#1 – Imagine

It’s no surprise that “Imagine” tops our list of John Lennon’s Best Solo Songs.  It was the best-selling single of Lennon’s solo career and is widely recognized around the world.

BMI named the song one of the 100 most-performed songs of the 20th century. It earned a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and has been ranked by Rolling Stone as #3 in their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Dozens of other artists have performed or recorded covers of  “Imagine” including Elton John, David Bowie, Joan Baez, Neil Young, and Stevie Wonder.


#2 – Instant Karma!

“Instant Karma!” was written, recorded and released in February of 1970, making it one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history. The song was released in the U.S. shortly before the Beatles‘ “Let It Be” was, meaning the two songs were competing for airplay.

It was the first solo single by a member of the Beatles to sell a million copies.


#7 – Woman

John Lennon wrote “Woman” as a tribute to his wife Yoko Ono. It was the second single on his Double Fantasy album and the first single released after his death.

The song peaked at #1 in the UK and #2 on the Billboard Hot 11 in the U.S.


#8 – Working Class Hero

“Working Class Hero” was written by John Lennon as a criticism on the difference between social classes.  It caused controversy upon its release in 1971 due to its use of expletives in the lyrics.

The manager of a radio station Washington faced 1 year in prison and a $10,000 fine for playing the song on air, while other U.S. radio stations banned it.

The song has been covered by a number of artists including Richie Havens, Marianne Faithful and Roger Taylor.


#9 – Whatever Gets You Thru The Night

“Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” was released by John Lennon in 1974, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The recording features Elton John on piano and harmony vocals. In the studio, Elton John bet Lennon that the song would be a #1 hit. If it was, Lennon would appear on stage with Elton John during one of his performances.

John Lennon joined Elton John on stage at Madison Square Garden during Elton’s Thanksgiving performance in November 1974 to perform the song.