Listening for the first time :O I have loved Lennon's 'Rock 'n' Roll' album since my early teens, but 'Imagine' never struck me back then so I've ignored the rest of his solo work. This is great, and it's almost funny how modern some of this stuff sounds.
It's my favorite album of all time, so of course I hold it above anything the Beatles did (and John would later do for that matter). It takes John's genius pop sensibilities and meshes them perfectly with intensely personal songwriting and raw vocals. If John had lived longer, I imagine he would have eventually gone back to this record's harder and at times scathing style, with a lesser emphasis on maintaining standard pop structure. Just a wonderfully honest piece of work from arguably the greatest songwriter ever.
"i know this isn't an opinion shared by many but i honestly believe this is better than any of the beatles albums and i'm a big beatles fan :D" Yeah, pretty much. Probably still like Abbey Road slightly more, but this is fucking incredible. Album seems to pretty much sum up Lennon as a person - little bits of his goofy humour here and there; his love of simple, straightforward rock 'n' roll; his political nature and philosphical beliefs; his vunerable and insecure side. All in all, a pretty good epitaph to him.
I never liked Imagine and kind of overlooked the rest of John's albums (I always liked the raw versions of songs from Anthology, though), but I see that that was a big mistake! Plastic Ono Band is a great album, emotionally bare and sad and angry. The mood kind of reminds me of Peter Hammill's "Over".