They Say It’s Your Birthday

John Lennon was born in Liverpool on October 9th, 1940, and would be about to celebrate his 70th birthday tomorrow if he hadn’t been murdered by Mark Chapman in 1980 (and if he then managed to stay alive for the subsequent decades, of course). Coincidentally, EMI has re-released remastered versions of Lennon’s solo albums and have added a couple of more Greatest Hits collections to the pile. There’s also a stripped-down version of Double Fantasy, a few box sets, a 70th birthday t-shirt and a bleedin’ 2011 calendar. Don’t they know there’s a recession on? Anyway, Lennon is my favourite member of the Fab Four and I like a lot of his solo songs in general and the Plastic Ono Band album in particular. Many people have attempted versions of his songs and a few have written ones about him. Hamell on Trial‘s original features some frenetic acoustic guitar accompanying the singer’s breathless tale about a life-changing encounter with the subject of his song. The Flaming Lips version of a song that was posthumously released on Milk & Honey in 1984 comes from a 1995 tribute album called Working Class Hero. Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs have so far released two Under the Covers albums. The first volume focuses on the sixties and includes their take on And Your Bird Can Sing by The Beatles. Gimme Some Truth appears on the seventies-themed follow-up. Look out for another post about Lennon on December 8th

John Lennon – Hamell on Trial

Nobody Told Me (John Lennon cover) – The Flaming Lips

Gimme Some Truth (John Lennon cover) – Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs