Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Working Class Hero and John Lennon



Today's moment of note happened at 15:29 PM when I got on iTunes and found John Lennon's brilliant song "Working Class Hero."

A few weeks ago around 3AM or so I turned on my TV and watched, of course, VH1. Green Day's rendition of "Working Class Hero" was playing and the social subtext of the video grabbed me. As if I needed more help to stay up at 3AM.

Fastforward to a few weeks later and John Lennon's authentic version finally became procurable. Apple's Steve Jobs, a huge Beatles fan himself, made all of Lennon's work iTune-available. Nice going, Steve. Another reason to find you likable.

For a mere .99 cents, music the way it is meant to be, ameliorated my heat-oppressed August days, making heavy subjects appear light and trivial chores and engagement ignorable. Who else but John Lennon can do that?!

Check out Green Day's version of the same song for their Instant Karma project. It delivers. Very well. I suppose it is not too difficult to bugger up Lennon's genius.

"Working Class Hero" one of the best fusions of social consciousness, great acoustic sound, unparalleled vocals, and historically relevant lexemes.
So very good!


graph per iTunes

7 comments:

liam. said...

i suppose i'm pleased that green day may bring to light john lennon's genius to some new kids, but i think the original is much better. i should mention that i'm not inherently opposed to covers. in fact, i often enjoy covers but only when i think they're done well. green day's cover of working class hero severely lacks an original approach toward the song and fails to invoke any real emotion from me other than disappointment unlike lennon who really sells the theme and text in his recorded versions. i suppose sometimes it's hard to adequately express someone else's words, but maybe that should be a factor in choosing a cover. for further study, check out lennon's the luck of the irish.

Bri said...

I agree with you in that socio-historical context, especially the kind Lennon sang in, cannot possibly be re-engendered with the same 'Kraft' by any other performer.

And John Lennon's work is especially great when sung by John Lennon. But if a massively popular band, like Green Day, can bring solid gems to the younger demographic, that's admirable as well.

But the pain Lennon is addressing is ever so authentic to the Beatle's own socio-cultural journey first and foremost.

Nicki said...

i have always thougt that fewer things were more heroic than being working-class.

Bri said...

that appellation applies to just about everybody, verdad?

db said...

I think that when john lennon talks about the working class. He doesn't really mean that being working class is bad. I think the point is that at some level people are told to give up on their dreams no matter how boring and dull the alternative of being working class might be, so people shouldn't go after money or status just because that is what most people around them have done, but they should try to live their dreams whatever that might be.

That is what I get out of the song, and that is why I like it so much.

Great post.

Bri said...

Of course Lennon doesn't say that the working class is bad. He was the working class and what set him apart artistically and politically was the unequivocal embracing of his roots and social essence. I concur with what you wrote and, in my view, Lennon's take was also akin to that, i.e., a person's pursuit of fundamental justice and worth.

Magnolia said...

Well said.