John Lennon Was ‘Irritated’ by Part of His 1st Album After The Beatles’ Breakup

Soon after The Beatles’ breakup, John Lennon released one of the most famous albums by a former member of the Fab Four. John opened up about the album in a Rolling Stone interview published in 1971. Interestingly, John said some very different things in a restored version of the same interview released in 2000. Here’s a look at what he had to say.

The Beatles' John Lennon holding a guitar
The Beatles’ John Lennon | Max Scheler – K & K/Redferns

‘Rolling Stone’ said John Lennon called this post-Beatles album ‘the best thing I’ve ever done’

John did an interview with Jann S. Wenner called Lennon Remembers. Wenner initially published the interview in Rolling Stone in 1971. John gave his album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band major praise near the beginning of the original version of Lennon Remembers. “I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “I think it’s realistic and it’s true to the me that has been developing over the years from my life.”


The former Beatles revealed what bothered him about the album in the restored version of the interview

According to its introduction, the 2000 version includes elements of the original interview that were cut or transcribed incorrectly. In the restored edition of Lennon Remembers, Wenner asked John if he liked John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and the rocker offered qualified praise. “I’m very pleased,” he said. “There’s lots of things I would have liked to improve.”

John discussed what made the recording of the album different from the recording of The Beatles’ albums. “I learned a lot on this album, technically, that I didn’t have to learn so much before [because] there’d be George [Harrison], Paul [McCartney], and I all listening to it and I wouldn’t have to think so much about each individual sound.” He also revealed he sometimes was more interested in expressing his feelings on the album instead of making it sonically perfect.

The Beatles' John Lennon, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney with a microphone
The Beatles’ John Lennon, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney | Keystone Features/Getty Images

John elaborated on his thoughts about the album. “So there’s a few things I learned about bass on one track or the other,” he said. “Some technical things irritated me, but as a concept and as a whole thing. I’m pleased. If I get down to the nitty-gritty, it’d drive me mad. But I like it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have put it out.”

How the world reacted to ‘John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band’

John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band was a hit, even if John felt it had flaws. The Official Charts Company reports the album peaked at No. 8 in the United Kingdom. It remained on the chart for 11 weeks.


John Lennon’s Falling Out With The Beatles’ Biographer Ended With an Angry Phone Call: ‘You Rotten Sod’

John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band wasn’t as successful in the United Kingdom as some of John’s other albums like Imagine or Double Fantasy, both of which reached No. 1. Nor did it produce a hit single. Regardless, the success of the record proved John didn’t need the other members of The Beatles to make a hit album.