“It is, at once, a scream from the pain and a liberating event… where [one’s] defense system is dramatically opened up”. The scream “results from the pressure of holding the real self back.
“Neurosis is a disease of the feeling. At its core is the suppression of feeling and its transmutation into a wide range of neurolic behavior.”
Explanations on how to become “wide open” to one’s inner truth according to Dr. Arthur Janov, author of Primal Scream, a 1970 pop-psychology book.
“You’re not to blame, you’re just a human, a victim of the insane”. -John Lennon, Isolation.
Lennon officially quit The Beatles in September of 1969. In early 1970 he and Yoko-Ono flew to Santa Monica, California where they embarked on a four-month Primal Therapy retreat with Dr. Janov in which they “re-experienced the pain of childhood” in an attempt to treat the their existing neuroses.
The result of these events became two albums: The introspective John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band & the insane Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band. Released simultaneously, the albums could not have been further apart in their critical review.
Lennon penned the emotionally brooding Mother and his dylan-esque anthem Working Class Hero for the album as-well-as perhaps the most therapy induced track, My Mummy’s Dead.
Yet, it is certainly God that makes John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band the success that it is. This track alone deserves pages rather than sentences, though I will only say this:
God is a singular masterpiece and the most powerful song ever created by The Beatles (be they separate or together) and it will never be equaled.
There is certainly some primal garbage on this album, more-so since its Ono supervised 2000 reissue, but that is why modern stereo systems are equipped with ‘next track’ buttons. While I don’t anticipate that anyone will want to re-experience the pain of Well, Well, Well, in all likelihood – when Lennon sings ‘the dream is over’ for the final time – you may find yourself using the ‘previous track’ button far more often.