As far as songwriters go in popular music, there is Bob Dylan, Lennon and McCartney and Paul Simon and then there's everyone else. This album kicks off with the title track. If that was the only thing that Lennon ever wrote, he would probably still be in that first statement. It's that big of a song and that big of a statement. It's really a song about communism and total anarchy when you get down to it, but it's so sweet people don't see it that way. That is really powerful songwriting.
Of course the title track was not a revelation for me when listening to this album. Embarrassingly, I had not ever listened to this album from start to finish before this exorcise. So what did I come away with? Well first of all "How Do You Sleep?" jumps right out at you. I never heard this before and really had no idea there was that much venom between John and Paul. I knew there was some, but this is some rough stuff. There was a lot more stuff that I ended up reading about too about the feud between them.
I also never knew that Alan White from Yes played drums on the album. That was kind of interesting as well.
Of course the album on a whole is great songwriting. Maybe John's best work. I certainly like it more than the Plastic Ono album that came before it. Even though it's ranked higher here. This is more accessible, and has better melodies.