John Lennon‘s son, Sean Ono Lennon, has lots of thoughts about the former Beatle’s songs. For example, Sean said one of his father’s songs feels like a commentary on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. He said John wrote the song to highlight how his true self differed from his public image.
John Lennon’s son said 1 of his father’s songs was about feeling insecure
During a 2020 interview with Rolling Stone, Sean discussed the former Beatle’s album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. He felt it was a huge musical evolution from his father’s time as a pop star. Sean said John releasing John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band was akin to Elvis Presley joining a punk rock band. He said Yoko Ono was the catalyst for this sonic shift.
Sean had a lot of feelings about one of the tracks from the album, “Isolation.” “I grew up listening to it, but I couldn’t believe how spot-on the lyrics were,” Sean said. “I mean, it literally could be a song that was written about quarantine.”
Sean said the song reflected his father’s life. “I always knew it was about feeling isolated as John and Yoko and that people don’t realize how insecure he is,” Sean added. “They think that he’s living his best life, as they say now. But he’s human and he feels isolated. It’s perfect in a way, because we all feel isolated right now.”
Sean Ono Lennon said ‘Isolation’ feels like a commentary on climate change
Sean also connected “Isolation” to climate change. “Then the last line, ‘The sun will never disappear and the world may not have many years/Isolation.'” Sean said. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God. It even sounds like he’s talking about climate change there.’
“I don’t want to reframe what his words were and project what they’re supposed to mean, but I think in that case, it’s just funny how it hits the nail on the head,” Sean continued. “It’s the quarantine anthem, as far as I’m concerned.”
The way audiences in the United States and the United Kingdom reacted to ‘Isolation’ and ‘John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band’
John never released “Isolation” as a single in the United States, so it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band hit No. 6 on the Billboard 200, remaining on the chart for 34 weeks.
“Isolation” was not a single in the United Kingdom either. The Official Charts Company reports the song did not chart in the U.K. Meanwhile, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band hit No. 8 there and stayed on the chart for 11 weeks. Unlike “Imagine,” “Isolation” did not become a standard.
“Isolation” wasn’t a hit but Sean felt it fit into the pandemic landscape.