It's strange how I feel about Lennon's murder - it was one of the saddest days of my life, yet I'd never met the man. In the preceding months, I'd heard about Double Fantasy, and Starting Over and Watching the Wheels were on the radio, and it was so comforting to hear his voice singing new songs, and they were beautiful ones, too. Right away, I chuckled at his delivery on Starting Over because it was a parody of Orbison, Elvis, Buddy Holly, etc., and I felt bad about that because I shouldn't be making fun of a musician I've loved since childhood, yet in an interview I'd heard later on, he said he was laughing to himself as he was singing it because of the Orbison/Elvis/Holly thing. Not only did I not feel bad, but I felt as if I was in on a private joke right from the start. Good going, John. The tune of Starting Over sounded familiar, and I came to the conclusion that he must have heard the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby" about 10 minutes before he wrote his tune, the chorus is note-for-note the exact same thing. While Brian Wilson was going insane, John nicked the chords and came out with his own record, "scored one on yer, I did".
My sadness about the murder was there was to be no more comforting soothing voice, no private jokes I understood without knowing why, no phoenix rising up from behind to knock the mostly terrible Journey and AC DC off the charts...no...I watch the Anthology and always imagine John sitting in with Paul, George and Ringo, how he would've looked, how mellowed out he would have been recollecting the madness of the days of the Beatles, as even George eventually developed a sense of humor about it all. That sucks, too - nothing left but imagining. The worst expression I've ever heard in life has to be "would have been...."
SO - ANYWAY - back to your original question - did I get Double Fantasy Stripped Down yet...No - I haven't seen it in shops yet, but I'd like to. The album that got me through my senior year in Catholic High School without going insane will always be cherished in my heart.