What Year Was Julian Lennon Famous Again? And The Shirt That Killed His Career!


Quick, what year did Julian Lennon score two Top 10 hits from his first album, Valotte?

Sounds easy enough, but when you really try to zoom in on a number, it's tough to know exactly where to stick Julian. Obviously, the Eighties, but where in the Eighties? Was it pre-Culture Club or pre-grunge?

The reason it might be so difficult to nail down a year is because everything about Julian's first album seemed out-of-time at the time. The year was 1984 and even Van Halen had gone new wave yet Julian went to Muscle Shoals, Alabama with legendary producer Phil Ramone to make...

a perfectly boring pop record.

How boring, you ask? Can you name both of Lennon's Top 10 hit singles from that album?

Oh, sure you can, it's just that you've got a lot on your mind and, sure, you could probably pick 'em out of a list, but, whew, you are currently drawing a blank.

In fact, the more you think about it, the more you go blank on things you knew by heart:

"Quick, what's my password so I can log onto the mainframe and shut down the nuclear reactor before it blows!"



To save you the trip to Wikipedia, Lennon's first U.S. single was "Valotte", which is one of those songs, if pressed, you couldn't hum if you had to, but, upon hearing it again, are immediately reminded how much he sounds like his father and how the song itself wouldn't have sounded too out of place on Double Fantasy.

By 1984, new wave had exploded into the mainstream, covering everything in neon and checkerboard, yet here was young Lennon seated at a piano in a dimly lit French chateau sounding enough like his father that if you closed your eyes, you could almost hear John singing.

The song received heavy MTV and Top 40 radio airplay and reached #9.

"Too Late For Goodbyes" followed, becoming an even bigger hit than "Valotte" despite the song's video featuring one of the worst shirts to ever be featured in a rock video.


While "Too Late For Goodbyes" would, itself, become a Top 5 hit for Lennon, it seemed like just another casual day in his rented French chateau with some friends and a man who seems to take great joy in dancing back and forth in front of a doorway.

Now, we're the first to defend an artist's freedom of expression, but when thousands would literally kill to be where you are right now, Jules, are you sure that's the shirt you want some smug blogger to be razzing you about thirty years later? Well, at least flip the collar up because, you know, that couldn't possibly come back to haunt you either.

While the shirt's impact was not felt immediately, poor Julian would never grace the Top 10 again.

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