John Charles Julian Lennon, 8 April 1963, Liverpool, England. To embark on a musical career in the same sphere as his late father was a bold and courageous move for Julian Lennon, the son of John Lennon and Cynthia Powell. The universal fame of John Lennon brought the inevitable comparisons, which quickly became more a source of irritation than pride. This awful paradox must have hampered the now low-profile career of a young star that began when he released a commendable debut album in 1984. The album was produced by Phil Ramone and utilised a healthy mix of different musical styles. At times, Julians voice uncannily and uncomfortably mirrored that of Johns, but he was soon scaling the US and UK charts with excellent compositions such as Valotte and the reggae-influenced Too Late For Goodbyes. Lennon was nominated for a Grammy in 1985 as the Best New Act, but success may have come too soon, and he indulged in the usual excesses and was hounded by the press, merely to find out what club he frequented and whom he was dating.
The 1986 release The Secret Value Of Daydreaming was a poor album of overdone rock themes and was critically ignored. Lennon licked his wounds and returned in 1989 with Mr. Jordan and a change of style. The soul/disco track Now Youre In Heaven was a lively comeback single, and the album showed promise. 1991 saw Lennon return to the conventional activities of recording and promotion with the release of a single embracing green issues, Salt Water supported by an imaginative video and a heavy promotion schedule. On this album, Julian Lennon seemed to be making a career on his own terms, rather than those dictated by the memories of his father. By 1995, Virgin had released Lennon from his contract, and he joined a touring production of the play Mr. Hollands Opus for which he sang the title song. After many years of legal wrangles, Lennon received a financial settlement from his fathers estate and the executor Yoko Ono. The sum of £20 million is alleged to have been agreed. Lennon was quoted as saying he needed the money to relaunch his rock career
Lennon subsequently broke a seven-year silence with Photograph Smile. The album was released on his label and was issued on the same day as his half-brother Sean Lennons debut. The first single Day After Day was a fabulous song but was virtually ignored by the media as they concentrated on Sean. The album was varied and much more like his fathers mid-period Beatles work. Sadly, due to his past over-indulgence, Julian needed to court the media favourably before his recent work was properly listened to. Photograph Smile was an outstanding record of great maturity that was virtually ignored.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.