John Lennon – Imagine: The Ultimate Mixes (180g Vinyl 2LP)
180g 2LP Edition Featuring New Stereo Mix By Paul Hicks Utilizing High-Definition 24-bit/96kHz Audio Transfers Of Original First-Generation Multitrack Recordings, Second Disc Of 12 Outtakes Including Never-Before-Heard First Demo Of “Imagine,” Poster & Two Postcards
The apex of John Lennon’s solo career is celebrated with brand new Ultimate Mixes of his iconic 1971 album Imagine, which reveal whole new levels of sonic depth, definition and clarity to its timeless songs. This 180g 2LP edition also includes a second disc of twelve outtakes which take the listener on an incredibly personal journey through the songwriting and recording process. Imagine: The Ultimate Mixes is the absolute best representation of a career artist working at the top of his creative game.
The original Imagine album has been faithfully remixed from the ground up by Grammy Award winning engineer Paul Hicks at Abbey Road Studios under the supervision of Yoko Ono Lennon. Hicks utilized high-definition 24-bit/96kHz audio transfers of the album’s original first-generation multitrack recordings for the task and the result is that the instruments and vocal now have a completely new level of clarity. Hicks reveals, “Yoko was very keen that these Ultimate Mixes should achieve three things – to be totally faithful and respectful to the originals, be generally sonically clearer overall and should increase the clarity of John’s vocals. ‘It’s about John’ she said. And she was right. His voice brings the biggest emotional impact to the album.”
While sifting through boxes upon boxes of the original tapes, engineer Rob Stevens discovered something truly remarkable that had gone unnoticed all these years. “Early 2016, during the gestation period of this project, I’m in the Lenono archives with my people going through tape boxes that have labeling that’s unclear, misleading, or missing entirely,” says Stevens. “There’s a 1” 8-track that says nothing more on the Ascot Sound label than John Lennon, the date, and the engineer (Phil McDonald), with DEMO on the spine. No indication of what material was on the tape. One delicate transfer to digital later, the “Imagine” demo, subsequently enhanced superbly by Paul Hicks, appears within [this reissue]. It was true serendipity.” This completely never-before-heard original demo, a sparse home recording of Lennon on piano and vocal playing one of his most famous songs, launches the second disc of Imagine: The Ultimate Mixes.
In 1971, John Lennon and Yoko Ono conceived and recorded the critically acclaimed Imagine at their Georgian country home, Tittenhurst Park, in Berkshire, England, and in the state-of-the-art studio they built in the grounds, as well as at the Record Plant in New York. The title track’s universally appealing lyrics were inspired by Ono Lennon’s “event scores” in her 1964 book Grapefruit. Upon release, the album went to No. 1 in six countries including the U.K. and U.S. The best-selling single of Lennon’s solo career, the titular song was famously written as a plea for world peace. It remains one of the most legendary songs of all time and has earned numerous accolades. The song has been covered by everyone from Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Ray Charles, Madonna, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Diana Ross, Herbie Hancock and Joan Baez.
- 180g 2LP-set
- Original album faithfully remixed by Grammy Award winning engineer Paul Hicks at Abbey Road Studios under the supervision of Yoko Ono Lennon
- High-definition 24-bit/96kHz audio transfers of the album’s original first-generation multitrack recordings
- Second disc of twelve outtakes including never-before-heard original demo of “Imagine”
- Two postcards
LP1 – Imagine
- Crippled Inside
- Jealous Guy
- It’s So Hard
- I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama I Don’t Wanna Die
- Gimme Some Truth
- Oh My Love
- How Do You Sleep?
- Oh Yoko!
LP2 – Outtakes
- Imagine (Original demo recorded at Ascot)
- Imagine (Take 1)
- Crippled Inside (Take 3)
- Crippled Inside (Take 6 alternate guitar solo)
- Jealous Guy (Take 9)
- It’s So Hard (Take 6)
- I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier (Take 25)
- Gimme Some Truth (Take 4)
- Oh My Love (Take 6)
- How Do You Sleep? (Takes 1 & 2)
- How? (Take 31)
- Oh Yoko! (from Bed Peace footage – Sheraton Hotel, Bahamas 1969)