Imagine (album)

Imagine (album)

Infobox Album
Name = Imagine
Type = studio
Artist = John Lennon

Released = 9 September 1971 flagicon|USA
8 October 1971 flagicon|UK
Recorded = 23 June 19715 July 1971 at Ascot Sound Studios, string overdubs July 1971
Genre = Rock, rock and roll, soft rock, blues rock
Length = 39:29
Label = Apple, EMI
Producer = John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Phil Spector, Jack Douglas
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|5|5 [ link]
*Pitchfork Media (9.9/10)
*"Rolling Stone" Rating|4|5 [ link]
Last album = "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band"
This album = "Imagine"
Next album = "Some Time in New York City"

"Imagine" is John Lennon's second solo album and is considered the most popular of his solo works. Recorded and released in 1971, the album tended toward songs that were gentler, more commercial and less avant-garde than the ones he released on his more critically-acclaimed previous album, "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band". [cite book|last=Clayton |first=Marie |authorlink=Marie Clayton|title=John Lennon. Unseen Archives| year=2003 |publisher=Parragon Publishing Book|pages=383 |id=0752585142] The difference, he said, was that "Imagine" was "chocolate-coated for public consumption", in reference to the strings so prevalent throughout.

Recording and structure

Basic tracks for the album were recorded in his home studio (Ascot Sound Studios in Tittenhurst Park) with strings overdubs added at the Record Plant in New York City. As on his last album, Phil Spector joined Lennon and Yoko Ono as co-producer on "Imagine". Extensive footage of the sessions, showing the evolution of some of the songs, was compiled on a video documentary entitled "Gimme Some Truth: The Making of John Lennon's Imagine".

The title track "Imagine" became Lennon's signature tune and remains a powerful plea for world peace. "Jealous Guy", originally composed as "Child of Nature" during the songwriting sessions in India in 1968 that gave birth to The Beatles' double-album "The White Album", also has had enduring popularity. Other easy-listening moments on "Imagine" arise in the form of "Oh My Love" (composed with Ono) and the contemplative "How?" both of which were influenced by his experience with Primal Therapy. "How?" reveals the questions he was facing while going through the changes produced in him during the ongoing process of Primal Therapy, while "Oh My Love" communicates the joy and growth Lennon was experiencing as a result of the therapy.

"Imagine" also indulges in Lennon's love of rock and roll with the philosophical "Crippled Inside" and "It's So Hard," as well as the provocative "Gimme Some Truth," originally heard in the "Let It Be" sessions, but now with a new bridge. The politically-charged "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier" closes the first half of "Imagine" in a cacophonic manner.

George Harrison guested on a few of "Imagine"'s tracks, most infamously "How Do You Sleep?," Lennon's blunt reaction to what he considered veiled remarks about him on Paul McCartney's then-current album "Ram" (Early editions of the "Imagine" LP included a postcard featuring a photo of Lennon holding a pig in mockery of McCartney's similar pose with a sheep of the cover of "Ram").Clayton>Clayton. p301] At the other end of the spectrum is "Oh Yoko!," a joyous ode to his wife, complete with a jubilant Bob Dylan-style harmonica solo.


Upon release in September and October 1971, "Imagine" was warmly regarded by critics and promptly went to #1 worldwide and became an enduring seller, with the title track reaching #3 in the U.S. and #1 in the UK following Lennon's death. In 2000, Yoko Ono supervised the remixing of "Imagine" for its remastered reissue.

In 2003, "Imagine" was placed at #76 in "Rolling Stone"'s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time and reissued by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab on gold CD. [ [ The RS 500 Greatest Albums of All Time] ]

Track listing

All songs by John Lennon, except where noted.

# "Imagine" – 3:01
# "Crippled Inside" – 3:47
# "Jealous Guy" – 4:14
# "It's So Hard" – 2:25
# "I Don't Want to Be a Soldier" – 6:05
# "Gimme Some Truth" – 3:16
# "Oh My Love" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono) – 2:44
# "How Do You Sleep?" – 5:36
# "How?" – 3:43
# "Oh Yoko!" – 4:20

Chart positions


The following musicians performed on "Imagine":cite book |first=John |last=Blaney |title=John Lennon: Listen To This Book |year=2005 |pages=82-90| publisher=Biddles Ltd. |location=Guildford, Great Britain |isbn=0-9544528-1-X]
*John Lennon – acoustic and electric guitars, piano, harmonica (10), whistling, vocals
*John Barham – harmonium (3), keyboards, vibraphone (9)
*Steve Brendell – upright bass (2), maracas (5)
*King Curtis – saxophone (4, 5)
*Andy Davis – acoustic guitar (6, 10)
*Tom Evans – acoustic guitar (5)
*The Flux Fiddlers - strings
*Jim Gordon – drums (4)
*George Harrison – electric guitar (6, 7), slide guitar (5, 8) Dobro guitar (2)
*Nicky Hopkins – piano (2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10), electric piano (7)
*Jim Keltner – drums (3, 5)
*Rod Linton – acoustic guitar (2, 6, 10)
*Joey Molland – acoustic guitar (5)
*Michael Pinder – tambourine (5)
*Phil Spector – backing vocals (10, assuming that he is a member of the "J & P Duo")
*John Tout – acoustic guitar (2), piano (not credited for piano in Disc and Music Echo)
*Ted Turner – acoustic guitar (2
*Klaus Voormann – bass (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
*Alan White – drums (1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) Tibetan cymbals (7), vibraphone (3)

Detailed credits were published in Disc and Music Echo, October 2, 1971.


succession box
before = "Every Picture Tells a Story" by Rod Stewart
title = "Billboard" 200 number-one album
years = October 30 - November 5 1971
after = "Shaft (soundtrack)" by Isaac Hayes
succession box
before = "Teaser and the Firecat" by Cat Stevens
title = Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
years = January 10 - January 23 1972
after = "American Pie" by Don McLean

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