Recording Studio: By this stage, Lennon’s artist partnership with second wife Yoko Ono had begun to cause serious tensions within the group. Lennon and Ono started a form of peace protest by staying in bed while being interviewed, and their single “Give Peace a Chance” (1969), recorded under the name “the Plastic Ono Band,” became a national anthem of sorts for pacifists.
Lennon left the Beatles in September 1969, just after the group completed recording their album Abbey Road. The news of the break-up was kept secret until McCartney announced his departure in April 1970, a month before the band released Let It Be, recorded just before Abbey Road.
Recording Studio: Solo Career: ‘Imagine’ Album
Just after the Beatles broke up, in 1970, Lennon released his debut solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, featuring a raw, minimalist sound. He followed that project with 1971’s Imagine, the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed of all Lennon’s post-Beatles efforts. The title track was later named No. 3 on Rolling Stone magazine’s “All-Time Best Songs” list.
Peace and love, however, was not always on Lennon’s agenda. Imagine also included the track “How Do You Sleep?,” a vehement response to veiled messages at Lennon in some of McCartney’s solo recordings. The friends and former songwriting duo later buried the hatchet, but never formally worked together again.
Lennon and Ono moved to the United States in September 1971, but were constantly threatened with deportation by the Nixon Administration. Lennon was told that he was being kicked out of the country due to his 1968 marijuana conviction in Britain, but the singer believed that he was being removed because of his activism against the unpopular Vietnam War. Documents later proved him correct. (Two years after Nixon resigned, in 1976, Lennon was granted permanent U.S. residency.)
This was a very interesting time in world history and a pivotal time for Lennon.