John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is the debut solo album by English rock musician John Lennon. It was released in 1970 after Lennon issued three experimental albums with Yoko Ono and Live Peace In Toronto 1969, a live performance in Toronto credited to The Plastic Ono Band. The album was recorded simultaneously with Yoko Ono's debut avant garde solo album Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band at Ascot Sound Studios and Abbey Road Studios using the same musicians and production team, and featured nearly identical cover artwork. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is generally considered one of Lennon's finest solo albums and a landmark recording. Rolling Stone named it the twenty-second greatest album of all time.
The "Plastic Ono Band" in the album's title refers to the conceptual band Lennon and Ono had formed in 1969 of various supporting musicians they would use on their various solo albums.
After the Beatles' break-up in April 1970, both Lennon and Ono undertook primal therapy with the guidance of Arthur Janov for four months in Los Angeles. Forced to confront the traumas of his childhood (abandonment, isolation and death), Lennon finally let his submerged anger and hurt rise to the surface and dealt with it through his art. Similarly, Ono's concurrently-recorded album, Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band was a form of catharsis for her.
Returning to England that September, Lennon and Ono called upon Phil Spector, who had produced Lennon's hit "Instant Karma!" earlier that year, to co-produce both their albums with them at Abbey Road Studios. Ringo Starr played drums, while Klaus Voormann played bass. Billy Preston, who had already worked with the Beatles, supplied piano for "God". Lennon performed all guitar duties, playing most of the piano as well.
Throughout the album, Lennon touches upon many issues: the abandonment of his parents in "Mother"; the castigation of class issues in "Working Class Hero"; a reminder that despite his rage and pain, Lennon still embraces "Love"; and "God", a renouncement of external saviours. Here Lennon states that he believes only in himself, and his wife Yoko.
In 2000, Yoko Ono supervised a remixing of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band for its remastered CD reissue, including two bonus tracks: Lennon's 1971 hit "Power To The People" and "Do The Oz", which had appeared on the 1998 box set John Lennon Anthology. In 2003, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab reissued the album in 24-karat Gold CD audio and 180 gram half-speed mastered GAIN 2 Ultra Analog in vinyl reissues. In 2010, a digital remaster of John Lennon's entire discography was released. The release includes Plastic Ono Band. In that release, the first seconds of track 2 (Hold On) were cut off, missing the song its first two chords, respecting Lennon's original 1970 mix.
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