After a month hiatus (sorry 'bout that), our journey through the 1991 MusiCards set picks back up with John Lennon at card #15. Here he is flashing a peace sign in front of an old brick building. Can't quite read what the pin on his lapel says, but I'll assume it reflects an anti-war sentiment.
Hey, it's the first card in the set that features a variation!!
The variation flips the photo and moves the Super Stars logo box down to the lower right from the top left. The teal "Legend" bubble moves from near the bottom of the photo to up in the top border. My copy has some surface wear (scuff across his chest), so I'd like to upgrade it at some point. (Please let me know if you've got one to trade.)
|Here's a gif comparing the 2 variations|
I'm a big Beatles fan, yet I had never heard of the 1988 Imagine soundtrack (not to be confused with his 1971 album by that name) nor the 1990 Lennon box set. But there have been no shortage of compilations of his music since this card came out, with remasters and rarities, which have surely built on and surpassed those two collections.
Here's the video for the 1991 update of "Give Peace A Chance" referenced in the second sentence on the back of the card. This version was credited to Peace Choir (spearheaded by Yoko Ono and Lenny Kravitz) and was originally released February 1, 1991. Lots of big names in there. I still remember when this premiered on MTV. Wasn't quite as big of a deal as say the similar all-star charity effort of "We Are The World", but I think it still had a strong positive impact.
Funny enough, this is the only true Beatles-related card in the entire main (US) MusiCards set. The UK edition has a Beatles card, however, plus a Julian Lennon card.. but that's it. I've already made a George Harrison custom, and will likely eventually whip up separate cards for Paul and Ringo.
John Lennon - "Instant Karma!"
I don't think I could pick a favorite between John and Paul.. they've both got a ton of songs that I love. From a personality standpoint, Paul would probably be more fun to hang out with, as John had a reputation of being a bit of a miserable asshole much of the time. But damn it if he didn't come up with some of music's all-time greatest songs during his tragically too short life.
I was too young to be affected by his murder, so by the time I "discovered" the Beatles (and non-children's music in general) around the mid 80s, he was already long gone. Such a huge bummer, though. I'd like to think there's an alternate universe somewhere with an elderly John Lennon still cranking out a solid album every few years, like Paul.
My main introduction to Lennon's solo work was when my mom bought the 1989 reissue of The John Lennon Collection, a greatest hits CD, during a brief Columbia House music club stint where she added several CDs to our household music collection. "Instant Karma!" and "Imagine" were my favorite songs then, and I suppose the same is still true today, though I've since dug deeper into his post-Beatles work and have found several more tunes I really like.
"Watching The Wheels" (acoustic) - John Lennon
John Lennon - Desert Island Disc
If I were to round up my favorite John Lennon solo tracks onto one CD/playlist, it'd probably look something like this:
- Instant Karma
- Working Class Hero
- Beautiful Boy
- Real Love (demo)
- Gimme Some Truth
- Nobody Told Me
- Mind Games
- Bring on the Lucie (Freda Peeple)
- I Found Out
- #9 Dream
- How Do You Sleep?
- Whatever Gets You Thru The Night
- I'm Stepping Out
- Cold Turkey
- Watching the Wheels (acoustic version)
I think my favorite cover of a John Lennon song is the Flaming Lips' chaotic rendition of "Nobody Told Me" from the mid 90s. I remember when it first came out on a tribute album called Working Class Hero that my buddy got an advanced promo CD of. Crazy to think that when that came out, it was closer to when Lennon died (15 years passed) than the length of time between when that tribute CD came out and today (25 years). Just yet another "make you feel old" moment.
I was planning to forgo a "custom corner" bonus section of this post, mainly because I'm ashamed/frustrated I've taken so long between posts and didn't want to drag it out any further. But screw it, I've already brought up the Flaming Lips, a band heavily influenced by John Lennon, so let's go ahead and whip them up a custom.
|Flaming Lips 1991 MusiCards-That-Never-Were|
I'm a big Lips fan, especially their output from the early 90s through the early 00s. I've seen them live once-- 11/19/2000 at 4th & B in San Diego-- and they always go all-out putting on a spectacle. I remember lots of balloons and confetti. Fake blood also.
It'll be tough culling my favorite songs of theirs down to just 20 or so tracks, but I'll give it a shot...
[...gavin goes and tries to narrow down his top 20 favorite Lips songs...]
Ouch, ok-- no, I'm not. Too tough! They've got a streak of 7 consecutive albums that I love and think are nearly perfect from start to finish:
- In a Priest Driven Ambulance (1990)
- Hit to Death in the Future Head (1992)
- Transmissions from the Satellite Heart (1993)
- Clouds Taste Metallic (1995)
- Zaireeka (1997)
- The Soft Bulletin (1999)
- Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)
Those albums are all classics in my book. So I think I'll try coming up with a list of my favorite Lips songs that aren't included on any of those 7 albums.
THE FLAMING LIPS - DESERT ISLAND DISC excluding their albums from 1990 thru 2002
- Jets Part 1
- Jets Part 2 (My Two Days As An Ambulance Driver)
- The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (edit)
- Vein of Stars
- Haven't Got A Clue
- The W.A.N.D.
- Blow Job
- Up Above the Daily Hum
- 1000 Ft. Hands
- Ma, I Didn't Notice
- Tubthumping [Flaming Lips remix of Chumbawamba song]
- It Was A Very Good Year [Sinatra cover]
- Sun Arise [Alice Cooper cover]
- Nobody Told Me [Lennon cover]
- Life on Mars? [Bowie cover]
- The Golden Path (edit) [with Chemical Brothers]
- Headphones Theme From Seemingly Infinity [Steven Drozd]
- The Switch that Turns Off the Universe
- We Can't Predict The Future
- It Remained Unrealizable
Flaming Lips - "The Switch that Turns Off the Universe"
Yeah, that'd work for me as a companion 8th cd to go along with the 7 albums previously mentioned.
Any feelings on John Lennon to share? Favorite songs of his? Or how about the Flaming Lips? Let me know in the comments if you wanna.