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John's solo after 1971...What happened ?
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27 July 2014
3.43am
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trcanberra
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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.

Very good points RN.  Plus, many acts face great pressure from their fans to never change and can end up 'playing it safe'.  I love the way people like Bob Dylan and Neil Young just do their own thing - but they cop a lot of grief over it.  Then you get The Beach Boys being booed when they tried playing some of their newer music live - and their sales in the US plummeted as well - luckily lots of Europeans who were not so wedded to the 'California Sound' were more willing to give their 1970s (and later) experiments a try.

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27 July 2014
3.47am
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Funny Paper
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I also disagree that for example the Mind Games album demonstrates that John didn't care about recording production and stuff.  I find a lot of interesting sounds going on in the songs on that album, as well as interesting arrangements of instruments etc.  It seems unlikely that the diverse results one hears on that album had no conscious and intricate input from John, but just resulted from chance, as though he went into the studio and told the other musicians "do whatever you want" -- or that he told the producer/engineer to take care of all the fine points.

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27 July 2014
6.25am
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A Serviceable Villain
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John's solo output IMHO was spotty after 1971, but that's because his first 2 solo albums were so great. 

Here he is on Dick Cavett in 1972 doing "Woman Is The Nigger Of The World." One of his great performances without the Beatles of a highly underrated song. This clip includes his explanation of his use of the epithet in the title. 

Yoko is playing her bongo drum off beat, but the sound guys seem to have wisely turned off her mic. 

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28 July 2014
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Rishikesh
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Duke_of_Kirkcaldy said

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).

By 1974, Phil Spector wasn't exactly behaving in a competent manner.

"Remember, we are writing in the sky instead of on paper--that's our song. Lift your eyes and look up in the sky. There's our message. Lift your eyes again and look around you, and you will see that you are walking in the sky, which extends to the ground. We are all part of the sky, more so than of the ground. Remember, we love you." --John Lennon and Yoko Ono

28 July 2014
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Rishikesh
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Funny Paper said

I also disagree that for example the Mind Games album demonstrates that John didn't care about recording production and stuff.  I find a lot of interesting sounds going on in the songs on that album, as well as interesting arrangements of instruments etc.  It seems unlikely that the diverse results one hears on that album had no conscious and intricate input from John, but just resulted from chance, as though he went into the studio and told the other musicians "do whatever you want" -- or that he told the producer/engineer to take care of all the fine points.

Actually, John knew exactly what he wanted on every album. He tended to record rather quickly, but he knew exactly what each instrument should sound like in his head, and expressed that to the musicians.

"Remember, we are writing in the sky instead of on paper--that's our song. Lift your eyes and look up in the sky. There's our message. Lift your eyes again and look around you, and you will see that you are walking in the sky, which extends to the ground. We are all part of the sky, more so than of the ground. Remember, we love you." --John Lennon and Yoko Ono

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