John Lennon was the radical Beatle, the political one who would shoot off his mouth at a time when pop stars were supposed to smile and sing. He’s the one who claimed the Beatles were bigger than Jesus, and he’s the one who, with wife Yoko Ono, staged a bed-in for peace. He posed naked on his album covers. He wrote songs with controversial lyrics. And he dismissed his Beatles years with casual cynicism. When the band broke up in 1970, Lennon released his first official album (there were a couple of experimental records before that), ‘John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band,’ a cathartic exercise that confronted his mommy issues and dismantled the Beatles’ myth. For the next five years he released increasingly easier records, until his retirement in 1975 to care for his young son. A few weeks after he released his comeback LP, ‘Double Fantasy,’ in 1980, he was killed by a deranged fan.
Hear Chris Cornell Cover Lennon, Guns N’ Roses and More on New LP
The surprise release 'No One Sings Like You Anymore' presents a collection of the late singer's cover songs.
Former Beatles Remember John Lennon on Anniversary of His Death
In addition to Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, family members shared tributes to the fallen legend.
How Rush, Tom Petty and Others Reacted to John Lennon's Murder
In the immediate aftermath of his death, major artists scrambled to address the horror in some fashion — musically, verbally or through the press.
How John Lennon's Death Caused a Rush on His Final Album
The music industry struggled through devastation to keep up after the former Beatle's tragic death created enormous demand.
Why Howard Cosell Didn’t Want to Announce John Lennon’s Death
Broadcaster was reluctant to break the news during 'Monday Night Football.'
The Last Time John Lennon Saw His Beatles Bandmates
The Fab Four never reunited, but they'd rebuilt their friendships by the time of his death.
Paul McCartney Still ‘In Denial’ Over John Lennon’s Murder
He reflects on “senseless” death of close collaborator along with passing of “little buddy” George Harrison.
Album John Lennon Signed for His Killer Is Up for Auction
The copy of 'Double Fantasy' the ex-Beatle signed hours before his murder is for sale.