by John Stevens
Step Inside the Music of a Visionary Songwriter
When it came to writing a hit song, John Lennon had a gift. The Songs of John Lennon explores Lennon's songwriting genius with a guided tour through twenty-five of his greatest hits during the Beatles era. Author John Stevens explains Lennon's intuitive talent from a technical point of view, through the lens of songwriting's three basic elements: melody, harmony, and lyric.
Through an in-depth analysis of John Lennon's music, Stevens shows how Lennon fashioned songs that were at once politically and socially relevant during the 1960s, yet remain ageless and timeless today. There are many books on all aspects of John Lennon's life, but until now, there has never been a text that honors Lennon's most important contribution--his music. This guide is a necessary companion for all songwriters and fans of John Lennon.
Features musical analysis of Lennon's hits, including:
- A Hard Day's Night
- Ticket to Ride
- You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
- Norwegian Wood
- Strawberry Fields Forever
- Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
- I Am the Walrus
- Come Together
- And many more!
John Stevens, a songwriting professor at Berklee College of Music since 1976, is acclaimed for his insight into the life and music of John Lennon. For more than twenty years, he has taught "The Music of John Lennon," one of the most popular courses in the Berklee curriculum. Stevens is also a member of the Blue Meanies, an all-Beatles band in which he sings all the Lennon vocals and plays all the Lennon guitar work.
"You've got the Beatles' records and the John Lennon records; now with this book, you can have the owner's manual. This will tell you how the songs are built and how they work. Good stuff."
Marshall Crenshaw, singer/songwriter
"John Stevens splendidly organizes and clearly analyses a large selection of Lennon's Beatles songs regarding background setting, structure, phrasing, and prosody, or music-lyric interaction. The four-part structure helps the reader understand the mechanics and psychology of John Lennon's magic. Stevens illuminates the work of a legendary twentieth-century songwriter with great enthusiasm. I couldn't put this one down!"
Robert Squires, classical guitarist; lead guitarist with Beatle Juice
"In The Songs of John Lennon, John Stevens has provided a new and much needed perspective on the music of John Lennon. Rather than write yet another book about Lennon the rock star, Stevens focuses on Lennon the songwriter. Through comprehensive analysis of individual songs, we learn about the many devices and tendencies that make up Lennon's songcraft and characterize his musical style. Though I grew up listening to these songs, John Stevens' insight has made it all new again. This book is a must-read for all lovers of the music of John Lennon and the Beatles.
Jeff Friedman, Professor, Jazz Composition Department, Berklee College of Music