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John Lennon‘s son, Sean Ono Lennon, has a lot to say about the former Beatle’s songs. For example, he said one of John’s solo songs is a critique of Wall Street and the “unnatural world” we inhabit. Sean said the song reflects the aspect of his father he admires the most.

The Beatles' John Lennon wearing yellow glasses
The Beatles’ John Lennon | Ron Howard/Redferns

John Lennon’s son said 1 of the former Beatle’s songs was an ‘indictment’ of society

Sean remastered a number of John’s songs for the compilation album Gimme Some Truth. The Ultimate Mixes. During a 2020 interview with Rolling Stone, Sean discussed some of the tracks on the compilation. One of them was “Steel and Glass.”

“It’s darker and it’s the part of my dad’s personality that I admire most,” Sean said. “He’s a heavy guy, you know. My mom always talked about the lyric ‘steel and glass’ being about buildings, like high-rises made of steel and glass, and it’s this sort of indictment of the structure of society and how we live in this unnatural world where we worship at banks and money and this Wall Street structure.”

John Lennon’s son said the song was partly inspired by The Beatles’ business manager

Sean added “Steel and Glass” is partly about Allen Klein, The Beatles’ business manager. “I think ‘Steel and Glass’ is sort of about generally those kind of people, that business types that he was very cynical about,” Sean added. “The suit guys, the record-company execs. The managers and the businessmen.”

Sean said the appeal of “Steel and Glass” wasn’t just its lyrics. “But regardless of what it’s about, it’s just musically amazing,” he opined. “So that’s why I like that one.”

Sean felt “Steel and Glass” had some similarities to his father’s previous work. “It has the same B section as ‘How Do You Sleep?’ which is funny,” Sean said. “But I don’t mind that a lot.” Sean said John used the same descending bass line on “I Am the Walrus,” “Dear Prudence,” and about 20 other songs by The Beatles.


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The way listeners in the United States and the United Kingdom reacted to ‘Steel and Glass’ and its parent album

John never released “Steel and Glass” as a single, so it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The song appeared on the classic album Walls and Bridges. For one week, Walls and Bridges reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Walls and Bridges remained on the chart for 35 weeks.

According to The Official Charts Company, “Steel and Glass” did not chart in the United Kingdom either. Meanwhile, Walls and Bridges reached No. 6 in the U.K. It stayed on the chart for 10 weeks.

“Steel and Glass” had a minor impact on pop culture. The rock bands Alberta Cross and Candlebox covered the song. “Steel and Glass” wasn’t a hit but it impressed Sean.