by Paul Du Noyer
Much has been written about John Lennon's life and about The Beatles' music. But the extraordinary solo work that Lennon produced in the final decade of his life -- 1970-1980 -- is often overlooked. The period in which he moved to New York with Yoko Ono and changed from frontman of the world's biggest pop group to global peace campaigner and figurehead for radical causes was a time of great creativity for Lennon during which he wrote some of his most powerful and memorable songs.
Freed from the restrictions of The Beatles his style became more confessional than ever and his music gives an extraordinary insight into his life, feelings and beliefs. In songs such as 'Mother', 'Working Class Hero' and 'How Do You Sleep?' he explored the traumas of his childhood and the bitter legacy of The Beatles. He chronicles his infatuation with Yoko, as well as his infidelities and his insecurity with songs such as 'Woman' and 'Jealous Guy.' There are the classic anthems of social protest, such as 'Give Peace A Chance' and 'Power To The People'. Even his choice of cover versions tells us much about his musical roots. Finally, there are his accounts of his domestic contentment and optimism for the future, including 'Imagine'.
Now updated throughout with information that has recently come to light about people, events or pieces of music that influenced Lennon's songwriting during his solo years, We All Shine On gives a track-by-track analysis of the stories behind every song he wrote after leaving The Beatles. It is the definitive illustrated guide to the creative genius of Lennon's last decade.
Paul Du Noyer was born in Liverpool. He began as a music writer for the NME, moved on to edit Q magazine and in 1994 launched the rock monthly Mojo. He wrote the definitive history of his home town's music, Liverpool: Wondrous Place, and is now the Associate Editor of WORD.
'In the hands of one as fluent and well-informed as Du Noyer, both the songs and the troubled life that informed them emerge with fascinating clarity' Sunday Times