Never before or since has an image been so quickly destroyed and rebuilt into something just as powerful. On the heels of the Beatles’ break-up, John Lennon entered “primal scream” therapy, and channeled all of the resultant emotional turmoil and exposure into his first solo album. Plastic Ono Band, recorded with a bare-bones trio and majestically produced by Phil Spector, revealed feelings never expressed on a pop album. Lennon sang of his fears (“Isolation”), his personal losses (“Mother”), and his journey from disillusionment to independence (“God”). From the spare loveliness of “Look at Me” to the raging proto-punk of “Well Well Well,” Lennon’s writing was never sharper, and his still-underrated singing stands with rock’s finest.
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