John Lennon would have turned 76 today, and to celebrate the extraordinary life and impact of the revolutionary Beatle, we have compiled a list of his top five solo tracks.
5. Jealous Guy
The melody for Jealous Guy was written while Lennon still in The Beatles. Originally titled 'Child of Nature', it detailed the band's trip to India to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. But when Paul McCartney's own take on the experience, Mother Nature's Son, made the cut instead, Lennon re-purposed the lyrics.
Now one of Lennon's most covered songs, the final version became an apology to Yoko Ono for his frequent possessive, violent, often drunken outbursts towards her during the break-up of the band.
A song of heartfelt self-flagellation, it was only released as a single five years after his death, and four and a half years on from a chart-topping cover from Roxy Music.
4. Give Peace A Chance
An evangelical hippy anthem if there ever was one, the track takes aim at the superfluous competing ideologies around the world that fight for dominance, rather than simply giving peace a chance. It also makes reference to counter-culture figures who bucked the system in favour of a more humanist approach – including beat poet Alan Ginsberg.
The track acts as a companion to Happy Xmas (War Is Over), the soundtrack to the peace activism Lennon and Ono took part in from the late 1960s, moving from simple bed-ins to a worldwide media campaign.
Lennon, increasingly influenced by Ono's ideals, helped fund billboard space in nine cities with the simple message "WAR IS OVER! If You Want It – Happy Christmas from John & Yoko".
The move was not universally praised, with journalist Gloria Emerson – The New York Times' Vietnam correspondent – clashing with Lennon on video over the motives behind the campaign.
3. How Do You Sleep?
Responding to McCartney's coded lyrics sniping at Lennon's relationship with Ono on tracks such as Too Many People, How Do You Sleep is the kind of diss track Drake wishes he could have come up with.
Taking a no limits approach, Lennon attacks as only a close friend can, referencing Paul's deceased mother, his pop-star looks and denouncing his songwriting ability as a solo-artist.
The line "the only thing you done was yesterday, and since you've gone it's just another day" is about as brutal as they come. The recording session also contains some incredibly offensive language too.
Not pretty, but clever in its blood-curdling anger and bitterness.
A ballad to one world peace, the song is still banned by some schools in the US for its apparent anti-religious sentiment.
Regardless, it remains a timeless classic.
1. Working Class Hero
The epitome of Lennon's anti-capitalist sentiment and anger toward the establishment in the midst of anger over the Vietnam War, Working Class Hero remains more pertinent than ever in this time of war, austerity and Trump inspired mania.
There's room at the top they're telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill