Thursday, April 2, 2009

Imagine: The Album

There are many Beatles facts for John Lennon's Imagine, but the most important is that it is his most popular solo project owing to the title track (and also because it was recorded for its potential commercial value as opposed to Lennon's more avant-garde material before and after). It was recorded from June to July of 1971 and released on the Apple label on September 9, 1971 and October 8, 1971 in the U.S. and UK respectively. Production credits are assigned to John Lennon, Phil Spector, and Yoko Ono. The album is listed as number seventy-six on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Many of the basic tracks for Imagine were laid down at Lennon's home studio at Tittenhurst Park, with overdubs added at New York City's The Record Plant. Footage of several of the album's sessions was released on the documentary Gimme Some Truth.

One of the more popular tracks on the LP is "Jealous Guy," which was composed during the Beatles visit with the Maharishi in India in 1968. "Oh Yoko" has also remained one of Lennon's more popular songs, an upbeat homage to his wife. "How Do You Sleep?" is generally considered to be addressed to Paul McCartney. Its sarcastic tone was considered to be in bad taste by Ringo Starr, although George Harrison played on this track (and a few others on the album). The song "How?" is a reflection of Lennon's Primal Scream Therapy. The most popular ballad on the album is the very gentle "Oh My Love."

Session musicians for Imagine included Alan White (drums), Klaus Voorman (bass), George Harrison (electric and slide guitars and dobro), The Flux Fiddlers (strings), King Curtis (sax), Andy Davis, (acoustic guitar), Nicky Hopkins (piano), and Mike Pinder (of the Moody Blues--tambourine). Some sources also add Joey Molland, Rod Linton, Ted Turner, and Tom Evans on acoustic guitars.

Lennon provided vocals and played piano, acoustic and electric guitars, and harmonica.

Under the supervision of Yoko One, the album was remixed and remastered for a 2003 reissue.

The tracks include:

Crippled Inside
Jealous Guy
It's So Hard
I Don't Want to Be a Soldier
Gimme Some Truth
Oh My Love
How Do You Sleep?
Oh Yoko.

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