Isolation

Album: John Lennon: Plastic Ono Band (1970)

Songfacts®:

  • Both this and "Hold On" were rough mixes. Lennon originally mixed them on the conventional home tape recorder speed of 7 1/2 ips, with the intention of taking them home to play and see what else he was going to do with them. However he never got round to putting them onto the professional taping speed of 15 ips.
  • Ringo Starr played drums on this track. Klaus Voormann, who was a friend of the Beatles from their Hamburg days, played bass. Voorman is an artist who designed the cover of Revolver.
  • Among the artists to cover this are Snow Patrol, Ann Wilson, Therapy? and Harry Nilsson.
  • Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp covered this for a collaborative album. Longtime Beck collaborators, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and bassist Rhonda Smith, also play on the track.

    Beck and Depp recorded the track in 2019 and decided to release it in April 2020 before the rest of their album because its theme reflected what people were experiencing during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. "Lennon's poetry – 'We're afraid of everyone. Afraid of the Sun!' – seemed to Jeff and me especially profound right now, this song about isolation, fear and existential risks to our world," said Depp. "So we wanted to give it to you, and hope it helps you make sense of the moment or just helps you pass the time as we endure isolation together."

Comments: 4

  • Leo Gb from BrightonI think this song is about the isolation John and Yoko experienced. John said in an interview with yoko that they don’t have many friends and only really had eachother towards the end. The opening line, “people say we got it made, don’t you know we’re so afraid” refers to peoples assumption they are doing well due to financial and fame status but really they were just alone in a large house. The line “just a boy and a little girl, tryna change the whole wide world” refers to John and Yoko’s peace campaign and the impact they were trying to make to the world which in some ways was misunderstood. They are “afraid of everyone” because they dont know who to trust anymore. John was a very complicated person and only a few understood him, and since he couldn’t see Paul as much he was in isolation with Yoko.
  • Tony from Chicago, IlThis is a bit of an off the wall interpretation, but the first times I heard this, I thought this was about Paul McCartney and him missing their friendship. Upon actually looking at all the lyrics it probably doesn't make sense but the ones that caused me to think this way were specifically: "People say we got it made
    Don't they know we're so afraid", "Just a boy and a little girl, Trying to change the whole wide world, The world is just a little town, Everybody trying to put us down" and then the biggest part "I don't expect you to understand, After you caused so much pain, But then again you're not to blame, You're just a human, a victim of the insane".
  • Dylan from San Fransisco, CaA lot of people thought that Lennon, singing this song, knew how the world was going to end. Due to the lyrics of the sun exploding.
  • Elmer from Seattle, WaThis is my favorite song.
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