Album Remarks & Appraisals:
2005 marks the year it would have been John Lennon's 65th Birthday in October. 12/05 sees another anniversary in 25 years since his death. There will be a lot of John Lennon activity throughout this period, with remastered catalogue in the form of Walls & Bridges and Sometime in New York City albums. Working Class Hero - The Definitive Lennon will be a double disc set featuring all his classic songs and more. EMI.
Personnel: John Lennon.
Photographers: Ivor Sharp; Ian MacMillan; Spud Murphy ; Bob Gruen; Peter Fordham.
Arranger: John Lennon.
Although 2005's WORKING CLASS HERO: THE DEFINITIVE LENNON covers a lot of familiar ground, including all of John Lennon's best-known hits, it's hard to complain when the material is so amazing. In fact, the most striking thing about this two-disc set is how Lennon continued to produce so many consistently strong tunes in the shadow of all the immortal classics he penned with the Beatles. The truth, however, is that Lennon's solo material is nakedly confessional, honest, and emotionally riveting in a way his Beatles' work seldom was.
WORKING CLASS HERO represents these qualities admirably by showing Lennon at his most anguished ("Cold Turkey") and reflective ("Watching the Wheels"), alongside moments of pure joy ("(Just Like) Starting Over") and aching poignancy ("Love"). Lennon the outraged rebel ("Gimme Some Truth") is balanced by Lennon the wistful idealist ("Imagine," "Give Peace a Chance"), with the collection hitting all points in between. So while it's not full of surprises or essential material for hardcore Lennon fans who already own his solo albums, this 38-song compilation does offer a well-assembled overview of his finest moments.