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John's solo after 1971...What happened ?
24 July 2014
8.40pm
Hey Jude !
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I was listening Johns songs after 1971 SERIOUSLY what the hell happened to him, he lost all the magic in his songs (not all songs are good some are pretty awesome like Starting over). But many of his songs lacked the melody that keeps a random listener interested and his lyrics are plain nothing inspiration/heart touching  like Imagine, Mother, God, Jealous Guy and some Beatles era songs like A Day In The Life, Across The Universe, In My Life, Happiness Is A Warm Gun. I guess he lost all the magic after he got into Yoko and lost Paul. Man I gotta admit without Paul John is nothing special. 

24 July 2014
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I disagree. These are all great post-1971 songs:

Mind Games
Aisumasen
Bring on the Lucie
Out the Blue
You Are Here
Going Down on Love
Bless You
# 9 Dream
Nobody Loves You
Just Like Starting Over
Beautiful Boy
Watching the Wheels
Woman
Grow Old With Me
Now and Then

...Also, if you compare the number of Beatles songs he wrote mainly by himself and was the lead vocalist on with his solo output, you will see his output didn't diminish in quantity, although you could argue against the quality somewhat.

You could also argue that he wrote more or better songs in the Beatles era because he was writing songs WITH Paul in addition to writing alone, but that is not really a valid argument since Paul is obviously a better songwriter than Yoko, and Yoko wasn't as into rock and roll as Paul.

One thing that changed with John (and this started happening around 1968, actually) is that he went back to more of a simple rock and roll sound, and quit writing (as he called them) "daft lyrics" such as those in "I Am The Walrus" in favor of more straightforward words.

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24 July 2014
10.14pm
Bulldog
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What happened is he released some more albums, ranging from "eh" to great. Walls and Bridges and Mind Games, in fact, are better even than the album Imagine in my opinion. I find many songs from Imagine overly repetitious, and don't even get me started on I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier. (I still enjoy the album, though!)

 

Agreed with everything Ex Tex said above. 

Also putting forth these songs I enjoy from after '71:

New York City

Tight A$

Intuition

Meat City

Whatever Gets You Through The Night

Old Dirt Road

What You Got

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradox)

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Expert Textpert
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24 July 2014
10.22pm
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I like these:

Tight A$

Whatever Gets You Through The Night

Old Dirt Road

What You Got

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"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

24 July 2014
10.26pm
Linde
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I don't know what happened. Drugs? Yoko? A combination of a lot of things? I have to agree though, a lot of songs after '71 aren't as great as the ones before, but don't forget the times were changing and so was John, and I was trying to come up with this great argument to prove my point, but I'm failing big time. I have absolutely no idea.

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Hey Jude !
24 July 2014
11.18pm
Hey Jude !
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Don't get me wrong guys I also said that he wrote many awesome songs but most of the songs were different in quality, I mean that they lost the charm of being 100% amazing he had in them during Beatles era. Some John's songs makes jump from my seat and dance and some are just okay but hey i still haven't listened to all of his songs yet. I also agree that Paul helped him a lot he also praises Paul in songwriting, oh yea does anyone also knows what were the reasons for John changing his musical style form Prog & Psychedelic rock to simple Rock N Roll  

24 July 2014
11.22pm
Von Bontee
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I participated in a Beatles discussion on another messageboard, and a guy was wondering how come John seemed to stop writing songs with odd time-signatures like "Good Morning Good Morning" and "Happiness Is A Warm Gun". Which is a pretty good question in itself, I guess. Nobody can say where inspiration comes from, or when it will come, or if it disappears for awhile and then returns - or doesn't return. Good questions.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
25 July 2014
1.56am
robert
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So here's my take - it was a combination of things - first there's three things (this is simplistic) that make a great record - 1) a great song, 2) a great arrangement and 3) a great performance. When John stopped working with Paul (recording) he had no one to push him to ensure great arrangements and great performances of John's songs. I think many of John's "so-so" songs would have either never made it to disk - or Paul would have pushed John to make the songs better. That is precisely the difference between Let It Be and Abbey Road.

Also, drugs. One can't overestimate how much drugs (especially heroin) screwed up John's career. Not only did he write some junk, he stopped growing as an artist. I think had he lived, John would have recaptured his creative edge.

And Yoko. Think what you want, overall career-wise Yoko filled John's head with a lot of crap and actually diminished John as an artist.

My 2 cents - and overpriced at that.

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Into the Sky with Diamonds, Oudis
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25 July 2014
2.09am
trcanberra
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Linde said
I don't know what happened. Drugs? Yoko? A combination of a lot of things? I have to agree though, a lot of songs after '71 aren't as great as the ones before, but don't forget the times were changing and so was John, and I was trying to come up with this great argument to prove my point, but I'm failing big time. I have absolutely no idea.

I think you have got it spot on - plus the lack of the Beatles and George Martin as collaborators.  As noted above, there were still some good songs in the later period, but as with all of the four, consistency became a real issue - I think they lacked people with enough clout to tell them the songs needed a bit more work, or to add the 'killer' touch.

25 July 2014
3.41am
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
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trcanberra said

Linde said
I don't know what happened. Drugs? Yoko? A combination of a lot of things? I have to agree though, a lot of songs after '71 aren't as great as the ones before, but don't forget the times were changing and so was John, and I was trying to come up with this great argument to prove my point, but I'm failing big time. I have absolutely no idea.

I think you have got it spot on - plus the lack of the Beatles and George Martin as collaborators.  As noted above, there were still some good songs in the later period, but as with all of the four, consistency became a real issue - I think they lacked people with enough clout to tell them the songs needed a bit more work, or to add the 'killer' touch.

Indeed, of the group's 3 creative forces, John was almost certainly the least disciplined.  His creativity seemed to come in short bursts -- especially as time went on.  And you could argue that it was the input/contributions from Paul, George, Ringo and/or George Martin that helped elevate many of his greatest and/or most groundbreaking Beatles tunes.  In his solo career after '71, he employed pretty much the exact same sound for each of his albums: guitar and/or piano (funny how back in late '69 when he was doing a radio interview to promote Abbey Road that he mocked Paul for always being at the piano on his [Paul's] songs, whereas he could be accused of doing the same for most of his solo career a-hard-days-night-john-7), bass, drums, the occasional orchestration, and lots of horns (of which George and Ringo also ran afoul on their own albums) -- with the occasional cheesy-sounding tenor sax soloa-hard-days-night-paul-3.  Of course, I don't think either John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band or Imagine are that brilliant, either (even if the latter IS his best solo album).  The decision to make Some Time in New York City, Double Fantasy and Milk and Honey joint albums with Yoko certainly didn't help matters, either.  The Beatles setting definitely kept them all honest as artists, which they lost in their solo careers when they found themselves simply surrounded by a bunch of 'yes men' (and women).  The very thing that brought out the best in them was the very thing they eventually found too individually restricting and ultimately wanted to escape.  At least Paul has genuinely stepped up his game again over the last 20 years or so.

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25 July 2014
3.35pm
Billy Rhythm
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Expert Textpert said
I disagree. These are all great post-1971 songs:

Mind Games
Aisumasen
Bring on the Lucie
Out the Blue
You Are Here
Going Down on Love
Bless You
# 9 Dream
Nobody Loves You
Just Like Starting Over
Beautiful Boy
Watching the Wheels
Woman
Grow Old With Me
Now and Then
 

Yeah, I could think of a few more to add to this list, 'The Luck Of The Irish', 'Nobody Told Me', 'Borrowed Time', 'Free As A Bird', just to name a few.  If you take away Paul's two better solo albums ('Band On The Run' & 'NEW'), as the OP does here with John's Solo Material, a list of remaining "magical" Paul songs would probably pale to the one posted here and Paul made way more albums than John did.  I think that you got it all backwards there Hey Jude when you said:  "he lost all the magic after he got into Yoko and lost Paul. Man I gotta admit without Paul John is nothing special", it should read Paul lost all the magic after he got into Linda and lost John.  Man I gotta admit without John Paul is nothing special"...:-)

25 July 2014
4.38pm
WETSRoosa
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"he lost all the magic after he got into Yoko and lost Paul. Man I gotta admit without Paul John is nothing special", it should read Paul lost all the magic after he got into Linda and lost John.  Man I gotta admit without John Paul is nothing special"

John and Paul both lost that "magic" because one couldn't have it without the other. They fed off each other. They were honest with each other in how good or bad a song was. They helped fill in the gaps when the other needed assistance. They both understood each other in a way that no one else did or could. So in a way @Hey Jude & @Billy Rhythm you're both right.

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Into the Sky with Diamonds, Oudis
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25 July 2014
6.10pm
Billy Rhythm
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WETSRoosa said
"he lost all the magic after he got into Yoko and lost Paul. Man I gotta admit without Paul John is nothing special", it should read Paul lost all the magic after he got into Linda and lost John.  Man I gotta admit without John Paul is nothing special"

John and Paul both lost that "magic" because one couldn't have it without the other. They fed off each other. They were honest with each other in how good or bad a song was. They helped fill in the gaps when the other needed assistance. They both understood each other in a way that no one else did or could. So in a way @Hey Jude & @Billy Rhythm you're both right.

Actually, I'd be more inclined to say that we're both "wrong".  John got married in 1969 and his Solo Works were nothing short of excellent soon thereafter, great "magical" singles such as 'Give Peace A Chance' (OK, that one's Lennon/McCartney), 'Cold Turkey', Instant Karma' & 'Happy Xmas (War Is Over)' appeared along with the 'Plastic Ono Band' & 'Imagine' albums, not to mention the 'Live Peace In Toronto' album which is still the best live album released by any Solo Beatle, in my opinion.  "John getting into Yoko" shouldn't even factor into a discussion about 'John's solo after 1971...' for they first met in 1966, and history will show that it was YOKO, not Paul, who revived John's creative genius after The Beatles stopped touring in that same year.  Many regard some of John's best work is on The Beatles' White Album, and it was largely attributed to John hiding away in India (without Paul who wasn't even there for half as long as John & George were) longing to connect with her upon his returning to London.

The infamous 'Lost Weekend' no doubt had some negative effect on his creative output "after 1971", but that same period also saw John rekindle his creative fires just the same, not much different than when he was separated from Yoko during the Spring of 1968.  People need to give credit where credit is due, and Yoko Ono helped John rediscover the magic that was all ready within him, all the proof you need is in all of the great music that John gave us beyond the Fall of 1966 when he first met Yoko Ono.  'Happy Xmas (War Is Over)', a song credited to both John Lennon & Yoko Ono released at the end of 1971, will be sung by Millions Worldwide for Centuries from now...:-)

25 July 2014
6.21pm
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Seems not everyone appreciates the John-Paul dynamic as much as we do.

http://m.spin.com/reviews/free.....n-freeman/

By Richard Gehr

Recently in The Atlantic, Joshua Wolf Shenk countered the lone-genius myth with the example of cool Paul McCartney and wild John Lennon: competitive collaborators who created better music as a pair than as individuals. But Lennon and McCartney were pussies compared to Gene and Dean Ween, who operated more like synergistic enablers, pushing one another to increasingly outrageous, surrealistically satirical extremes. 

25 July 2014
6.58pm
Ron Nasty
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While I agree with much of what has been said, especially that they all lost something when no longer working together, I believe the most obvious reason has been missed.

It's just what happens.

If you look at the careers of most major artists (and not only musicians), it is common that their reputations are based on roughly their first decade in the public eye. There then tends to be a drop-off, sometimes massive, with works that approach their former greatness being hailed as a comeback. It becomes increasingly difficult to find new and surprising ways to portray the same subjects and ideas.

While there are obviously exceptions, if you look at most artists, their best work is all from a relatively short period towards the beginning of their career.

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25 July 2014
9.13pm
Into the Sky with Diamonds
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I agree with most of the above.

1) Lennon and McCartney both continued to write great material, but indeed both were surrounded by 'yes' men (and woman).

2) Lennon never had any great interest in production (or patience for it). Without the other Beatles and G Martin, his songs probably all pretty much sound the way they did in the demos he brought to the studio. (With some exceptions) No clever intro, catchy instrumental break, original ending or beautiful harmony.

When a musical opened on Broadway a few years back featuring Lennon's best (most well-known) post Beatle work, it promptly closed. I thought it was a terrific production with the songs sometimes sounding better than the originals. No matter. No one cared.

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
25 July 2014
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WETSRoosa said
"he lost all the magic after he got into Yoko and lost Paul. Man I gotta admit without Paul John is nothing special", it should read Paul lost all the magic after he got into Linda and lost John.  Man I gotta admit without John Paul is nothing special"

John got drunk & lost in L.A., Paul made it big with WINGS!  

Paul lost nothing with Linda, although their LP "Wild Life" kinda sucked! a-hard-days-night-paul-11

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25 July 2014
9.44pm
Linde
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Ron Nasty said
While I agree with much of what has been said, especially that they all lost something when no longer working together, I believe the most obvious reason has been missed.

It's just what happens.

If you look at the careers of most major artists (and not only musicians), it is common that their reputations are based on roughly their first decade in the public eye. There then tends to be a drop-off, sometimes massive, with works that approach their former greatness being hailed as a comeback. It becomes increasingly difficult to find new and surprising ways to portray the same subjects and ideas.

While there are obviously exceptions, if you look at most artists, their best work is all from a relatively short period towards the beginning of their career.

This is a very good point.

Plus people get older. When you're 35 you are not the same person anymore as 20 or even 10, or maybe even 5 years earlier. You can't write about the same things anymore. 

26 July 2014
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Musketeer Gripweed (kezron9)
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Theres a rough patch in 72-73. Also was fighting deportation and was under FBI surveillance. Also its hard to enjoy politically fueled music to me. Musically though theres some cool funky stuff going on in that period. But, I mean commercially he sold better from '74 onward. Had four number one singles and two number one albums.Walls and Bridges was good, number one album and single Whatever gets you thru the Night in US in '74. Also co-wrote and performed on Fame with David Bowie another number one in US in early '75. He also appeared on Elton's cover of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds which went number one. So he had three writing credits go one in a year span. Thats amazing.#9 Dream went top ten in the US, second single from Walls and Bridges. This is personal opinion but I liked his Rock N' Roll album its funky, great vocals over all enjoyable covers. Really like his covers of you Can't Catch Me and Stand By Me (minor hit in US).  So after '71 in '74,'75 and 1980 he charted four number one singles, six top tens and two number one albums (US).I thought his writing was great on DF. Strong lyrics and great melodies. He has a stretch from 1980-1984 of four top tens in US. I know his death boosted some up the charts, but Just Like Starting over was already a hit. I think Woman(2), Watching the Wheels(10), and Nobody Told Me(5) would of been hits regardless of his death.  His solo career started strong and ended stronger to me.  

27 July 2014
2.48am
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
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Into the Sky with Diamonds said 

2) Lennon never had any great interest in production (or patience for it). Without the other Beatles and G Martin, his songs probably all pretty much sound the way they did in the demos he brought to the studio. (With some exceptions) No clever intro, catchy instrumental break, original ending or beautiful harmony.
 

I don't know if that's entirely true.  After all, John was the one who called for brass and strings on "Strawberry Fields Forever" when George Martin thought the bare-bones arrangement was just fine... and wanted the 'Tibetan monk on a mountaintop' sound to his voice on "Tomorrow Never Knows."  It seems after the group moved out of its psychedelic phase he completely lost interest in that aspect of recording, i.e. being experimental and so forth.  Still, it's a shame Phil Spector and Jack Douglas didn't really push him much (the whole 'yes man' thing again a-hard-days-night-john-7).

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