No doubt I am about to offend a grand number of people. I will be cast from people’s lives like refuse.
My least favorite solo Beatle? John Lennon. Sorry. I find his sentimental attempts at “meaningful social commentary” (such as Imagine) entirely vapid and cloying at best. I could actually say the same about McCartney-but his songs mostly are sappy love ditties…plus, his last few albums show a real musical maturity. But Lennon’s songs are relentless naive Hippie Optimism that boils intense problems down to such ridiculous base resolutions…and yet more than one generation has proclaimed his words as great bumper sticker wisdom like “Give Peace a Chance.” Sure, there are a couple songs I enjoy, mostly in spite of these problems (Such as Merry Xmas, War Is Over)…but the deification of Lennon as a musical genius is kind of annoying. His genius happened when he was working with MCartney and the other Beatles. Somehow, that combo tempered his worst inclinations into creating musical gems. His solo work? Not so genius.
In fact, of the Fab Four? My favorite? George Harrison. Thoughtful, introspective songs coupled with fun ditties? Pretty much the entire All Things Must Pass disc is brilliant. Yeah, he had a mis-step or two, but at least his mistakes are not heralded as Pop Hymns to be performed at every Rock Benefit after every national disaster (I would have paid George Clooney good money to walk up and smash the guitar of any artist who played Imagine after 9/11 and Katrina at a benefit). Jewel and Pearl Jam don’t perform “I Got My Mind Set On You” at every rock show benefit.
Second to Harrison? I’ll take Ringo any day. I kid you not, his songs are fun. He does not over burden the listeners with cheap lyrics that are supposed to be deep. While John and Paul showed brilliance as Beatles, they showed far less in their solo work (okay, McCartney’s Live & Let Die kicks all sorts of ass).
You all hate me now, don’t you?