John Lennon: “(Just Like) Starting Over” (1980)

“Like Paul, (John) was extremely intelligent and aware of what he wanted in the studio. But you’d never find two more diametrically opposed personalities. I was working on Double Fantasy at the time of his death. How long did it take me to recover from that night? I still haven’t recovered.” – Hugh McCracken, as quoted in his obituary in The Independent.

A toast to a new beginning, an epitaph to a surprise ending. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, yadda yadda yadda. It’s hard to hear this song today without a twinge of sadness, and yet, when I first heard this song, I wasn’t impressed. After all the speculation of what Lennon might sound like in the 80s, he’d changed so very little, returning to the rock & roll roots of his youth while David Bowie was force-feeding us the future on Scary Monsters. (I had a similar reaction to Let’s Dance, so maybe I was just miserable in the 1980s.) The real surprise here is Yoko Ono’s “Kiss Kiss Kiss,” which accepts the challenge of the new decade. In fact, “Kiss Kiss Kiss” would have worked better interleaved between “It’s No Game” and “Up The Hill Backwards.”

Original 7-inch single version
A1. (Just Like) Starting Over (John Lennon) (3:54)
B1. Kiss Kiss Kiss (Yoko Ono) (2:41)

Back-to-back hits single reissue
A1. (Just Like) Starting Over (John Lennon) (3:54)
B1. Woman (John Lennon) (3:30)

7-inch blue vinyl single reissue
A1. (Just Like) Starting Over (John Lennon) (3:55)
B1. Watching The Wheels (John Lennon) (3:58)

The Plastic
Released on 7-inch single on October 24, 1980 in the UK (Geffen, K79186), the US (Geffen, GEF49604), Australia (Geffen, GEF 49604), Belgium and France (Geffen, 79.186), Germany (Geffen, GEF79186), Japan (Geffen, P-645W) and Spain (Geffen, 45-2302) with picture sleeve; reached #1 on the UK charts and #1 on the US charts (RIAA-certified gold record). Also released as a promotional 12-inch single in 1980 in the US (PRO919).

  1. Re-released with “Woman” as back-to-back hits 7-inch single on July 6, 1981 in the US (Geffen, GGEF0408).
  2. Re-released with “Watching The Wheels” as blue vinyl jukebox single on January 15, 2001 in the US (Capitol, 58894).

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