John Lennon - Imagine
NME.COM feature on John Lennon - Imagine album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.
Release date: 05 December 2005
Tracklisting click track to read more
- Imagine (2000 Digital Remaster)
- Crippled Inside (2000 Digital Remaster)
- Jealous Guy (2000 Digital Remaster)
- It's So Hard (2000 Digital Remaster)
- I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier (2000 Digital Remaster)
- Gimme Some Truth (2000 Digital Remaster)
- Oh My Love (2000 Digital Remaster)
- How Do You Sleep? (2000 Digital Remaster)
- How? (2000 Digital Remaster)
- Oh Yoko! (2000 Digital Remaster)
The secrets of the dead Beatle's suitcase-sized iPod revealed...
- Apr 20, 2004
Amazingly, someone somewhere was clearly stopped from putting a bossa nova beat and [a]Robbie Williams[/a]' voice over this timeless classic.
- Dec 8, 1999
Between Janov's primal scream therapy and his assassin's bullet a decade later, John Lennon fought demons....
- Sep 30, 1998
Joe Flannery claims The Beatles singer thought he was 'cursed' in new book
Note penned after Beatles break-up expected to fetch £40,000
Guitarist and singer will play the Beatles legend on stage in Liverpool
John Lennon - Imagine: Wikipedia Album Entry
Imagine is John Lennon's second solo album and is considered the most popular of his solo works. Recorded and released in 1971, the album tended toward songs that were gentler, more commercial and less avant-garde than the ones he released on his more critically acclaimed previous album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. The difference, he said, was that Imagine was "chocolate-coated for public consumption", in reference to the string sections prevalent throughout the album.
Basic tracks for the album were recorded in his home studio (Ascot Sound Studios in Tittenhurst Park) with strings overdubs added at the Record Plant in New York City. As on his last album, Phil Spector joined Lennon and Yoko Ono as co-producer on Imagine. Extensive footage of the sessions, showing the evolution of some of the songs, was compiled on a video documentary entitled Gimme Some Truth: The Making of John Lennon's Imagine.
The title track "Imagine" became Lennon's signature tune and was written as a plea for world peace. "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' double-album The Beatles. "Oh My Love" and the song "How?" were influenced by his experience with primal therapy: "How?" contains the questions he was facing while going through the changes produced in him during the ongoing process of primal therapy, while "Oh My Love" was written to communicate the joy and growth Lennon was experiencing as a result of the therapy.
Lennon also indulged his love of rock and roll with "Crippled Inside" and "It's So Hard." "Gimme Some Truth", originally heard in the Let It Be sessions, appears on the album with a new bridge. The politically-themed "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier" closes the first half of Imagine in a cacophonous manner.
George Harrison guested on a few of Imagine's tracks, most infamously "How Do You Sleep?", Lennon's response to what he considered veiled remarks about him on Paul McCartney's then-current album Ram. Although Lennon softened his stance in the mid-70s and claimed he wrote the song about himself, he revealed in 1980, "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".
Early editions of the Imagine LP included a postcard featuring a photo of Lennon holding a pig in mockery of McCartney's similar pose with a sheep of the cover of Ram. At the end of the album is "Oh Yoko!", a ode to his wife complete with a Bob Dylan-style harmonica solo.
Upon release in September and October 1971, Imagine was warmly regarded by critics and promptly went to #1 worldwide and became an enduring seller, with the title track reaching #3 in the U.S. and #1 in the UK following Lennon's death. In 2000, Yoko Ono supervised the remixing of Imagine for its remastered reissue.
In 2003, Imagine was placed at #76 in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time and reissued by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab on gold CD and on 180 gram half-speed mastered vinyl.
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Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
You can shine your shoes and wear a suit
You can comb your hair and look quite cute
You can hide your face behind a smile
One thing you can't hide is when you're crippled inside
I was dreamin' of the past
And my heart was beating fast
I began to lose control
I began to lose control
You gotta eat, you gotta drink
You gotta feel something, you gotta worry
But it's hard, you know it's hard
Sometime I feel like going down
How can I go forward when I don't know which way I'm facing?
How can I go forward when I don't know which way to turn?
How can I go forward into something I'm not sure of?
Oh no, oh no
In the middle of the night
In the middle of the night, I call your name
Oh Yoko, oh Yoko