THE BEATLES Winston (1961-1969) – John Lennon’s Collected Work As A Beatle

Winston (1961-1969)
John Lennon In The ’60s

FROM 2011 There are at least two reasons to listen to this “complete” collection of John Lennon’s Beatles output. The first is to study just how much ingenuity Paul McCartney routinely brings to Lennon’s material, from intuitive counter-pointing and melody-rich harmonies to quietly revolutionary bass lines, defining numerous Lennon compositions (like “Come Together” and “Sun King”) in the process. The second reason is to hear Lennon in a whole new context. We concocted this 4CD set just for the heck of it, but hearing all of JL’s music back-to-back drew attention to a most curious Lennon arranging technique – his habit of repeatedly bringing the band to a complete halt… with only a drumbeat, a riff, a voice, or just silence to fill the void. And he does it a lot, from the very beginning with “Please Please Me,” to the very end with “The Ballad Of John & Yoko” (where he and Paul just stop cold, mid-song). “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” is a good example, but “Don’t Let Me Down” has more stops and starts than a football game. Perhaps my favorite Beatles song, “I’m Only Sleeping,” gets halted a half-dozen times. It’s obviously a Lennon go-to device, like his sudden falsetto shifts or his dour, soul-searching lyrics. All that aside, there’s genuine magic here… because when Lennon sounds confident, he’s simply magnetic. The first 3 discs feature nearly all of Lennon’s released compositions as a Beatle, when singing lead. Disc 4 is John’s covers and odds & ends weirdness, ending with “Revolution 9” and “Goodnight.” All re-sequenced to make you think twice about what you already know by heart. Winston boasts 2009 source files and is nearly complete – as there are grey areas in the L&M catalog (we ignored some of Anthology, vetoed “I’ve Got A Feeling,” mis-sequenced the Paul written/John sung “Every Little Thing,” split the difference on “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and finally included the overlooked “Love Me Do”… does “Flying” belong?). You hard-core types will likely notice other trivial inconsistencies. A full listen, however, should be enough to remind you just how statistically low Lennon’s dud-factor was. We pulled this same compilation stunt with George Harrison (HERE).

I’m So Tired
I’m Only Sleeping
Hey Bulldog
Yer Blues
Tomorrow Never Knows
And Your Bird Can Sing
Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite
It’s Only Love
Don’t Let Me Down
Sexy Sadie
Ticket To Ride
Strawberry Fields Forever
In My Life
You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
Good Morning, Good Morning
Cry Baby Cry
She Said She Said
Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey
Sun King
I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

Revolution I
I’m A Loser
Dig A Pony
Happiness Is A Warm Gun
I’ll Be Back
Glass Onion
If I Fell
Come Together
No Reply
Dig It (Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starr)
Norwegian Wood (The Bird Has Flown)
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Yes It Is
I Should Have Known Better
Mean Mr. Mustard
Polythene Pam
A Hard Day’s Night
Baby You’re A Rich Man
Doctor Robert
You’re Going To Lose That Girl
Dear Prudence
I Am The Walrus
A Day In The Life

I Feel Fine
This Boy
The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
Eight Days A Week
Any Time At All
Run For Your Life
It Won’t Be Long
I’ll Cry Instead
Ask Me Why
Baby’s In Black
All I’ve Got To Do
The Ballad of John and Yoko
I Call Your Name
I’ll Get You
Love Me Do – ADDED
I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party
Not A Second Time
Please Please Me
Across The Universe
Every Little Thing
Tell Me Why
Thank You Girl
The Word
There’s A Place
One After 909
When I Get Home
Nowhere Man
From Me To You
Little Child
You Can’t Do That
All You Need Is Love

FOUR – The Covers
Bad Boy
Dizzy Miss Lizzy
Money (That’s What I Want)
Rock and Roll Music
Slow Down
Leave My Kitten Alone
Twist and Shout
How Do You Do It
Baby It’s You
Please Mister Postman
You Really Got A Hold On Me
Ain’t She Sweet
Mr. Moonlight
Words of Love
And… The Others
Free As A Bird
Real Love
Cry For A Shadow (Lennon/Harrison)
Hello Little Girl
Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand
What’s The New Mary Jane
Flying (Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starr)
You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
Maggie Mae (Trad Arr. Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starr)
Revolution 9
Good Night


  • Willard
    May 26, 2011 - 10:46 | Permalink

    Search HERE

    Sorry, we lost our original set of comments.

    • Rich
      April 30, 2015 - 23:02 | Permalink

      So now that you’ve done this for Lennon and Harrison, will you be doing it for McCartney too?

      • Willard
        May 1, 2015 - 10:00 | Permalink

        I guess.

        • Rich
          May 2, 2015 - 13:03 | Permalink

          Thomas: Very nice. It looks like you put a lot of thought into the sequencing. The fact that you were able to conceive a concept album around Paul’s Beatles material and still only scratch the surface of Paul’s contributions speaks to Willard’s contention that it will take a lot of time to put together a complete Paul/Beatles collection as he did for John, George and Ringo. One thing that your collection proves for certain: Paul McCartney really knows how to write a great melody.

  • Matt
    February 29, 2012 - 20:57 | Permalink

    Looking forward to hearing this one. Thanks for sharing.

  • Winking Tiger
    March 2, 2012 - 15:41 | Permalink

    It’s interesting what you said about Winston’s use of sudden stops in the songs. Paul borrows this trick for “Oh! Darling!”

    • Willard
      July 20, 2013 - 12:36 | Permalink

      There’s a lot of songs and bands that do it. Lennon, however, seemed to rely on it.

  • Iggy
    November 1, 2012 - 21:02 | Permalink

    Thanks for the Beatles goodies, Captain. Always welcome and appreciated.


  • July 20, 2013 - 14:50 | Permalink

    Thanks for these reminders! They must have disappeared in previous hard drive meltdowns- good to see ’em again!

  • July 20, 2013 - 22:23 | Permalink

    Love the first disc, looking forward to listening to the next 3. Can’t go wrong w/ John Lennon.
    Thank you for the work, and sharing all this priceless music.

  • July 21, 2013 - 09:07 | Permalink

    Nicely curated.

  • pete
    July 21, 2013 - 13:52 | Permalink

    I played this yesterday and loved it (again). Thanks! Had the world been different, Lennon would have made a few solo side albums (Plastic Ono Band, Rock ‘n’ Roll) and taken the great songs from the rest of his 70s work to the band. Oh well. The band was magic, and maybe it ended when it needed to.

  • SL
    July 21, 2013 - 19:38 | Permalink

    Interesting playlist, thanks. Always good to listen to such familiar material in a fresh way. Like many others I’ve paid for these songs several times in different formats over the years, and possibly will be convinced to do so again one day.

    One noteworthy omission is ‘Love Me Do’ – an early and very effective use of the band halt technique. The space in that halt is cavernous (excuse the pun)! We tend to associate ‘Love Me Do’ with McCartney but I think it was a genuine co-write. Lennon later defended the simple lyrics as being as good as anything else he’d written. And my understanding is that it was actually originally sung by him, but Paul took over the lead vocal when John’s signature harmonica part was added to the composition. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong about that.

    McCartney used the halt technique too, vocally. Several of his songs start with a statement of the title, then a pause before the lyrics continue. Yesterday…

    • Willard
      July 21, 2013 - 19:47 | Permalink

      You’re right about that one. It’s a glaring omission.

      • Willard
        April 28, 2015 - 17:14 | Permalink

        UPDATE: Now added. Thanks.

  • Tony
    July 22, 2013 - 09:45 | Permalink

    Thank YOU Willard! A welcome addition to my Beatles collection! Your blog really is a treasure vault! Cheers Tony

  • Jonathan King
    July 23, 2013 - 01:42 | Permalink

    Well-conceived and -executed, but — and here I’m acting like every snippy troll out there, for which apologies in advance — how could you leave out “I’ve Got a Feeling”? (And make a point of saying so, to boot?) I often think it may be my favorite Beatles track, as if there could actually be such a thing. Is it not Lennonish enuf for you, or what?

    • Willard
      July 23, 2013 - 09:38 | Permalink

      Too much McCartney for a Lennon set. It’s a better fit on a McCartney collection. I made a “a point of saying so” so that readers would know it was left out for a reason.

  • Roger
    July 24, 2013 - 08:17 | Permalink

    Oh. Yes. This is why I follow/stalk this blog. Thank You.

  • Supersonic75
    August 16, 2013 - 06:35 | Permalink

    These are terrific, and they’ll accompany me on a very long flight I have tomorrow, along with so much other good stuff I’ve checked out on your site while traveling. Thanks again.

  • Mick
    June 11, 2014 - 16:39 | Permalink

    Nice collection.
    Every Little Thing is a McCartney composition with a Lennon lead vocal.

    • Willard
      June 11, 2014 - 16:48 | Permalink

      Thanks. I think I first posted this in 08 and you’re the only one to notice. I’ll doctor the post up someday.

  • April 30, 2015 - 11:54 | Permalink

    This Boy & Mr. Moonlight are two of the finest vocals in rock’n’roll history. Thanks as always Captain.

  • Nick
    April 30, 2015 - 14:32 | Permalink


  • perrinyone
    April 30, 2015 - 18:43 | Permalink

    Interesting! (re: coming to full stop).

    Now I’m thinking about his solo work! “Old Dirt Road”, “Going Down On Love”, “Starting Over”, “#9 Dream”, “Isolation”, “God”, “How”, “Cold Turkey”, “Instant Karma”…..that’s just off the top of me head! (I’m speaking Liverpudlian, sorry!).

    And just because I see Clarence E. Jones III’s comment: yeah, you know how to pick ’em, those two are particular contenders for “greatest all time rock and roll vocal performance”! What a singer. He does those two….and then something like “Julia”? What a singer.

  • woid
    April 30, 2015 - 19:17 | Permalink

    This (and so much else here) is terrific, thanks!

    I took a stab at an all-Lennon playlist once, but this is really it. Since I already have all the music in my collection, almost all lossless, I made my own playlist last night, but following your set list, from my own tracks. Now I can listen to collected Lennon as DJ’ed by Willard — or, as I’m doing right now, chronologically by year. Either way, a great way to listen to my favorite of the Fabs.

    Thanks again for this, for all the Bob, and for all the rest.

  • Buzz Kettles
    May 8, 2015 - 10:05 | Permalink

    In many of his songs, Lennon also uses a melody technique that has a series of notes that are all the same (think ‘Half of what I say is meaningless But I say it just to reach you’)

  • Supersonic75
    May 9, 2015 - 08:11 | Permalink

    Thanks for reminding me of these…I’d DL’d them while traveling a couple of years ago and seem to have misplaced them. Great, fun collections. Thanks again, Willard!

  • Anonymous
    May 28, 2015 - 17:08 | Permalink

    It’s Only Love – one of the greatest songs ever by anyone – Great set, thanks!

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