1971 Classic Gets Ultimate Treatment!
4CDs & 2 Blu-Ray Audio Discs Box Set!
Explore and enjoy the IMAGINE album and the 1971 Ascot Sound Studios & Record Plant Sessions
like you’ve never seen or heard them before.
This new edition takes us on incredibly personal journey through the entire songwriting and recording process – from the very first writing and demo sessions at John’s home studio at Tittenhurst Park through to the final co-production with Phil Spector – providing a remarkable testament of the lives of John Lennon and Yoko Ono in their own words.
“When John Lennon headed into the studio in 1971 to make his solo classic Imagine, wth Yoko Ono and Phil Spector, he had a lot to prove. He wanted to shake off the shadow of the Beatles, yet also build on the band’s legacy. He was itching to leave his ex-bandmates in the dust — Imagine has his notorious attack on Paul McCartney, ‘How Do You Sleep?’ But he also wanted to come to terms with his past and embrace his future with Yoko. He wanted both raging protest songs and tender love ballads. He wanted it all. As he explained at the time, ‘I was still full of wanting my own space after being in the room with four guys, and always having to share everything, share shirts, share the same dry cleaner, the same everything.’
“…As John admits in an interview in this box, ‘Yoko and I always live about two-thousand light years’ speed when we’re working, or just sort of no absolutely movement at all, you know. It’s one extreme or another. But it’s usually moving very fast and there’s always a small hurricane around us.’
“Imagine: The Ultimate Collection tells the full story of that ‘small hurricane.’ It’s loaded with previously unreleased treasures: outtakes, demos, studio jams, raw mixes, interviews with John and Yoko conducted by Elliot Mintz, plus ‘element’ tracks that isolate individual aspects of the mix, as in the strings-only version of ‘Imagine.’ It also has new remixes of the original classic album, from engineers Paul Hicks and Rob Stevens. There’s also the ‘Evolution’ mix of each track, a fascinating way to experience the songs — a montage by engineer Sam Gannon tracing each song’s journey from demo to final studio version, editing drafts and rehearsals and studio chatter along with John and Yoko’s commentary. The box also collects stray singles from this period: the broadside ‘Power to the People,’ the future holiday standard ‘Merry Xmas (War Is Over)’ and, best of all, the little-known radical romp ‘Do the Oz.'”
“…The Imagine box set is part of a Lennon celebration set for the first week of October, which would have marked his 78th birthday.” – Rollingstone.com
“The song ‘Imagine’ is the crowning achievement of John Lennon’s uneven solo career, so it’s easy to forget the glory that is the album Imagine. Containing two Blu-ray disc, four CDs, and an insightful 120-page hardbound book, The Ultimate Collection rectifies that perception and dramatically improves the sonics of the 1971 album, Lennon’s fifth solo recording and his second with the Plastic Ono Band. This deluxe edition includes 140 tracks; a newly remastered and remixed stereo version of the original 10-track album; new 5.1 surround mixes and an updated quad mix, both 96/24; raw studio recordings, singles, outtakes, and extras; and an audio documentary that traces the evolution of each song.
“The original Imagine is a remarkable album. The songs are not as painfully personal as its confessional predecessor, which reflected Lennon’s post-Beatles therapy sessions, but it has great emotional range…
“And this deluxe edition contains many surprises, among them a reggae version of “I Don’t Want To Be A Soldier Mama” and stripped-down “elemental” mixes that include a strings-only version of “Imagine” and an a cappella version of the tender “Oh My Love”. The highlight is a previously unreleased demo fo “Imagine” that was discovered in 2016 by engineer Rob Stevens in a mislabeled tape box and then transferred digitally from a one-inch eight track tape….
“…the multiple 5.1 surround mixes (including outtakes) place Lennon’s vocals in the center speaker, uncluttered by instrumentation. That lends astonishing presence to his vocals, especially on the “Imagine” demo. The 5.1 mix also allows delicate details (like strings and piano fills) to dance within the sound field in a cloudlike fashion, in keeping with the album’s cover graphic theme, which places Lennon’s head in the clouds…” – Greg Cahill, The Absolute Sound, January 2019