In the same 1970 interview in which he derided Paul McCartney‘s early solo efforts, John Lennon explained to Rolling Stone‘s Jann Werner about his and his wife Yoko Ono’s understanding of what makes for a great song. Discussing his own first post-Beatles album, “John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band,” Lennon compared his new materials to “Strawberry Fields” as well as two other songs not mentioned in the 1968 interview — “I’m a Loser” and “Help!” — claiming, “They were the ones I always considered my best songs. They were the ones I really wrote from experience and not projecting myself into a situation and writing a nice story about it. I always found that phony, but I’d find occasion to do it because I’d be so hung up, I couldn’t even think about myself.”

Apart from songs written from personal experience, Lennon highlighted his early song co-written with McCartney, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” as one of his all-time favorites, claiming it has “a beautiful melody.” Conversely, Lennon praises “Across The Universe” for the power of its poetry, stating: “It’s one of the best lyrics I’ve written. In fact, it could be the best … the ones I like are the ones that stand as words, without melody. They don’t have to have any melody, like a poem, you can read them.”

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