Album release: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band

John Lennon’s remarkable first solo album, the soul-baring John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, was released in the US and UK on 11 December 1970.

All these songs just came out of me. I didn’t sit down to think, ‘I’m going to write about my mother’ or I didn’t sit down to think, ‘I’m going to write about this, that or the other.’ They all came out, like all the best work of anybody’s ever does.
John Lennon, 1970
Lennon Remembers, Jann S Wenner

In the United Kingdom it peaked at number 11. It fared slightly better in the United States, reaching number six.

John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album artwork

One single was issued from the album. ‘Mother’, backed with Yoko Ono’s song ‘Why’, was released in the US on 28 December 1970. It was not a success, peaking at number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100.

John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band saw the closure of a chapter of Lennon’s past, a fresh beginning with a blank page, and a cautiously optimistic look towards the future. His subsequent career had its highs and lows, both commercially and artistically, but never again would he release a collection with such consistent vibrancy, purity and revelation.

I came up with ‘Imagine’, ‘Love’, and those Plastic Ono Band songs – they stand up to any songs that were written when I was a Beatle. Now, it may take you twenty or thirty years to appreciate that; but the fact is, these songs are as good as any fucking stuff that was ever done.
John Lennon, 1980
All We Are Saying, David Sheff
Last updated: 9 February 2023
UK album release: All Things Must Pass by George Harrison
US single release: Mother by John Lennon
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