℗ © 2014 Calderstone Productions Limited (a division of Universal Music Group)
Just a year on from the implosion of the Beatles, John Lennon's life had yet to settle. In 1971, while lawyers picked over the remains of his old band, he travelled with Yoko to meet her family in Japan, and to America pursuing custody of Kyoko, her daughter by ex-husband Tony Cox. Within John's own, ever-enquiring mind, a war of ideas was raging.
In London and New York he had been drawn to the radical underground, where hippy ideals of the 1960s met the hard-edged politics of a new decade. But this being John, nothing was cut and dried. In parallel he was cultivating an almost mystic line of thought, much of it inspired by the art and poetry of Yoko Ono.
John's first post-Beatles album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, had emerged in late 1970 to critical praise but only muted approval in the marketplace. The conclusions were, to him, pretty obvious. He might be a trail-blazer in all kinds of ways, but he was at heart a populist - an artist but also an entertainer. The task was to frame his deas in music that listeners loved and took inside their hearts Plastic Ono Band had been admired, but often from a distance. The role of the next album - the record that became Imagine - was an attempt for maximum communication offering hopes to the bleeding, battered world.
On the musical level he certainly succeeded. Imagine is the best-loved album of his solo career, while its title track is perhaps his most revered. By contrast to its austere predecessor the new music had melodies in abundance, and colour and variety. It had flashes of broad humour and moments of absolute joy.
This digital remaster of Imagine was transferred from Protools 192 kHz (Prism AD8) into an analogue EMI TG12410 desk, into Sadie at 96kHz/24bit.
John Lennon — vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, piano; whistling on "Jealous Guy"; harmonica on "Oh Yoko"
George Harrison — electric and slide guitar on "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier," "Gimme Some Truth," "Oh My Love," and "How Do You Sleep?"; dobro on "Crippled Inside"
Nicky Hopkins — piano; electric piano on "How Do You Sleep?"
Klaus Voormann — bass, upright bass
Alan White — drums on "Imagine," "Gimme Some Truth," "Oh My Love," "How Do You Sleep?," "How?," and "Oh Yoko!"; Tibetan cymbals on "Oh My Love"; vibraphone on "Jealous Guy"
Jim Keltner — drums on "Crippled Inside," "Jealous Guy," and "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier"
Jim Gordon — drums on "It's So Hard"
King Curtis — saxophone on "It's So Hard" and "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier"
John Barham — harmonium on "Jealous Guy"; vibraphone on "How?"
John Tout, Ted Turner, Rod Linton — acoustic guitars on "Crippled Inside"
Joey Molland, Tom Evans — acoustic guitars on "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier"
Rod Linton, Andy Davis — acoustic guitars on "Gimme Some Truth" and "Oh Yoko!"
The Flux Fiddlers — orchestral strings
Phil Spector — backing vocals on "Oh Yoko!"
Michael Pinder — tambourine on "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier"
Steve Brendell — upright bass on "Crippled Inside"; maracas on "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier"