In December 1965, at the height of Beatlemania, John Lennon was invited to review some of the best singles of the winter. Here we’ll take a look at some of the comments he made about Joan Baez, The Beach Boys, and more.

By the winter of 65, The Beatles had shattered America and were about to embark on their second tour of this music-mad nation. It had been a hell of a year for the Beatles, but also for the world in general. As Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr made history by performing the first-ever stadium performance at New York’s Shea Stadium in Selma, peaceful civil rights protesters had just been murdered by the police, and in Vietnam, a war was still raging. It all formed the backdrop for what turned out to be one of the most explosive decades in recent memory – and John Lennon was there for it all.

The first single that John Lennon received that day in 1965 was the Beach Boys track “The Little Girl I Once Knew”, a record that would later end up on the band’s most beloved album, Animal sounds, which will be released a year later in ’66. The Beatles and Beach Boys have always had an affection for each other’s music, and this is evident from Lennon’s lyrics on the single. “He’s the biggest,” he began. “Ride it, ride it right now.” It must be a hit because it’s the best record I’ve heard in weeks. It’s fantastic. That’s all Brian Wilson, he just uses vocals as his instruments. he never tours or does nothing, he just stays home thinking about some fantastic arrangements, ”Lennon concluded, without a hint of jealousy.

Then, “Farewell Angelina Colors” by Joan Baez. Housed in a beautifully illustrated blue, black and white sleeve, the single was originally an extract from the recording sessions of Bob Dylan’s fifth studio album, Bring it all home. However, it was never featured on that album and was later used as the title song and lead single for Baez’s album in 1965 after Dylan gave it as a gift. Unfortunately, Lennon was not impressed. “Oh, it’s Grandma Baez,” he began. “Isn’t that on an LP?” I think I’ve heard it before. If you meet her, she will sing to you everything she knows anyway. Lennon clearly didn’t like the next album on the list – The Walker Brothers and ‘My Ship Is Coming In’ – either. “It’ll do, I’ve heard it before. Take it off, ”he said, moments after the first verse. “I think the Walker Brothers are good, but I don’t like this type of song. I don’t listen to them, really. Their voices are good, but they abuse the loud-voiced approach ”.

By this point, Lennon had really hit his critical beat, tearing the next track, the cover of Chris Farlowe’s “In The Midnight Hour”, with a vengeance. “The media missed it,” he began. “It’s just a feeling of reality. It’s so much like the original not to be good enough ”. Unfortunately, Lennon’s enthusiasm has gone a bit too far with the next record. While listening to a cover of “Eight Days A Week” by Alma Cogan, he was clearly unaware that a good friend of his was about to start singing. “I hate these debuts, they sound like concertos,” he said. “You will probably have a Roger Williams piano or a Roger Williams knockoff in a moment.” Then, as Alma’s voice began, Lennon jumped up from his seat and shouted, “Oh this is Alma! I got it now. Sorry, Alma ”. Quickly stepping back, Lennon said, “You better stick with that, this is one of those embarrassing ones. She already played it to me. I love her voice though, it’s good when it starts. I hope it’s a success, she deserves it “.

Lennon had virtually nothing to say about Bing Crosby’s 1965 Christmas single “The White World Of Winter” other than that it was “a lousy song and lousy arrangement.” I thought it was Val Doonican. They’ll release anything at Christmas. I wonder what they are doing in Russia, there is no Christ in Russia. Likewise, the last two records Lennon had to listen to did not win the singer’s heart either. Unit 4’s “You’ve Got To Be Cruel To Be Kind” contained “a few cool songs” but there wasn’t much else, while the Applejacks record contained this Roger Williams piano that Lennon hated it so much. “That’s enough, thank you sir,” concluded Lennon.

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