As John & Yoko Ono Lennon’s paean for peace, “Imagine,” continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the iconic song has just been certified triple platinum by the RIAA for selling 3 million units in the U.S. The achievement comes on the eve of what would have been John’s 81st birthday this Saturday, October 9th.
“John and I were both artists and we were living together, so we inspired each other. The song ‘Imagine’ embodied what we believed together at the time. John and I met – he comes from the West and I come from the East – and still we are together. We have this oneness and ‘the whole world would eventually become one’ is the sense that we will all be very happy together. All these instructions are for people for how to spend eternity, because we have lots of time.”
– Yoko Ono Lennon
“We are thrilled to present this award to Yoko for John & Yoko Ono Lennon’s ‘Imagine.’ One of the most important and universally recognized songs in music, this historic achievement coincides as we celebrate the song and album’s 50th anniversary,” said Bruce Resnikoff, President & CEO of UMe. “‘Imagine’ remains a timeless global anthem, and John & Yoko’s message of peace is just as relevant today as when it was first written.”
In honor of Imagine’s golden anniversary and John Lennon’s birthday, Yoko Ono Lennon and the John Lennon Estate are celebrating the legendary songwriter, musician, and peace activist with a variety of events and releases throughout the weekend.
IMAGINE IN DOLBY ATMOS
Beginning today, the much-requested three-dimensional Dolby Atmos mixes from 2018’s acclaimed Imagine - The Ultimate Collection Box Set are now available to stream on Amazon Music, Apple Music and Tidal. Listen here: https://johnlennon.lnk.to/Imagine_The_Ultimate_Mixes
IMAGINE PEACE TOWER
On Saturday, October 9th, the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavík, Iceland will be illuminated as it is annually at 1 pm PDT/4 pm EDT/9 pm BST/8pm Reykjavík, following a speech from the Mayor of Reykjavík, Dagur B. Eggertsson. The installation of the Imagine Peace Tower is a collaboration of Yoko Ono, Reykjavík City, Reykjavík Art Museum, Reykjavík City Museum and Reykjavík Energy. It has been illuminated in honor of John Lennon every year since it was installed by Yoko Ono in 2007. For more information and to watch the livestream visit imaginepeacetower.com
GLOBAL IMAGINE LISTENING PARTY
Also on John’s birthday, October 9th, following two hugely popular Listening Party Events for the Imagine film and John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album, the John Lennon Estate and Tim’s Twitter Listening Party team up once again for a special fan-first Listening Party for Imagine – The Ultimate Mixes encouraging fans to tweet their tributes for John Lennon and the Imagine album with their own memories and memorabilia on his birthday while watching the livestream of the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER lighting up and listening to the album. For more information or to replay the previous Lennon listening parties visit TimsTwitterListeningParty.com. To participate, follow @johnlennon @yokoono @LISTENING_PARTY and @Tim_Burgess on Twitter and use the hashtags #IMAGINE50 and #TimsTwitterListeningParty to join in. All of the times for the event worldwide can be found here: https://bit.ly/TTLP-JL-ITUC
IMAGINE ON LIMITED EDITION DOUBLE WHITE VINYL
Last month, Capitol/UMe released a Limited Collector’s Edition pressing of Imagine as a double LP on white vinyl, featuring the acclaimed 2018 Ultimate Mixes, mixed by engineer Paul Hicks and overseen by Yoko Ono Lennon on LP1 and a host of outtakes on LP2. The unique, expanded edition, Imagine - The Ultimate Mixes & Out-takes, includes the original demo for “Imagine” alongside a host of outtakes that demonstrate the writing and recording process and showcase the evolution of the songs. Included are outtakes for nearly every song on the record including “Jealous Guy” (Take 9), “It’s So Hard” (Take 6), “Crippled Inside” (Take 3, Take 6), “Gimme Some Truth” (Take 4), “I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama I Don’t Wanna Die” (Take 25), “Oh My Love” (Take 6), “How Do You Sleep?” (Takes 1 & 2), and an early version of “Oh Yoko” taken from the Bed Peace rehearsal filmed in the Bahamas. The limited edition release is available to purchase now: https://johnlennon.lnk.to/Imagine-White-2LP
IMAGINE – THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION
The stunning Ultimate Mixes and Out-takes included on the vinyl were originally released in 2018 on the six-disc box set, Imagine – The Ultimate Collection. The Box Set of the historical, remixed and remastered 140-track collection, which was fully authorized by Yoko Ono Lennon (who oversaw the production and creative direction) offers a variety of listening experiences that are at once immersive and intimate, ranging from the Ultimate Mixes of the original album, which reveal whole new levels of sonic depth, definition and clarity to these timeless songs, to the Raw Studio Mixes that allow listeners to hear Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band’s original, unadorned performances, to enveloping 5.1 surround sound mixes, and a Quadrasonic Album Mix, presenting the original four speaker mix remastered in Quadrasonic sound for the first time in nearly fifty years. This ultimate Deep Listening experience, which features scores of previously unheard demos, rare out-takes and isolated track elements, also includes The Evolution Documentary, a unique track-by-track audio montage that details the journey of each song from demo to master recording via instructions, rehearsals, recordings, multitrack exploration and studio chatter. The comprehensive nature of the full Imagine – The Ultimate Collection is the absolute best representation of a career artist working at the top of his creative game.
NEW IMAGINE MERCHANDISE
As part of the celebration, a new collection of Imagine merchandise has been released in the official store. To see the full collection, visit: store.johnlennon.com
THE JOHN LENNON ESTATE TEAMS UP WITH SONG EXPLODER
The John Lennon Estate and Song Exploder have teamed up for a special, first-of-its kind episode about John Lennon’s classic song, “God,” from his transformational and influential masterpiece, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Lennon’s first post-Beatles solo album, released in 1970. “God” was recorded on Lennon’s 30th birthday, October 9th, 1970, 51 years ago this week. Listen here: https://songexploder.net/john-lennon
“I’m a big fan of Song Exploder and the way Hrishi analyzes songwriting and recording using the multitracks and sessions and the creator's voice,” Sean Ono Lennon said. “The shows are always intelligent, well-researched and beautifully edited, so we felt comfortable and confident opening up the archive to them to tell the story of this important song’s creation. They’ve done an amazing job and I’m excited for everyone to hear this special episode.”
Song Exploder was given unprecedented access to the John Lennon Estate’s extensive archive of interviews as well as the master recording, multitracks, original demo, outtakes, studio chatter and more to explore the creation and evolution of “God.” The podcast, which typically features host and creator Hrishikesh Hirway asking an artist to take apart their song and tell the story of its creation as they put it back together piece by piece, was accomplished through a mix of archival interviews with John Lennon (vocals/guitar), Ringo Starr (drums) and Billy Preston (piano), and a newly recorded interview with Klaus Voormann (bass), bringing together everyone who played on the song. Much of Lennon’s interview is taken from his legendary Rolling Stone interview with Jann Wenner conducted on December 8, 1970, just days before John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band was released. The episode also includes an archival interview clip from psychologist Arthur Janov, the founder of Primal Scream therapy, the intense and emotional psychotherapy that John Lennon and Yoko Ono practiced for months and which informs the artistic exorcism found on the album.
“I'm so grateful to Yoko Ono, Sean Ono Lennon and the John Lennon Estate for inviting me to make this episode,” Hrishikesh Hirway said. “I'd never made a posthumous episode, but if there were ever a reason to try, John Lennon is it. It was a unique challenge to craft something that felt like the podcast, but the estate shared archival interview footage, and all the raw recordings from John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. They had every take, every track, and the banter between takes – it was an incredible treasure trove to draw from. Most artists I talk to about songs they just made don't have that level of detail and organization.”
ABOUT JOHN LENNON
John Lennon is arguably the greatest songwriter of his generation. As a founder and leader of The Beatles and also as a solo artist, Lennon has won seven GRAMMY® Awards, including two Lifetime Achievement Awards, Five BRIT Awards including two Special Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Music, 21 NME Awards, 15 Ivor Novellos and an Oscar (Academy Award). He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Lennon in the Top 5 of the magazine's "100 Greatest Singers Of All Time" list. With a message as universal and pertinent today as it was when the album was created, Imagine secures John & Yoko’s collective place in cultural history.
ABOUT YOKO ONO
Yoko Ono is a multiple award-winning multimedia artist who constantly challenges the traditional boundaries of art. She is known for her ground-breaking conceptual and performance pieces, experimental films and music. She is especially renowned for her peace events and initiatives, first with husband John Lennon, including the Bed-Ins for Peace and WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It) international billboard and poster campaigns, and more recently with her IMAGINE PEACE messaging and her tribute to Lennon, the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in Iceland and constituent participatory Wish Trees throughout the world. She continues to work to preserve their legacy, including, among other projects, Strawberry Fields in Manhattan’s Central Park and the ‘Imagine There’s No Hunger’ campaign.