Love

John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album artworkWritten by: Lennon
Recorded: 26 September - 23 October 1970
Producers: John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Phil Spector

Released: 11 December 1970

John Lennon: vocals, acoustic guitar
Phil Spector: piano

Available on:
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
John Lennon Anthology
Acoustic

The tenderest moment on John Lennon's debut solo album was a simple love song inspired by his feelings for Yoko Ono.

Love - Plastic Ono Band (Remastered)


Love I wrote in a spirit of love. In all that shit, I wrote it in a spirit of love. It's for Yoko, it has all that connotation for me. It's a beautiful melody and I'm not even known for writing melody.
John Lennon, 1970
Lennon Remembers, Jann S Wenner

Lennon had recorded a guitar demo of Love in Bel Air, Los Angeles, where he stayed in the summer of 1970 while undergoing Primal Therapy with Dr Arthur Janov. The recording is the only one of the time that lacked the anger or bitterness that coloured much of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band: the other demos were of God, I Found Out, Mother, My Mummy's Dead and Well Well Well.

Back in England, Love was recorded at EMI Studios, Abbey Road. Lennon again played a simple acoustic guitar part, over which he sang his plaintive lyrics. An alternative version from the session was later released on the Acoustic album and the John Lennon Anthology box set.

After recording a satisfactory take, Lennon asked Phil Spector to add a piano part. Although listed as producer on the album, Spector was only present for a handful of sessions, and his contribution was primarily the creation of the final mixes.

Love was not released as a single in John Lennon's lifetime, although he considered issuing it as one. It received considerable radio airplay from stations who baulked at the prospect of playing Mother, Lennon's eventual choice of single in the US.

People aren't going to by my album just 'cause Rolling Stone liked it. People have got to be hyped in a way, they've got to have it presented to them in all the best ways possible. And if Love can - because I like the song Love. I like the melody and the words and everything, I think it's beautiful. I'm more of a rocker, that's all. I originally conceived of Mother and Love as being a single, but I want to put one out with her [Yoko]. Then I have to get rid of one. But I think Love will do me more good.
John Lennon, 1970
Lennon Remembers, Jann S Wenner

In 1982 Love appeared on the compilation The John Lennon Collection, and was released as a single at the same time. The cover photograph for the single was taken by Annie Leibovitz on 8 December 1980, the day of Lennon's death.

The 1982 release was a remix of the song with the faded introduction and coda at a consistent volume. It was also issued in stereo; the original album mix had been in mono.

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5 Responses to “Love”

  1. Joseph Brush

    According to the Classic Albums series, (one of which is JL/POB),John did most of the final mixes for most of the album because Spector was not present. John put out an advert in Billboard informing Spector that the album was already in progress.
    Ringo talks about hardly seeing Spector at all during the sessions.

    Reply
  2. robert

    Something I've never heard anyone mention about this song (so forgive me for stating what may be obvious to everyone else) but what' makes this song so good to me is that the lyric of the verses create a mirror image of two people facing each other: Love is real, real is love etc. Word for word mirror images through out. Amazing poetry.

    Reply
  3. David

    I'd always imagined that the simple yet plaintive piano part was played by John. I've always had his face in mind...

    Reply
  4. carlos

    One of my favourites, exquisite lyrics/melody. I wrote down the poem on a big craft as a present for a girl I used to love (actually she never paid me attention) when I was a teen. Magical days. Thanks John.

    Reply

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