John Lennon died 33 years ago today, but left a musical legacy that continued on after The Beatles packed up shop.
He released a glut of albums in the early ’70s before taking off the back half of the decade to be with his second son, Sean, when he was little.
His last album of original material before his hiatus was “Walls and Bridges,” a mixed-bag effort that came at the end of his self-proclaimed “lost weekend.”
Some selections are stellar, such as “#9 Dream” and the opening cut, “Going Down on Love.” Tropical drums add spice to “Going Down” while, elsewhere, horns play a key role.
But Lennon’s tone varies throughout “Walls.” On “Whatever Gets You Through the Night,” co-written with Elton John and his only post-Beatles No. 1 hit, Bobby Keys’ saxophone plays a central role over a galloping beat.
“Old Dirt Road” and “Scared” tread similar, moody ground. Although first-born son Julian appears on “Ya Ya,” it and “Beef Jerky” are two subpar offerings from the set.
In all, “Walls and Bridges” wasn’t a spectacular send-off into faux-tirement for Lennon, but he had one final, brilliant bow with 1980’s “Double Fantasy.”
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.