Lennon And McCartney 1967-1972

It is amazing how when you go poking into a subject, more data tends to appear as if by magic. This happens so often that I now expect it. Recently I had the opportunity to read Better Than Lennon by John Cherry, this book is reasonably objective and compares the styles, both in life and music of the two men. He most certainly comes out giving Paul McCartney much higher marks in both his choice of lifestyle and maybe more importantly his musical abilities.

I was rummaging in my DVD collection today and discovered one that I had not watched Composing Outside The Beatles. This DVD is a critical look at the period 1967-1972, and what happened to Lennon and McCartney during the post Beatles years.

Lennon had tagged up with Yoko Ono, and took a huge step backwards with the release of Two Virgins. I am hard pressed to find a single person that has anything complimentary to say about this album. The cover art was controversial, a full frontal nude picture of John and Oko, and the music was pretty damn awful, if indeed you can even extend the label ‘music’ to it.

The panel on Composing outside The Beatles puts forward an interesting observation. Lennon and McCartney had long had differences of musical opinion, yet had collaborated on many songs and projects. Why did they suddenly distance themselves? The answer may well lay in the company they kept, within weeks, they had both married. Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman who was to become a major influence in his life. John Lennon married Yoko Ono, who already was becoming a wedge within the Beatles.

Lennon at some point realized his errors and as the experts like to say ‘he became a sloganeer’, All You Need Is Love, and Give Peace A Chance are the results. Certainly they have become anthems of the modern world, but technically they leave much to be desired. In some ways they are analogous to “Who Let The Dogs Out”, a staple at almost every football game. Cute the first 10,000 times you hear it, but has no musical value.

I enjoyed this DVD  a great deal, I think in some ways it balances out Better Than Lennon, but I still have a problem with John Lennon.

Using many pieces of archival footage married to modern commentary, this is a great documentary.

To order your copy, just click on the cover art.

Simon Barrett

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