John Lennon

Give Me Some TruthImagine
How Do You Sleep?Imagine
Jealous GuyImagine
Mind GamesMind Games
MotherJohn Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
#9 DreamWalls And Bridges
Stand By MeRock 'n' Roll
Watching The WheelsDouble Fantasy
WomanDouble Fantasy
Working Class HeroJohn Lennon/Plastic Ono Band


John Lennon – the Toppermost 10 playlist



Contributor: David Singer

Tragically, his death in 1980 after a solo career of just some 10 years, much of which was spent in hibernation, left too small a legacy from the one man who surely had he lived would still be making peerless music.

A longer list than the above would undoubtedly include two of the great Lennon solo songs: Imagine, widely considered by most of the earth’s population to be the finest song ever written; and Happy Xmas (War Is Over), certainly in this contributor’s humble opinion, the greatest Xmas/protest song ever made.

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) was originally released as a single in 1971 by John & Yoko/The Plastic Ono Band. Double Fantasy is an album by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Give Me Some Truth was the original title on the first recording which became known as Gimme Some Truth subsequently.


The official John Lennon website

John Lennon biography (Apple Music)

TopperPost #31


  1. David Lewis
    Jan 14, 2014

    Lennon could reuse ideas brilliantly. I suppose most famously the unreleased Beatles track ‘Child of Nature’ became the superior ‘Jealous Guy’. But ‘Watching the Wheels’ improved upon ‘Imagine’.
    This leads me to my next thought. Lennon was at his best writing about the personal. No surprises there: he claimed it was all personal. But when he gets it right, it becomes universal.

  2. Peter Viney
    Jan 14, 2014

    Re-reading this. There’s nothing in David’s ten that I could eliminate, but you have to have Imagine & Happy Xmas in. I guess a twelve … it’s not unprecedented. Great as “Stand By Me” is, not being an original, it would have to go to make eleven, but lower I couldn’t go. I’d even want to squeeze Instant Kharma in there.
    On the “unlistenable” Lennon my local vinyl store has a “Wedding Album” on the wall for £80 (book price is £600, but it hasn’t got the outer box). Anyway, it’s been hanging there for weeks, The sleeve shows wear, but the vinyl looks mint. As the store owner says none of these Lennon rarities (Two Virgins, Life with the Lions, Wedding Album) have ever been played more than once, and probably most never finished side one or touched side two. If you recall the story, the music papers got sent a Two Virgins with blank side twos, and one at least solemnly sat and reviewed the hiss and crackle. A Yoko event. Live Peace in Toronto is “poor” if you’re feeling generous, and Sometime In NY City is not good. It’s a conundrum.

  3. Glenn Smith
    Mar 22, 2014

    David gets the respect nod just for attempting to cover JL’s solo work. This is a great list as it has covered most aspects of Lennon’s various solo “phases”. One of the great things about the three Beatles songwriters (sorry Ringo) is that they all had a tremendous sense of the value of the 45 single release which was not found on an album. Lennon and McCartney especially kept the faith in the early part of their solo careers pumping our great standalone singles. Lennon had many such highlights in the early days, Instant Kharma, Give Peace a Chance, Power to the People, Cold Turkey and of course Happy Xmas. On the album front there were a few clunkers (I’m not touching the Wedding Album et al stuff) such as Sometime in New York City (although John Sinclair is one powerhouse slide guitar protest blues). The three pillars of his solo career are Plastic Ono Band, Imagine and the often overlooked but quite brilliant Walls and Bridges. The strength of Walls is the weakness of his life at that time, no Yoko and, perhaps even worse than no Yoko, no New York and having to live in LA. Lost and abandoned he dug deep and stopped pretending that he didn’t like writing wonderful pop songs and pumped out an astonishing array of tunes, including some great pop hits. So with a nod of respect to David’s great list, my JL Toppermost is as follows:

    Scared (Walls and Bridges)
    Out of the Blue (Mind Games)
    Isolation (Plastic Ono Band)
    Watching the Wheels acoustic demo (Funny People Soundtrack)
    How (Imagine)
    I’m Losing You (Double Fantasy Stripped Down)
    Nobody Loves You (Walls and Bridges)
    John Sinclair (Sometime in New York City)
    I Found Out (Plastic Ono Band)
    Move Over Ms L (John Lennon Signature Box)

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