BEATLES PROGENY: Sean Lennon / James McCartney / Dhani Harrison / Julian Lennon

We’ve added a few bonuses to our Beatles Progeny post. Maybe when we can get around to it (and find the necessary files) we’ll try to make this a “complete” post by adding all of the kids’ work.

Sean Lennon
Into The Sun (1998)

The Quiet Debut

Lennon’s debut is a charming, eclectic and strangely vague collection of mostly acoustic songs that appear to meander aimlessly, but – after repeated listens – will begin to embed themselves in your psyche like a weird dream. It’s all quite pleasant, in an other-worldly sort of way. Just don’t listen for his dad’s influence, because there’s not much to be found. In fact, you’d probably be more convinced he was McCartney’s kid. He was, after all, only 5 when John died, so any compositional similarities would have required premeditation. Which is an about-face from his half-brother Julian’s debut (below). Listen to a slightly psych example, “Queue.” An under-the-radar debut (amazing, in this celebrity culture) that’s at Amazon (HERE) for under $1.

Mystery Juice (5:27)
Into The Sun (3:23)
Home (3:05)
Bathtub (4:01)
One Night (2:07)
Spaceship (4:18)
Photosynthesis (6:47)
Queue (3:46)
Two Fine Lovers (3:17)
Part One Of The Cowboy Trilogy (1:48)
Wasted (1:32)
Breeze (3:58)
Sean’s Theme (5:52)

frontAlter Egos (2012)

James McCartney
Available Light (2010)

From Out Of The Blue

Just look at the cover. He’s a dead ringer for that famous guy in The Beatles, who also happens to produce this 2010 release, an EP advance for a full album that was due at some point. The music doesn’t sound anything like James Paul, but it is bright, upbeat modern pop that sounds pretty good… in a nondescript sort of way. The expertise behind the board doesn’t hurt. Credit dad for not adding his own characteristics to the mix. “Old Man” is, yes, the Neil Young tune. Available as a digital download at Amazon (HERE).

Angel (3:36)
Glisten (4:37)
My Friend (3:30)
Denial (3:14)
Old Man (3:23)

coverFrontClose At Hand (2011)
Me (2013)

You Are Here
George’s One And Only

It’s a bit dreamy, kind of spacey, sort of off-beat and hard to nail down, which are all good things. That the ghostly apparition of the late George Harrison’s vocal style pops up, in unfamiliar musical settings, makes You Are Here all the more interesting for it. Young Dhani Harrison has been working his way into the business in a number of noticeable ways; mixing dad’s past work, high-profile tribute gigs, press appearances and, just recently, a new band, Fistful Of Mercy. But this debut release shows a guy with ideas of his own, and enough experience and wherewithal to pull it all off. He looks and sounds like George (both strengths and weaknesses) but he doesn’t mimic him – and that’s essential. Don’t listen for a Beatles album and you just might like the kid’s distinctive start. Amazon has it HERE. BTW, “the new number 2″ is a reference to the UK’s The Prisoner.

So Vain (4:41)
Back To You (4:46)
Give You Love (4:24)
Bluesy (4:57)
Yomp (3:32)
Hiding Out (3:29)
Crazy Tuesday (3:50)
Idle Lover (4:49)
Shelter (5:52)
Wind Up Dead (5:06)
People (5:22)
Another John Doe (4:02)
Jokes On You (3:35)
You Gotta Wait (4:04)
Life Off (5:08)

EP001EP002J06389A.EPSBeautiful Creatures
EP001 (2006)
EP002 (2011)
thefearofmissingout (2012)
Beautiful Creatures (2013)

Julian Lennon
Valotte (1984)

The Heir, Apparently Not.

This one was a shocker when it came out. Four years after his dad’s death, Julian surfaced with a debut album full of smart, commercial, melodic material that even outdid some of his old man’s later work. Julian’s voice was the clincher, and he obviously took notes when it came to chord structure and father John’s falsetto usage. It didn’t all sound like pops (as a re-listen will confirm), but at the time it was all downright spooky. What Julian lacked in original vision he made up for in marketability, until his subsequent albums exposed too many weaknesses. He’s publicly blamed the music industry machinery (and grinding release/tour/release schedules) for his sales woes while on Atlantic Records from ’84-’91 – and it wouldn’t be the first time that issue burned an artist not fully prepared for it. Seven years after his Atlantic contract expired, his last album, 1998’s Photograph Smile, was a respectable and viable return, and I, for one, was kind of surprised that it all ended there (until 2013’s Everything Changes, HERE). As a bonus, included is JL’s 1989 cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday,” from The Wonder Years soundtrack LP. At Amazon (HERE), Valotte is a budget-priced loss leader these days.

Valotte (4:17)
O.K. For You
On The Phone (4:50)
Space (4:23)
Well I Don’t Know (4:36)
Too Late For Goodbyes (3:35)
Lonely (3:53)
Say You’re Wrong (3:29)
Jesse (3:51)
Let Me Be (2:06)
BONUS: Ruby Tuesday (3:23) (From The Wonder Years soundtrack)


  • 1
    Capt. Willard
    October 31, 2010 - 20:03 | Permalink

    Find them all HERE.

  • 2
    October 7, 2011 - 16:21 | Permalink

    Hi, Willard,

    All of these are worthwhile.
    Thanks for all your efforts.

  • 3
    October 8, 2011 - 08:52 | Permalink

    Got to go for Sean’s album being the best of these cuts.
    ‘Spaceship’ is a fantastic bit of modern psyche which readily became one of my fave tunes; one of my desert island discs, if that means anything to anybody…. roy

    • 4
      October 8, 2011 - 11:19 | Permalink

      I’d probably agree…. where it comes to inventiveness and originality. thenewnumber2 is unique, as well.

  • 5
    Colin H
    October 10, 2011 - 09:05 | Permalink

    I like Sean’s second album, Friendly Fire, a lot, athough it does sound more like he’s decided to dig into a stack of his Dad’s old records before writing that one – not a bad thing, to my ears, but I do get that it’s nice to hear whar these guys have to say of their own without the attempt to scale that particular mountain of comparison as well. I am looking forward to the chance to hear the second Thenewno2 album, which I believe has just come out or is due shortly. Julian’s stuff has long been a pleasure, from the snowy day in 1984 when I first heard Valotte on the radio, home for Christmas break from 1st year at University, and waited through half an hour more of mid 80’ds crap driving around town aimlessly in bad weather to find out what the hell I’d just heard. I must admit, though, that aside from marvelling at the cover photo a bunch, the James McCartney ep left me surprisingly cold.

    I also feel obliged to mention how much I love Zak Starkey’s work with the latterday Who, whom he totally revitalized for a bit, especially in the breif period as they began to play live again before John Entwistle died. He has a great balance between the technique and manic style he learned at Moonie’s knee, and his Dad’s sense of space and tone.

    Colin H, Cambridge, ON, Canada

    • 6
      October 10, 2011 - 12:42 | Permalink

      Should we be surprised that McCartney’s kid is the most commercially minded of the new kids on the block (not counting Julian)? Sean and Dhani seem to be following their muses, James sounds like he listens to the radio.

  • 7
    February 2, 2012 - 00:08 | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing. Interesting to hear especially Julian’s album which I haven’t heard in years.

    • 8
      February 2, 2012 - 00:34 | Permalink

      Same for me when I posted it. I was a major fan when it came out, but just never went back to it before now.

  • 9
    April 17, 2012 - 13:54 | Permalink

    I really ned to get the turntable re-established…I havent listened to Valotte in forever. Thanx for the opportunity to hear it again. And you give me an opportunity to hear the rest of the clan!


  • 10
    August 21, 2013 - 08:47 | Permalink

    Thanks! !!!

  • 11
    June 2, 2014 - 09:46 | Permalink

    Dani’s DF for EP001 & EP002 seems to be kaput.
    Thanks again for your extra effort.

    • 12
      June 2, 2014 - 09:52 | Permalink

      Thanks, the ZS link is working fine.

  • 13
    June 3, 2014 - 12:07 | Permalink

    Actually, I think I was just confused by the layout. Sorry.

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