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The 2 artists that John Lennon said were good back in the 70s

John Lennon


The 2 artists that John Lennon said were good back in the 70s

John Lennon and Paul McCartney are probably the two most important songwriters of the last century because of all the impact The Beatles music had on the world and people’s lives. They are certainly the most successful ones since the band is the best-selling of all time with an estimated amount of more than 600 million records sold worldwide, a number no other group ever came close.


After the group came to an end in 1970, all four members focused on their solo careers and collaborated with other artists. At the time Lennon made many new famous friends and until his tragic death in 1980, he talked a lot about two artists that according to him were good in the 70s. Rock and Roll Garage recovered what he said about them and his connection with them.

The 2 artists that John Lennon said were good back in the 70s

Elton John

Elton John was born seven years after John Lennon, in 1947 and started his musical career in 1962, two years after The Beatles already existed. But it was only in 1969, after years working with other artists and as a session musician that he released his debut album “Empty Sky”. The 70s were really the decade that made him the huge superstar he became since he released classic albums like “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (1973).

Like most of the musicians from that era, Elton was also influenced by The Beatles and was lucky enough to become a good friend of John Lennon. In an interview with Spin Magazine in 1975, he talked about his collaboration with other artists during that decade. Lennon and Elton worked together on each other’s careers at the time. The Beatle criticized people who said he was “lowering” himself working with less famous artists at the time.

John Lennon criticized those remarks and said that Elton was good.

Their most famous collaborations happened in 1974 when Lennon invited him to play piano and organ in the track “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” from the album Walls and Bridges. Elton accepted the invitation with one condition: Lennon should also be part of his “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” cover.

The Beatle accepted terms recording the guitar and backing vocals. However, at the time he was credited in the album as “Dr. Winston O’Boogie”. So initially people wouldn’t directly know it was him.

During the conversation with Spin, Lennon explained why his name didn’t appear on the album at the time. He said: “There are so many good singles that the Beatles wrote that were never released. Why don’t people do them?”

“It’s good for me; it’s good for Paul. It’s good for all of us. And Elton would have had a No. 1 record without me; he didn’t need me. And anyway, I was only Dr. Winston O. Boogie on it … ’cause they weren’t sure; and we didn’t have time to get real permission,” John Lennon said.

David Bowie

The other artist who achieved fame in the 70s and Lennon said was good was David Bowie. The two artists also became good friends at the time and worked together.

Curiously, since those early days John Lennon already knew what kind of artist Bowie was. He told Spin Magazine that people still didn’t realize what was Bowie’s image.  “Elton John has a clean image. David’s image … they probably haven’t realized what it is yet. It takes them a bit of time. Bowie, they probably just think he’s something from the circus. He’s never been busted and he didn’t get mashed up with lunatics like Jerry Rubin. And Abby my boy Hoffman,” John Lennon said.

Their most famous collaboration was “Fame”, which  was co-written by the two and guitarist Carlos Alomar. Lennon recorded the backing vocals besides playing acoustic guitar.

The track was featured on the 1975 Bowie album “Young Americans”. In that same album Lennon covered The Beatles track “Across The Universe”, once again with Lennon playing the acoustic guitar.

One of the most versatile artists of all time, Bowie always changed his sound and image from time to time. So until his death the only way to really describe him as an artist was to call him a “chameleon”, because he was always changing.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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