- Imagine (album)
Name = Imagine
Type = studio
9 September 1971flagicon|USA 8 October 1971flagicon|UK
23 June 1971– 5 July 1971at Ascot Sound Studios, string overdubs July 1971
Genre = Rock,
rock and roll, soft rock, blues rock
Length = 39:29
Label = Apple,
John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Phil Spector, Jack Douglas
AllmusicRating|5|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:2ar67uy0h0jg link]
Rolling Stone" Rating|4|5 [http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/245217 link]
Last album = "
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band"
This album = "Imagine"
Next album = "
Some Time in New York City"
John Lennon's second solo albumand 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 Studiosin Tittenhurst Park) with strings overdubs added at the Record Plantin New York City. As on his last album, Phil Spectorjoined Lennon and Yoko Onoas 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 Indiain 1968that 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 Harrisonguested 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 postcardfeaturing a photo of Lennon holding a pigin 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 Labon gold CD. [ [http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/5938174/the_rs_500_greatest_albums_of_all_time The RS 500 Greatest Albums of All Time] ]
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
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) Dobroguitar (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),
Detailed credits were published in Disc and Music Echo, October 2, 1971.
before = "
Every Picture Tells a Story" by Rod Stewart
title = "Billboard" 200 number-one album
October 30- November 5 1971
after = "Shaft (soundtrack)" by
Isaac Hayessuccession box
before = "
Teaser and the Firecat" by Cat Stevens
title = Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
January 10- January 23 1972
after = "American Pie" by
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