In those decades after his demise many artists and persons have had passed JL with better ideas and clearer visions.
He enjoyed the limelight while it lasted.
"Imagine" him getting old and staying cranky and acerbic, Just to end his career as a juror on "American Idol". This isn't a nice idea at all.
He beat his wife, He abused his son, He was politically clueless and he wasn't even that good of a musician.
It's well known that he mistreated Cynthia but he also mistreated Yoko Ono and frequently lashed out at both of them. His first son Julian was abused by John. Julian Lennon stated that Paul McCartney was more of a father than John was.
It was known by many intellectuals in his lifetime that he was politically clueless. He was just a poseur who didn't do anything significant apart from sing sappy protest songs and give publicity to violent groups like the Black Panthers and the Irish Republican Army.
He was a mediocre musician. Yes, I said it. His guitar and piano playing was average and his songs only turned out great due to his partnership with McCartney.
Both McCartney and George Harrison were much more talented than Lennon was, Just listen to their solo works. The truth is that after 1965 Lennon did very little for The Beatles and he spent much of that time on drugs. I can guarantee you that Ono did more song writing that Lennon ever did.
Finally, He was a complete hypocrite. He said "imagine no possessions" but he owned a Rolls Royce and lived a millionaires lifestyle in a nice apartment in New York City. He said "imagine no religion" but he was fascinated with the New Age. He is praised as this icon of peace and love yet he supported violent groups and beat his wife.
Much of this cult around John Lennon only started after his death in 1980 and is being kept alive by Ono. Once she dies, The Cult of Lennon will die with her and the world can openly talk about what kind of man John Lennon really was.
Admitting he is over-rated does not diminish fact that he was a very talented musician. John Lennon was a very good pop music songwriter. He was also very astute at observing culture and trends and very good at capturing this in his music. He didn't so much change the world as he changed with the world. Calling him a musical genius renders meaningless the word genius (seriously, look up the definition - it does not apply to John Lennon). Also, for a guy that preached how everyone should share everything, he sure kept a lot of material wealth for himself and Yoko. And for a guy that preached that everyone should love all others, he could not share his love equally with his firstborn son. And let's look at the "anthemic" song, Imagine. The song makes you feel good if you only think about it on a superficial level. But try to really think about the world Lennon describes; a world with no countries, no borders, no possessions, no religion. Nothing to fight over. Nothing to fight for. Nothing to die for. Nothing to believe in. Nothing to work for. Nothing to live for. Sounds like a very depressing and desolate world to me. Not a world I would want to live in.
One of the great debates of our time is whether or not it’s OK to consume art made by horrible people. No matter which side of this argument you fall on, you can’t deny that John Lennon, as talented as he might have been, was not a particularly chill dude.
John Lennon has a professionally unique voice, and it was one of a kind in the 1960's. However, because Lennon was widely publicized, he inspired youth to persue music. This is why he was so great. Regarding his talent, he was a professional talent. However, since Lennon there have been so many unique artists who have, arguably more talent than Lennon (Michael Jackson, Robert Plant, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Thom Yorke,). He is great because of his influence, not necessarily because he was uber talented.
No, John Lennon is not overrated as a musician. His voice was different than any other voice ever heard prior or since his death. His soothing melodic tone has an almost haunting quality, where you can identify immediately any one of his songs. He was truly a legend and will always be seen as a musical icon for all time.
John Lennon has had such a strong and significant impact on so many people's lives, to say that he is overrated is rude and ignorant. John Lennon has saved people's lives and changed the world for the better, something that no more than a handful of musicians have been able to do.
John Lennon is without a doubt a genius in the world of music. He not only composed many songs, but he also sang many classical pieces that no one would forget. If we look at the creativity and devotion of John Lennon, one cannot deny him as a musician, and most notably, an artist of the modern time.