PEOPLE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD
JOHN LENNON (1940-1980)
British pop singer, guitarist, composer and lyricist. Lennon formed the Beatles with Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in Liverpool in 1960.
By the mid 1960s the group had become the most successful in the history of pop music.
Lennon and McCartney were brilliant co-writers, producing hit after hit, ranging from early successes such as ‘Love Me Do’, to the more complex melodies and rhythms of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and ‘Penny Lane’ (both 1967).
Lennon is regarded as the most radical of the group (he returned the MBE, awarded in 1965, in protest against of the Vietnam War). He brought a degree of social consciousness to their lyrics. Their album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) is regarded as marking a new stage in the development of pop music.
Lennon’s marriage in 1969 to the Japanese artist Yoko Ono added the existing strains between the Beatles, and the group broke up, amid painful legal wrangling in 1970.
He was on the point of resuming his recording career after a 5 year from 1975-80 when he was murdered outside his New York apartment building.