Imagine Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, April 11, 2000
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One of the best all-time rock albums by any measure, Imagine is nearing its 30th birthday-and here's a marvelous tribute. You can get the original LP on CD or cassette with remixed, remastered sound and a 16-page booklet with lyrics and rare pix. Or go behind the scenes of a masterpiece-the documentary Gimme Some Truth-The Making of Imagine , featuring an unfinished film by John and Yoko, is available on VHS or DVD (DVD has surround sound, an eight-page booklet and discography). A treasured moment in rock history.
The enduring legacy of John Lennon's best album has overshadowed a glaring historical irony: the Beatles' original architect was also responsible for some of the Fab Four's most erratic solo albums. His recording projects all too often held hostage to polemics both personal and political, Lennon's conflicting artistic sensibilities arguably reached perfect balance just once. Coproduced with an uncharacteristically subtle touch by Phil Spector (a stark contrast to his dense aural constructions for George Harrison's All Things Must Pass from the same period), this is Lennon as whole man. Here he exhibits childlike utopian optimism (the title track), extends romantic paeans to the love of his life ("Oh Yoko!" "Oh My Love," and "Jealous Guy," the latter two begun as White Album demos) and spews bitter, petty acrimony toward his former songwriting partner ("How Do You Sleep?"). Set against such expressions, Lennon's fervent antiestablishment tirades ("I Don't Want to Be a Soldier," "Gimme Some Truth") took on some real weight and perspective, while his dollops of introspection ("How?" "Crippled Inside") have an air of resignation missing from the vitriol of his personal exorcism, Plastic Ono Band. This digitally remixed/remastered redux of the album may invoke the ire of the historically retentive, but it was accomplished under the aegis of Yoko Ono with an ear for clarity and a little more of John Lennon's complex, but always gratifying, soul. --Jerry McCulley
Top customer reviews
Outstanding tracks include the title song, "Jealous Guy" & "Oh My Love". But Lennon had yet to clear the air on everything; "How Do You Sleep" is a scathing attack on Paul McCartney that might have been more at home on Plastic Ono Band. This version of Imagine (the album) is remastered & is better for it. John Lennon will be best remembered for this album &, though it doesn't quite measure up to Plastic Ono Band, it's still an excellent album. It would be the last really good album that Lennon would release.
Of course, nearly everyone on the planet is familiar with the brilliant and utterly ubiquitous title track, but fewer, I'm afraid, have taken the time to mine the other gems ensconced within the confines of this disc.
One of Lennon's most compelling characteristics as a songwriter is his ability to transport the listener to his universe...to force you to feel what he feels...his pain, his joy, his heart's overflowing love for the woman he describes as the other half of himself.
Hate all you want, but John found Yoko to be entirely inspirational, and every iota of his unfathomable love for her comes bursting through on the vibrant and jubilant "Oh Yoko!". Lennon's feelings for his bride are also in evidence on the haunting, almost sweetly-sorrowful "Oh My Love" and the self-effacing "Jealous Guy", on which Lennon boldly lays bare his insecurities for all the world to see. Similar deeply personal introspection abounds on "How?".
The term "white-washed tombs filled with dead men's bones" comes to mind when John cranks out the jangly "Crippled Inside", his pithy indictment of a vacuous society obsessed with the sizzle at the expense of the steak. Pointed social commentaries also find their mark on "I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier" and "Gimme Some Truth".
Another treasure is the prototypical "diss song" "How Do You Sleep", on which Lennon deftly skewers his former bandmate, Paul McCartney. "The only thing you done was yesterday/and since you've gone it's just another day..." Ouch! The like was not to be heard until KRS-1 ripped into MC Shan and Canibus took aim at LL Cool J.
Sometimes, we get so used to people saying that something is a "classic' or a "standard" that we barely take the time to analyze it and appreciate its true greatness. How many times have you glanced casually at the pyramids or the Mona Lisa and taken them for granted? Don't let this be the case with Imagine. Give it a listen. You won't be disappointed.
IMAGINE- This is a song that Lennon wrote to impress upon people that our differences are actually what makes life harder and makes it difficult to live without war. Differences in religion, social class, etc. Many people hate it because of its lyrical content. Lennon was always a non-conformist and he tended to forget that the rest of the world isn't. When taken in the context that it was meant, it is a beautiful peace anthem. One reviewer here on Amazon went so far as to call it an ode to Communism of sorts. It is one of the best songs that any of the Beatles ever wrote; ever.
CRIPPLED INSIDE- This is a very enjoyable country/blues piece that would've been right at home on the White Album. Great lyrics
JEALOUS GUY- Definitely one of the highlights of the album and a classic. It has a beautiful melody and a heartfelt sentiment.
IT'S SO HARD- Another blues number with a great string arrangement. Typical blues lyrics with an unmistakable Lennon feel.
I DON'T WANNA BE A SOLDIER- Vietnam protest song. Very effective production on this. More social commentary over some psychedelic blues. Definite highlight on the album.
GIMME SOME TRUTH- This is not a bad song. It's more of Lennon's political statements. The problem that I have with it is that the phrasing borrows from I AM THE WALRUS. Lennon of all people had the ability to recognize this and come up with something more original. Yet, if you're going to copy someone, it might as well be yourself. Otherwise it's pretty average fare from John.
OH MY LOVE- Another of this album's highlights. This is a pretty love song that would've also fit nicely on the White Album.
HOW DO YOU SLEEP?- This is a slam on Paul McCartney. It's a bitter, angry song that is answering some lyrics from Paul that John thought were directed towards him. Paul's feud songs in this case were TOO MANY PEOPLE and DEAR BOY from Ram. It's another of the album's highlights. Paul would later retort him and Harrison (Who made his own vent-song with WAH-WAH on his All Things Must Pass album) with LET ME ROLL IT on Band On The Run.
HOW?- This song borrows from THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD. I never liked that song and this one is in the same vein. My least favorite track on this album.
OH YOKO!- One of the best songs that Lennon ever wrote. Beautiful melody and great lyrics. The arrangement is also original and catchy. You can really feel John's love for Yoko through this song.
HOW DO YOU SLEEP
Besides these songs, the rest of the album is enjoyable, above average, early 70's pop. If you liked the Beatles or 70's music in general I would recommend this to you. The remastering on the 2000 version that I have is good but not as good as the Beatles remasters.
Most recent customer reviews
so I ordered this.