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Unheard John Lennon Demos Released With New 'Imagine' Collection
To celebrate what would’ve been the iconic GRAMMY winner John Lennon's 78th birthday this October, Geffen and UMe are releasing Imagine: The Ultimate Collection. The special collector's box set will come complete with never-before-heard demos and outtakes, plus a special audio documentary behind each track of the iconic 1971 album.
The special release, produced by Yoko Ono, gives fans "135 brand new ways of listening" to the classic album. It includes 61 tracks mixed in stereo from the original tapes by GRAMMY winning engineer Paul Hicks under the supervision of Ono at Abbey Road Studios. Ono's intent was to preserve and enhance the original sound.
"Yoko was very keen that these Ultimate Mixes should achieve three things to be totally faithful and respectful to the originals, be generally sonically clearer overall and should increase the clarity of John’s vocals," Hicks said in a statement. "'It’s about John' she said. And she was right. His voice brings the biggest emotional impact to the album.
The special release also includes a new 120 page book complied by Ono, Imagine John Yoko. The book tells the inside story behind the album, complete with previously-unpublished photos. To add to the celebration, both the Imagine movie that Lennon and Yoko released in 1972, and the GRAMMY-winning documentary Gimme Some Truth, chronicling the making of the Imagine album, have been restored and remastered for Blu-Ray and DVD release. The Imagine film is also being released for a limited theatrical run.
The title track to the album, "Imagine," was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame in 1999. Lennon posthumously received the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991 for his solo work, and collectively as a member of The Beatles in 2014. The Beatles have 15 works that have been inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame.
Imagine: The Ultimate Collection is available for pre-order now, will be released shortly before Lennon's birthday, on Oct. 5.