Working Class Hero: The Definitive Lennon

Working Class Hero: The Definitive Lennon

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by John Lennon
     
 

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Summing up John Lennon's solo career isn't an easy task, what with all the twists and turns that it took along the way -- but this 38-track retrospective does a fine job of touching all the bases he touched. Unlike many similar compilations, Working Class Hero isn't structured chronologically. Instead, the producers -- including Yoko

Overview

Summing up John Lennon's solo career isn't an easy task, what with all the twists and turns that it took along the way -- but this 38-track retrospective does a fine job of touching all the bases he touched. Unlike many similar compilations, Working Class Hero isn't structured chronologically. Instead, the producers -- including Yoko Ono herself -- arranged the music more or less thematically, framing it with Lennon's most uplifting compositions. As such, the album begins with the one-two punch of "(Just Like) Starting Over" and "Imagine" before moving into raised-fist political anthems like "Instant Karma" and "Power to the People." Unlike earlier collections of Lennon's solo work, there's a fairly strong concentration on his activist period, represented not only by the oft-played "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" but also by still-controversial offerings such as the stark "God" and "Woman Is the Nigger of the World." The roller-coaster sequencing befits Lennon's legacy, with easygoing rockers like "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" rubbing elbows with white-knuckled acoustic soul-barers like "Mother." As Ono put it, "[John] laid his life on the line to speak out the truth for all of us. Enjoy this incredible selection of songs of wisdom and power, and know that John is now in the heart of each of us, helping to heal ourselves and our planet."

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
There sure hasn't been a shortage of John Lennon compilations over the years, but there hasn't been a new collection since 1997's Lennon Legend and there haven't been any two-CD sets covering his entire career -- until 2005's Working Class Hero: The Definitive Lennon, that is. Released on October 4, 2005, this surely was intended as a tie-in to the Broadway show Lennon: The Musical, but it wound up appearing ten days after the musical concluded its disastrous run. Even if the show did tank, it provided the occasion for this strong collection. Working Class Hero may tread familiar territory -- not only does it have all the usual suspects, from "Instant Karma" to "(Just Like) Starting Over," it has them in a sequencing that feels familiar, even it doesn't correspond to any specific previous release -- but that's fine, because it provides a rather thorough overview of Lennon's best-known solo songs. In many cases, these are often his best, but there are surely some great songs missing here, particularly because the comp emphasizes material with a slight romantic bent or songs that play into the myth of St. John (meaning, mixed alongside the hits there are plenty of songs about Yoko and being a father, and rockers are given short shrift). But these are minor complaints: anybody who wants a succinct yet comprehensive compilation of most of Lennon's solo best should be satisfied with this.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/05/2005
Label:
Emi Europe Generic
UPC:
0094634008020
catalogNumber:
340080
Rank:
41863

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. (Just Like) Starting Over
  2. Imagine
  3. Watching the Wheels
  4. Jealous Guy
  5. Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)
  6. Stand by Me
  7. Working Class Hero
  8. Power to the People
  9. Oh My Love
  10. Oh Yoko!
  11. Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out)
  12. Nobody Told Me
  13. Bless You
  14. Come Together
  15. New York City
  16. I'm Stepping Out
  17. You Are Here
  18. Borrowed Time
  19. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

Disc 2

  1. Woman
  2. Mind Games
  3. Out the Blue
  4. Whatever Gets You Thru the Night
  5. Love
  6. Mother
  7. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)
  8. Woman Is the Nigger of the World
  9. God
  10. Scared
  11. #9 Dream
  12. I'm Losing You
  13. Isolation
  14. Cold Turkey
  15. Intuition
  16. Gimme Some Truth
  17. Give Peace a Chance
  18. Real Love
  19. Grow Old with Me

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Lennon   Primary Artist
Plastic U.F.Ono Band   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Ben E. King   Composer
John Lennon   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Jerry Leiber   Composer
Yoko Ono   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer,Audio Production
George Martin   Producer,Audio Production
Phil Spector   Producer,Audio Production
Jack Douglas   Producer,Audio Production
Rob Stevens   Producer,Audio Production
Mike Stoller   Composer
Drew Lorimer   Cover Illustration
Ian MacMillan   Cover Photo

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Working Class Hero: The Definitive Lennon 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
JohnQ More than 1 year ago
If you can't afford to buy all of John Lennon's works, this collection has all the essential cuts from his post Beatles efforts. Prime cuts with no filler.
kimber0627 More than 1 year ago
I have been looking for a collection of Lennon songs like this for quite a while.... This is perfect.