- Audio CD (4 Oct. 2010)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Original recording remastered
- Label: EMI Records
- ASIN: B003Y8YXFS
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,156 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Imagine Original recording remastered
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Digital Booklet: Imagine
Digital Booklet: Imagine
Brand new 2010 digital remaster of the classic John Lennon album. Considered together, Imagine and its startling predecessor, Plastic Ono Band, paint a vivid picture of the state of John Lennon immediately post-Beatles. If Plastic Ono Band found John working out his hitherto repressed feelings about childhood and stardom, then the abiding impression of Imagine is John's one certainty in this storm of doubts and recrimination: his love for Yoko. "Jealous Guy", with its peerless vocal and a spot-on arrangement for strings, is sublime. "Oh MyLove" is all delicacy and melodiousness. "Oh Yoko!" is a celebratory finale with none of the cloying self-obsession of John and Yoko's home movies.
On two other songs where Yoko is not the dominant theme, she is nevertheless invoked through the "oh no, oh no" refrain. That's not to say that lovesongs predominate. Half of the material covers similar terrain to Plastic Ono Band, but the themes are balanced by hope and even light-heartedness. "Crippled Inside" is leavened by its country stylings including Dobro, courtesy of George Harrison, who also spices up two of the album's pivotal tracks, "Gimme Some Truth" and "How Do You Sleep?" (the latter isa vitriolic attack on Paul McCartney). Outside of Plastic Ono Band, this may be Lennon's finest solo album.
John Lennon’s most famous album is not what it seems. A huge commercial success both upon its release and immediately after Lennon’s murder, Imagine is generally seen as the star’s inevitable return to conventional pop after the ferocious flurry of avant-garde experiments, protest singles, primal confessionals and live rave-ups of the Yoko Ono-led 1968-70 period. But, beyond the title-track and the presence of Phil Spector and George Harrison, Imagine is a weird, ramshackle collection of eclectic gems that uniquely links Lennon the raging politico (and lippy bitch) with Lennon the peace-loving dreamer and adoring husband.
So, among the jams and co-producer Spector’s clever mix of orchestral pomp and punkish lo-fi, the listener’s interest in these 10 songs is inevitably drawn toward five of the most notable songs of Lennon’s career. Gimme Some Truth is one of the greatest protest songs ever recorded, a glistening product of the tension between Lennon’s rapier-wit fury at the hypocrisy of political leaders, and the sheer Beatle-esque beauty of melody and arrangement. How? is both beautiful and profound; a calm-after-the-storm orchestral ballad that captures the eternal confusion of Being Human with humble grace.
If you only know Jealous Guy as Roxy Music’s worst-ever record, then the original, with its courageous and accurate portrayal of male neediness and insecurity, will be a tear-jerking shock. And How Do You Sleep?’s attack on Paul McCartney is still a bizarre listen, the track’s lazy, laconic white soul stroll hitting Lennon’s vicious indiscretions home with a swaggering arrogance.
And, of course, there’s Imagine. Imagine you hadn’t heard it 5,000 times already, and been told to hear it as either the 20th century’s greatest hymn to human transcendence, or a sickening ode to millionaire hypocrisy and complacency. Then what you might hear, beneath the clamour, is the rough prettiness of the piano, the humility of the vocal, the skill of the arrangement and song craft. Good luck with that.
Elsewhere, Crippled Inside and I Don’t Wanna Be a Soldier Mama are enjoyable roots-rock jams masquerading as protest song, Oh My Love and Oh Yoko! are the first of many simpering tributes to Lennon’s bird, and It’s So Hard is a sexual double-entendre in search of a decent tune. Sprinkled among the benchmark Lennon songs listed above, they make for an album of abruptly shifting moods and a sense of fun and mischief that were fated to never appear again within Lennon’s work. It’s this spontaneity and joy that makes Imagine Lennon’s most popular solo album, if not his best.--Gary Mulholland
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Top Customer Reviews
The remastered sound is excellent and the album sounds better than ever. The packaging is the currently fashionable Eco type with the semi mock vinyl presentation. There is no tray for the CD disc but it has to slip inside the cardboard cover. This was something I found a pain since its much to tight a fit. But other than that it is an excellent presentation.
It's the contradictions that make this such a strange and ultimately interesting album.
The title track 'Imagine' is now a peace anthem - high ideals, a hymn of gentility that is used to portray Lennon as an idealist. But how badly that sits with the vitriolic attack on Paul McCartney that is 'How do you sleep?'!
'Gimme some Truth' has some of the most powerful anti-establishment lyrics ever committed to record. Brilliant. But 'I don't Wanna be a soldier Mama' is repetitive and weak by comparison - little more than a make-it-up-as-you-go session.
`Jealous Guy' - painfully brilliant. `Crippled Inside' - nowhere near as good.
'Oh my Love'- Lennon balladeering at his best. "Oh Yoko!" - a song that seems to be trying to prove something, but which ultimately fails.
Don't get me wrong - this is an album worth buying and worth playing often. But it shows an artist in pain - trying to resolve the momentous decision he made to leave everything and set up with Yoko, hitting out at his former best friend, trying to find a new role for himself.
Listen to it in that light, and `Imagine' makes sense, the ambiguities can be explained. Not a great album overall, but a piece of pop history - in turn beautiful, strange, contradictory, interesting.
Producer John Lennon/Yoko OIno/Phil Spector
The band : John Lennon, George Harrison, Klaus Voorman, Alan White, Nicky Hopkins and others
Composer John Lennon except "Oh My Love" Lennon/Ono
Chart position : No1 in USA and UK charts.
Location : UK and USA
Singles released : Imagine in USA, no releases in UK.
The Tracks : Imagine
The title track "Imagine" became Lennon's signature song and was written as a plea for world peace.
Crippled Inside :
A great rockin song with a sharp anti hypocricy lyric. George Harrison plays the "Dobro" on this to fantastic effect.
Jealous Guy :
"Jealous Guy" has also had enduring popularity and was originally composed as "Child of Nature" during the songwriting sessions in India in 1968 that led to The Beatles White album.
It's So Hard :
Great blues track.
I Don't Want To Be A Soldier :
The title says it all.
Gimme Some Truth :
This song was written in 1969 during the Let It Be sessions and finished off for this album.
Oh My Love :
Beautiful love song co-written by Lennon/Ono
How Do You Sleep :
John Lennon quoted, "I used my resentment against Paul... to create a song... not a terrible vicious horrible vendetta... I used my resentment and withdrawing from Paul and The Beatles, and the relationship with Paul, to write 'How Do You Sleep'. I don't really go 'round with those thoughts in my head all the time".
Sensitive and painfully appealing.
EMI pushed for this track to be the single, but Lennon thought it was too "pop".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved this when it first came out and listening to it brought back many greta memories. A classic Lennon album and no Yoko swawking. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Paul Whitaker
This 2010 remaster of Imagine was remastered from the original mixes, unlike the 2000 CD reissue which was remixed and remastered from the original multitrack tapes. Read morePublished 10 months ago by P. Phillips