Greatest Hits Albums With Best Unreleased Tracks & Non-Album Songs
18 Best Greatest Hits Albums With Unreleased Tracks & Non-Album Singles
Best Rock Albums Of 2022
Best Rock Albums Of 2022
12 Essential Jazz Guitar Albums
12 Essential Jazz Guitar Albums
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Stevie Nicks In Your Dreams LP
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Stevie Nicks In Your Dreams LP
Remembering David Crosby
Remembering David Crosby
David Crosby Dead At 81
David Crosby Dead At 81
Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming With Dave Letterman To Premier On Disney+ March 2023
Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming With Dave Letterman To Premier On Disney+ March 2023
Lisa Marie Presley Dead At Age 54 Of Cardiac Arrest
Lisa Marie Presley Dead At Age 54 Of Cardiac Arrest
10 Classic Rock Bands That Have Never Released A Live Album
10 Classic Rock Bands That Have Never Released A Live Album
Will Music CDs Become Collectors Items?
Why Basic Music CDs Will Become Collectors Items
Greatest Rock Bass Lines Of The 70s
Greatest Rock Bass Lines Of The 70s
Don Kirschner Rock Concert
Before MTV, There Was Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert
Paul De Lisle of Smash Mouth Interview
Paul De Lisle of Smash Mouth: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Tod Howarth Interview
Tod Howarth: Formerly of Frehley’s Comet: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Thomas Pedersen & Michael Sonne Interview
Thomas Pedersen & Michael Sonne Of Wasted: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Jimmy Marchiano Interview
Jimmy Marchiano: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Real Meanings Behind Songs On Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad Album
Real Meanings Behind Songs On Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Rihanna's Music of the Sun Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Rihanna’s Music of the Sun Album
Rihanna Albums
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Rihanna’s A Girl Like Me Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Stevie Nicks Rock a Little Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Stevie Nicks Rock a Little Album
Bob Marley Albums
Complete List Of Bob Marley & The Wailers Albums And Discography
Ed Sheeran Albums
Complete List Of Ed Sheeran Albums And Discography
Melanie Martinez Albums
Complete List Of Melanie Martinez Albums And Discography
Simple Plan Albums
Complete List Of Simple Plan Albums And Discography