Top 10 John Lennon Songs
Hearts broke when the Beatles split up in 1970, but the sound of the quartet transformed into solo endeavors -- especially in John Lennon's songs. Alongside his wife, Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band, Lennon carved his own music -- through beautiful lyrics and themes of peace, parenthood and love. With 27 charting singles -- including 'Instant Karma' and 'Imagine,' among others -- Lennon is considered the second most successful charting songwriter (behind McCartney). Here are our Top 10 John Lennon Songs post Beatles era, as rated by AOL Radio listeners.
10) 'Instant Karma! (We All Shine on)'
Featuring Hinduism-believer George Harrison on guitar, Billy Preston on piano and Yoko Ono on vocals, among others, the song was recorded -- with producer Phil Spector -- in just three run-throughs in the same day, releasing just 10 days later. Fun fact: the song's lyrics inspired Stephen King's 1977 horror novel, 'The Shining.'
9) '(Just Like) Starting Over'
The single, '(Just Like) Starting Over,' hit No. 1 just two weeks after Lennon was murdered outside his New York residence. Lennon chose this song as the debut single for his album, 'Double Fantasy,' because it best represented his five-year hiatus from the music industry to raise his son Sean.
8) 'Working Class Hero'
This John Lennon song was featured on his first post-Beatles effort, 'John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.' The song's guitar-picking and subject matter -- covering the working class and capitalism -- reminded critics of early folk-sounding Dylan. In a 1971 interview with Rolling Stone Lennon admitted he was influenced by "real folk music," but didn't think this sounded like Bob Dylan at all. Marianne Faithfull, Ozzy and Green Day all covered this tune.
7) 'Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)'
Lennon wrote this song about his son, Sean. The lyrics describe Lennon helping Sean deal with a nightmare and then goes on to say the happiness and love he feels for his son. But you might know the song for Lennon's famous line: "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." So true.
6) '#9 Dream'
Lennon liked the number nine. And by no coincidence, his birthday was October 9th. The song, '#9 Dream,' was inspired by a dream Lennon had. So that explains the chorus gibberish ("Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé") made up in Lennon's dream. R.E.M. covered the song for the 2007 benefit album 'Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur.'
5) 'Watching the Wheels'
This John Lennon song was released in 1981, shortly after Lennon was murdered. A song about moving on, Lennon sings: "People asking questions lost in confusion / Well I tell them there's no problem, only solutions."
Lennon wrote this song about his wife, Yoko Ono, while he was in Bermuda, lyrically referencing a line from a Chinese proverb: "For the other half of the sky." Lennon told Rolling Stone 'Woman' "is the grown-up version of 'Girl.'"
Famous photographer Annie Leibovitz took the photo for the release of this single on the same day Lennon was murdered. In the beautiful piano ballad, Lennon sings: "Love is real, real is love / Love is feeling, feeling love."
2) 'Happy Xmas (War is Over)'
This John Lennon song is a protest for the Vietnam War, but it has become a traditional Christmas tune. The song was inspired by a war billboard campaign across eleven cities put on by Lennon and Yoko. The campaign was called "The War is Over."
A politically charged song, Lennon sang about what the world would be like if there weren't any differences in religion or countries. 'Imagine' was also Lennon's most popular song. Early versions of the song's lyrics -- "Imagine a raindrop" and imagine the clouds dripping" -- came from Ono's 1964 conceptual art book 'Grapefruit.' Who knew that six years later is would serve as inspiration of our No. 1 song, 'Imagine.'