Everybody loves the Beatles, right? Well not on this island—we’re as contrarian as ever here, mostly considering the legendary rock band with a meh and a hand wave. So in our typical iconoclastic style, we are jumping right over any discussion of the Beatles as a band to talk about the far more weird and ranging solo albums that the members released in its wake. From the homespun pop of McCartney’s solo debut to the schizophrenic art-pop of Lennon’s last album, the genre-diversity at the core of the Beatles was completely indulged in, for better and for worse. But which of the lovable lads from Liverpool will steal our 60’s hating hearts? Hint: it’s not Ringo. Also: cheese factors, the uncanny valley of repetition, and all our thoughts on God.
I have a confession to make, Deserteers, on this, the eve of our Beatles solo album episode: I have never listened to a John Lennon album. Due to a combination of apathy, youthful iconoclasm, and a deep-seated hatred of blue-eyed soul, I have managed to avoid his storied solo career for nearly three decades now. But that all changes today (well, technically a month ago, but play with me here), as, with the steady guidance of eccentric musicologist extraordinaire James Eidson, I venture to listen to his legendary album Plastic Ono Band for the first time. And what better way to first encounter a record than by drinking PBR and talking over it? Over the course of one full album play, we discuss John Lennon’s checkered past and the strange critical reputation of Plastic Ono Band in our classic aüdio vérité style, so you can hear every off-handed comment and argument about beer consumption. Also: terrible portraits of James Schuyler, the similarities between Dara Wier and Yoko Ono, and how Harry Nilsson is actually amazing, jeez James, come on.