John Lennon's "Imagine"
When a legend is murdered, it's more common to celebrate said legend's death than his/her birth. John Lennon is no exception. As the 20th anniversary of Lennon's murder will set off a firestorm of much deserved tributes next year (December 8, 2010), everyone should take a moment to celebrate his birth today as well. After all, the man wouldn't have given us such mind blowingly powerful music had he never been born. In honor of this occasion, here's a track selection from each of John's solo albums (not including live albums or the avant-garde Yoko collaborations... we don't want to be here all day).
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
"Mother" - John's "primal scream" therapy reintroduction in the world.
"Oh Yoko!" - While it's tempting to pick "Imagine" or "Jealous Guy," "Oh Yoko!" will stay in your head for days in all its jangly glory.
Some Time In New York
"Woman is the N**** of the World" - One of Lennon's most provocative (and controversial) numbers should prove that men can also be feminists.
"Mind Games" - There are other good songs here, but the title track is one of Lennon's greatest compositions ever... including as a Beatle.
Walls and Bridges
"Steel and Glass" - Standout track from a sorely underrated album. Lennon howls with such emotion that it feels like he's ripping your heart with steel and glass.
Rock 'n' Roll
"Stand by Me" - A bit of a throwaway album with a few solid rock n' roll covers, especially the Ben E. King classic. This would be the last album that Phil Spector would produce for John Lennon.
"Watching the Wheels" - Everyone who thought that Lennon was washed up promptly changed their minds after hearing this one. A classic example of "if only he lived."
All tracks are downloadable at iTunes.