Friday, December 11, 1970

John Lennon released Plastic Ono Band

Plastic Ono Band

John Lennon

Released: December 11, 1970

Peak: 6 US, 11 UK, 2 CN, 3 AU, 13 DF

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.6 UK

Genre: rock


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. Mother (12/28/70, 43 US, 7 CL)
  2. Hold On
  3. I Found Out (49 CL)
  4. Working Class Hero (6 CL)
  5. Isolation
  6. Remember
  7. Love (11/21/82, 41 UK, 40 CL)
  8. Well Well Well (48 CL)
  9. Look at Me
  10. God (7 CL)
  11. My Mummy’s Dead

Total Running Time: 39:16

The Players:

  • John Lennon (vocals, guitar, piano)
  • Ringo Starr (drums)
  • Klaus Voormann (bass)
  • Phil Spector (piano on “Love”)
  • Billy Preston (grand piano on “God”)
  • Yoko Ono (“wind”)
  • Mal Evans (“tea and sympathy”)


4.425 out of 5.00 (average of 25 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

For his first official solo record, John Lennon serves “an unflinching document of bare-bones despair” TL in “an often painful, soul-baring musical therapy session.” PR He “created a harrowing set of unflinchingly personal songs, laying out all of his fears and angers for everyone to hear.” AMG On “rock & roll’s most self-revelatory recording,” 500 he purges “just about everything there is to purge” DBW as he “charts his loss of faith in his parents, country, friends, fans, and idols,” AMG “including his own former band (‘I don’t believe in Beatles,’ he sings in God).” 500 “It was a revolutionary record – never before had a record been so explicitly introspective, and very few records made absolutely no concession to the audience’s expectations, daring the listeners to meet all the artist’s demands.” AMG

“Which isn’t to say that the record is unlistenable.” AMG “It is ultimately life-affirming.” AMG “Few albums are ever as harrowing, difficult, and rewarding.” AMG “Always direct, hard-hitting and tender by turns, almost every track here is a gem.” DBW Lennon delivers “harrowing confessionals (Isolation),” JA and “deals with childhood loss in Mother,” 500 but “there’s also room for a fragile sense of possibility (see Hold On).” 500

“This is the ultimate in underproduced, but brilliantly written rock.” JA These “stark, minimally-arranged songs” DBW were “recorded with a bare-bones trio [Ringo Starr on drums, Klaus Voorman on bass] and majestically produced by Phil Spector” TL “in the most uncharacteristically minimal way imaginable.” JA Spector “resists the temptation to swamp the songs in saccharine-sweet strings and ethereal choirs, opting instead for a sparse, intimate sound which kept John’s emotionally draining confessional sharply in focus.” PR The album “in its echo-drenched, garage-rock crudity, is years ahead of punk.” 500

In addition, Lennon’s “still-underrated singing stands with rock’s finest.” TL and “his melodies remain strong and memorable, which actually intensifies the pain and rage of the songs.” AMG His “writing was never sharper.” TL

Lennon also “milks every style he knew to the hilt;” JA “songs range from tough rock & rollers to piano-based ballads and spare folk songs.” TL He delivers “nihilistic protest songs (the masterful Working Class Hero, I Found Out),” JA “raging proto-punk” (Well Well Well), TL and “elegant, understated love songs” (Look at Me, Love). JAPlastic Ono Band continues to be an incredibly moving listening experience” AZ which is “essential for anyone with even a passing interest in Lennon’s work” JA and “a must-own for any rock fan.” AZ


A 2000 CD reissue added “Power to the People” and “Do the Oz.” In 2021, a reissue added “Give Peace a Chance,” “Cold Turkey,” and “Instant Karma (We All Shine On).”

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 12/11/2012; last updated 12/7/2023.

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