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John Lennon – Imagine (1971) and Paul McCartney & Wings – Band on the Run (1973)

March 4, 2013

[Album 153B & 154B /1001]

The battle of the side Bs (warning – due to an even number of tracks, there’s the potential for an M Night Shyamalan twist ending).  Wings currently up 3-2 after side A.

Track 6: Gimme Some Truth (I) vs. Mamunia (BOTR)
Both fine, I was more likely to spontaneously sing Mamunia afterwards.
I 2, BOTR 4

Track 7: Oh My Love (I) vs. No Words (BOTR)
One of Lennon’s best.
I 3, BOTR 4

Track 8: How Do You Sleep? (I) vs. Helen Wheels (BOTR)
Curiously, Helen Wheels was released prior to BOTR as a non-album single in the UK and not included on the record.  How Do You Sleep? has some nice orchestral bits but not strong enough to tie it up.
I 3, BOTR 5

Track 9: How? (I) vs. Picasso’s Last Words (Drink to Me) (BOTR)
The penultimate tracks weren’t necessarily the strongest on either, Lennon’s may stand out slightly more.
I 4, BOTR 5

Track 10: Oh Yoko! (I) vs. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five (BOTR)
Holding off a strong finish by McCartney, the jaunty Oh Yoko! ties it up.
I 5, BOTR 5

Making the final score a fitting/disappointing 5-5.

Which means the winner of the ‘finest post Beatle album’ goes to…McCartney’s Ram!

Hear me out:

– For singles, I’ll certainly concede these two records represent the post-Beatles zenith for Lennon & McCartney.

– Looking at other releases, both solo debuts (Plastic Ono Band & McCartney) were important, but unspectacularRamMcCartneyalbumcover

– Lennon/Ono’s Double Fantasy had some amazing moments.  Though perhaps Dave Foley’s character on Newsradio had a point about Yoko’s contributions when he said, “A lot of people think that her work on Double Fantasy wasn’t…completely disruptive.”

– McCartney was certainly guilty of schmaltz later in his career, no need to shine further light there.  However, Ram for whatever reason, is consistently and unfairly overlooked.

So if we’re talking albums, Imagine may be Lennon’s finest overall but Band on the Run would be a 2nd place at best in the McCartney discography.

From → 1970s

  1. Nice article….though surely George’s All Things Must Pass trumps them both : )

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