On October 5th, John Lennon’s 1971 Imagine album will receive the most expansive and in-depth musical look at any Beatles-related project to date, with the release of the six-disc Imagine — The Ultimate Collection. The set includes a brand new remastered stereo mix, raw studio recordings, outtakes, extras, and an audio documentary that explores the evolution of each song — plus new surround mixes on Blu-ray and a revamped Quadrasonic mix. John Lennon’s Imagine was released on September 9th, 1971 and hit Number One on October 30th, 1971.
The original tracklisting to John Lennon’s Imagine is: “Imagine,” “Crippled Inside,” “Jealous Guy,” “It’s So Hard,” “I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama,” “Gimme Some Truth,” “Oh My Love,” “How Do You Sleep?,” “How?,” and “Oh Yoko!”
George Harrison appears on the album, playing electric guitar, slide guitar, and dobro on the tracks “Crippled Inside,” “I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama,” “Gimme Some Truth,” “Oh My Love,” and “How Do You Sleep?,” marking the only time Harrison ever appeared on solo sessions for a Lennon album.
According to the press release for the set:
This historical, remixed and remastered 140-track collection is fully authorized by Yoko Ono Lennon who oversaw the production and creative direction. Spread across four CD’s and two Blu-ray discs, this truly unique expanded edition offers a variety of listening experiences that are at once immersive and intimate, ranging from the brand new Ultimate Mixes of the iconic album, which reveal whole new levels of sonic depth, definition and clarity to these timeless songs, to the Raw Studio Mixes that allow listeners to hear Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band’s original, unadorned performances, to enveloping 5.1 surround sound mixes, and a Quadrasonic Album Mix, presenting the original four speaker mix remastered in Quadrasonic sound for the first time in nearly fifty years.
This ultimate deep listening experience, which features scores of previously unheard demos, rare outtakes and isolated track elements, also includes The Evolution Documentary, a unique track-by-track audio montage that details the journey of each song from demo to master recording via instructions, rehearsals, recordings, multitrack exploration and studio chatter. The comprehensive nature of the full Imagine — The Ultimate Collection is the absolute best representation of a career artist working at the top of his creative game.
On September 11th, 1971 John Lennon appeared on The Dick Cavett Show and spoke frankly about his current state of affairs: “A long time ago I said that I didn’t want to be singing ‘She Loves You’ when I’m 30. I said that when I was about 25, or something. Which, in a roundabout way, meant that I wouldn’t be doing whatever I was doing then at 30. Well, I was 30 last October and that’s about when my life changed, really.” The New York Parole Board decided Chapman’s release “would be incompatible with the welfare and safety of society and would so deprecate the serious nature of the crime as to undermine respect for the law.”
In the decision, the parole board stated: “You admittedly carefully planned and executed the murder of a world-famous person for no reason other than to gain notoriety. While no one person’s life is any more valuable than another’s life, the fact that you chose someone who was not only a world renown person and beloved by millions, regardless of the pain and suffering you would cause to his family, friends and so many others, you demonstrated a callous disregard for the sanctity of human life and the pain and suffering of others.”
Chapman will be eligible for parole again in August 2020 according to the terms of his 20-years-to-life sentence. He is incarcerated at Alden, New York’s Wende Correctional Facility, 20 miles east of Buffalo, and according to reports, Chapman has refused all psychological aid during his nearly four decades behind bars in protective custody.
For the past 25 years, he and his wife Gloria Abe have been allowed to spend 44 hours each year together during conjugal visits.
Photo Courtesy of Apple Corps Ltd.