09 October 2011

Happy birthday, John Lennon! To celebrate, I give you my Lennon top 5.

#5 I Feel Fine. The opening riff is amazing, the energy, especially in the Shea video represents the touring Beatles at their best.

#4 Don't Let Me Down. Sometime I watch this and wonder if they could've ever had any idea that this would be the last set they played together? To see them smiling and interacting makes me think they didn't. Triumphant and tragic.

#3 Help! To me, the melody starts to mature, a sign that John was growing up. The long hair reminds us that RUBBER SOUL arrived just 4 months after HELP! was released.

#2 Instant Karma! This video hints at the great things he was capable of on his own. Too bad the primal scream therapy hadn't kicked in. Love this video, from BBC's TOP OF THE POPS.

#1 Strawberry Fields Forever. Even without lyrics, the song would remind us that 'nothing is real.' But when Lennon's poetry is applied to the Beatles music on the verge of their SERGEANT PEPPER breakthrough, it's magic on magnetic tape.

Honorable mentions: (Started off as two songs, but the list kept growing. Sorry.)
Hey Bulldog

Dear Prudence

In My Life

Happy Xmas!(War is Over)

A Day in the Life

Whatever Gets You thru the Night

Across the Universe

You've Got to Hide Your Love Away


  1. Excellent choices. Loved being able to watch them play on youtube. "Don't Let Me Down" is amazing.

  2. I tried to use original footage wherever possible. I love the weird stuff at the end--67, 68, 69, like "Hey Bulldog" and "Don't Let Me Down" because they exist at the extreme threshold of the world I remember. Like, some of the clothing and architectural styles from that era were still around in the late Seventies, so in a way, I feel a tiny connection to that era.

  3. I dig the "Whatever Gets You thru the Night" video. Him coming out at a dead sprint wearing a cape, teasing "I Feel Fine", then rocking out while Yoko pretends to be too cool for school is all good stuff.

  4. I love the black Tele and how he is destroying the chewing gum. What do you think of Elton's "Lucy in the Sky" cover?